In my last post, I discussed our ADHD interest-based nervous system. (You can read that newsletter here.)
Today, I’d like to highlight one of the four categories of interest that Dr. William Dodson says can help us engage our brains when something important needs to be done – NOVELTY.
Most of us with ADHD challenges find it nearly impossible to initiate and maintain engagement with tasks that are boring or not sufficiently interesting. In such situations, most of us have noticed how something that is new or novel, i.e., different from what we are presently engaged in, will pull our attention away from our current task like a magnet.
That magnet could be something as simple as an overheard conversation, or it could be a new task someone stops by and asks us to do. Even though we are on a deadline, we might jump at the novelty of the new stimulus and be drawn away from our goal.
Novelty (as well as the other three interest-related factors that I will address in my next three newsletters) offers us hard-to-resist stimulation of our unbalanced dopamine levels which draws us away from anything less interesting.
Another word to describe something that is interesting or novel to our brains is “sparkly.” It grabs our attention like a sparkling jewel!
We need to learn how to sparklize an important but uninteresting task by tweaking it into a novel experience. For example, we might ask a friend to sit or work nearby as a “body double,” or we might do a routine task in a different space or in a different order than normal or using a different tool.
With a repeating task, we may need to find multiple novel approaches to maintain our interest. We’ll need to regularly re-sparklize the task, either by incorporating one of the other interest-related factors (challenge, urgency, or passion) or by finding a new, creative way to bring in novelty. I’ll share some more specific examples of sparklizing strategies in upcoming newsletters.
If you have any examples to share of how you have used novelty to maintain interest in a task, I’d love to hear from you!
A Brief Word About Coaching –
I continue to be amazed at the powerful effect of coaching. My eyes often tear up as I hear from my clients about the positive changes that are occurring in their lives.
If you or anyone you know would like help in finding their best way forward, I would be glad to talk with them in a free conversation about the possibility of our working together. I have a new calendar link here where appointments can be scheduled. That link is also available on my website – neilswansoncoaching.com.