Category Archives: Strategies

6 Steps to Survive ADHD Overwhelm – Learn to Plan Your Day

Today's hectic world puts tremendous pressure to perform on everyone, but if you have ADHD the pressure is magnified several times over.By Sarah Jane Keyser

Like many people today, do you find life overwhelming? Is getting through one day an exhausting marathon? Does your day include kids to be picked up, doctor’s appointments, bills to be paid, and dry cleaning to be retrieved? Are you afraid to open envelopes for fear of seeing the negative bank balances and the unpaid bills? Are you afraid of wasting time and money on impulsive flings every time you go shopping? It all adds up to a paralyzing sense of doom called overwhelm.

Today’s hectic world puts tremendous pressure to perform on everyone, but if you have ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) the pressure is magnified several times over.

Here are some ways ADHD contributes to that desperate feeling.

Number one is poor organization. It is now recognized that ADHD often presents as chronic disorganization. If you have ADHD, you have difficulty sequencing actions (or papers thus the unmanageable piles). Difficulty organizing the events of the day is just one example.

The second problem is an elastic sense of time. You have difficulty estimating how long tasks will take adding to the problem of planning the day.

The third is what I call the slipping clutch or the getting-started syndrome. When you do fix a time to do a task it still doesn’t get done because you can not start. Instead, you get sucked into the internet or the TV or another low priority activity.

Finally, the lack of boundaries makes it difficult for you to say “no”, so you have too many things to do. Poor boundaries also mean that you absorb more than your share of emotional overload; other people’s problems swamp your brain and make it difficult to think coolly about what needs doing.

Take these 6 steps to plan your day and beat overwhelm.

  1. Stop. Recognize that overwhelm has captured your brain and is interfering with your ability to plan and get things done. Take a minute to observe how you are feeling. Take several deep breaths into the abdomen and exhale slowly.
  2. Listen to your self-talk. Change negatives to positives: tell yourself “you can do it”. Talk out loud to yourself at each step as though you were explaining to another person what you need to do.
  3. Make a list of the tasks you need to do, estimate the time needed including travel or set up time. Then weigh the importance and urgency of each task. Could some items wait until tomorrow or next week?
  4. Consider what help you can get. Could a husband or a friend pick up the kids?
  5. Plan the day. Group tasks according to location. If you have to go out, consider the time of day.  If you must drive during busy times of the day, allow for extra travel time.
  6. Write out the day’s route map and put it in your purse or place it where you can’t forget it. Now you are ready to go. Go!

Still having difficulty? A coach or coaching program can help you stay on track.

 

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Published by Sarah Jane Keyser, Copyright 2006, all rights reserved. Coaching Key to ADDPermission is granted to forward or post this content in full for use in a not-for-profit format, as long as this copyright notice and full information about the author, Sarah Jane Keyser, is attached intact. If any other use is desired, permission in writing is required.

*** About Sarah Jane *** Sarah Jane Keyser worked for many years with computers as a programmer, analyst, and user trainer, but her struggle with inattentive ADD kept getting in the way of her plans and dreams. Her credentials include ADD Coach training at the ADD Coach Academy. The Newfield Network’s graduate coaching programme “Mastery in Coaching” and a programme “Coaching Kids and Teens” by Jodi Sleeper-Triplett MCC. She is an American living in Switzerland who coaches in French and English by telephone

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ADHD and Sleep Issues from A to Zzzz

 If you have ADHD and you struggle to fall asleep, you’re not crazy, you’re not being bad and most of all, you’re not alone.By Linda Walker

If you have ADHD and you struggle to fall asleep, you’re not crazy, you’re not being bad and most of all, you’re not alone. Several studies have revealed that people with ADHD are more likely to have irregular circadian rhythms. What’s a circadian rhythm? According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, “circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in your environment.”

Are You Out of Sync?

Circadian rhythms are the changes that happen in your body that make you sleepy at night (when it gets dark) and make you want to wake up in the morning as it grows light. As many as 70% of adults with ADHD complain they have difficulty falling asleep, wake up tired (or not at all without enormous effort) and feel out-of-sync with the rest of the world.

If you work independently and don’t need to follow the same schedule as the rest of the population (perhaps you live on a desert island?!), this may not be a problem. (Sounds pretty lonely though!) However, if you must interact with family, friends, peers, customers or anyone else who’s not on the same schedule as you while they’re awake, this can cause problems.

It’s Not Just “Beauty Sleep”

Falling asleep at 1 or 2 AM may not be a problem if you’re a freelancer who answers to no one in real time and you can wake up at 9:30 or 10 AM, but if you have a day job or if customers expect you to answer the phone between 9 AM and 5 PM, you’ll have to cut your sleep short to make it to the office on time. The resulting lack of sleep will affect your ability to focus, your capacity to deal with and manage stress and the functioning of your working memory.

If you’re “tired” of struggling (wink! wink!) luckily, studies show that you can adjust your circadian cycles with a few relatively simple techniques. As someone who has struggled all my life with insomnia, I have tried many of these strategies myself. Here are a few that have the biggest impact.

Humans are like plants; our internal clock is usually set with daylight. When daylight hits your eyes, your brain signals your body to increase your body temperature and starts secreting hormones, like cortisol, to modify the electrical activity in the brain. In the evening, when the light begins to dim, this triggers the production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. In ADHDers, however, melatonin production is often delayed.

  1. Manage Your Light

If you struggle to fall asleep, start dimming the lights at home as early as right after supper. Stay away from blue-light-emitting sources, like computer screens at least 3 to 4 hours before you need to fall asleep.

  1. Exercise

Many of my clients with ADHD report dramatically better sleep quality with earlier sleep onset when they engage in cardiovascular exercise (not at bedtime, but during the day!). Cardiovascular exercise is any activity that makes your heart beat faster for at least 20 minutes, such as jogging, taking a brisk walk, moderate biking, aerobics, cross-country skiing, hockey, basketball, skating, etc. Pick one or more sports you enjoy and do at least 20 minutes each day. You’ll find your sleep will come more easily.

  1. Top Up on Melatonin

Studies have shown that supplementing melatonin with light management can advance sleep onset. You can find melatonin supplements at some pharmacies and certainly at health food stores. They work even better when you use them in combination with light management.

  1. Zone into Sleep with Sound Waves

Research shows that the brain is frequency-following, that is, you can train it to fall into a certain brainwave pattern by listening to sounds in that frequency. Our brain regulates our state of wakefulness by changing the amplitude and frequency of brain waves. To fall asleep, we produce Delta waves in lengths of 0.5 to 4 Hz. Some sounds induce our brain to fall into Delta waves. I use the sounds of the ocean and find that it really works for me. My youngest daughter, Kyrie, and ADHDer, had problems falling asleep until we started playing ocean sounds, along with improving her sleep hygiene, at bedtime.

  1. Change Your Mind

Many ADHDers find their thoughts churn at bedtime, which keeps them from falling asleep. By thinking about what happened today or what will happen tomorrow, you’re activating certain hormones that keep you awake. Changing what’s going on in your mind might be as simple as reading stories – not work-related stuff – before bed. If you struggle to put a novel down, read short stories like the ones you’d find in Readers’ Digest.

  1. Do a Mind Dump

If you’re still plagued by concerns over what you have to do, dump all those thoughts in a notebook that you place next to your bed. “Dumping” will help you avoid staying awake because you’re afraid you’ll forget.

ADHDers need to be vigilant about taking care to engage in good sleep hygiene. Lack of sleep DOES NOT CAUSE ADHD; however, lack of sleep can make your symptoms worse, so taking care of your brain and its creative genius by sleeping enough can help reduce your struggles. Everyone, whether or not they have ADHD, needs 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night; less sleep than that and you’re not able to tap into your brain’s potential.

If you find that one of these strategies has helped you, or if you have your own approach that works wonders, please share it in the Comments section below.

And have a lifetime of great night’s sleep!

 

 

Linda WalkerBy Linda Walker, PCC, B. Admin. Linda is a certified ADHD Coach who helps adults with ADHD overcome the special challenges of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) they encounter at home and in the workplace. She is the creator of The Maximum Productivity Makeover for Creative Geniuses, a training program for adults with ADHD and the author of With Time to Spare. Coach Linda Walker

 

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I want to change my ADD life. What can I do?

ADD is a way of life, a difference in the way you see and move in the world. You can learn to manage the world and use your brain.A series of short articles by Sarah Jane Keyser. Follow the links.

ADD has strengths as well as weaknesses; like heads and tails, you can’t have one without the other.

Attention Deficit Disorder is not an illness (in spite of the name) and there is no “cure”. ADD is a way of life, a difference in the way you see and move in the world.

You can learn to manage the world and use your brain.

There are many ways to train your brain. Usually, a combination of medication, ADHD coaching strategies, and exercise is most effective. Each individual needs to discover what combination works best for him or her.

Here are some ways that you can change your life:

Life Styles for ADD – You can do many things for yourself. A good program includes exercise, what to eat, how to breathe, how to get to sleep and how to enjoy.

Maintaining the Brain – If your car runs on two cylinders you take it to the garage. If your brain sputters take it to a doctor for a checkup.

ADD Coaching Strategies – A coach is a partner who guides you to new ways of seeing yourself and the world. An ADD coach who knows how ADD feels and understands the ADD brain can help you value your strengths and structure your life.

Celebrating ADD – Learn to appreciate the passion and sparkle which are the gift of ADD.

 

 

Published by Sarah Jane Keyser, Copyright 2006, all rights reserved. Learn more about ADHD at Coaching Key to ADHD

Permission is granted to forward or post this content in full for use in a not-for-profit format, as long as this copyright notice and full information about the author, Sarah Jane Keyser, is attached intact. If any other use is desired, permission in writing is required.

*** About Sarah Jane *** Sarah Jane Keyser worked for many years with computers as a programmer, analyst, and user trainer, but her struggle with inattentive ADD kept getting in the way of her plans and dreams. Her credentials include ADD Coach training at the ADD Coach Academy, the Newfield Network’s graduate coaching program “Mastery in Coaching” and “Coaching Kids and Teens” by Jodi Sleeper-Triplett MCC. Sarah Jane is an American living in Switzerland who coaches in French and English by telephone.

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Maintaining the ADHD Brain

 

If your brain sputters take it to a doctor for a checkup.I want to change my ADHD Life, What can I do?

Life Styles for ADHD

Maintaining the ADHD Brain

ADHD Coaching Strategies

Celebrating ADHD

 

Maintaining the ADHD Brain

Diagnoses

The core symptoms of ADHD are hyperactivity, impulsiveness, distractibility and inattention as evidenced by problems organizing, planning, procrastinating, and time management. But doesn’t everybody have these problems? Yes, but for the diagnosis to be applicable, the doctor will consider the severity and duration and the extent to which your problems interfere with the quality of your life. For a diagnosis, you must see a doctor who is knowledgeable in ADHD and related problems. The principle tool for diagnosis is the interview.

Before seeing your doctor, take some quiet time to think about what is really bothering you and write it down. (People with AD/HD often forget the key things to say). If your office looks like the aftermath of a hurricane and you feel depressed, be sure to tell the doctor both facts. You may be depressed because you can’t deal with the office, or your office may be a disaster because you are depressed. Which came first?

Medication

“Pills? I don’t take pills!”

Well, you aren’t alone. Many people feel that way. Consider for a moment. Do the pills make you a different person? Is it not you, if you take a pill? Who is the real you?

  • That person who loses his temper at the slightest excuse,
  • the nerd who walks past his best friend without saying “Hello”,
  • the wife who is too tired to clean up the mess and greet hubby with a smile and kiss when he comes home?

Or are you the smiling affable, competent person you know is inside trying to get out?

Let’s go back to our car. Do you expect your car to run without oil or gasoline? Would you drive a car that worked on two or three of its four cylinders? Your brain needs fuel.

Ideally, every brain would produce just the right amount of all the ingredients it needs, but there is no such thing as an ideal brain. Some brains are chronically undersupplied with the chemicals they need to function properly. Clinical trials have shown that medication is the most effective method of dealing with an under functioning brain

There are a number of medications available. Your doctor may need to try more than one, to find the right one for you. He will probably start with a low dose to see if you tolerate it and then increase the dose to find the most effective dosage and timing. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a positive result immediately.

When you start taking the medication it would be a good idea to keep a record of the time you take it and any sensations you may feel and the time when they occur. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the effects. Some unpleasant effects like a headache or dizziness may, in fact, be what are called rebound effects which occur when the medication wears off. The problem can often be resolved by changing the timing of the next dose or even by increasing the dosage. Help your doctor to know what’s happening and he can help you to find the best solution for you.

For information about medication, you must see a doctor who has experience with ADHD.

For treatment guidelines and which medications are available, see

A PHYSICIAN’S PERSPECTIVE on ADHD Medications by Theodore Mandelkorn, MD

Editor’s note: Not everyone wants to take medication or is helped by traditional ADHD medications. Nor is medication alone enough. Some type of outside intervention, however, is usually helpful.  You may prefer to try cognitive behavior therapy, coaching, diet changes, supplements, mindfulness meditation or any number of holistic or alternative treatments. Many treat their ADHD with a combination of these, searching for the right mix.  Please see the Pinterest boards listed below for examples.

 

Published by Sarah Jane Keyser, Copyright 2006, all rights reserved. Coaching Key to ADD

 

 

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ADHD Coaching Strategies

 Vanquish negative thought patterns and help build strategies to master organization and time management.From I want to change my ADD life. What can I do? – A series of short articles by ADD coach Sara Jane Keyzer

How is ADD Coaching and how does it work?

ADHD Coaching is a partnership dedicated to you. ADHD Coaching provides support and encouragement for you to follow your passion and realize the visions of your childhood.

Editor’s note: A coach can be anyone who believes in you and cheers you on. Your friends or family, a mentor, or even an employer can help you find your strengths and develop them. It’s important, however, for both of you to understand ADHD and how it impacts your life so that you can work around it. If you cannot afford a personal coach,  see Alternatives to ADHD Coaching which lists group coaching, self-coaching, and other options.

Finding a Support group, online or in person, can also help.  See my Pinterest boards, Lead with your Strengths and ADHD Coaching Strategies for ideas. If you are not on Pinterest, you can access 50 of ADD freeSources’ boards on Facebook. Look down the left side for the  Pinterest button.

ADHD Coaching will help you vanquish negative thought patterns and help you build strategies to master organization and time management. New confidence and a healthy self-image provide the motor to climb your personal mountains.

Your coach will listen to your stories of pain and frustration and hear your wholeness, your strengths, and hidden resources. Powerful questions open up new vistas to explore. Making choices leads to ownership instead of victimization. The result is a new awareness of self. Your coach is your loudest cheerleader, and they expect you to succeed.

ADHD Coaching starts with an inventory of where you are now and where you want to go. Many clients want some help organizing, managing time, and surviving overwhelm. You will choose two or three areas on which you want to focus in your coaching.

In following sessions, usually held once a week by telephone, a coach will hear your success report, help you explore problems that have arisen and ask you to choose and commit to your next steps for the next period of time.

A successful ADHD coaching relationship requires honesty and a willingness to change. You will do the work of creating new habits. It is important that this is important to you and not your spouse, parent or employer. A coach must be able to be honest with you. It may be hard, but important for you to learn how others see you.

Return to: I want to change my ADD life. What can I do?

If you need help choosing a coach, see: Find an ADD Coach. If you cannot afford a personal coach,  see Alternatives to ADHD Coaching which lists group coaching, self-coaching, and other options.

***See below for our Pinterest boards with more specific ADD Coaching Strategies.

 

Published by Sarah Jane Keyser, Copyright 2006, all rights reserved. Coaching Key to ADD

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Celebrating ADHD

People with ADHD have tremendous vitality and enthusiasm. They are creative and fun to be with when they are in an environment which supports them.

I want to change my ADHD life. What can I do?

Life Styles for ADHD

Maintaining the ADHD Brain

ADHD Coaching Strategies

Celebrating ADHD

 

Celebrate

You may not feel much like celebrating if you are discouraged and frustrated with ADHD. Negative thinking, constantly focusing on what is wrong, and denying or ignoring what is good and right is characteristic of people with ADHD.

People with ADHD have tremendous vitality and enthusiasm. They are creative and fun to be with when they are in an environment which supports them. Get a job which thrills you and a partner who believes in you to find the sparkle and passion of life.

Believe it! and Celebrate!

 

Published by Sarah Jane Keyser, Copyright 2006, all rights reserved. Coaching Key to ADD 

 

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16 Steps to Better Self-Esteem with ADHD

For my ADHD tribe! Change your attitude and change your life. By Kari Hogan

The reason for making this list is that ALL (or most) AD(h)D’ers have a low self-esteem issue. I wanted to make this list to help myself as well as others.
Follow my steps to a better, more confident YOU!
After all, I made this list for my tribe!!

Let’s get started!

Your first step is STRUCTURE.
By creating structure, each day, you’re giving yourself a reason to wake up and get out of bed!

The second step echoes the first step. Set up a daily to-do list. This will give you a sense of accomplishment (it gives you a reason to be proud of yourself).

Step 3. FOCUS on your good qualities. Look in the mirror and choose 5 things about yourself that you DO like about you! Write these 5 things down and tape it to the mirror (changing the 5 things each week). By choosing 5 things you do like about yourself, you’re creating hope and mindfulness that goes deep down to create an inner peace. Inner peace leads to a sense of power and in a matter of weeks, a more confident you!

4. Be your own cheerleader! No one else will do it for you. Your only concern should be you. If you have to, tell yourself, “I can do this”, “I am going to do great”, “I AM worthy”.

5. Learn to LIKE yourself. Meditation works wonders!! Sit in a quiet place for 10 minutes and just breathe in and exhale all of that negativity.

6. Get CREATIVE. DIY projects, draw/sketch something, crochet or paint a landscape. Anything that makes you use your mind in a positive, constructive way.

7. Get ACTIVE! This means anything from exercise to walking up your street. You could also try Yoga or Karate. This activates the positive chemicals in your brain- happy vibes! If all else fails, DANCE!

Number 7 would tie in perfect for the eighth step as well, which is,
SEEK SUPPORT. This can be a family member, a close friend, a Facebook support group or any other networking support groups. Enlist someone you trust to get active with you. Killing two birds with one stone is always a plus! By enlisting a close friend or relative, you’re getting the support aspect as well as working those happy brain cells. If you make this a habit and decide, “I’m not up for this today”, that partner will get your butt up and make you do it! Ah, support is great!! That brings me to number

9. All of us could use a little pep in our step and we’re not getting there by loading up on donuts. Try introducing a, once a day, healthy snack. This will promote energy and unlike donuts, won’t bog you down. With time, you can baby step your way to healthier meals. Instead of that scone in the morning, try a banana and yogurt. Protein and potassium make for a great and energizing way to start your day. An apple with peanut butter is a great option as well. Make that apple and peanut butter a snack and you have a totally guilt-free snack and an afternoon burst of energy!

10. GET OUTside or change the scenery. It’s a great way to promote a healthy mentality and a happier you.

11. TAKE CARE OF YOU! The world is an amazing place, but it’s also very stressful at the same time. Take time for yourself. Get a massage, pedicure or do something you love. (We’re nearly there!)

12. TRY SOMETHING NEW! This is a way to get out of your comfort zone. Say you decide to try Yoga, well, some of those stretches are hard to do. Go with me on this. You sign up for a class, get in there and do better than other first timers. That will boost your confidence and make you proud that you were able to try something new and excel! If you don’t do as well, hey, practice makes perfect and you’re working your way up to a brilliant confidence level while achieving a goal. That is definitely something to be proud of. It’s a double plus!

13. LEND A HAND! This is a no-brainer for me. I love helping. It makes my inner self-pleased to do something completely selfless and the reward- a smile on someone’s face. Examples of ways to help out are volunteering, helping an elder struggling to carry groceries etc. Get creative and look around. There’s always someone out there that needs a little assistance.

14. STEP IT UP. Comfort zones are hard to get away from but in order to succeed anywhere in life, you must step it up. Put on a smile (even if you’re not feeling it.) You never know who will see your smile and it impact their day and mood positively or, to go a bit further, your smile could save a life. I’m not kidding – Those people that are lonely, that never get noticed, the ones that keep a frown because no one cares – You notice. STEP IT UP, greet them. You may be preventing them from ending their life.

15. MEDITATE every morning to promote a peaceful mindset and every night before bed to promote a healthy, restful night’s sleep to wake refreshed and ready to begin your day.

16. BABY STEPS. Nothing happens overnight (Rome wasn’t built in a day), contrary to beliefs and otherwise. Start out slow and work your way up. All good things come with time, so be patient.

Finally, REINFORCE STEPS 1-16 each and every day. A healthier mind and body lead to a happier and more confident YOU!

Allow yourself to follow these steps and you will surely improve your esteem!
Just remember, I believe in you!

 

About the author: By Kari Taylor-Hogan of ADDing to the Mayhem: MOMX3 with ADHD – “We put the fun in dysfunctional.” Helping get the word out about self-esteem.   Originally published at https://addingtothemayhemmomx3withadhd.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/16-steps-to-better-self-esteem/

 

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Get Unstuck – Tips for Easier Daily Transitions When You Have ADHD

 Starting. Stopping. Switching between tasks. You have to shift gears all the time. By Marla Cummins

Starting. Stopping. Switching between tasks.

You have to shift gears all the time. Throughout your day, you transition between thoughts and tasks when you are:

  • going to work.
  • starting a new task.
  • engaging fully in a new conversation.
  • beginning a meeting.
  • trying to “shelve” a thought/concern for the time being.
  • leaving work.

And, because of the challenges with transitioning, getting stuck in a gear is a real possibility for adults with ADHD.

What are specific times when shifting gears is the most challenging for you? Use the strategies below so you can transition with greater ease.

Isn’t it time to stop grinding your gears?

ADHD and Transitions

Transitions can be difficult for you in part because of the challenges of your ADHD symptoms, such as:

  • Activating – You may have a hard time starting a task because you don’t know how or where to begin.
  • Focusing – At other times when you do start you may have a tendency to hyperfocus on a task that catches your interest. Alternatively, you may just get lost in the details, whether they are important or not. In either case, it is hard for you to stop.
  • Managing Emotions – Your emotions –  frustration, annoyance, anger, etc. – may get in your way, making it hard to move from one task to another.
  • Regulating Action – If you are impulsive at times, and jump in before considering all the necessary details, it will obviously be difficult to transition effectively.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

Ready to explore some possible workarounds?

Getting There On Time

Whether it is the office, meetings, social engagements, home or other places you may find it difficult to get there on time.

The key is to build your capacity to anticipate and plan for what you need to do in advance in order not to be late in getting from point “A” to point “B.”

I know. You knew that already.

But right now your standard operating procedure when going from place to place may sound something like, “Oh no, I didn’t know it was so late!! Where are my keys? I need that file. Why do I always do this?!!”

If you commonly utter phrase like these, and want to change this so you are not late so often or at critical times, adopt and practice the 4 Steps to Getting Places on Time.

Stopping

Of course, all that preparation is not going to help you, if you can’t stop what you are doing so you can move on to your next task.

I know this may seem obvious. But it may also be one of the biggest challenges getting in your way of moving effectively through your day.

Here are some of the various strategies other Adults with ADHD use to make it easier to stop and make the flow of their day smoother:

  • Have a clear plan for your day so you have a reason to stop. If you are not clear on what you are moving onto next, you may just go down one rabbit hole after another.
  • Decide in advance how much time you are going to spend on a task and set a timer.
  • If you are in a hyper focus mode, you may ignore the timer. So get up and stretch or take a short walk when the timer goes off. Physical movement can help you get out of hyperfocus.
  • You may even want to change your environment by moving to a different room to work after the timer goes off.
  • If you know it may be hard to stop working on a particular task because it is particularly captivating, you may decide to do it only after finishing less interesting tasks.
  • Don’t start. If you know it will be hard to stop, and you don’t have enough time to engage in the task the way you want, don’t start it. Do it when you have more time.

Which of these strategies are you going to try this week?

Switching Gears

The above steps seem pretty straight forward, right?

But, as an adult with ADHD, you may feel all “jumbled” at times when you have to move quickly from one task to another.

So, to fully extract yourself from one task so you can fully engage in your next task, give yourself as much white space as possible between tasks as you move through your day.

Instead of rushing from one task to the next:

  • Stop and take note of where you are on a task before pushing it to the side. It will be easier to pick up when you get back to it and you will feel more confident that you won’t forget what you were doing.
  • Take a short walk to clear your head and think about whether you are doing what you need to do.
  • Review the agenda or your notes before going into a meeting.
  • Even if you don’t have time to make a full plan for the next day, stop a bit early and make brief notes to make it easier to start the next day.

These are just a few ways to slow down and take stock throughout your day so you can feel more grounded and transition easier.

Ready to slow down?

Starting

If you’ve gotten this far in the article, you get that being able to plan, stop and switch gears are all key to transitioning well between tasks.

But what about activating, starting, initiating?! Once you stop, how can you make it easier to shift into first gear again and get going on your next task?

You don’t want to stall out.

The first step is to chunk down your project into parts. Because, if you are not clear on what your need to do, procrastination can easily set in – you don’t start.

The amount of time you choose for each part will depend on your attention span for that particular task, energy and time available. While the allotted time for each part may vary, be sure each part is discrete and you can see a clear beginning and end along with a due date.

You don’t have to have your whole plan prepared in advance. But you do want to see the next few steps as you are working. To see how this might work let’s look at the example of writing an article.

  1. Determine your objective, as this will guide you and keep you from going off into tangents.
  2. Review recent questions you have received, news items and other sources to get ideas for a topic.
  3. Decide on the topic.
  4. Decide on the title of the article. Again, this will help guide you as you write.
  5. Create a rough outline of the article. You can always change it, but at least you have a loose structure of what you want to include.
  6. Write a draft of each section. Don’t worry about too much careful editing as you go along. That will just bog you down.
  7. Edit the whole article at once to make sure it hangs together and you have met your objective.
  8. Add, delete or rewrite sections as needed.
  9. If you have someone editing your article, send it to them
  10. Make corrections per the suggestion of the editor.
  11. If you don’t have an editor, do a final edit.

The second step is to create an environment that will help you get started.

  • Choose the optimal time of day for you to work on a particular task. If you are writing an article, figure out when you do your best writing.
  • Clear your space of potential distractions. Turn off your email notice. Close your door. Turn off the ringer on your phone.
  • Have enough food and water, so you don’t get distracted by thirst and hunger.
  • Set a timer.
  • Put on the proverbial horse blinders and remind yourself, “I’m doing this and not that!!”
  • Play music or white noise, if that will help.

What can you do differently to get started on a task you are working on today?

ADDed Perspectives Bottom Line

Slowing down and creating a plan for better transitions can help Adults with ADHD feel more grounded and get more of the right stuff done.

 

By ADD coach Marla Cummins. Please visit Marla’s website at www.marlacummins.com for additional articles and resources on Adult ADHD.

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ADHD and Time: 4 Steps to Getting Places on Time

 Time can be elusive for many with ADHD. So, it is no wonder that running late is a common problem.By Marla Cummins

Time can be elusive for many with ADHD. So, it is no wonder that running late is a common problem. Yet, I know you want to get to places on time because you want to be responsible and honor your commitments.

It would also be nice to be grounded and present once you arrive at your destination, right? Just think of those times when you arrived someplace feeling like you had just slid into home base. How ready were you to engage in the task before you?

Even if getting to places on time has felt like a fire drill up until now, you can change this.

Use the suggestions below to the degree that you need. Of course, if you are going to a job interview, you will want to do a lot of preparation. But, if you are meeting a friend for coffee, you may not want to put in as much effort.

Looking Ahead

The first step is to visualize and write down everything you need to do to get ready for your appointment.

For example, if you are going to a meeting, the following are examples of what you may need to have ready:

  • clean clothes, stockings, etc.
  • purse/wallet with keys and phone
  • business cards
  • documents for the meeting
  • address
  • phone number (you never know when an unforeseen incident may delay you)
  • money for the meter
  • time you need to leave

The second step is to check and make sure you have what you need. Do this a few days in advance, so you have time to get what you don’t already have at hand.

The third step is to schedule when you intend to accomplish what you need to do to get ready. When are you going to get ink for the printer, iron your shirt, get quarters for the meter, etc.?

Yes, I know it may seem like a lot of effort. But I think you will enjoy the peace of mind that will come with preparing.

Estimate the Time Needed

As estimating time is a challenge for many with ADHD, determining when to leave for an appointment can be a bit tricky.

A helpful strategy is to think about how long it could take for each step along the way, such as:

  • programming your GPS
  • driving in traffic for that time of day
  • finding a parking spot for that time of day
  • walking from your car to your appointment
  • going to the washroom, if you are going to an interview.

In Boston, where I live, traffic is more of a factor than the distance. And there is almost always traffic. According to my GPS, it “should” take about 20 minutes to drive Downtown. But I will add as much as a 1/2 hour to my travel time to make sure I can get to meetings on time.

If it is critical that you get to the appointment on time, try overestimating the time needed. I heard your gasps of surprise at this suggestion! And I know you may get bored easily. So, bring a book or some other work to keep yourself occupied in case you arrive early.

Transitioning

It is true. Preparation and intention may not be enough to get to your destination on time.

You still need to stop what you are doing and get ready to leave. Not always an easy feat! If transitioning between tasks is a challenge for you, as is true for many with ADHD, not giving yourself enough time to transition may still torpedo your plans.

Stop what you are doing at least 15 minutes early so you can give yourself time to clear your head and get ready to leave. Use a timer to cue you, if you need a reminder.

Actually Getting out the Door

One last hurdle is actually getting out the door on time.

You may, however, suffer from the common affliction of “one more thingitis.” Those who suffer from this ailment often suddenly remember things they “have to do” at the most inconvenient times, like when they are leaving to go to an important meeting.

Does the scenario below sound familiar?

As you are walking out the door, you decide you really need to take out the recycling. Then you drop it. As you drop the recycling, a glass falls. You need to clean it up so the kids do not cut themselves. Ten minutes later, you are still not out the door.

It is a slippery slope, to be sure.

The antidote is to resist the urge by using some type of self-talk, like, “If I don’t go now, I’ll be late and that will not look good. The recycling can wait. It would not be the worst thing if it went out next week.”

ADDed Perspectives Bottom Line

If you want to get to places on time, you can optimize your chances by adopting some or all of the steps above:

  • Prepare in advance
  • Estimate the time needed to get to your destination. Better yet try over estimating!
  • Have a plan to transition from your previous activity.
  • And resist the urge to do just one more thing.

 

By Marla Cummins. Please visit Marla’s website at www.marlacummins.com for additional articles and resources on Adult ADHD. Original article can be found at http://marlacummins.com/adhd-time-4-steps-places-time/

 

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This is How you Treat ADHD with Russell Barkley, Ph.D.

ADHD is the most treatable disorder in psychiatry... The biggest problem is, most people don't get treatment.This is How you Treat ADHD based on Science with Russell Barkley, Ph.D.

How to refuel your Fuel Tank and be less ADHD. Create external scaffolding to support Executive Functions. Behavior modification techniques work for children. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) or coaching works for adults. Develop specific strategies for time and organization management that work for the individual.

13-minute video from Part 2 of the 2012 Burnett Lecture – Includes slides and lecture on same clip.

“The back and front parts of the brain involve two processes, knowledge and doing. ADHD splits them apart… I don’t care what you know, you won’t be able to do them… You’ve got a real problem on your hands.”

“ADHD is a performance disorder. A disorder of intention, not attention. It’s an executive function disorder (EF)…. It’s time blindness. You won’t be able to aim your behavior toward the future to care for yourself as effectively as other people can…”

“They know what to do. They just can’t do it. It ends up looking like a problem with motivation… The only way to deal with executive deficits is to re-engineer the environment around them to help them show what they know… All treatments must be out there, in their lives, where you have to build that scaffolding…”

“Build that “ramp.” You must reinforce external reminders and consequences. Put them “in the now…”

“EF deficits (Executive Function) are neuro-genetic in origin. Therefore, medications may be essential for most (but not all) cases. Meds are neuro-genetic therapies.”

“ADHD is the diabetes of psychology. It’s a chronic disorder that must be managed every day to prevent the secondary harms it’s going to cause… ADHD is the most treatable disorder in psychiatry… The biggest problem is, most people don’t get treatment.”

 

See links to the complete lecture below the embedded video.

Link back to article: http://addfreesources.net/this-is-how-you-treat-adhd-with-russell-barkley-ph-d/