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Webinars – seeking advice for taming the ADD

Webinars – seeking advice for taming the ADD2014-01-09T15:18:36+00:00

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  • #123681

    Post count: 24

    I am so appreciative of this website, the people who created it, the people on it and the webinars that are offered here.   I have learned so much.   My problem is that the webinars occur in my time zone just as my ADD meds are wearing off and my ADHD is kicking back in.  I’ve tried a few things, I knit during the webinar because knitting gives my ADD something to do and I can listen.  But last night during the webinar the clothes dryer turned off and I couldn’t get out of my head that if I don’t get them out they will wrinkle and couldn’t focus on what was being said.  Finally I just got up and folded clothes thinking that would make the ADD happy and I could still listen (my washer/dryer are in the kitchen) but then the pile fell over and I started picking up and I looked up and saw the popcorn popper and thought that sounds good and so on.  By the time I got back to the webinar I was furious with the universe and shut it off and decided I would watch it another time.

    Does anyone have any advice they are willing to share to stay focused?


    Post count: 906

    Coffee. Lots of coffee.

    Also, “fiddle toys”, which I guess you already are doing with your knitting. Something for your hands to do.

    Try getting a snack and something to drink before you sit down so you won’t be tempted to go make popcorn or something. And don’t do anything else, like your laundry, around that time. And maybe wear headphones if that is an option, to block out external noises. I always find that helps me to focus better. I also tend to rock back and forth when I try to concentrate, or tap fingers, wiggle toes etc.

    I actually can’t do things like knit or doodle or anything to keep my hands busy when I’m trying to listen. I end up focusing on the activity instead of what is being said.


    Post count: 845

    Most sit and Instant Message one another on the side of the screen while the webinar is going on.  Some fiddle with the text colors until they get one that they feel will express themselves to their satisfaction.  Perhaps Jimi can add some more colors for the texts.

    I usually play Free Cell on part of the screen – or surf the web.  However, I have considered lighting up the grill and cooking smores.  But first, I would have to clear away enough junk to roll the grill into the den.

    Knitting and popcorn seems like a capital idea.  Have you tried eating the popcorn with your knitting needles?  I guess that I should say – using your knitting needles.

    And blackdog’s suggestion about having a couple of drinks beforehand might help. 😉


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    I find that I have to minimize the distractions as much as possible.

    I plan ahead and set alarms, so I can (try to) finish whatever needs doing that might distract me from it, and so I’ll remember to log-in early.

    I love the chat-feed, but if I don’t move it offscreen, I’ll get so involved in it that I’ll miss everything else.

    If I’m really having trouble concentrating, I’ll turn off the lights in the room, dim the computer screen, and just focus on what Rick & the guest are saying.

    When I’m feeling really fidgety, I need to get up and move around. And last night was one of those times.

    I felt too restless to do the mindfulness exercise while sitting on the couch. So I stood up, and instinctively added the slow, graceful “port de bras” exercises I learned in ballet class when I was a kid. It worked so well for me, that I wonder if maybe we ADDers tend to do better with “kinetic” mindfulness exercises.


    Post count: 906

    @kc5jck That is not exactly what I said. 😉

    @Larynxa That is a very good point.  it’s like pacing while talking on the telephone, or walking meditation. I don’t have that much trouble with sitting still most days, but hyperactivity is not really a big issue for me. I do get fidgety when forced to do something like talk on the phone for a long period of time. Especially if the person on the other end is my mother-in-law. 🙄

    I think I would find the chat-feed very distracting too. But then, I could lose focus just by focusing on what’s being said. Because I’ll hear something that will make me think of something which will make me think of something else……Then I’ll have to go find a note pad and a pen so I can write that down to remember it for later. Then I will have to turn the volume down, or off, because the noise is distracting me from getting my note written…..

    Ive never tried to watch a live webinar, but I’m guessing that’s about how it would go. 🙂


    Post count: 20

    I get really excited about the information in the webinars and the videos


    watching them means i have to sit still

    and pay attention

    for more than 15 minutes

    and i cant do that!

    i read fast so articles, transcripts, books work better – i can get the information faster, and go back over the bits i didnt get the first time




    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    @Malaika, who says you have to sit still for the webinars?

    As long as you have the sound turned up loud enough, you can wander around the room and still hear what’s going on.

    That makes it much easier for those of us who learn better when we’re moving, instead of struggling to sit still.


    Post count: 906


    I don’t really have the issues with sitting still so much, but my mind would keep drifting away. After awhile I would start to get antsy and start thinking about other things I could or should be doing. Especially if they were not getting through things fast enough to suit me. Oh how I hate waiting for someone to “get to the point”, especially when I already got there 10 minutes ago. I’m sure that wouldn’t be so much of a problem with the webinars here though since they are made for people with ADHD by people who either have ADHD or understand it. (I haven’t watched any yet so I don’t know)

    You could, like Larynxa said, move around while you listen. Might be a good time to do a little light exercise or fold the laundry or any of the other activities mentioned above. Except for the rolling the BBQ inside and cooking s’mores. That one sounds a little dangerous.

    Anyway, if you prefer reading then you might just want to stick with that.

    I’m not really saying anything useful here am I? I think my brain is off on one of its little solo vacations again.





    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Post count: 473

    As the person who HAS to try and stay tuned to what the webinar guest is saying, ha ha, I find that I can become an active listener.

    I’m not sure, but I think active listening is a practice and not something I just thought up.

    But my version is to listen for specific things. Which means I come to the webinar with some goals for myself, some intentions, some determination to get specific things out of them.

    So if for example in our last Webinar with Dr. Lidia Zylowska I wanted to hear more about how I could be mindful while doing everything from eating to tidying to shovelling the huge snowfall that trapped us in the house this morning.

    So if you go looking for something you’ll find it. Remember those ‘Where’s Waldo’ books?

    A better example? Hmm. Okay…

    … you’re in a mall. And a woman is running around, agitated, looking for someone, and finally she spots a child staring at a display in a store window, rushes over, and grabs him and scolds him for running away.

    Now, if you were looking to for evidence that  “parents are irresponsible these days,” you could probably see that this was a perfect example of a parent so wrapped up in shopping and material goods they lose track of what matters most.

    On the other hand, if you were looking for evidence that “Kids today don’t listen” you’d find that too.

    If you were looking for proof that the mother-child bond is powerful and emotional, you could see this incident as evidence of that.

    If you held the belief that children are naturally curious and inquisitive, (A more positive belief than Kids Today Don’t Listen.” you could see that as well.

    If you were of the belief that the world is dangerous and you have to be constantly vigilant or your child could be lost, you’d see some evidence to confirm that dreadful fear.

    Whereas if you were of the belief that the world is incredibly safe and kids and the odds of something bad happening are tiny, well, there’s your proof.

    And so on.

    You can see why when we are in a negative state of mind, all we see is the downside of everything. And when we are on a roll and zooming along, the world looks very different.

    Now this isn’t exactly the same as listening for some strategies I can use. But you could come to the webinar looking for something.

    Or you could even come to the webinar thinking, “An hour is a long time for me to sit still, and I may not be able to, but that’s okay, cause the webinar is archived for quite a while and I can watch the rest later, but I’ll get as much out of it as I can, because even one insight can be life changing, and then if I have to take care of the laundry, or I have one of my popcorn cravings, I’ll congratulate myself for hanging in there, and be so happy that there is this incredible resource, and go off and enjoy my popcorn without guilt and fold the warm, nice smelling laundry. Because that’s what works for me. And that’s how I roll, baby.”


    Post count: 906

    That is exactly what I wanted to say before my brain decided to go bye bye. Even if you tune out off and on or you can’t sit still for the whole thing you can still get something out of it. And then you can always watch it again in the archives.

    And if you like to read then you can take the info that you do absorb from the webinar and expand on it by doing some research on your own later.


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