Lynne is a trained Life Coach specializing in helping individuals and families with ADHD / ADD maximize their potential and reach their life goals. I'm an ADD Coach specializing in working with professionals struggling to reach their potential due to challenges with disorganization, poor time-management, procrastination and weak follow-through.
If you’re like the clients who come to me for help…
You want to Advance your career or grow your business.
You want to Perform at the Level of your Abilities, consistently.
You want to be Reliable, Effective and Efficient at work and at home.
You want your to-do list to stop choking the life out of you!
You want to feel good about what you’ve achieved at the end of the day.
You want to have Energy left for what matters most!
You want to improve your follow-through by reducing Procrastination.
You want to Get Organized and have sustainable systems and tools for better Time Management.
You want to be More Productive.
Just about every single client who comes to me looking to Improve Productivity in some form or another. Lots of people wish there were more hours in the day. Lots of people want to get more done, manage their time better and increase their productivity, and I’m guessing you’re one of those people if you’re reading this!
I get where you’re coming from! I really do. I remember wanting those same things so badly that it kept me up nights. But, as someone who’s learned how to be super-productive at work and at home and still have a full and fulfilling personal life, I know both personally and professionally that Wanting Won’t Make It So!
Here’s the cold, hard truth: I can tell you without a doubt that creating and establishing good systems, tools and habits to get more done is really hard work and very little of it is fun, interesting or rewarding in the moment.
I don’t mean to discourage you, but that’s the truth. it’s hard! And here’s another hard truth: unfortunately, improving productivity solely for the sake of getting more done is rarely something that my clients can sustain.
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen! It does. I get to watch my clients transform their lives From Overwhelmed and Chaotic to Successful and Fulfilling every day!
And here’s The Single, Fundamental Thing they Need to Have to make that transformation:
Being clear on What You Want and Why You Want It, can make the productive, accomplished and fulfilling life you’re looking for much more likely to be yours! Being clear on Why you’re doing the work you need to do to improve your focus, your performance and your productivity can make it so much easier to stay the course until the systems, tools and behaviors you put in place are second nature to you. Until productivity and efficiency are second nature to you!
So, take a few minutes and get clear on why productivity matters to you. What do you want? Why is that important to you? Do you want to feel like a reliable and indispensable part of the team at work? Why does that matter to you? Do you want to have the energy and the time to be fully present for your partner, your kids, or your friends after work? Why does that matter to you? Do you want to have the time and the energy to reconnect with your own passions and creativity—to paint or build or garden or play your instrument or sing (like me)? Why does that matter to you?
Dig deep! This is important stuff. When you’re clear on the real payback of improved focus, when you’re clear on your Bigger Reasons for improving your productivity, consistency comes much more easily.
So, get clear! What do you REALLY Want? Deep down, in your heart of hearts?
P.S. If you want to take a short-cut on your path to fulfillment, I’m here to help! Click here to Schedule your Complimentary Phone Consultation to find out how I can help you improve your organization, time management, and follow-through so you can raise the bar on your performance AND have more time, more energy and even more money for what you love!
As always, I’m here and ready to get to work if you’d like a helping hand!
If you sometimes do nothing because you don’t have the time/energy/resources/etc. to do it the “rightway,” you may need to think again!
There was a day when I didn’t identify myself as being a perfectionist. I remember thinking back then…
“I can’t be a perfectionist! I’m a hot mess!”
But the more I learned about myself and my ADHD brain, the more I realized much of the reason I was a “hot mess” back then was because of my perfectionism! Who knew?!
You see, I believed there was a “right way” to clean. Just one. And it involved a scrub brush, bucket, and lots of hands-and-knees, corner-to-corner scrubbing, which I rarely had the time, energy, or interest to do. (Until guests were coming or I just couldn’t take it anymore, and then I would clean until everything sparkled and shone like a new penny. For a few minutes, anyway!)
I also believed there was a “right way” to exercise. Just one. And it involved working out for hours at a time, first thing in the morning (to boost my metabolism), with lots and lots of intensity to exhaustion, which I often didn’t have the time, energy, or interest to do. Until I was frustrated by the shape of my body or the fit of my jeans, and then I’d be gung-ho on the latest fitness program (or piece of exercise equipment) for a little while, anyway.
I also believed there was a “right way” to manage paper. Just one. And it involved an elaborate filing system and bins and letter trays and flow charts and… (okay. Maybe not flow charts, but you get the point!). And I rarely had the time, energy or interest to do it until tax time, or until I couldn’t find something I needed, or until guests were coming. (My husband actually used to suggest that we entertain on a regular basis so that the house would get cleaned up.) Yep. That was me.
And on and on and on.
It’s tough. Paralyzing, really. Our society encourages perfectionism. Parents tell their kids to “do their best” and “try their hardest”. I know I’ve caught myself telling my kids this very principal and, while it sounds like a good value to teach our children, it comes at a cost! Not everything is worth our “best effort”, and perfectionism can keep us from using time efficiently and effectively. Perfectionism can come at the expense of our productivity, and at the expense of our ability to follow through on our intentions. It can keep us from getting started, and it can keep us from finishing. It can be paralyzing.
Perfectionism is one of the biggest challenges my clients face, and can impact every aspect of their lives! From working with hundreds of other adults with ADHD / ADD over the last decade, I’ve seen way too often that…
Perfectionism is the biggest contributor to Procrastination!
Today, I think of myself as sort of a “Recovering Perfectionist”. I know that my tendency to go “all in” can be a great quality when well-directed and managed, but I have to watch that tendency very carefully because it can very easily get out of hand and leave me paralyzed.Now, I know differently, and I do things much differently. I clean a little bit every day, I manage my paper in simple ways every day, and I exercise (almost) every day. That younger me would be astounded! My house is clean (enough), my office is organized (in a functional way), and I’m taking care of myself. It’s definitely not perfect, but it’s really, really good.
And most of all, I’m happier!
So, if you’re trying to improve your follow-through with productivity strategies or telling yourself to “buck up and try harder“, you’re never going to achieve what you want because you’re not addressing the real problem! It’s not laziness or lack of willpower. And if you focus on improving your organization or your productivity or your time management, you may see some small improvements, but nothing dramatic that will last. Because those things are not at the root of the struggle.
I tell clients all the time that if you don’t address what’s going on “between your ears”, no amount of tips, tricks, strategies or hacks are going to stick for the long haul!
What’s going on between your ears must be addressed if you want to make lasting change!
Check out this 2 Minute video for Tips to create Movement and Motivation from Procrastination and Overwhelm. Improve your Follow-Through and Productivity!
Procrastination: Movement, Momentum and Motivation [2 minutes] - YouTube
Videos from Lynne Edris, Productivity & ADHD Coach. Helping Overwhelmed Professionals Reach their Potential by Taking control of their Time and Tackling their To-Dos so they have more time, more energy and more money for what matters most!
Rights to All Content Reserved by Lynne Edris & Coaching ADDvantages
Your perspective on yourself and the world around you can make all the difference in whether you reach your potential, or stay just where you are. It is crucial to living a life of fulfillment! Your perspective can determine what choices you have in life: you are less likely to see all the choices that may be available to you when your focus is not on possibilities.
Many of us spend our lives focused on overcoming our challenges and trying to improve our weaknesses. We become focused on what we cannot do well and on our perceived failures, trying to hide them in shame and valiantly trying to change. From this perspective, you are not building upon or taking advantage of your innate strengths and talents. You are likely letting them languish.
This is not to say that we should not all be trying to improve ourselves and become better human beings, better spouses, better parents, and better friends. Quite the contrary! There’s always room for improvement. But there’s a better way to get there! When you focus on improving your strengths and using your natural talents to be a better person, your challenges tend to be minimized. They start to take a back seat—which is where they should stay!
So how do we change our focus? The answer is simple, but isn’t always easy! It starts with education.
Knowledge is power, but self-knowledge is the most powerful kind of knowledge. If you’re struggling with the challenges and symptoms of ADHD / ADD,
First, educate yourself from reputable sources about ADHD in general.When you have a solid foundation of understanding about why your brain works the way it works, it’s a lot easier to let go of some of that negative self-talk and thinking.
Next, educate yourself about how your ADHD is showing up in you, as an individual.I always say that you ADHD is as unique as your thumb print! How it shows up in you is unique to you, and how it shows up in me is unique to me. It can expedite this process to work with a well-trained ADHD Coach, because those of us with ADHD are notoriously bad self-observers.
Finally, start paying attention to and shifting your focus toward your strengths.Most of us with ADHD lose sight of our strengths and our dreams over years of frustration and perceived failure. Start paying attention to what you do well, and you’ll be able to do more of it!
When you understand your challenges, and move your focus to your strengths, you can build and grow those strengths that are hard-wired in your brain. That’s the point at which your confidence and competence takes over, and you can start to approach your challenges as simply problems in need of solutions, and not moral failings. That’s when you end the “blame and shame” cycle and start having a proactive or creative perspective toward your challenges. Using the great problem-solving skills and out-of-the box thinking we ADHDers are famous for, you learn to live well with your challenges and become fulfilled!
We all have them: at work, at home, and in every aspect of our lives, from time clocks to taxes and bills to birthdays.
For some of us, the pressure of a deadline can be a good motivator. We’ve all heard someone say, “I work best under pressure!” This can feel especially true for many of us who rely on the pressure and adrenaline rush of the deadline to stimulate our sluggish brains and help us to focus and get moving.
The pattern of delaying action until the deadline nears (or passes), and then frantically working to get things done is one I see in a many of my coaching clients. And when we’re younger, it can actually be sort of effective. But over time, especially as we get older and life becomes more complex, this approach can really take its toll! And the time it takes our bodies and minds to recover from these frantic flurries starts to get longer and more difficult.
We put our minds and bodies through an excessive amount of stress when we live in this Procrastinate/Rush/Crash cycle. And when we’re in the crash, recovery aftermath, we can be pretty much fried, and even more things that need to be taken care of are left unattended, and the cycle (or “procrastination cyclone”, perpetuates itself, and the vortex of stress and anxiety it creates expands.
As a woman with ADD myself, I get it. I’ve been there! But I’ve developed some unique approaches to harness the power of the deadline, without making life unmanageable or insane in the process!
You may or may not have noticed that my blog post & newsletter usually come out toward the end of the month. Often, it comes out AT the end of the month–sometimes even later in the evening on the last day of the month! But I do make sure that I get one out each month.
Looking at my last-minute routine, it may look like procrastination to the “untrained eye.” The truth is, however, I actually do it on purpose. (No, seriously! I actually do.)
It has taken me many years, but I have learned very well how my brain functions best, and I am very comfortable working from my own personal set of strengths. This kind of self-knowledge and self-acceptance has come from many, many years of struggle and suffering by trying to work against my quirks, as well as many years of very hard work in educating myself about me.
Most of my life, I felt like a hamster on a wheel trying to keep up with the rest of the world in terms of organization, clutter control, time management, productivity, etc. As a kid, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t keep my backpack organized, be on time, keep my room tidy, and get to school with everything I needed (or come home from school with everything I needed). I felt like the kids around me did it all so effortlessly, and I couldn’t quite “get it together.” I knew I was smart enough, but felt like everyone else knew some sort of secret that I wasn’t in on.
As an adult, as hard as I tried, for instance, my house never seemed organized enough, and I was constantly battling deadlines, piles and time clocks at work, always a few minutes behind to drop off my kids at school, and chronically a few days late with their tuition payments. I marveled at the others around me who made it look so easy.
Every few months I would try the latest time management system (a new day timer, desk blotter calendar, stickers, whatever), clutter busting technique, or time-saving gadget—and always with the same result. I could set them up beautifully, but it all fell apart after not much time. I knew I was intelligent enough, but blamed myself for being lazy, scattered, and undisciplined. As it turns out, I’m none of these! And neither are my clients.
So here’s my deep, dark, newsletter secret: the Power of “Purposeful Procrastination”! I’ve learned that my brain wiring thrives on the stimulation of a looming deadline, and nearly shuts down when I am overwhelmed. It’s not that I crave the pressure, but it can be a positively motivating force when harnessed properly. I’ve learned just how much is the right amount of pressure I need to give myself to be most effective, and I’ve also learned where the shut-down, tipping point of too much pressure will likely occur before I get there. I have developed systems and tools that work with my brain in a way that takes advantage of my strengths, and minimizes my personal weaknesses. I know that if I start my newsletter too long before I actually plan to send it out, it will either not get finished or not be my best quality work. But I know that I need to take a few concrete, specific steps in advance (like picking the topic and creating a document the first week of the month, jotting down some bullet-point ideas the second week of the month, and so on). I know how much time I really need to get it done (which is likely just a tiny bit more than I think it will take!), and how much time is too much.
That’s just one simple example of how I work with my own strengths and natural tendencies (what I call my U.O.S., or “Unique Operating System”). I try to approach every aspect of my life this way, and have helped thousands of professionals do the same for themselves of the last 12 years or so. I help them uncover their areas of strengths and learn how to work from them, rather than against them. Many of us have a hard time seeing where our strengths and “gifts” are, because we’re so used to focusing on trying to make our weaknesses stronger, rather than build upon existing areas of strength.
Most of us will never succeed with the one-size-fits-all approaches to life we read about in self-help books and magazines. Believe me, I’ve tried MANY!!! But with the right systems for your unique personality that take advantage of what you already do well, you can build your life on your own, firm foundation. And get off that hamster wheel!
How do you work WITH your strengths?
I’ll bet there are many ways you’re already working with your own strengths and traits that you may not even be aware of. Start paying attention to the things you’re already doing well to find areas of strength on which to build.
I would love to help you learn to work with your own, unique strengths and start functioning at that optimal level—where you know, deep down, you can be.
Have you ever felt confused by conflicting advice from productivity experts?
I read one article that talks about how Richard Branson recommends getting up at 5:00 AM to exercise and organize the day. Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk reportedly pulls all-nighters and sleeps on the floor in front of his desk to maximize productivity. Apple’s Tim Cook proudly claims that he gets up at 3:45 AM to get on top of his email, while the world’s wealthiest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, advocates a good night’s sleep and a leisurely start to the morning doing what he calls, “puttering” until he’s fully up to speed around 10:00 AM.
Overwhelmed by the growing volume of unfinished projects and incomplete to-dos.
So, you search YouTube for productivity help and stumble upon a great video that explains how to use a bullet journal. It’s creative, it’s flexible, and it looks like the answer to your prayers! But a month later, and that perfect bullet journal your created is MIA and you’re not back at square one, but even further behind than you were to start! (Is there such a thing as negative square one? I say that there is, because I know I’ve been there!)
At first, that new system is exciting and interesting and you’re all in! You’re committed to making this one work. You really, truly believe that things are going to be different his time! Your commitment and your enthusiasm and your intentions are unwavering. This is it! This is “THE ONE”! You’re finally getting “it” together once and for all. You’re finally going to take control of your calendar, manage your time effectively, and make your to-do list your servant like you know you can.
But I know how this movie ends. I’ve seen it before, and it’s a tear-jerker at the end. Heart-breaking, really!
For more than a decade, I’ve helped professionals who struggle with procrastination, disorganization and poor time-management learn to accomplish what they intend and take control of their time so that they can consistently perform at the level of the abilities and have even more time, energy and money for what’s most important to them.
They don’t get there by plugging themselves into someone else’s system. They don’t get there by watching YouTube videos or reading productivity articles by experts. Yes, some people make it look easy. Some people find that “boxed” system, plug themselves into it, and they’re good to go indefinitely. Some people get lucky and stumble into something that works for them. (You know that expression, “Even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while”?)
But so far, you feel like a nutless, blind squirrel!
The truth is that very few of us are consistently successful by simply plugging ourselves into someone else’s system or way of doing things. Yes, we may find something that works for a little while, but not for the long haul.
So what do we do?
We blame ourselves. We call ourselves undisciplined. We believe we lack the willpower and determination it takes to be consistent, and we feel ashamed.
But here’s the cold, hard truth…
It’s not you. It’s the system!
If your productivity and performance at work or at home isn’t at the level of your abilities, it’s because you haven’t created YOUR system. You haven’t created a system that works with your natural strengths, your natural tendencies, your natural rhythms of focus and energy, how you process and organize information and the things around you naturally. You haven’t created a system that falls in your “sweet spot” of structure—enough structure to support you, but not so much that it stifles your or makes you feel resentful. These are the things I call your Unique Operating System, your “UOS”.
You were born with what you need to be successful. Deep down, you know it. You know your potential far exceeds the way you show up every day, and what you do (and don’t do). When you’re in tune with your natural strengths and tendencies, when you’re in tune with how you work best and not focused on how you or other people think you should work best, it all gets easier.
You really can become the master of your time, accomplish what you intend, perform according to your abilities AND have a life with the time and energy for you value most. Your family. Your friends. Your community. Your faith. Your interests. Yourself.
It really doesn’t have to be so hard!
So, look around and take an objective look at what’s working and what’s not. What’s working is the key to overcoming what’s not.
Food for thought…
Share your favorite productivity tools, systems and strategies below!
Sometimes, one of the hardest things for an individual with ADHD to do is just to get started! Other times, we have great energy and enthusiasm and get started with a “bang,” only to lose momentum and struggle to follow through and finish. I know many of you have left a wake of unfinished projects behind you! I hear about them all the time from my clients, and I’ve been there myself.
I’ve given you many tools to help you get started in these articles, but once we get started, it’s important to create momentum that lasts!
When we build momentum, what we need to do becomes less of struggle, and the momentum continues with much less effort—and that’s how you get to the finish line! That’s how you finish what you start, and follow through on your intentions–by letting physics do the work—by building momentum, and letting that momentum carry you, rather than by pushing through on your own.
Getting in touch with the “Who” of what you’re doing, why it matters in the deeper sense related to your values, is one way to maintain that momentum. Creating visual reminders, such as vision board and other reminders, can help keep that motivator in the front of your mind.
Noticing and keeping track of your progress (no matter how small) and truly celebrating and taking pride in that progress is another important tool for building momentum, but it’s very hard for some of us to do without a serious shift in our thinking.
How are you focusing on your progress, and rewarding your effort? Are you appreciating the smaller steps it takes to get to your destination, or only giving yourself credit for crossing the finish line? Does your “less-than-perfect” effort or outcome deserve acknowledgement and recognition? If not, your biggest obstacle may just well be the one between your ears!
What can you pay attention to that will help you build momentum?
This is an extremely busy time of year for my business, and my personal life is no less full right now. Some days, I feel like my calendar is bursting at the seams! Everybody can relate to that feeling. Each of us has more to do than can realistically be done some days. That’s how life is, right? But if we don’t stay on top of the things we need to do consistently, these periods where life throws extra busy-ness at us can be a nightmare!
Honestly, if things didn’t run pretty smoothly around here the rest of the time, I’d be pretty close to losing my mind right now. If my house were a mess, my laundry out of control, my refrigerator empty, and my counter covered in paper, I’d feel like I was stuck in the bottom of a pretty big hole right now. If my office were a shambles, my business bookkeeping behind, and my email inbox overflowing, I’d be feeling pretty discouraged with myself and about my life right now.
And I know this first hand! I have ADHD, and I spent a lot of years with a messy house, a mountain of laundry, an empty refrigerator and counter tops covered in bills and mail and other papers. And there was no way in those days that I really could have dreamed of running my own business, let alone everything else I do, and maintained any degree of sanity!
I’m not tooting my own horn! I know, without a shadow of a doubt that I’m not any smarter than you. I’m not a harder worker than you are. And I know I don’t have any more self-discipline than you have! (I hate that phrase—self-discipline! It’s so judgy and laced with shame and judgement.)
I don’t do anything you can’t learn to do yourself.
For me, the cornerstone of how I keep it together (most of the time, cause I’m sure not perfect!) is my routine, really my routineS–plural! For me, it’s all about rhythm and habit—it’s about putting my life on auto-pilot in every way I can!
One of the most effective ways to start to improve your ability to get stuff done is by using “The Power of Auto-Pilot.” It’s a rather simple concept, and sort of intuitive once you get the hang of it, but it can be HUGE in payback—both from a productivity perspective and an energy perspective. Think of it like putting your life on cruise control, and the benefit can be immeasurable!
First, we know that things that happen repeatedly as a matter of habit are processed in a different part of the brain—the part that is used for instinct and reflex—and it is much less evolved than the parts of the brain that handle our Executive Functions. Also, we know that sort of “lower” part of the brain uses much less energy, much less glucose, than those higher-order mental processes. And mental energy equals physical energy, so we really want to take advantage of that when we can to free up energy for the more important things in our lives, right?! Your interests, your hobbies, the people and things you care about most, and even yourself!
Simply creating a sort of natural rhythm to your life so enables you to use less energy to get done what you need to do! When you harness the power of routines and put these things on auto-pilot, you completely take your own mind and its struggles with activation, procrastination, prioritization, and overwhelm OUT OF THE EQUATION! When you can get your head out of the equation, life can be a lot easier!
So, give it a try! Start to pay attention to what happens repeatedly—daily, weekly, or monthly—and take a look at how you can create a rhythm or routine that you can put on autopilot for yourself.
And start slowly! Research has shown that focusing on changing fewer behaviors one time makes it easier to solidify those behaviors. So, for starters, pick 1-3 things that happen each day and focus on finding ways to turn them into a routine. Add one or two more when those things become no-brainers and are on full autopilot for you.
Please share your thoughts, successes and challenges. I’m here to help!
It’s a story I hear every single day, and it’s a story I could have written! The story I used to live myself, day in and day out.
My clients come to me looking to improve their performance and their productivity. They say that they are. . .
They tell themselves that they just need to try harder. But, that’s a lie!
The truth is quite the opposite. The truth is that my clients, like me, are some of the hardest working people you could ever know! Many of them do more in a given day than others could dream of. It’s often just not the right stuff that they’re doing!
The problem isn’t that they don’t work hard enough or try hard enough. The problem is that they are being driven by their Attention rather than by their Intention.
The key to being able to follow-through on the right things and do what we mean to do, when we mean to do it, is working from Intention rather than working from Attention. Here’s what I mean…
When our lives are driven by our Attention, we’re just keeping up at best. We’re busy, we’re working hard, but we’re not taking care of the things we really need and intend to do. We’re not doing the things that will move our lives forward (personally and professionally).
We Put out Fires.
When our actions are being driven by our Attention, rather than our Intention, we’re taking care of what we notice. We’re taking care of what we see in the moment. We’re taking care of what’s right in front of us, right now. We’re putting out fires and dealing with crisis after crisis in the moment.
And we’re exhausted!
But we’re still not getting done what we want, need and Intend to do. We’re not planning ahead. We’re not being proactive. We’re not preventing those fires and crises that consume our days.
We’re Not Moving Ahead.
I know what it’s like to be driven by Attention rather than Intention. As a woman with ADD, I spent many years and an untold amount of energy with my actions being driven by my attention, rather than my intention. I often say it felt like. . .
I spent my days Spinning around with One Shoe Nailed to the Floor!
Every day ended in Exhaustion and Frustration. Every day ended with me knowing that, somehow, I could have done more. And I could have done it better.
I was always hard-working and incredibly busy, but had very little to show for it!
What is driving your behavior today?
What is determining how you spend your time?
Are you busy reacting and putting out fires, or are you busy preventing fires and being proactive?
Are YOU busy moving forward, or are you spinning in place?
Humor me for a second. . .
Imagine that your life is a bus. (I know. It sounds crazy, but hang in there with me!) On that bus is all that you are and all that you’re capable of being. On that bus is your Potential. That bus, filled with who you are and what you’re truly capable of achieving, is headed toward this very real place that is called Fulfillment. Or at least, it should be.
That place called Fulfillment is where you do more than just what you need to do to get through the days. It’s where you do what brings you joy, satisfaction and contentment. That place called Fulfillment is where you go to bed feeling gratified and actualized. It’s where you wake up excited at the possibilities of what the day can bring, rather than waking up feeling dread and weary before the day even begins.
Here’s the good news! Fulfillment actually exists! It’s not an illusion or a tease. And I know it exists, because I found it. I already live there, today! Alongside many people just like me and just like you.
Now, please don’t get me wrong! I’m not going to pretend for one second that every day of my life is nothing but sunshine and roses, because it’s not! I’m human, I’m far from perfect, and I live in a world that’s far from perfect full of other people who are far from perfect, too. Stuff happens but, more often than not, my days end with a sense of satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment, and they begin knowing that I’m moving in the right direction.
Most days, I’m behind the wheel of that bus, and I’m driving it in the right direction. Sure. There are speed-bumps and detours and life makes my proverbial GPS have to “recalculate” from time to time but, overall, I’m really good with where I’m going. And if you knew me at all you’d know that I’m not telling you any of that because I want you to think that I’m perfect (because I’m not even close), or to make you feel worse about yourself! That’s not it at all.
I want you to know that there is a better way to live. An easier way to live. I want you to know that there is hope! Because…
If a messy, disorganized, underachievingscattered woman with ADD like me can feel Satisfaction and Fulfillment, I know that you can, too!
When was the last time you felt it
Think about it.
Are you behind the wheel, Driving the proverbial bus that is your life’s Potential, or are you running along behind it?
I promise that if you don’t change what you’re doing now, the distance between you and that bus will only grow wider.
Today’s the day you can start to close the gap between your actions and your intentions, and start moving toward your own potential! Just like I have, and just like my clients do every day.
What do you need to change for that to happen?
How can you Clarify your Intentions and keep them in front of you so that they guide your actions and direction throughout your days?
I hope you’ll give it some thought!
Stay tuned! I’ll give you some practical, actionable tips in the coming weeks.
I read a post in an on-line forum for individuals with ADHD / ADD in which someone asked what others see as advantages to having ADHD. As I read the responses, I came across one from an individual who was clearly struggling (like so many of us do) and bemoaning the condition as a malady and a malfunction with no “up-side”. And, while I completely get where the individual was coming from and know the pain that the challenges of this ADHD brain wiring can bring, I knew I just had to chime in with my perspective– as an ADHD Coach and a woman with ADHD myself.
If you or someone you care about is struggling to see their own “ADDvantages,” I hope you find something in my rant (below) that inspires you to try to take a look at things a bit differently–whether you do that alone, or with the help of a coach…
One Coach’s Perspective:
I have to say that I respectfully disagree with the assertion that ADHD is no more than a malady and a malfunction with no “up-side” and, as an ADHD Coach, I wonder how much of that perspective is just the very thing that is holding that person back. Don’t get me wrong: ADHD is definitely not all “sunshine and roses”! I work with people every day who are really, really struggling, in large part due to their ADHD-related characteristics. And, as a woman with ADHD myself, I’ve been there and will always continue to struggle with certain things. But so much of what makes a client shift from struggling to what I call, “Learning to live Well with ADHD,” is a change in their thinking and perspective about themselves and their ADHD. It’s this “between-the-ears” piece that is the biggest holdback for so many of my clients.
When we are stuck in that negative mindset about our ADHD—focused on our challenges and what we don’t do well—we are functioning from a perspective of failure and fear. We become stuck in a cycle of self-blame and shame that keeps us from moving forward, and enhances our “imperfections.” When we can shift our focus to our strengths and an appreciation for our own individual talents and “gifts”, it’s so much easier to see past all the angst and embrace solutions. My clients with ADHD will really struggle with finding solutions to their challenges that work for them and stick until they can make that mindset shift. It’s not easy, but it’s about taking a strength-based approach to managing your challenges. And while meds can sometimes make it easier for us to focus to learn to do things differently, we still have to do the work to learn those things, and to be open to them.
Yes, it stinks to have the attention span of a gnat one minute, and then become so hyper-focused on something that we lose track of everything else the next! But there are solutions for that. And it stinks to have to work so hard to manage the paper in my life when people like my husband seem to do it so effortlessly. But there are solutions for that, too. And it stinks to have trouble regulating motivation. But there are solutions for that as well. I help my clients create those solutions every day–and they’re always based on the strengths and natural tendencies of the individual. And we can’t create those solutions with a negative, “I have a curse” mindset!
When we’re focused on the “curse” side of our traits, what is challenging for us or what we’re not good at, we’re aren’t focused on our strengths and what might already be working for us. We become mired in blame and shame and negative judgement. We can’t focus on finding solutions to our challenges, or be open to seeing those solutions and the progress we’re making when we’re in a negative mindset and focused only on what’s NOT working. When we’re only focused on the “curse” that is our ADHD brain wiring.
There are two sides to every proverbial coin–you get to choose on which side you concentrate your focus. Obviously, you can’t ignore the negative side, but if it hasn’t helped you to focus on your challenges so far, you might want to try a different approach!
Here’s what I mean. Here are a few typical characteristics of individuals with ADHD / ADD, and the negative AND more positive side of each of them:
We have difficulty regulating focus on one thing, but we tend to interest in and aptitude for many different things.
We may tend to procrastinate, but we often have very high standards for ourselves.
Our mental restlessness (cognitive hyperactivity) makes us great brainstormers and out-of-the-box idea generators.
Impulsivity can make us willing risk-takers.
We may have acute sensitivities, but that often makes us highly intuitive, empathetic and caring.
We may have horrible time blindness, but we can work much harder, longer, and more intensely when I get into flow.
Plus, for every single negative trait or characteristic each of us has, personally, we easily have as many or more positive characteristics or traits! And for every challenge we have, I guarantee you that we have found ways to mitigate those challenges in at least a few circumstances. And THAT is where the keys to your personal success lie: in what already works for you. And you can’t be open to uncovering and learning from what works so that you can apply it to your challenges if you’re always stuck in that “curse” perspective!
I think of my ADHD characteristics as pieces and parts of what make up who I am. I have blonde hair, blue eyes, unpredictable attention, a poor sense of time, an affinity for “shiny” things, and size 9 feet! (I can’t believe I just put that on the internet!) But that’s who I am. And that difficulty regulating my attention that comes from my ADHD brain also makes me interested in lots and lots of different things, which has made me good (maybe not great) at lots of different things. More things than most people I know who don’t have ADHD. I can frame a structure, hang drywall, do plumbing repairs, and decorate beautifully. I am intuitive, and funny and kind and sensitive and a great listener (as long as the person talking doesn’t talk to slow or repeat themselves too much!), and I am as loyal to the people I love (and who love me back) as any dog. I have been a professional writer, a professional singer, and I own and manage several rental properties in addition to having a very full-time coaching practice. Who else but someone with ADHD could or would do all that? I also happen to suck at paperwork, procrastinate horribly at things like filing, have a wonky working memory, and have to work damned hard to keep on top of simple things like book keeping and housework.
But who would you rather have for a friend? A really good filer, or a really good listener?