At this busy time of year, we might find ourselves a little overwhelmed by the number of things it seems important to do. But as the end of the year nears, we might actually surprise ourselves by getting some of those things done in a way that eluded us some weeks or months ago.

We might be using what Dr. William Dodson describes as yet another way of stimulating our interest-based nervous system. That is the power of URGENCY to get our brains engaged.

Urgency can offer hard-to-resist stimulation for our unbalanced ADHD dopamine levels. It’s important to notice how sparkly urgency can feel to our brains.

Have you noticed how sometimes it’s very difficult to get motivated enough to start on a task when the deadline for completing that task seems some distance away? Then, suddenly, as the deadline nears we find it much easier to vigorously engage in the task.

This shift is often due to the fact that urgency has made the task much more stimulating and therefore interesting to us. Urgency also makes the task more challenging, which further increases its tendency to stimulate our interest, as discussed in my previous post.

Engaging wholeheartedly in a task once the deadline nears is great when it works! A lot of folks are able to get away with relying on urgency because they also have extraordinary talents that come into play when they are finally hyperfocused on the task.

But waiting for urgency to kick in can also have downsides. For one thing, that interest-stimulating urgency might not kick in quite soon enough to allow time to complete the task, or at least not sufficient time to complete it well. This is especially likely to happen if our ADHD time blindness interferes with our ability to properly estimate how much time a task will take.

In addition, waiting for urgency can result in a significant level of stress for us and for those around us. Those around us are baffled, and sometimes enraged, by our seeming unwillingness to begin a task early enough to complete it on time in an unrushed manner.

Fortunately, there are ways to use the power of urgency to solve the problems created by waiting for urgency to motivate us.  Watch for the next post for suggestions for using urgency to get more tasks done well without the level of stress so often involved with deadlines.

I wish you a happy and peaceful holiday season and a happy and healthy 2024!

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