ADHD: It Isn’t Always Easy

Often, I hear clients say, “I just need to pick up the phone, sit down and write, stick to my schedule,” etc., but they don’t follow through. My guess is, if it was as simple as taking the next obvious step, they would have done it by now. At this point I usually ask them to pause and reflect on what’s holding them back. What’s hard about what they’re trying to accomplish?

Continue reading “ADHD: It Isn’t Always Easy”

Which Version of ADHD Do You Have?

Getting a diagnosis of ADHD can be a good thing and a bad thing. It is a good thing because the individual becomes eligible for accommodations and can take stimulant medications to level the playing field. The bad thing about the diagnosis is that, once labeled, people quit paying attention to individual differences in ADHD.

Officially, the Diagnostic Statistics Manual is used to diagnose ADHD, and from time to time, the manual is updated based on current research or updated best practices consensus. Currently we are on the DSM-5 version. Continue reading “Which Version of ADHD Do You Have?”

The Joke’s on You

There are all kinds of coaches, such as life coaches, personal coaches, and executive coaches. I consider myself an attention coach, and my number one goal is to help individuals and businesses pay attention to the right thing…. because if you’re paying attention to the wrong thing, you’re likely paying attention to, or looking for, the wrong solution.

Becoming an attention coach has been an evolution for me because it took time for me to unlearn what I had been paying attention to for many years. Once I started to turn the corner and began to pay attention to attention, it took about half a second to realize you can’t tell anyone they are paying attention to the wrong thing because what they are paying attention to is based on their beliefs.
Continue reading “The Joke’s on You”

Attending to the Concepts of “Broken” and “Wrong”

In this article, we are paying attention to the concepts of “broken” and “wrong.” Both are a function of attention or what one is attending to. Why this theme? Because the notions of being broken and being wrong are huge obstacles for those with ADHD.

If you attend to being broken, you can’t see being fixed. If you attend to the concept of wrong, you can get hung up on perfectionism. Dr. Mark Katz has a presentation, titled “There Is Nothing So Wrong with Us That What’s Right with Us Can’t Fix.” That is brilliant! Let’s think about different ways of looking at things. Continue reading “Attending to the Concepts of “Broken” and “Wrong””

The Complexities of ADHD Meds 

You get diagnosed with ADHD, the doctor prescribes a stimulant and that is it; right? Wrong! Getting the right stimulant in the right dose delivered at the right time is more of an art than a science. As Dr. Charles Parker puts it, the meds have to pass through the body to get to the brain. Metaphorically, if the digestive tract, immune system, metabolism, and other systems are under construction or out of whack, meds can be detoured away from the brain and out of the body or get bottlenecked and wreak havoc.
Continue reading “The Complexities of ADHD Meds “

Narrow Attention, Scanning Attention, and ADHD

Have you ever paid attention to the difference between narrow attention and scanning attention? Narrow attention is like texting. Attention is focused narrowly. Scanning attention is like driving a car. You’re scanning signs, speed, other cars, spatial changes in relation to yours, etc. Note, you can’t use narrow and scanning attention at the same time. That’s why texting while driving is so dangerous.

In my work as a coach and in my studies of attention, it seems to me intuition is scanning attention. Let me illustrate. Have you ever looked at someone and your intuition tells you something is different? I have. It’s frustrating, because your gut says something is different, but you can’t prove it, that is, until your narrow attention notices he had shaved off his mustache or lost 10 pounds. Many times, our intuition (scanning attention) picks up on something, but since we can’t isolate it with narrow attention, we often override what our gut is telling us. Continue reading “Narrow Attention, Scanning Attention, and ADHD”

Exercising Your Attention

Attention is as simple as it is complex to understand. In an interview I did with noted ADHD expert Dr. Russell Barkley, he noted that, if you are to inhibit anything, you must be aware of it. As I’ve learned, understanding and observing one’s own attention to become aware of it can be the single best tool to help those with ADHD.

Coaches reference mindfulness, the Eastern religions meditate, and mental health professionals have the notion of metacognition, or thinking about what you are thinking. Each has its differences, but in the end, they are all basically attention exercises that help one become aware of attention in service to managing it. Continue reading “Exercising Your Attention”

Thinking about Thinking

Every once in a while, you stumble onto a phrase or something that’s worded in a way that puts things into perspective and brings an aha because you can finally articulate it and wrap your mind around the concept. I once heard it stated, “I don’t know who discovered water but I’m sure it wasn’t a fish.” To me, this is a very profound statement, because there are some things in this world that are so obvious that they’re missed because they’re so obvious.

Continue reading “Thinking about Thinking”

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”