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TotallyADD Blog / Life With ADD/ADHD Archives - TotallyADD.com | Adult ADD | ADHD in Adults

Welcome to the TotallyADD Blog.

ADHD & Overwhelm: Taming the Chaos

By Rick Green
We are preparing to launch a new streamlined, cleaner version of TotallyADD.com. We’re doing this while still running the current site, which is already a full-time job for two of us (and a part-time job for several others) which includes creating videos, blogging, sending out newsletters, Friday Funnies, booking live and online events, and more…

So updating 8 years of website stuff has been… daunting.

The individual tasks are not necessarily complex. There’s just a HUMUNGOUS number of them.

I mean, clicking two Lego blocks together is no big deal. It gets challenging if you’re making a 30-foot Lego reproduction of the 1939 World’s Fair.

EMOTIONAL CARTOON

 

What’s Needed Now? What’s next?

With hundreds of To-Dos it’s been easy to slip into overwhelm.  Several times a day. Even hourly.

Plus we have to decide who should do what, who should review it, and where to store it or upload or render or export… (Or any number of verbs that are needed to get something on the web.)

What is the most brain-straining, is separating what is Urgent from what is merely a “great idea that would be nice to have.” Cause I can come up with lots of great new ideas while someone else waits in frustration for me to finish something Urgent.

What should I do first? Then what? And after that?…

This is about ‘Prioritizing.’

My tendency is to make the simple, quick-to-complete tasks my priority.   When it’s fun and rewarding, I can hyper-focus and go for hours.  Even if it’s challenging.  In fact, I’m starting to see that the more challenging a fun task is, the better.  If there’s a challenging task that isn’t going to be fun, or turns out to be un-fun…(Is that a word?  What’s the opposite of fun? Taxes? Learning Morse Code? Montezuma’s Revenge? Losing a Mixed-Martial Arts fight? Radish-flavoured ice-cream?)  (You see how I can go on and on when something’s fun.)

 

My ADHD Has Not Been a Problem Rick Green Adult ADHD

The good news is that folks who are doing the website renovation have done this before. They tell us what they need next, “Could you please send me…”

Or, “Could you review this page and see if it needs more…”

Or, “Are there any images where Rick doesn’t look goofy and…”

To my surprise it’s gone very well.

I credit my low levels of important rage and despair to 3 ADHD-friendly strategies.

They’re drawn from the 36 tools, tips, and solutions that Patrick McKenna and I demonstrate in ADD & Mastering It! (Which, BTW, is still running on some PBS stations, a tribute to the value of the ideas in the video, and perhaps the rather humorous way it’s all presented. It’s also available in the TotallyADD shop if you want strategies that we trust and use in our lives.)

ADHD Another Idea

The three strategies are:

1. Start Small – Don’t Multi-Task – Chunk It Up 

Here’s how I use these 3 strategies with work: I get a request like, “Can you send me 17 images of Blah Blah Blah that are 500X500 pixels and include kittens.”

My first response is, “Arrghhh! Where do I find the images? And cropping and resizing them? And doing color balance and… this will take all day! Do we even have 17?…”

Then I pause, (Deep Breath) and Start Small. I decide to search for one image, knowing that when I find one, I usually find others.

I also Chunk It Up. I can’t face a whole afternoon of searching… And I shouldn’t. It’s not worth it.

So I tell myself that I’ll spend a maximum of 15 MINUTES looking for images and then stop.

That seems manageable. I won’t be doing it all afternoon. Just 15 minutes. That’s eminently doable. I am awesome at 15 minute jobs.

2. Bite-Sized Pieces

So I start the timer on my phone. Then I start searching.

At the end of 15 minutes I either have 17 images, (“Oh, right, I created that file folder last year.) Or I have some and I’m energized and I reset the timer for another 15 minutes. Or I’m on a roll and I don’t hear the timer on my phone go off. Or I have found a few, but I’m frustrated and I stop as I promised myself I would. At that point I may ask if they REALLY need 17 different images. Or ask Ava or David if they know if there’s more images somewhere.

3. One Thing at a Time

And finally, I avoid what my natural inclination wants me to do, which is MULTI-TASKING.

Like you and everyone else, I am convinced that I am way more productive when I’m multi-tasking. Unfortunately virtually EVERY STUDY ever done has shown that we are actually LESS productive. We feel busy. It wakes up the brain. But multi-tasking lowers productivity, accuracy, and speed, while producing more errors and omissions. (Which is why, for example, talking on the phone, even hands free, reduces your driving skills to the level of an alcohol impaired driver.)

Just stick to one task.

That means rather than find some images and start trimming them to size, while also answering a request for a description of a video, and three other tasks on the new site… I stick to finding the images. Then I move on, trimming all the images to size. Then to sending all of the images.

I should say, that’s the ideal. In reality I can forget I even have any ADHD strategies that work and there goes the best part of a day.

It’s Counter-Intuitive  Rick Green surprise

Ideally I finish one step and move on. It’s not easy. I used to be awful at this. But mindfulness, medication, commitment, and repetition have produced a transformation in my ability to stick with things. Even if only for 15 minutes.

And if it’s a job that will take longer than 15 minutes? If it’s fun, no worries. If it’s not what I’d consider fun… I chunk it up.

It’s worth noting that I’ve also set things up so I’m not interrupted by email, phone messages, and notifications from the 103 pieces of software on my phone. In ADD & Mastering It?! we call this strategy, “Bending the World to You.”

Once I’m done a task I pause to actually acknowledge it and feel the pleasure of accomplishment. Doing this gives me energy. Motivation. And confidence.

My natural instinct was to IMMEDIATELY start on the next task, thinking, “I’m on a roll.” Rather than realizing, “My brain needs a break to reboot for what’s next.”

Then a break: a few minutes of brisk walking, stretching, or, more commonly, refreshing myself with chocolate-covered almonds. (Hey, nuts are healthy.)

The Lesson? One Strategy is Not Enough

Which strategies I choose vary from job to job and day to day.

What it’s worth noting is that I have a lot of strategies to choose from, and even when I’m doing something I’ve done before, it’s never enough to use one strategy. It takes a multi-modal, holistic approach, with various mutually supporting strategies. One is never enough.

Which is also true of chocolate-covered almonds.

ADHD Information Overload? Some things you need to know…

By Rick GreenAdult ADHD

When I learned I had ADHD Google was a novelty, websites were primitive, Youtube and Facebook didn’t exist, and dinosaurs ruled the earth. (Not sure about that last one.) So I learned about adult ADHD by reading books… (Okay, skimming books.)

I was overwhelmed at how much there was to learn.

New research and discoveries mean that today there’s even more for the ‘newbies’ to learn. And there are some things to unlearn. (Once dismissed as hooey, Mindful Meditation now has thousands of studies that show its effectiveness on a number of health issues. Including ADHD.)

There’s more to learn, and more ways to learn it: Blogs, Podcasts, E-Books, videos, and more. (Overwhelming, right? I know!)

Where do I start?

So I wrote this blog about how to manage information overload. And what I wrote was… well, overwhelming. Then I had the unexpected presence of mind to ask, “What’s the minimum that I want people to know?”

So I started over.

Here’s the minimum that you need to know: Find out the minimum you need to move forward.

Rather than be overwhelmed by tools, tips, strategies, and all there is to know, ask, “What is the minimum I need to know to move forward?”

Find out enough to be able to move forward.

Notice that a car’s GPS says, “Drive one mile and then turn left…” It doesn’t describe the whole route. It lays out your next move. What you need to do to move forward.

I’m Trying Everything! Sit Still!

In our video, ADD & Mastering It!, we offer 35 tools, tricks, tips, and strategies that Patrick McKenna and I have found work for us. The 36th tip is… don’t overdo the tips.

Experiment.

We can be enthusiastic, and impatient to get our ADHD handled.

But if you make a dozen lifestyle changes this week, you’ll be overwhelmed. And if things do improve, you won’t know whether it was the fish-oil, exercise, yoga, new agenda, the five apps you’ve download, or your new coach.

If you make a dozen changes how will you identify the 7 that made no difference, the 4 that really did help, and the one change that has actually been counter-productive?

What Now? What Next? Everyone seems normal until you get to know them

Don’t wait to learn everything. Start experimenting now. Make one change. See what happens.

Even before I was fully diagnosed I was experimenting with adult ADHD strategies and finding which ones helped me. And I’ve keep adding new tools and strategies, and discarding ones that no longer work for me.

TotallyADD has a video full of strategies, a book that outlines how ADHD shows up in adults, and a video package if you’re struggling to overcome fear, stigma, or other people’s opinions.

Figure out what is stopping you now, and address that.

As you move forward, you’ll learn what you need along the way. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get there. If you get derailed, disheartened, or stuck, don’t make a big deal out of it. Figure out what’s stopping you, deal with it, and move forward. Get out of neutral, or reverse, and into forward.

THAT’S IT? THAT’S ALL?

No, that’s not all.

But that’s all you need to know to move forward.

Talking About ADHD Triggers Tears

By Rick Green

RickTalksA few years ago, I gave a two-hour presentation on ADHD to about 200 people that was quite memorable! Unique actually! You see I only ran a few minutes long. That is not like me. What’s more surprising is that I completely ignored my notes and simply spoke from the heart. When I had done that before, and since, the talk can go wayyyyyy long.

Not that people are restless. Usually they’re riveted. But they’re no longer making much sense of what I’m saying. Their brains are overflowing.

Alas, I keep going, on and on. The Energizer Bunny of blabbering. This is my biggest ADHD challenge… ‘Motor-Mouthing.’

The audience for this particular talk was a mixed group. Some were desperately seeking help for themselves or their child, or partner. Others who were pretty sure they had ADHD, but wanted to know more. And some were dragged there by angry spouses or family members.

There were definitely laughs. Even tears of laughter. Especially from the wonderful mom of an ADHD boy who sat in the front row. She became my go-to-gal when I’d notice someone frowning or looking bored. (My friend, comedian Patrick McKenna, taught me a trick: Find one person who is laughing the hardest, and play to them. It works in a comedy show. And when I’m talking about ADHD.)

Did I Say Something Wrong

Talking to audience members at the ‘meet and greet’ after a live event is always the best. People are glad to have solid information, but they are profoundly grateful for the laughter.

Which I totally understand.   Who doesn’t love to laugh?! Humor is liberating.

I learned the power of laughter during my career in television and radio, but when I’m giving a keynote talk or performing my one-man show about ADHD, I’m also surprised to see many people in tears. Sometimes it’s tears of laughter and relief.

But it took me a while to get used to seeing tears of sadness; faces grimacing to suppress sobs.

‘Oh Dear! Did I Say Something Wrong?’

Unless it’s a dark theatre with bright stage lights, I can see everyone’s face. At first, seeing people crying quietly, or a loved one slipping an arm around them to comfort, them was alarming. Knowing how I sometimes go off topic, I was worried, ‘Uh oh! Did I say something stupid? Or mean? Or dismissive?’ (All faux pas I do regularly in conversations with friends and family.)

Tears? Pain? Sorrow? That’s never a good audience reaction for a comedian. My job is to help people forget that stuff, right?

Not when I’m talking about ADHD.

It was tricky, trying not to let those tears throw me.

Make ‘Em Laugh

Normally, it’s pretty clear if people are enjoying my talk. People laugh. Many nod. Some madly scribble notes. Clearly they’re getting something good.

But tears? Heartbreak? Faces crumpled in pain?

The first time this happened I panicked, ‘This is bad. You’re upsetting people. You’re making things worse for them! What if I push someone over the edge?!’

I was alarmed. Afterwards I called up a couple of ADHD specialists for advice, ‘Is there a danger I’m doing damage?’ Knowing that people with ADHD also have much higher rates of Depression, and having been through a few bouts of it myself when I was younger, and undiagnosed, I was worried, ‘I’m afraid I might push someone over the edge.’

The doctors assured me crying was a good sign.   Letting tears flow is cathartic.

Then I started to check in with the audience. During that talk where I went off topic, when I saw one woman was weeping, I paused to ask, ‘Are you okay?’ She nodded. And smiled through her tears.

So, I continued talking. But now I had tears as well.

In fact, the real challenge when I see someone getting misty is not to lose it myself. The first time I did break down onstage, talking about my son, I was embarrassed. But then I saw that my tears triggered many others to become misty.

Letting Go

Again, it took a doctor to explain that I was giving people permission to cry. Sharing what I’d learned created a ‘safe space.’ Though the details of each audience members life was different, the emotional experience was familiar to all of us: fear, suffering, pain, regret… Grieving.

Sometimes I see tears being triggered when I confess about a time I messed up, or a regret, or fear. Mostly I had no idea what it was that hit home for someone. Which is good, otherwise I might try and do it on purpose, as a technique. And stop speaking from the heart.

One thing I’ve learned is that if you want people to understand ADHD, you have to speak from the heart. We made our original documentary, ADD & Loving It?!, to create lightness and freedom around a scary, stigma-filled subject.

It has indeed created millions of tears of laughter. And tears of grieving.

And though I used to think of them as polar opposites, now I see both kinds of tears are really the same thing—a release of pent up fear. We ‘let go’ and cry. That is what allows each of us to move forward.

And that is the best. The absolute best.

[Blog revised – Original Date Sept 2013]

“ADHD? That’s Just An Excuse…”

Facing the World HSbBy Rick Green

Is it just me, or are more and more people confusing their beliefs with facts. Perhaps people have always mistaken their opinions for the truth. I don’t know.

What I do know, for sure, is the universal challenge you face after getting an ADHD diagnosis is whether or not you should tell anyone about it. Who you should take into your confidence? Who probably doesn’t need to know? And who definitely should never find out?

In fact, who really needs to know? Because, let me warn you, as the police warn everyone, ‘Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.’

It’s a Kangaroo Court

Unlike in a court of law, the people in your life will be the judge and jury. They won’t have all the facts. They won’t see the evidence. The only testimony they’ll hear is the voice in their head. The only expert testimony they will hear is whatever they happen to have heard about ADHD. Unlike a court of law, they will rely on rumor, personal prejudice, and they’ll have previous convictions they ‘know’ are true. And they almost certainly won’t be a jury of your peers. They won’t have ADHD. Most people don’t. So they have no idea.

Many will instantly rush to a verdict and pronounce you guilty of fraud, of being lazy, looking for excuses, evading work, and the worst crime of all, ‘Lacking Willpower in the First Degree.’

The punishment? A life sentence of mockery and disdain for you, and for ADHD.

Punished for your symptoms.

‘It’s Always Something With You…’

How do you defend yourself from people who don’t believe in ADHD, or laugh at the possibility you have it? Or worse, people who use the knowledge to ruin your career? It’s worse when it’s your child who suffers from this stigma

It’s something we explore in detail in what may be my favorite video, Facing The World. The film lays out several simple strategies that allow you to instantly turn the tables when you’re confronted by hostility. They work. I know.

You go from the defensive to the offensive, in a sweet, lovely, and abrupt moment.

The secret is to avoid making the other person look bad. (Which is not easy.)

The Cost of Victory

Oh, yes, I recall the guilty pleasure of taking a blowhard down a peg once I had the diagnosis.

Naively, I talk about this amazing mid-life revelation, and how it was changing everything. I was eager to share my good news.

Someone would roll their eyes, ‘I don’t believe in ADHD,’ and imply I’d bought into a medical scam. There was no such thing. I was too much sugar. Or food dye. Or laziness. Naturally everyone in earshot turned to watch me try and squirm out of this.

At first I was stunned. Gradually I learned to stay calm and explain,‘Well, a lot of people don’t believe. But 4,000 scientific studies probably triumph your belief. ’

Or, ‘Well, if you don’t believe in ADHD, how do you feel about Epilepsy? Do you think that’s just spoiled kids who shake and twitch to get people’s attention? Or lazy parents who refuse to discipline every child’s natural inclination to throw seizures whenever they feel like it?’

That was a particularly nasty one.

Feel free to us it if you want to end some friendships and look like a jerk.

That’ll Show Them!… Or So I Thought.

The pleasure of demolishing a loudmouth comes with a cost. It actually makes the other person have to defend their belief even more, because I’ve given them no way out except humiliation.

As every first-year Psychology student learns, the more your argue with people, the more they have to defend their irrational beliefs. The more vociferous you are, the more adamant they become, the more extreme, the more convinced. Look at the state of the world. Read the news. Watch debates. Or, if you have the stomach for it, read the comments on most Facebook posts.

If humiliating people and pointing out how foolish they are actually changed people’s minds, the world would be a very different place.

It Makes It Worse

By the way, demolishing someone may shut them up. They may not argue back. Many even nodded and give a little ‘Hmm…’ which I mistook for, ‘Rick makes an interesting point. Food for thought. I should really learn more.’

What were they actually thinking?

‘Wow, I must have hit the nail on the head. Rick clearly can’t stand the truth. Look at him, going on and on. Like my sister-in-law when I told her fairies aren’t real.’

The Secret Weapon

No one likes being taken down a peg. Or made to look foolish. Especially in front of witnesses.

Yes, I know, I know! That person didn’t mind trying to make you wrong and embarrassing you in front of other people. But did their dismissal of your ADHD in any way change your mind? Or did it just make you lose your cool?

Because staying cool is crucial. Lose your cool, your dignity, your poise, and you’ve lost the battle.

A Way Better Way

How do you avoid getting into a conflict you can’t win?

See it as an opportunity.   A chance to enlighten people. It’s actually kind of perfect. We hate that there is so much ignorance and misunderstanding and stigma about ADHD, right? Now, here’s the chance to actually take it on and transform ignorance into understanding.

Someone says something dismissive. Let it pass right through you.

Get that they are only repeating what they’ve heard. Consider that there may even be real concerns that big Pharmaceutical companies are putting profits before people. (It’s been known to happen.) Understand that yes, sometimes people are misdiagnosed. Or some teachers are too quick to label kids. Not many, perhaps only a few, but still…

Catch yourself before you erupt, or you collapse inward, crushed, mortified.

A Slap In The Face

The first few times I was confronted by shocking ignorance or righteous hostility, I was totally gob-smacked. (I love that word!)  Has it happened to you? Isn’t it shocking when someone spouts mythical, outdated, nonsense that they are adamant is the truth.

You should know I’m pretty talkative. But the first few times a naysayer said, ‘Nay, nay!’ to me, I completely shut down. Like I’d be slapped in the face. I was struck dumb. (And that’s not like.)

Eventually I would come up with wicked rebuttal. But by then it was 3:00 in the morning, I was home in bed, still stewing. I would come up with a dozens of wickedly clever things I should have used to eviscerate that know-it-all. (Not realizing that my devastatingly witty retorts would have made them defensive, more entrenched, and far more hostile.)

Days later I’d still be re-writing the conversation and these fantasy dialogues always ended with me triumphant and the smart ass totally humiliated, or, in my more benevolent imaginings they would be humbled, offering a heartfelt apology, asking if there was anything they could do to help.

It’s a skill I’d honed over thirty years of writing for television and radio. But in at 3:00 in the morning there’s no audience, so it’s a waste of creativity

Taking The High Road

But I knew from my own experience, and from what people are sharing in the TotallyADD Forums about their Emotional Journey, facing skeptics is a hot topic.

If you or a loved one are dealing with dismissal and hostility—from friends, family, colleagues, or classmates—check out Facing The World.

You’ll discover there is a better way to deal with ignorance and stigma. True, it’s not as juicy and dramatic as demolishing an enemy. But it’s the demolishing that turns them into an enemy. And you don’t need another foe. You’re busy enough struggling with your ADHD.

De-cluttering & Doing Dishes?

By Rick Green

Which aspect of your ADHD do you dislike the most? Which trait, or if you prefer, ‘symptom’, does the most damage?

It’s a valuable question to ask. For several reasons.

One payoff for identifying the trait that undermines you the most? It requires you to focus, and you won’t drown in good intentions, trying to manage every symptom at once. (A recipe for overwhelm as I found out after when first diagnosed.)

Another payoff? Mastering the bugaboo that most sabotages you makes it so much easier to take on the next symptom you want to eliminate. (Or more realistically, that you want to reduce to insignificance. Hey, everyone loses their keys now and then. Wouldn’t losing keys once a month be far better than 4 times a day?)

ADD Stole My Car KeysAnd if you want to get a sense of the many ways ADHD impacts your life, our book lays out 132 surprising traits, behaviors, and beliefs that we struggle with. As well, we reveal 23 potential strengths.

The Most Bang For Your Buck

As you’ll see, there’s a lot of ways ADHD undermines us. The one particular challenge that undermines you, and affects others around you, that’s the one to work on first.

It’s worth spending a few minutes a day imagining what life will be like once this ‘problem’ is no longer running your life. Or ruining your life.

For me, the biggest challenge was procrastination. I knew that if I developed the habit of taking action right away, without delay, my life would be easier, simpler, and more rewarding. Procrastination was Public Enemy #1, and Private Enemy too, impacting my work and my personal life. And yet…

I Always Procrastinate – About Everything!

But as my wife pointed out, I definitely didn’t procrastinate all the time.

When there is a work deadline I have to meet, I come through. Often just in time.

She reminded me that I’ve created hundreds of TV and radio programs and a score of stage productions, and never missed a delivery date or had to cancel opening night. I know that ‘the show must go on.’ And it always does. No matter what it takes.

Alas, far too often, what it took was all of my energy, time, and vitality. At the expense of my family, my friends, and my health.

Today I’m a bit less productive, but far happier. In ADD & Mastering It!, Patrick McKenna and I take a fun romp through 36 strategies and tools we personally use for dealing with the biggest challenges of ADHD/ADD, especially procrastination around big projects. Of course, I used to procrastinate over the small stuff too.

Procrastination Can Be Small

For example, I always put off washing the dinner dishes until the morning.

I know, it’s a trivial procrastination. The consequences are hardly life threatening. I never let the food scraps pile up until they morphed into some kind of parasitic, fuzzy, blue bacterial life form. Not since University, anyway.

By the way, to understand how lazy I was, I put off doing the dishes even though we had a dishwasher… Which makes it even more embarrassing.

Yet, every night I’d convince myself I was too tired and, if I didn’t immediately flop into bed and begin snoring my body might collapse. I would promise myself to get to them in the morning. And, sure enough, at some point over the next day or two, I actually would.

This was fine when I lived alone.

My Wife Grew Up on a Farm

My wife came from a big family with lots of farmhands at every meal. Letting dishes pile up was never an option. (And the family didn’t have a dishwasher. It was all washed by hand.)

So whenever I left the dishes until the morning, my wife would quietly do them. No drama. No excuses. She put everything away. Wiped the counters… Because for her a messy kitchen was off-putting.

Since I usually make our breakfast, I eventually noticed that walking into a clean kitchen with lots of open space, nothing to work around or push aside… Well, it felt good… Surprisingly so.

When my wife was away for a day or two, and the dishes piled up, it actually began to bother me. I’d seen a vision… of something better.

Now I clean the kitchen before bed. Extraordinary. Usually it’s more than just loading the dishwasher. And yes, sometimes I still leave particularly horrifying saucepans to soak until morning. But mostly, the kitchen is clean when my head hits the pillow.

It’s Small – But It’s Big

If you don’t have ADHD, this miraculous transformation may strike you as somewhat trivial, or incredibly stupid. “This guy is excited because he no longer procrastinates about doing the dishes? Can’t wait to hear about the battle to dust the book shelf.”

However, if you have ADHD/ADD, or live with someone who does, you probably appreciate why this small victory matters. With ADHD, every victory matters. Especially the unexpected ones.

The chance that I would suddenly move to China and become a monk at the Shau-Lin temple, well, sure, that was remotely possible. But the idea that I would do dishes and clean the kitchen before crawling into bed, especially since they could easily keep until the morning?… That seemed beyond the realm of possibility. This wasn’t a huge goal for me. “Doing the dishes” wasn’t a habit I was trying to build. It wasn’t on my Bucket List. More like my F$%# It List.

How Did Mr. Green Become Mr. Clean?

Procrastination Rick Green MessRather than rely on willpower or grit. I simply used several of the dozens of ADHD-Friendly strategies Patrick McKenna and I demonstrate in ADD & Mastering It!

A key trick is what we call, Reframing.

I reframed the task. Rather than see the messy kitchen as an onerous chore, which is one possible interpretation, I reframed it as an ‘opportunity.’ An opportunity to start the next day with ease. An opportunity to do something that makes my wife happy. And an opportunity to prove that I can accomplish things even when I’m craving sleep.

I also saw it as a chance to challenge my assumption that it was a huge job. It took about 1/3 as long as I guessed it would. Timing yourself, another ADHD strategy Patrick and I use in ADD & Mastering It!, is a great way to develop solid Time Management skills.

Reframing is simple. You create a better perspective. Rather than see the pile of greasy dishes, I pictured a spotless kitchen… and then took 7 minutes to clean, wash, and tidy up so that reality matched the vision.

Instead of feeling guilty, I want to be feeling absurdly pleased.

The Surprising Payoff

It feels silly to admit how much better I feel when the kitchen is spic and span. But the next morning when I come down to start making breakfast the usual ‘Ugh!’ is replaced by, ‘Ah! Nice.’  It actually sets a whole different tone to the day.

Rather than nagging myself, laying on a guilt trip, I found that picturing how I would feel to be greeted by clean, clear counters first thing in the morning made the decision easy. I made it a game to see how fast I could declutter and clean up. To my shock, I actually quite enjoyed it.

And yes, I know, it sounds ridiculous. But I’ve found this technique works, providing real motivation, whether I’m trying to procrastinate about exercise, making a difficult phone call, or writing a challenging script.

I succeed with ADHD by focusing on the result, envisioning it finished, feeling the pleasure of a job well done. Rather than seeing only what needs to be done.

 


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