• Liliana Turecki

Is My Problem with Attention or Motivation?

There are moments when you complete a task quickly, almost magically. And then there are tasks your mind would be determined to avoid.


Why do adults with ADHD have a slippery motivation? Could it be linked with the ability to pay attention? What about the ADHD emotions that seep into your capacity to function well?


Let’s get to the bottom of ADHD habits and how they juggle your brain’s executive functions.


The ADHD Motivation and Attention Enigma Explained

Individuals with ADHD habits often find it challenging to exercise their brain’s executive functions like starting, organizing, and completing tasks. They also find it difficult to use their short-term working memory, sustain their attention, and keep their efforts running for the long term.


Surprisingly, however, when it comes to specific tasks which are interesting to perform, the same individuals can be seen performing them normally or exceptionally well.


Why does that happen?


ADHD is not a willpower problem. The symptoms appear purely due to the specific chemistry of the brain. Once you bump across a task you find interesting, your brain’s chemistry quickly changes to help you complete it efficiently.

There are two main factors that influence ADHD motivation. The first one mainly relates to the hiccups with the neural transmission. An ADHD brain sees an insufficient release and reloading of dopamine inside its networks. This causes the brain’s executive functions to take a hit. The second factor is concerned with a weak working memory which is mainly responsible to prioritize and manage tasks. Another critical factor that holds the ropes of ADHD motivation includes your emotions.


How Emotions Influence Motivation

While we often forget to factor emotions into the equation when dealing with ADHD motivation, it seems to be an integral part of it.


Be it positive or negative – ADHD emotions decide how your brain’s executive functions would unfold. Whether it’s about prioritizing your work, focusing or being distracted at work, or avoiding a task, the type and intensity of emotions you currently face directly change the outcomes of a task.


Emotions, mostly the unconscious ones, often occur inconsistently alongside our conscious intentions whenever a task is concerned. This mental conflict causes an ADHD brain to fail at performing a task that is meant to be performed but instead engage in a task that doesn’t need to be done!


In other words, ADHD emotions influence us even when we’re not particularly aware of how or what or why an activity unfolds in our minds when we’re about to work on something important.

Ready to kickstart your ADHD awareness and bring home real changes? Let’s first connect to hear your story!


Sources:


1. https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-motivation-problems-getting-started-on-tough-projects/

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3010326/

3. https://psychcentral.com/adhd/adhd-and-laziness-whats-really-going-on#low-motivation-and-other-conditions

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