Growth

Three MORE Things You’re Doing Every Day That Make Your ADHD Worse

There’s no better way to get back into something you haven’t been doing for awhile than to simply jump in the saddle. Today, I would like to thank an esteemed colleague – Alan Brown (aka the ADD Crusher) – for taking the reigns with this guest post. There are many reasons I adore Crusher’s voice, but the biggest is his no-BS, tell-it-like-it-is way of getting straight to the heart of ADD matters. Enjoy!

 

In a recent guest blog on Carol Gignoux’s LiveADHDFree.com, I expounded on a recurring Crusher theme: things we ADDers do every day – wittingly or unwittingly – that make our ADHD worse. I tackled three items:

  • Eating Crap (which stultifies our ADD brains)
  • Crappy Sleep (which amplifies our ADHD)
  • Playing Hide-n-Seek (losing and forgetting stuff)

I have a long list of such items that I regularly write about or teach in the ADD Crusher™ videos, so I thought I’d use this blog to share a few more. Herewith, three MORE things you’re doing every day that make your ADHD worse…

 

SCREENSUCKING

Coined by Dr. Ed Hallowell, it describes the ridiculous amounts of time we spend in front of electronic screens – TVs, laptops, video games, tablets, smartphones. It makes our ADHD worse by stealing precious time, inhibiting healthy sleep and diverting us from doing the stuff we KNOW we should be doing!

Here are three steps to bucking screensucking:

  1. List all media habits in order of time committed (TV, gaming, Facebooking, etc.).
  2. Identify ONE media activity you can do less of – or eliminate.
  3. Assign yourself a new, more productive or enriching activity to take its place.

 

Take charge of your media life and you’ll start taking charge of your ADHD!

 

MULTITASKING 

Why can’t we just do what the rest of the world SEEMs to do so easily – just get stuff DONE?! So much of our stress comes from not finishing what we’ve started, in large part because we are so easily pulled away from important tasks – and into titillating, low-priority BS.

 

We like to think of this as “multitasking”, but research shows that even the best multitaskers, um, totally suck at multitasking.

The trick to staying on task is mentally LABELING important tasks and diversions as follows:

  1. What I’m Doing Now. Get ENGAGED in an important task by determining forcefully that THIS IS WHAT I’M DOING NOW.
  2. BS That Is Not What I’m Doing Now. Keep from getting pulled AWAY from that task by labeling things that are “NOT WHAT I’M DOING NOW” as such. Most of the time, it’s BS that is NOT really important (e.g., checking your emails every 10 minutes is BS).
  3. Important, But Not What I’m Doing Now. IMPORTANT things that are NOT what you’re doing now are harder to dismiss. But you need only dismiss them temporarily — by writing a note so you can come back to it.

Get in the habit of using these labels for thoughts and things, and you’ll start seeing more stuff GET DONE! (Here’s a little ADD Crusher™ video clip on this trick.)

 

DOING IT ALL YOURSELF 

We ADDers spend huge amounts of time trying to do things at which we suck – or just needn’t be doing ourselves. Things that people around us can and will do FOR us – if we are WILLING and ABLE to hand them off.

If you could delegate just two things this week, you’d free up gads of time. Ah, easier said than done. And there are two reasons we suck at delegating – and fortunately a solution for each.

  1. Can’t give a subordinate a clear roadmap to completion of a task? Then you can’t delegate it. So TAKE THE TIME TO PREPARE GOOD INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE even trying to delegate.
  2. Delegating means asking something of another person, but we don’t feel entitled, we’re always aiming to please. The solution is to be up front about your inability to do the task well, and compliment the person on her ability to do it better. Makes it a Win-Win.

There ya go. Three more things that, if reduced even modestly, would make your ADHD more manageable. ‘Til next time…

Make sure to check out the third and final part in this series on Alan Brown – ADD Crusher’s – blog HERE!

 

alan brown add crusherAn executive and entrepreneur, Alan was  diagnosed as an adult, but found it difficult to learn coping strategies from books – so he  developed his own mess-to-success strategies. The resulting 10 “Ways” comprise the ADD  Crusher™ approach — interactive, engaging videos and tools for ADHD adults seeking greater  life fulfillment. If this blog post was of even  modest interest to you…then you’ll go freakin’ crazy for Alan’s ADD Crusher™ Videos & Tools. Money back, guaranteed.

Productivity

Warning! The Myth About Change & Living Your Adventure

Change is hard or so they say.

I say:

No it’s not. Not as hard staying the same when the same isn’t working anymore.

Change is just unfamiliar.

The experts, whoever they are, say the hardest part about change is the fear of the unknown. There is a supposed comfort in believing the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. Personally, I’d rather not know any devils but I wouldn’t stay with one to avoid another.

They also say people fail to make changes because the patterns they are accustomed to are easy and automatic. Whereas as change requires effort.

What do they know?

Personally, I think the biggest barrier between the life you know and the life you want comes down to a simple human habit: unrealistic estimations.

Fear is another barrier to change. But if fear (or anxiety) could be broken down to a simple formula, it would look like this:

Fear = an overestimation of the likelihood of a perceived bad thing happening + an underestimation of one’s ability to cope

If we applied this logic to change, the fear of changing your life, or really going for your goals, would look like this:

Inability to make a change = an overestimation of how hard something is (or likelihood of failing) + an underestimation of one’s capability to do it or to cope with the consequences of not succeeding

I’m not a maths lover but I do like formulas for the simple reason that they break complicated things down and make them clearer. I like real life examples because they give those complicated things some context. I hope sharing mine with you helps.

I’ve lived across the world. In 1999, I left a cushy government job that paid handsomely for a youngster in my profession to backpack Australia for a year. I’d sacrificed prestige and my rung on the ladder for menial jobs and adventure. Then I moved back home with Peg and Al (as my parents are affectionately known), only long enough to recompense my bank account and set off for England.

After seven years and a lot of living, my partner and I decided it was time to move to back Canada (it’s a place north of the US), with our baby. But the nomads in us weren’t yet settled. We took a detour through the American West, 10 month old baby in tow, living out of suitcases and a rented vehicle. We ate out at supermarkets and chain restaurants. We even survived a mugging and a protracted case of unexpected morning sickness. Two months of fun, adventure, sickness, irritation and quite a few moments of “What the heck are we doing!?”

Did we doubt the decision we’d made to travel? Of course. Especially when that pink pee-stick surprised us one morning in a Super 8 room, somewhere in the Coachella Valley.

Would we change it if we could? Never.

At the end of the two months, we’d had enough. We took a quick trip to Hawaii to collect our thoughts (lay on a each and do noting) and flew home to Edmonton where we stayed. It wasn’t the original plan, but that was how it ended up.

None of it was easy, but all of it was much easier than anyone could have predicted.

The thing people most often say when I share my story is this:

“Wow that sounds like fun, I wish I could do it (apart from the mugging and morning sickness)”

And I say:

“Why couldn’t you?”

Of course you could. If I could do it, with all my executive dysfunctions, any sensible person could do it. It depends on how much you want it and how much you believe in possibility. It also depends on how much you are willing to fail.

The only thing that really stands in the way of living a life you really want is whether or not you really want it.  And what you are willing to do to get it. Travelling across Western USA with “two babies” really wasn’t as hard as filing income taxes every year or working at a dead end 9-5 for an entire mortal life. We do hard things all the time.

When it comes to the possibility of living your dreams, the proof is in the pudding. You only need to do it once to realize that it was your own head holding you back all those years. Of course you need to plan and prepare but being adaptable and open to changing your plans will serve you equally as well.

Our intention had been to travel Western Canada after America to find a place we’d really like to live. But because we’d overstayed our time in America, we decided to go straight home. And because of that, we settled somewhere that (as it turns out) we really didn’t care for all that much.

Still, none of this was hard.

It’s not that we couldn’t have carried on traveling to find the “perfect” place in Canada. We changed our plans to do what seemed like the right thing at the time. Many times I have asked myself if we should’ve forfeited the American trip to spend more time looking for a great place to settle down.

The answer I have always come up with is “no”.

Although we haven’t been incredibly fond of place we are living, it was exactly where we needed to be at that time our lives. We’ve learned a lot of things and made a lot of priceless connections with people we’d otherwise never have met.

And had we not traveled, we’d have rued the fact that we never got in “one more adventure” when the opportunity presented. Regret is much worse than uncertainty or even failure.

When it comes to changing your life you need to have a plan – just don’t get too attached to it. Be ready to change course mid-journey, because sometimes it’s the road you never planned on that leads to the best destinations. When it comes to reaching for your dreams, strike a balance between determination and adaptability. If you are too attached to certain outcomes, you’ll miss what is already there or what could be.

Realize that your estimation of whether or not your dream is possible is the one thing that will determine the success or demise of it. If you think it’s too hard you won’t bother trying. If you want it bad enough to make it happen no matter how hard it is – you’ll do it.

And no matter what, be prepared to fail.

Failure is rarely as bad as you predict it will be, but limiting your life to avoid it is worse than you can ever imagine. (Click to tweet)

 

Go back that equation at the start of the post and look at it. Can you see that you won’t be able to quantify any of those variables of change-making until you try it?

Change isn’t hard. Staying the same when the same isn’t working – is.

And four years later, it’s time for another change. We have finally found that place where can see ourselves putting some roots down and are moving there next week.

Will it work out? I don’t know. But I can’t wait to find out!

Pass this post on to someone you care about whose fear or failing is stooping them from making an important change in their life. Remind them that there can be no failure when learning is present.