Side Projects and Deep-Seated Shame.
Creativity is a double-edged sword.
And it comes in large quantities as a bonus when you have these 2 things:
A Degree in Interior Design
Severe ADHD Diagnosis
As a designer with both of these things, creativity flows in my veins spreading through my blood and taking a journey to my already too-overwhelmed-all-the-time brain.
And it's both, a blessing, and a curse.
Because of my creativity, I always come up with exciting solutions to existing problems, and to ones that literally don't, just more exciting ways to look at things to "optimize" how they function.
You see, those of us diagnosed with ADHD have an interest-based nervous system, which means that if we are not interested in something, dopamine will withhold from giving us the ability to focus, and without the ability to focus well, it's insanely hard to do pretty much anything.
So it becomes almost a compulsive need to work on things that are currently thrilling for our brains.
That leads to way too many side projects to count, sometimes I can keep track of them, but other times it's all dumped into the memories that get dumped in the ocean of useless information (think InsideOut, that pit Joy falls into).
Side note: while I was writing this blog post, I jumped between 5 different things that don't relate one bit to the article.
Before my diagnosis, I would have been deeply ashamed to admit that fact, that I am not a "productivity queen" and my focus isn't where it should be all the time.
While I love the side of me that picks up new endeavors when I am interested, I still feel like what I am doing doesn't close a task folder in my brain, I keep remembering the Glengarry Glen Ross Movie's Quote that was rephrased by Casey Niestat (Always Be Closing).
I think the system for us creatives can be a bit different. Instead of closing a task, I now head to Notion and create a tap on my "PARKED IDEAS" page.
I ask my brain instead of feeling that deep-seated shame of never following through on a task to be patient and to park ideas for when we are more open to them.
If you don't use Notion (I mean honestly, you should give it a try, it's beyond phenomenal), a piece of paper might do the trick of Parking Your Ideas. Sometimes, it's important to welcome those ideas with open arms, and give them a space to exist so we can move on and focus on priorities that have a deadline (or are of a bigger role in our career and personal lives" I invite you to do the same.
Don't dismiss ideas, but acknowledge when you drift off the main task, create a space for them to exist, brain dump if you must, and go back to the main tasks.
We are blessed to have creative brains that have a million of ideas per second, embracing that shame, and giving ourselves a space to dream is healthy and encouraged.
Do you feel the same? And do you have any other techniques? Let us know in the comments!