Drawing Focus: ADHD and Productivity Strategies

Stressful (yet effective) ADHD coping mechanism

If you are a regular reader you know that I am always trying to hack the ADHD brain–aka The Brain. One of the habits that worked during very stressful times was to jump onto social media for 3-5 minutes and read some headlines, share or bookmark something to read later and then continue with whatever I am working on. I have never been one to be drawn into the social media rabbit hole and get lost for hours (unless I intentionally use it to switch off my brain) so this worked really well to manage bad-focus-days. However, it also just adds more noise to the noisy machine. Since working from home I have taken up drawing again and began to learn working with watercolours. Now, I never had the patience for watercolours since one always has to wait for layers to dry before adding the next ones.

Highly productive and relaxing ADHD coping mechanism

Exactly this has led to the discovery for a perfect deep work strategy. When The Brain needs a cool-off or focus on thinking something through…I add a wash to my latest project, or a layer, or an element. Depending on how much thinking I have to do, this can be from literally a couple of brush strokes, to minutes. The advantage of this approach is that cognitive load doesn’t get yet more information to process, but The Brain stays focused on thinking about the things it needs to think about–just more deeply. To top this productive strategy up I get some nice art outcomes.

Similarly I continued to work on Sketchnoting but began to include watercolour elements to it as well. So I literally drew and painted a writing-plan a couple of weeks ago. For positive reward with any concluded writing task I fill in the picture more. Let’s see if by the end of this academic year I have a full painting!

watercolour and ink vines and flowers the leaves and flowers contain the writing project titles

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