Why Tips and Tricks Don’t Always Work

All the reminders in the world won’t work unless you engage.

Ever wonder why proposed systems or solutions don’t work for you?  I’ve found the invisible elephant in the room is the ability to self-regulate.  You can set reminders and alarms all over the place, but in the end, none of them will work unless you engage.  In simple terms, setting an alarm to wake up is useless if you hit snooze time and time again.  The trick is to associate the alarm to putting your feet on the floor and standing up.

Activating is more about making it easy to put your feet on the floor or having something to look forward to in order to get out of bed, not so much about the alarm. If you want to move forward, you have to address more than just the symptoms. Continue reading “Why Tips and Tricks Don’t Always Work”

Are Your Sleep Problems Due to Boredom?

Do those with ADHD have a hard time going to bed or do they just have a hard time going to sleep? Research suggests those with ADHD struggle with agitated boredom.

As a coach I’ve realized the most boring time of the day is the time between when you put your head on the pillow and the time you fall asleep. Bottom line is, it is boring. Continue reading “Are Your Sleep Problems Due to Boredom?”

Who Is Motivated to Do Taxes?

Taxes are up there with root canals. We’d rather rearrange our sock drawers! But is it because we are motivated to organize our socks, or is it because we are running away from our taxes?

“If only I had more motivation” is something I hear often. Don’t be confused: you ARE motivated – only not motivated enough to do what you “should” be doing. Let me explain.

You ARE motivated to organize your sock drawer. Why socks? Who knows, maybe because it helps you avoid taxes, maybe because the socks are hard to locate, maybe because you want to move the socks to another location. . . . Continue reading “Who Is Motivated to Do Taxes?”

ADHD Holidays: Expectations vs. Joy

In the summer of 1982, I found myself in a Jacuzzi at a swimming pool in Mission Viejo, California, at World Game Trials. I’ll never forget a comment I heard from Steve Lundquist, who was ranked number one in the world in the 100-meter breaststroke competition. He said, “First is first and second is last.” At that time, I latched onto that mindset because I wanted to be a great swimmer and believed that’s what would get me there. As time went on and my record improved, I began to find myself more frustrated about my performance. I was improving but was never first. At the end of my swim career, I was upset and depressed about never being first. Continue reading “ADHD Holidays: Expectations vs. Joy”

Are your reminders annoying?

Do you need visual reminders to remember to complete a task or attend an event? Could your “reminders” be clutter to your mate/roommate? One of my recent clients was very visual. If something was out of sight, it was out of mind, so he left items out to serve as visual reminders.

Dr. Russell Barkley, one of the world’s leading experts on ADHD, tells us that those with ADHD need to focus on the point of performance. Thus, leaving a screwdriver on the kitchen counter is a good structure, as it will remind him that he needs to tighten a few screws on the front porch. Simple enough, right? Continue reading “Are your reminders annoying?”

The Stories We Tell Ourselves Control Our Attention

As a seasoned coach, I’ve learned to see past clients’ “stories” and to use observation skills to discover “basic truths.”

Motivation “basic truth” examples:

Why Decluttering Systems Don’t Always Work

One important fact I’ve learned over the years from coaching folks with ADHD is this:

ADHD is a self-regulation issue with a working memory challenge.

Now, let’s look more closely at the word “memory.”

Many folks with ADHD find clutter distracting. They prefer clean and tidy work spaces to help them relax and think. Interestingly, these same folks wrestle with memory challenges and tend to hold onto things because of the memories they represent; thus creating clutter.
Continue reading “Why Decluttering Systems Don’t Always Work”

Eureka! A Time Management Strategy

One of my clients, a mental health professional, wanted coaching on time management, specifically on how to stop being late. Using the inquisitive coaching process, I began to ask questions, and as things unfolded, it was clear this person was about 10 minutes late 95% of the time.

Given her ADHD, time management challenges are almost always assured. She wanted a “plug-and-play” strategy, because she assumed that there was a structure already out there that I could impart to her for quick results. Continue reading “Eureka! A Time Management Strategy”

Failing Forward at the School of Hard Knocks

In Super Bowl XXXVII, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defensive lineup took the field for the first time. Each player introduced himself on network TV by stating his name and the college that drafted him. When Simeon Rice’s turn came, he stated simply, “Simeon Rice, the School of Hard Knocks“! Get it? Football? Hard knocks? Well, I got the pun and a whole lot more! Here’s what I got…

College (or school of any kind) is mostly about transferring knowledge from one person to another. By reading a chemistry book or a football rule book, you can learn/gain knowledge about how something is supposed to work. But just because you have knowledge about “how” it works, doesn’t mean you can “make” it work. Continue reading “Failing Forward at the School of Hard Knocks”

Distractible vs. Curious

Those close to attention deficit disorder (ADD)—psychologists, psychiatrists, neurolo­gists, therap­ists, counselors, etc.—frequently reference four distinguishing characteristics or traits that are used to differentiate between those who have ADD and those who do not. The four traits are “distractible” “impulsive,” “hyper­active,” and “lazy.”

Continue reading “Distractible vs. Curious”