9 ADHD Paralysis Symptoms That Aren’t Being Lazy

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This post is all about ADHD paralysis symptoms!

I know how hard it is when we have so much to do that we can’t start anything at all. This is often called ADHD paralysis, and it has nothing to do with being lazy! Oftentimes with ADHD, we really WANT to get things done, but we can’t get ourselves out of our heads and actually get it done.


You’re not alone if you feel like you are lazy!! ADHD can cause us to be paralyzed and not want to get anything done. Set timers for things that seem like they’re gonna take forever and make it a game!! #adhd #adhdlaziness

♬ original sound – Caroline Archer

Don’t fret though! Here are 9 symptoms of ADHD paralysis along with personalized tips and tricks that you will love!

9 ADHD Paralysis Symptoms

1. Time Blindness

One of the biggest ADHD paralysis symptoms is time blindness. The reason we get ADHD paralysis in this case is that we don’t realize how fast or slow time has gone and we forget to get things done. This does not mean you are lazy. This means that you need to set some boundaries with yourself like the ones below:

  • Set timers to start to notice time and how fast or slow it is going. You can set hourly alarms so that you can have the notice of staying on track.
  • Using a visual timer or a timer with a countdown can be helpful to notice visually how much time has gone by.

Time blindness is normal for people without ADHD too, but it is very common for people with ADHD. It basically means that time moves by without you even really noticing it. But with some timers you can really help this and get better at noticing time passing.

adhd paralysis symptoms

2. Procrastination

Sometimes when a task is too hard or scary we tend to put it off. This is completely normal! It is hard to do hard things… Duh. But it is important that we have some more boundaries with ourselves to get us to be productive especially when we don’t want to work.

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Having a set routine can help you get things done right when you wake up. Here is an example of a morning routine:

  1. Go on a walk
  2. Do some yoga
  3. I blog for 30 minutes but you can fill this in with whatever you’d like
  4. Eat breakfast
  5. Read for 20 minutes

Establishing a straightforward daily routine can expedite task completion and efficacy. Consistent engagement in daily activities fosters personal growth and development.

3. Overwhelm

Overwhelm is a staple symptom of ADHD paralysis. When you have a raging to do list or you are sitting and staring at a wall, getting overwhelmed is normal for people with neurodivergence. The best way to help with overwhelm is to break down your tasks. For example here is how I would break down my shower:

  • Pick out an outfit
  • Get two clean towels
  • Brush my hair
  • Wash my hair
  • Wash my body
  • Wash my face
  • Shave
  • Dry off
  • Get dressed

Breaking down each task into really manageable steps can help you feel less overwhelmed by the big picture. Focus on each step as you get to them instead of the task as a whole.

Meeting up with friends can also help you to feel less overwhelmed. Talking out your feelings or what you need to get done can go a long way in terms of how you are feeling about it. Friends are there to help you, so take advantage of that!

4. Executive Dysfunction

Executive dysfunction involves difficulties in cognitive processes essential for effective goal-directed behavior. It encompasses challenges in planning, organizing, initiating tasks, prioritizing, and managing time. Individuals experiencing executive dysfunction may struggle with decision-making, multitasking, and emotional regulation. This can significantly impact daily functioning and is associated with conditions like ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injury, and certain mental health disorders.

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The best way to manage executive dysfunction is to do some self care. This can help get you out of your funk in a fun and manageable way. Make a list of all the things you’d like to get done and then listen them in order of least to most intimidating. Getting some quick and easy wins can help you to get motivated to finish the rest of your tasks.

5. Decision Paralysis

Decision paralysis refers to the state of being unable to make a decision due to overthinking or feeling overwhelmed by available options. The best trick for decision paralysis is doing what makes you happy. Getting a few things done that you enjoy can help you feel ready to make bigger decisions. Here are some tasks that you can do that are fun and easy:

  • Garden
  • Knit or Crochet
  • Collage
  • Journal about your favorite song

These tasks are meant to just get you out of your head and doing something that will help you to be creative. Creativity is actually a really important part of decision making, so practicing your creativity will help you to make decisions easier in the future.

6. Implusivity

People with ADHD often experience impulsivity due to difficulties in inhibiting their immediate responses and regulating their attention, contributing to a tendency to act quickly without considering long-term consequences. To mitigate this risk of long term consequences, it is important to be more mindful. Practicing mindfulness will help you to think about the past, present, and future.

Here is a simple mindfulness exercise that you can practice right now!

Name the following:

  • 5 things you see
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste

This exercise is called grounding and it will help you to stay present and mitigate your impulsive tendencies.

7. Perfectionism

People with ADHD may exhibit perfectionistic tendencies as they often struggle with maintaining focus and managing their attention, leading them to fixate on details in an attempt to compensate for perceived shortcomings in their performance. You may tend to feel paralyzed by your perfectionism in turn!

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To mitigate your perfectionism, you need to let go! Feel free to express yourself in new ways! Collaging is a great way to do this because there is no pressure and it often turns out way better than you would’ve expected.

8. Forgetfulness

When you forget to do something sooner, you can feel paralyzed when it comes to getting it done on a time crunch. For me, I notice this when it comes to homework. Sometimes I forget I have an assignment or a project for so long that when push comes to shove I can’t get myself to do it no matter how much I want to do it.

The best way to prevent this feeling is to write everything down. We are way more likely to remember something if we simply write it down. That is why it is so important to have a notebook or the notes app on your phone at all times.

9. Hyperfocus

People with ADHD may experience periods of hyperfocus, where they become intensely absorbed in a task of interest, as a compensatory mechanism for their underlying difficulties in sustaining attention and focus. This basically means that your brain is protecting you from a stressful situation by keeping you focused on something easy, like scrolling on your phone.

The hardest part of hyperfocus is to stop what you are doing. The only way to do this is to get up and just push through it. It sucks, but there is no way around it. My favorite way of getting out of a cycle of hyperfocus is to eat something new. Find a new recipe and cook for a little while. If that seems like too much, find a simple snack and go on a walk.

This Post Was All About ADHD Paralysis Symptoms

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