Scorched Earth

Update: It worked for 2-3 months. I haven’t touched it since then and everything’s a wreck again. I know why, and I’ll explain. I call it the Scorched Earth Effect.

The problem with “systems” is that they are authorities. They have to be. If you decide “I’ll prioritize things with a stack of notecards” then you are telling yourself the following:

“The notecards replace my own brain. Everything that I do must be on a notecard. If it isn’t on a notecard, it can’t be done. If I want it done, it has to be on a notecard.”

The problem is that when you have a crisis (a day full of emergencies) that forces you to break from this system you will lose all respect for its authority. Your brain will learn that it doesn’t have to respect the notecards, that they aren’t in charge, and this sense of freedom is addictive and will persist. Most ADHD sufferers have left a trail of systems - notecards, whiteboards, lists, post-its, apps, alarms - that worked great for [a month, a week, three days] but are now dead to them, scorched earth we can’t return to.

I have no idea what to do about this.