So you’re stuck.
You do everything your clinician has told you to do, you take the medication and try to get organized but still, you just can’t get on top of your ADD.
As much as I wish medication would fix everything, it doesn’t. It helps, but it only takes you part way on the journey to ADHD success. It drops you off somewhere in the middle of the road, hands you the keys and says:
“You drive now.”
But it doesn’t give you an operator’s manual and the vehicle you’re meant to drive doesn’t run like an ordinary one.
So now what?
That’s the easy part. Take the wheel.
As frustrating as ADHD may be, it’s yours. All yours. It’s going to be with you for the rest of your life. So you might as well learn how to drive it.
The challenging part is that course is a bit bumpy and winding and the map you’ve had up to now has been, for the most part, inaccurate. The fun part of the ADD life is that it’s a ride like no other. The quicker you get in the driver’s seat with the right map at your side, the quicker your road will become less bumpy and a whole lot more fun.
There are five things you can do this month to take the wheel and become a better driver.
1. Learn about ADD.
Read at least four or five books on the subject BUT don’t read just anything. ADDers don’t have a lot of time, and they certainly don’t have a lot of attention. So the books you choose should maximize both your time and attention. Choose books that target your specific challenges. Read reviews of the book to first make sure your time spent reading it will be a good investment. As you reading, keep notes, make mind maps, take photographs of poignant paragraphs, or dictate key ideas into a voice recorder. Capture and remember important ideas however you can because ADD will make you forget everything almost as quickly as you close the book.
2. Get to know YOUR ADD.
I cannot scream loud enough for you to hear JUST HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS!
Yep, this “diagnosis” brings us ADDers together under an umbrella that describes a bunch of things we jointly experience. But that’s about it. ADD is a totally unique experience for each and every one of us. Think about it this way: ADD is the country, you are a citizen. Find out who you are as a citizen of ADD.
What are your challenges? When do they come up? When don’t they come up? What makes them worse and what makes them better? More importantly, what are your strengths and how can you leverage them against the things that you struggle with? Answering these questions will help you get to the reasons simple organizational tips and tricks haven’t worked so far.
Psst! If you want FREE resources to help you unlock the secrets of your ADHD, sign up for The Art of ADD newsletter (right sidebar) for the tools.
3) Give yourself a tune up.
We all know how important proper nutrition, lots of exercise and adequate sleep are for every being on this planet – none more so than the ADDer. This topic has been beaten to death by smarter people than I, so I won’t say much about it other than this:
Do one thing and do it now. If you’ve struggled with dozens of attempts to get fit and healthy, change just one little thing and stick to it for three weeks. Twenty one days and you’re on your way to making a new habit stick. Drink one less cup of coffee a day. Eat a handful more protein. Walk up and the down the stairs two times a day.
Do something. Just don’t do everything, because all-or-none thinking is the Achilles heel of ADD. More often it becomes none rather than all.
4) Get a coach.
Like any coach, an ADD Coach helps you figure out your game. A coach helps you get to the bottom of your slump and figure out a way to remove those obstacles. He or she understands ADD and helps you figure yourself out, so that you can design a life that works better for you. Most of all, an ADHD Coach helps you unlock your strengths, get on top of your game and reach your goals.
5) Make yourself a priority.
Life is busy. A busy life with unruly ADHD is harried. Make a to-don’t list for the next month. Give yourself a break from unnecessary tasks for awhile and devote yourself to the first four steps.
People go on retreats so they can immerse themselves in a new way of being. Immerse yourself in self-discovery and finding your self-efficacy. Ask for help or hire it in if needed. Give yourself a kick start by doing as much as you can to master your challenges. Then give yourself a break and reward yourself for your efforts.
These five simple steps won’t remove all the obstacles from your life, but they will make the ADD journey a lot easier. Tell me about the ways you have dealt with ADD challenges in your life. What was your best kick-start?