Stuff I’m grateful I did this week
- Embarked on a 3 month retreat in daily life with Jaya Ashmore
- Family Constellations (BIPOC only) by Meenadchi, a modality for ancestral healing descended from Zulu medicine
- New Suns festival by the Barbican, a feminist literary festival returns to explore the legacy of science-fiction author Octavia Butler and her prophetic Earthseed series
- Wrote something, recorded & uploaded it, yay! Remembering the future with joy
- Finished watching Bird Flight & Cooperative Aerodynamics. by Steve Portugal with London Natural History Society, which I started last week, or the week before
What’s been helping me practise being kind to myself
- My friends
- Making time for spirituality: For me, that’s been family constellations, retreat in daily life (3 months)
- Learning more about ADHD: I’ve spent hours researching this week, found a bunch of strategies that are helping me, and feel that I’m not alone
Looking forward to
- Amplify with Steve Pavlina, a creative productivity deep dive to transform my creative flow. Sounds pretty great, right?
- Continuing my 3 month retreat in daily life, untangling what that means to me
- Hack Week at work. I’m focusing on asynchronous collaboration, which is something I’ve been working on outside of my job for a few months now. Great to give it more time and energy, and bring folks along with me.
- Practising a better life-work balance. It’s been tricky as my brain has been working overtime (literally) with ideas for embracing async ways of working.
How does it feel to be open to rest?
Rest is my calling. Rest means do less, and so much more. Or, so much less! Work is a distraction. And it really pulls me. I like to hang out in the realm of ideas, very airy. I’m working my way down to earth.
I’m playing with WOOP – Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan. It’s similar to GROW – Goal, Reality, Obstacle/Opportunity, Will/Way forward. I like that it starts with wishes, and focuses on coming up with a plan that feels good, and doesn’t feel like a huge stretch. And I like that it’s an evidence-based approach to goal setting.
Rest, and work: ADHD & adaptations
Learning more about ADHD is helping me a lot. I’ve spent hours researching this week, found a bunch of strategies that are helping me, and I feel that I’m not alone.
Which is helping me to feel less shame, which is helping me to seek more help, and to find articles like 21 products you need if you’re always losing things. Which is helping me figure out ways to feel more confident about where stuff is, and therefore less anxiety.
So… Work, eh?
It has been an Intense Week (and I wrote that sentence earlier on in the week, even).
It’s hard, sometimes, to really listen to myself, my body, my spirit, my desires, my needs. I am out of practice. So much to unlearn. Well, step by step, bit by bit, day by day.
Practising asking myself, whenever I have activities planned for my evening, to check-in with myself. ‘Do I want to do this? Do I really want to do this?’ And listening to the answer. And saying no, changing my mind, as I please.
It’s not easy; that’s okay.
I do find it challenging to be gentle with myself, and compassionate, when it comes to setting expectations of how much freelance work I do alongside my full time job. I often feel like I’m not doing enough, and I don’t know how not to feel that way.
Simultaneously, I find it hard to think of fun, new things to do every week (for artist dates). I can think of fun things that are not new and I can think of new things that I’m not particularly excited about.
Part of that is that it’s hard for me to be excited about anything when I’m overwhelmed, except sometimes work, depending on the work. Which is a bit messed up really. But I guess this is a dopamine (reward & motivation) issue — and the thing is that a sense of achievement does deliver the dopamine, so…
Anyway, what I did is start a list of fun and new things I want to do. Because actually I often think of these things, but then I forget. It’s good to see the list growing already within a few hours!
Beware of Burnout: Sustainable strategies for activism by Tatiana Mac.
I think spontaneity is my gift to myself. Not spontaneity to spend time with other people doing what they want to do; spontaneity to spend time with myself doing what I want to do. Like, spending Monday reading an entire book, cover to cover. (The Midnight Library by Matt Haig; I recommend it.)
So much relatable ADHD content, tbh
ADHD freelancers, and working whilst ADHD
I did a keyword search online for ‘adhd freelancers’ and find so much material I don’t even know what to do with it all. (Aside from reading it way too late into the night…).
Special mention to ADDitude, which just has so much helpful stuff.
It’s all about creating environments
Something that feels pretty good is that a lot of the ways of responding to ADHD well and setting myself up for success are about creating environments. And that’s what I do in my job: I create environments that nurture collaboration. So now it’s about pivoting that energy into creating environments that reduce cognitive load, manage executive function requirements and provide rest.
A big part of that is giving myself permission to do things in unconventional ways that work for me, even when that clashes with my parents’ taste for tradition. For example, every time I get groceries, I list the use by dates of everything on a small piece of paper, in chronological order. Otherwise, I forget to eat the things before they go off.
Today, I stuck the list to the fridge with a magnet. (Note: My parents have never had anything on the fridge before this, ever.) No complaints yet, and it’s already helping me out. I don’t have to try and remember to look at the list before I get to the fridge, inevitably forget, go to the list (risking getting distracted on the way), go back to the fridge (risking forgetting what I plan to get out of it). Instead, I can just go to the fridge and take out the things.
This is my priority focus in my job, and I’m working on it outside of my job too. I believe it’s the future of knowledge work.
Here’s a video that I’m hoping to watch this week (but haven’t had capacity for yet).