Adult ADHD and Boring Tasks

April 14, 2014 Elizabeth Prager

Adult attention-deficity/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can make boring tasks seem extra boring. We're all adults here (unless you're a kiddo - in that case, you can have boring, adult tasks to look forward to) and we all have chores that we typically do not receive any allowance money for. I never got an allowance when I was a kid and it seemed so unfair when my friends got a few dollars every week for just being their parents' kid. As adults, what do we get for completing boring, required, necessary, horrible, daily tasks? How about a gold medal?!Doing boring tasks can be made fun for those with adult ADHD by making them a game, or maybe even a competition. Adult ADHD can help YOU win a gold medal!

Last night, my wife and I created a new Olympic event: team dishwashing. Sarah was washing the plates and forks (like she always does) and was actively avoiding our plethora of water bottles (like she always does). She asked me to join in and I did. She took care of the easy stuff and I took care of the tougher things. Turns out, that's all we needed to create this revolutionary event. The following is a description of the rules, including extra points for difficulty and deductions for mistakes. This creation is a perfect example of how my wife and I are a good adult ADHD team - she helps me to do the boring tasks by allowing me to make them fun and by joining in on whatever festivities my brain cooks up!

Olympic Event Created by ADHD Innovation to put an end to a Boring Task

How do you win? Wash all dishes in as short of a time as possible with time limited deductions. Time and points accumulated get worked together by a complex formula involving physics, calculus and veterinary science.

Point values for different items:

Plates and bowls 1.0

Forks and knives: 0.5

Spoons: 1.5 (because they can splash water on you)

Food processor, blender, etc: 4.0

Water bottle: 3.0

Mugs and cups: 2.0

Possible deductions: 1.0s for getting water on any portion of your body or clothes other than forearms and hands; 2.0s for getting soap anywhere; 3.0s for dropping an item you are washing; 5.0s for breaking any items

The rules are slightly different for team play. You get a bonus .5 points for "co-rinsing," which is when both team members are rinsing an item at the same time for at least three seconds.

In sum, team or person with the highest score wins.

The Games Our ADHD Brains Play

No, you're right, this isn't a real game. This will never be an Olympic event (I assume). It did make washing dishes better, though, and I'm sort of excited to wash some more today with Sarah. Adult ADHD can make our brain go in a million directions at once, so why not let that relative-insanity drive us in the direction of happiness and fun? Oh, and Olympic glory ...

You can also connect with Elizabeth Prager on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

APA Reference
Prager, E. (2014, April 14). Adult ADHD and Boring Tasks, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 20 from

Author: Elizabeth Prager

Nick L
June, 18 2014 at 4:14 am

This is a huge deal for a lot of us with ADHD. As a recent college graduate (physics) currently doing data entry 8hrs a day in an unrelated field, I can certainly attest to the feeling of boredom.
I also think that the ADHD related troubles gauging passage of time are partly related (either cause or effect) to this heightened sense of bordom. An hour of a boring, repetitive task feels like a day, and when you get home and start working on the rest of the days to-do list, the hours pass like minutes. I'll definitely be
applying this goal oriented attitude to my work.
Thank you for sharing this.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Prager
June, 20 2014 at 2:17 am

I really appreciate your comments, Nick! It feels really unfair that time works the way it does, depending on the quality and enjoyment of an activity. Let me know if you find the goal oriented attitude helps at all! I'm interested to know!

Elina Ponting
April, 15 2014 at 8:45 pm

Good post. It contains a lot of information's which I was searching for a long time. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Leave a reply