Tolerations and ADHD

In life coaching we talk a lot about "tolerations." Tolerations are things you have to do on a regular basis, or things on your to do list that haven't been done, that create drag in your life the way wearing a backpack in the water slows down your swimming.

These are things that take extra energy. A classicly used example is a lightbulb you haven't changed. Every time you walk by it you may think about it needing changing (or in case of ADHD, remember again that it is burnt out and needs replacing), and notice it again. That noticing, thinking, remembering, takes energy every time you walk by it. That's the idea.

In ADHD Coaching I talk a lot about doing what you're good at, or comes more easily to you, and trying to minimize or delegate what you're not good at. This dovetails with the tolerations concept; for people with ADHD having to do a bunch of rote tasks that are difficult  is a whole big pile of "toleration." But these are tolerations that you can't finish. Once a light bulb is replaced, it works. Once the mail is sorted, you get more mail. So a big toleration might be the overflowing mail basket that you need some support or structure to get through; an ongoing toleration is dealing with paperwork in general.

The take-away here? Sometimes when you're stuck, it's time to look at your day-to-day repeating "tolerations" and reduce the energy they are sucking so you have more energy to put elsewhere. What those things are may well be determined by your ADHD!