Sunday, August 25, 2013

ADD and the Struggle with eBay Listings

I derive a large part of my living from selling things on eBay.

Of course, in order to sell things on eBay, you have to list things on eBay... and that has always been one of my greatest struggles.

Yesterday, I was faced with needing to add a bunch of new listings for items that had actually been sitting around my office-- all photographed and ready to go-- for a long time. 66 items, to be precise. But I had been putting it off, for several weeks... even though there were "bills banging on my door."

I sell sea glass on eBay, to jewelers, artists and collectors
Just the mere thought of needing to focus and concentrate long enough to write and upload 66 eBay descriptions is enough to make my head explode. I can give myself 47,000 "motivational pep talks" but it still doesn't do me any good.

The process is interesting. Getting started is not terribly hard, especially when I set aside the contiguous block of time needed... in this case, "most of a day."

I get my energizing techno playing, and get started. I choose not to update my eBay helping application because I know from experience that the software is archaic and will ask for a system restart, which means shutting the 47 windows and applications I have running, which means having to bookmark and save them all, which means a minefield of distractions... and normally about 90 minutes wasted to install changes so inconsequential I can't even tell what's different.

Saying "no" to the update actually represents "progress" in my life with ADD. I'm willing to shove my perfectionistic tendencies into the background. Yay!

I get about ten lots into the process and am doing OK when "the tingling" first starts. It feels like I am wearing invisible headphones-- the big kind that fits over your ears-- except they are a bit like a vise clamping on my temples. I can feel my forehead tightening, as well. My focus is starting to go. I force myself to work to the end of the hour, before "giving myself permission" to check my email. Again, the value of clocks and timers is huge... somehow, having a visible finite horizon in front of me helps my ability to concentrate.

On the hour, I manage to only sidetrack for ten minutes to scan my inbox and delete messages of no great value.

On the whole, I manage to plod through pretty well, "promising myself" that I can have a break every time I get another ten lots listed.

And then I almost hit what I call "the 95% wall." That has been one of the banes of my existence-- both in childhood and as an adult. What is it? Well... I get to a point-- when doing a "large task"-- where I realize that I am "almost finished." And some part of me "sees the end in sight" and I relax slightly... and suddenly any forward movement feels like I am trying to swim through honey. All I want to do is GET UP and go do something else. From a psychological standpoint, motivating myself to do those last few things to truly finish the job can feel more daunting than the preceding 95%.

Somebody once suggested that I have a "fear of success." Meh... not so much. People who "fear success" usually still have anxiety once they are done with something. I'm just releived (and happy!) when I am done. And therein lies a paradox... certain personality types simply prefer "open ended" over "finished" tasks. I am not one of them, although I often behave like I am one of them.

The thing that's interesting to me... and where I realize "it's all about ADD"... is the literal physical sensations that go with hitting that "95% wall." I reach this point... and it really only seems to come when "the end is in sight"... where it literally feels like "my head will explode" if I have to concentrate for one more minute.

And the eBay listings? I did get them done. It took me ten hours instead of eight... given various sidetracks. But on the whole... a pretty successful day.

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