Divergent Thinking: I have 99 ideas but I've not completed 1

So I do this thing where I have a really good idea and I get super excited about it. I start brainstorming a bunch of things, I purchase a domain name, tell everyone I know and then, POOF! I’m on to the next idea! Can you relate?

So why is this? I don’t have an actual answer for you or even an answer for myself. But I believe it comes down to a combination of things: overthinking, a sense of paralysis, anxiety, and inattentiveness. Is this all sounding familiar?

I usually fail at the first hurdle, getting started. I’m great at brainstorming and somewhat ok at building on an idea but then I just freeze, I lose momentum.

Divergent thinking

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘Divergent thinking’, its a thought process where the mind generates many ideas and explores lots of different solutions. I’ve been doing some online reading on divergent thinking. Studies have shown that individuals with ADHD are exceptionally good at divergent thinking tasks. Our ability to think creatively, be inventive and think outside the box speaks to our strengths.

For me, the difficulties in following through on an idea is largely due to my ADHD symptoms:

  • Procrastination

  • Trouble with breaking down tasks

  • Lack of focus

  • Impatience

, you get the drift.

How can we make the most of divergent thinking?

I thought it was worth sharing what works/has worked for me in hopes that it’s somewhat useful for you too.

Desire

For me, it starts with desire. As an ADHD’er, many of us prefer to start with the most interesting task or one that’s easiest to complete. The most recent idea I had is this newsletter. The day I had the idea, is when I published my first post. It felt magical, and I was super proud of myself because I’ve never executed an idea I had so fast! It didn’t feel like a chore or some sort of laborious task. I really wanted to document my journey and connect with as many adult ADHD’ers through my experiences.

Unravel

Get yourself a pad, bullet journal, post it, an app or whatever works for you and jot down small things in no particular order.

This is something I’m still learning to apply. As a matter of fact, I recently reached out to the ADHD community on twitter for top tips.

Don’t feel like you need to hold yourself to anything you write. I found that holding myself to my ideas added unnecessary and unwanted pressure.

In my case, forced productivity = no productivity. Taking things one day at a time works for me.

Be kind to yourself

Lastly, I temporarily blocked out all of my other ideas. I get overwhelmed VERY easily, juggling so many ideas at once causes me to completely shut down.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t feel bad if you lose interest or momentum on a project or idea. You can always go back to it, or you may realise that you just don’t want to work on it anymore and that’s ok.

I’m no expert, just sharing my thoughts along my learning journey. I’m still clumsily adulting through life with ADHD combined type.

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