Procrastination, aka Creative Poison
🚨 Why I'm great in an emergency, but only in an emergency
A few days ago, Casey Neistat posted this excellent new video called Creative POISON.
(He gave me a shoutout at the end of the video, if you’re a new subscriber that came from his video, welcome!)
In the video, he talks about how procrastination often thwarts our best efforts, when we know what we should be working on, but we just keep putting it off.
Procrastination is a major issue for most people with ADHD.
There are a lot of aspects to ADHD that add up to deeply affecting our motivation: time blindness, memory deficits, and just a severe dysregulation of dopamine (and other neurochemicals).
Effectively, our brain is starved for more dopamine so it has no interest in working on something that doesn’t provide that dopamine by being urgent or interesting or somehow tickling our brain.
When I’m trying to work on something that’s really important (but not interesting/urgent), there’s this weird thing where my brain feels like a separate entity than myself. I’ll think “I should work on that project that’s due next week,” but the part of my brain that connects what I intend to do with my actions just doesn’t fire.
Rather than work on the thing that desperately needs my attention, I feel frozen on the couch—staring at my phone and pulling-to-refresh whatever new social media platform has my attention that week.1
I think part of the “problem” is that I am really good at doing stuff when I have a deadline. That’s when my best work comes out! Almost every paper I wrote in school was done the night before, and graded well. The best projects I’ve done at work were when I was in emergency mode unsure of whether I would finish in time or not.
No wonder my brain gives me such resistance, knowing that urgency brings out my best work.
Jesse J. Anderson
P.S. I’m doing a reader Q&A later this week! Ask me all your questions about ADHD or any other topics (writing, productivity, content creation, media, whatever!) and I’ll do my best to answer them.
If you have any questions you’d like me to answer, send them to me here.
P.P.S. I’ve talked a bit more in previous issues about some of the ways I try to motivate myself when procrastination is taking its toll:
Things that grabbed my attention this week (and a few fun and silly AI art results I wanted to share)