Are you more like a boa constrictor or a cat?

Marketing experts say consistency is the key to building a successful business.  Apparently it’s best to regularly engage in marketing activities instead of only doing big productions when business is slow.  This prevents the “feast or famine” cycle, they say.  My marketing strategy calls for two blog posts a month and two Facebook posts per week. But as you can see from my blog history, that’s not really the way I operate.

House cats eat a little bit at a time throughout the day, no matter how much is in their bowl. If I give my cat any more than half a cup of food, it will still be there the next morning. The marketing experts would be pleased with her consistent approach.

Boa constrictors are different.  They will swallow a whole rat (or oh look! a squirrel) and do absolutely nothing else while they’re digesting it for the next 4-6 days. They might not eat again for months.  Marketing experts agree:  NOT COOL.

I’m more like a boa constrictor. In marketing and in life.  No, I’m not cold blooded, and I certainly don’t squeeze my food to death before I eat it.  It’s more my way of taking on projects.  When I do something, I jump in and do it in a big way.  Then I’m like, “OMG I’m so overwhelmed my head is going to explode”.  Who can write when her head is exploding? 

Things inevitably calm down after a while.  The problem is that until this happens, it feels like I’m going to be overwhelmed – or worse – forever.  It’s the ADHD tendency to perceive that the way things are right now is the way they’ve always been, and always will be.  We tend to not remember that things change.  Life ebbs and flows.
I really like this boa constrictor metaphor. Just like the snake always digests the rat, I too always get hungry again for a new project. Then I take on too much once again and can’t even move.  But you know what? I’m not going to try to change this.  Not only is it the way I’m wired, but I actually think it’s more productive. I’m guessing that many people with ADHD are like this.  I just have to remind myself that this is a CYCLE, like the boa constrictor’s eating habits. Then I can trust that things will eventually calm down. Most of the time I can even predict when digestion will be complete, if I think about it.  Knowing that things will eventually calm down is what keeps my head from actually exploding.  

Don’t get me wrong, consistency is important for a lot of things, like diet, sleep, and studying.  Maybe marketing, too. But projects? I’d rather be a boa constrictor than a cat. How about you?