Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

Have you been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? Maybe you haven’t but you sense ‘yeah I might have a bit of that’. Possibly someone who knows you well has suggested you ought to look into it. Perhaps you have looked into it and discovered this is not at all what I was believing it was.

It could be that you’ve taken one of our ADHD screener tests on our website, or taken all of them, and then some that you took elsewhere and you thought ‘oh’… Then perhaps you watched a video about ADHD, and another, and another, which triggered a growing sense of ‘oh wow…’

Regardless of where you are with ADHD, just curious, rather concerned, pretty darn certain, actually diagnosed, or a veteran of 20 years, wow 20 years. Let’s talk about two things that will help you move forward, get unstuck when you get stuck, and continue to make progress.

Two Ways to Get Unstuck

First, with ADHD you need a solid foundation of knowledge, that way you’re confident that this is real, that yes I have it, and that it needs to be managed.

Second, you need some victories, some successes, with ADHD friendly tools and tricks so you appreciate that this is not a lifelong curse, that it can get better, and transformation is possible.

Foundation of Knowledge

Let’s start with building a solid foundation of knowledge. You want to know, what is ADHD, what is it not, and what is my personal potpourri of symptoms.

Now this learning curve has no end, it’s ongoing, whether you were diagnosed 20 years ago like I was or are undiagnosed but developing that sinking feeling that this might explain your whole life especially the failures and disasters, it actually won’t explain everything but that’s okay.

Knowing what ADHD is provides confidence, that’s the shield you need when other people react to your diagnosis with doubt, dismissal, scorn, or outright nastiness. I call them the know-it-alls who know nothing.

So education, that is the first thing, knowing the facts, and they’re going to change because the research is ongoing. Understanding what this is, how it shows up in daily life, how it can overlap other disorders and the role of genetics, that information, that knowledge just keeps growing.

You don’t have to become an encyclopaedia, you don’t need to feel that you could win public debates, you do need to feel grounded, you need to feel confident that this is real, this knowledge will protect you and all of your loved ones who have ADHD.

Importance of Early Successes

The second thing that can make a huge difference is some early successes. How do you achieve those? By experimenting with tools, tricks, tips and tactics that folks with ADHD have found to be helpful, supportive or absolutely invaluable in harnessing the power of this unusual mind.

Your brain may be a mosh pit of thoughts, feelings, sensations, frustrations, ideas, fears and despair, but one victory, one trick that frees you from procrastination and gets you doing something you’ve avoided is energizing. Wow this works, I actually got it done for the first time, this is magic.

At this point I want to introduce a distinction that I’ve never heard anyone make, it’s about the need for tactics rather than strategies. We have videos about ADHD friendly strategies, exercising, mindfulness, medication, coaching, organizing systems, cognitive behavioural therapy. All of these can be valuable, but today, right now when you’re stuck you need tactics, tactical weapons, versus strategies, which are strategic.

Football Field

Tactics vs Strategies

Strategic is long-term, big picture, like strategic bombing of a whole city, or it might be ‘our company has a strategy to undercut the competition on pricing and thereby corner the global market in rubber chickens.’ Whereas tactics are specific, they’re narrow, targeted, like tactical bombing of a specific bunker, a specific target, more focused, or we’re going to corner the rubber chicken market with celebrity endorsements from Foghorn Leghorn.

Let’s consider a football team, their strategy for the season might be strong focus on defense then rely on special teams, big plays and capitalizing on opportunities for offense. The tactics they use to achieve these different goals? Well the offense coaches, defense, and special team coaches they each develop specific tactics to address every specific situation, even for a particular player.

So as we focus on levelling our playing field for the game of life with ADHD our grand strategies may include exercise, a support group, mindfulness, perhaps medication, coaching, these are supports you can rely on over the long term.

A strategy might be my first suggestion which is to become well informed about ADHD. That’s a great strategy but the tactics you might use might be to have someone read a book with you or you go to webinars or conferences, you join a support group.

My sensible strategy to get better sleep, that isn’t gonna help me to turn off the TV at a sensible hour and toddle off to bed, at that moment having the TV or modem on a timer that switches off at 10, that’s a tactic.

Tactics To Help You Sleep

These are all tactics that work to help with sleep:

  • Reading a mildly interesting book in bed
  • Apps that play soothing sounds to put you to sleep
  • Having your phone screen dim after sunset
  • A brisk walk after lunch
  • No food after 7p.m

If I can’t get motivated to take that brisk walk or I can’t break the habit of scrolling the web in bed? Then I need more tactics, more supports. Strategies like mindful meditation are powerful but they’re long term, they take time to have an impact, eventually yes they can build new habits and even rewire the brain.

What Are Tactics For?

Tactics are for getting you through the next five minutes. The right tactic will have you putting away the dishes before you grab the converter rather than ‘I’ll put it off until later, before bed, okay I’ll do it in the morning, I’ll get to it this evening.”

Tactics, brain hacks, tricks, are for getting you unstuck moving you from paralysis to being large and in charge, especially when you were sinking into that emotional quicksand of frustration, overwhelm, and procrastination, nothing ever changes, it actually does don’t worry.

Tactics allow you to actually complete what used to be difficult to even start, these aren’t the grand goals they’re tools, they’re immediate, they’re the tricks, they’re automatic systems to counter your ADHD symptoms. For example poor working memory, a common symptom, could show up as I keep forgetting my lunch at home. Tactic? Put sticky notes on your front door so you can’t miss them, actually you probably could miss them, a better tactic, the night before when you’re packing your lunch drop your keys in there as well, that way you can’t leave home without your keys.

Importance of Becoming Educated About ADHD

Another strategy, get educated about ADHD so that you’re unshakeable and you save time at the doctor’s office because you arrive informed. What’s the tactic? The tactic is turning on the closed captioning when you watch a video so you pay more attention, and I’m not dismissing strategies, I mean nothing happens until you create a holistic array of strategies that are mutually supporting but it’s the tactics that support you in the moment on the playing field of life.


Exercise is universally recommended for almost every disorder, physical or mental. Experiment to find out which exercise or sport works for you, and by works I mean you like it. If you hate jogging don’t jog, try yoga, Pilates, Zumba, tennis, frisbee football. Say you discover that you love yoga, great, yoga becomes one strategy in your battle plan, a great strategy but it’s not enough.

With ADHD you need tactics that will guarantee that you get out of bed on those cold mornings and actually do the yoga. Of course once you start, child pose, cobra pose, downward dog, by two minutes in you’re remembering how it feels, and it feels good, and you have all the motivation you need. You don’t need tactics at that point, the tactics are for that point of performance, the moment of truth.

Thank You Patrons!

I hope this was helpful, thanks to our patrons for making this video possible. I can tell you that even now 20 years in I continue to accumulate knowledge, it strengthens my foundation with multiple strategies that move me forward, but what really moves me forward in the moment, that’s the slew of tricks, tools, tips, and tactics that keep me on track.

As you try different tricks and tactics feel free to modify or adapt them to suit you and you’ll want to experiment, maybe invent your own quirky tactics. In our patreon chat rooms people are always sharing clever little tricks and brain hacks that work for their particular challenges. Some folks claim people with ADHD are more creative, this is our opportunity to prove it.

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