We all suffer from procrastination from time to time. In those with ADD/ADHD procrastination is more of a challenge.
Research has shown that behaviour is brain based. The chronic procrastination associated with those who have ADHD is usually a sign that the pre-frontal cortex is not fully developed. What is the pre-frontal cortex?
The pre-frontal cortex is an organ in the front of the brain. In this organ lie all executive functions, traits for self-directed action, or life skills. Self-motivation, time management, working memory, organisation, self-control, emotional self-regulation and procrastination to name a few.
Research has now proven that in those with ADD/ADHD the pre-frontal cortex is slower to develop. This means that the person with ADD/ADHD will always be lagging behind their peers in these areas. Let’s be very clear. Those with this condition are the same as everyone else. However their pre-frontal cortex is developmentally delayed. In simple terms, to the degree of the developmental delay lies the degree of the ADD/ADHD challenges.
Do you know how old one is when this part of the brain has fully formed? Stop and take a guess. Current research has shown age 30 plus. In those with ADD/ADHD this part of the brain may never fully develop.
ADHD has been misnamed. This is a big factor in mental health professionals not taking the challenges of ADD/ADHD seriously enough. If it was just a challenge of attention, as the name suggests this would not be so terrible. It is not a challenge of attention, it is far more than that. It is a challenge of emotional regulation, and executive function. This tragically affects every area of life.
The person with ADD/ADHD may be gifted. If they don’t know how to plan their time, have difficulty keeping on task, get emotionally overwhelmed, and act without thought, this is a big problem. This will hold them back from life success.
You can’t do what you can’t do. In our experience CBT does not work for those with ADD/ADHD. Yet CBT is the first line of treatment for those with ADD/ADHD.
Those who have this procrastination challenge are lacking vital life skills through no fault of their own. If you don’t have the skills internally developed, you will need to externalise them via a skilled coach who gets your challenges and has the tools to guide you in this area.
Our clients regularly tell us that they feel an inner block that stops them reaching their goals. They know they need to get jobs done. They simply don’t know how.
With procrastination internal self-motivation is not fully developed. When the person with ADD/ADHD has to do a project that is boring or that entails many steps, they find it too hard and naturally procrastinate. The internal stimulus is lacking. Through coaching we give our clients tools to overcome this challenge successfully.
With procrastination the internal time clock is not fully developed. The person pushes off the job because they can’t visualise the deadline coming towards them, until it is the 11th hour.
This trait can be found in all of us. Some more, some less. When these challenges stop us reaching our goals, it is time to get help.
Find out more about how coaching can help you.