Day 88: ADHD and Current Events

The past several days have been tiresome. I have the attention span of a gnat and it’s frustrating as hell.

I’ve done very little studying. Job searching has been cursory. I can’t even settle in to watch TV or a movie. Any attempt to write has only lasted a millisecond. My brain simply will NOT cooperate.

Me, the entirety of the past week

It feels like everything is a lower priority than COVID-19 and how the virus is impacting the world. And yet, things like my job search still need to get done, despite feeling like resume submissions are an exercise in futility right now.

Someday (definitely not by Easter, but someday) things will return to normal. In all likelihood, hiring will start to pick back up even before then, particularly for positions like the remote ones I’m applying for.

Until that time comes, it might behoove me to detach a little more from the news and focus a little more on my immediate surroundings.

I’ve found this to be true in the past. After four years of Trump, I’ve become somewhat adept at realizing when I need to take a break from news updates.

The news of the day is consistently upsetting. And yet, it feels imperative to be as informed as possible. For me, this means I listen to far more podcasts than is likely necessary. NPR, Vox, the BBC, Slate, the Associated Press, and the New York Times each produce several incredibly good ones. Some are daily, some are weekly.

I subscribe to ten different news podcasts, in all. There’s even an hourly one from NPR that’s only 5 minutes long. Often, I’ve already caught up on all the other ones and I find myself listening to this 5-minute NPR podcast every. single. hour.

I’m certain this is not helping me focus. Nor is it necessary to be informed of every last thing related to current events the moment it happens.

In the past when I’ve noticed myself becoming obsessive about the news and having trouble focusing on other areas of life, I’ve put boundaries around my news exposure.

For instance, I used to limit myself to listening to podcasts only while I was getting ready for work and during my commute to and from work. This seemed to work for me.

I now lack a natural structure that can be used in this way, but my goal for today and this week is to create some rules around news updates so I’m better able to focus on getting things done.

There are projects that are important to me and I must move forward on them. It’s what I need in order to stay mentally and emotionally healthy during this time.

My achievement for yesterday was recognizing my compulsive news listening habits might be the reason behind my inability to focus this past week. And now, I shall do something to curtail it, and, hopefully, get back to work.

2 comments

  1. I’m watching a few people I know applying for jobs, but feeling like they’re running in mud. I do feel for all of you during this time. Of course, my frustrations are quite minor by comparison…but attempting to jump back into the social / dating world during the Age of Social Distancing has so far been an annoying experience.

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