Doing Projects the Hard Way


flower-bedYou want to get your (actual) butt in shape? Try loading a wheelbarrow with 100 lbs and then pushing it up a steep hill. Then do it a few more times, and repeat the following day. This is what I did over the weekend, as I tried to create a planting bed around my house. It turns out that I am an absolute expert when it comes to gardening the hard way. The last time I worked on the landscape, I planted a few shrubs and thought that I could easily dig up the ground. WRONG. Digging up our compacted, rocky soil turned out to be a lot of hard work. I remember my arms and shoulders being sore for days afterward. I vowed to do it “the easy way” next time. So when I read an article about making a “lazy bed,” I was on board. The technique involves laying down newspaper and then covering it with soil, compost, and mulch. Then you wait a few months while the newspaper decomposes and the compost loosens up the ground below. By the end of the season, your bed is ready for planting. Sounds easy, right? Once again, WRONG.Perhaps I should have considered:

  • Trying this technique with a smaller bed
  • The constant wind we get because we live on a big hill (keeping the newspapers from blowing away before I could cover them was harder than I thought)
  • The hours and hours and hours that would be involved from start to finish
  • Ten or so wheelbarrow trips would–literally–bust my butt! (I was so sore!!)

I did, eventually, complete my project. But it certainly wasn’t the easy route.As a fellow ADDer, you’re probably all too familiar with situations like mine. You get a great idea, dive in, and then find that your idea will require more time, energy, and resources than you thought it would. The options you’re left with are 1) quit 2) burn yourself out to finish or 3) make a plan to finish over time. (The third option is often the hardest for adults with ADD.) And no matter which option you choose, the most important thing you can do is to learn from your mistakes. It’s tempting to get down on yourself after experiences like these. Despite your best intentions and careful planning, “the easy way” can turn out to be very difficult. And while this may feel like failure, it’s really just a learning experience. It doesn’t matter how hard your project turns out to be. It doesn’t matter how many ways you miscalculated your plans. If you’re open to learning, then you can’t fail.

Each mistake you make brings you one step closer to a solution. Sometimes, you have to make a lot of mistakes to get to where you want to go. But if you’re willing to learn from your mistakes, then you’ll always be moving forward.

So the next time your “easy” project turns out to be harder than you thought, DON’T beat yourself up about it. Just take a trial-and-error approach. I guarantee you’ll be much more successful!

As for me and my landscaping projects, I now know that digging doesn’t work, and lazy beds are anything but lazy. I think it’s time to rent a rototiller.


5 thoughts on “Doing Projects the Hard Way

  • June 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I too found landscaping not such a fun thing to do until I found all these beautiful resin artificial rocks and fences. Covering up that old tree trunk and adding a cute little fence around my flowers were the trick to a cheap and easy garden. Now I get to spend more time tending to my roses.

  • June 15, 2009 at 5:51 am

    hey–interesting way to control your ADHD and Adult ADD i’m soo glad I found your site my bf has lived with a lifetime of add adhd medic8ed on Ritalin, Adderall, you name it he was on it throughout teen years…I was overmedic8ed too but I’m a girl and they medica8ted me on Risperdal Repakote, Zyprexa, Lithium–u guessed it my rents had me committed 2 mental institution waay back in 96 in Waco, Texas it happened on Leap Year Day see I have leap year episode anniversaries…cuz all the female teachers cried as one, the teen friends through weird, but holycrap how frickin COOOOL the kids now they were my favourite–cuz they didn’t need 2 b told about it they understood it instinctively–I looved playing with the kids and the dogs/kitties then–they were the only ones who knew the Truth and understood that the whole Bipolar diagnosis had been made up by me–and caused a massive chain of overreaction that blew out of control and every time I started getting that way- talkin 2 loud n fast rents thought ok off 2 mental hospital with you we can’t deal w/you
    soo you were born with CP sooo ur braindamaged u freak sooo y don’t u just die in their “group” which had the murderous kids who actually had real bipolar and so murdered their dogs, attacked rents n sibs with knives, had uncontrollable rage, etc, etc trouble with the law…

  • July 10, 2009 at 3:56 am

    A Great post on Pets here dude, I own a cute little puppy and she is the best of all.. Takes me to the olden times when she used to be so small she used to fit in my palm 🙂

  • September 22, 2009 at 6:40 am

    It might have taken you a lot more time and work, but if that picture at the top is the end result then I’d say it was definitely worth it.

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