Lots of people have contributions to help the ADHD tribe
I hope each one of you reads all the comments here, but I’m not sure. Maybe you don’t read ALL of them? Here are two recent ones that are too good to miss:
I’m still not good with lista. But I do use some helpful tips from this page: the list of one. When I catch myself in a Netflix-induced stupor, I think “if you could do something today, what would it be?”.
I improvised a couple new ones for myself: When I’m sitting around, bored and think “I need to try and do xyz soneday”, I immediately think “what’s stopping you know?” (Usually, nothing, so I go ahead and do it).
When I’m procrastrinating on reinforcing a rule I’m trying to learn (like teeth or skin-care) by thinking I don’t feel like it, I stop and think “are you really making the conscious decision of not doing your routine?”
These variations of the list of one have made an impact in my life!
The point I want to emphasize is that Ram came up with her own strategies that work for her. I offer strategies that many people find useful, but they are examples, or templates, to help you design your own. Also, this comment gives good examples of using self talk, and in a positive way, and also of what I call “mottoes.” One of my best mottoes is “Do it now, do it right, do the hard part first.”
Sue Williams Brawn
Fresh Start Coaching
Calgary, Alberta Canada
Great post Doug as always. With regards to my own to-do lists – I tell people I’m like a toddler who can’t stand their food touching – I can’t have say, financial and family obligations on the same list. My brain can’t process that. So I created a word template that divided my to-do list into domains – work, financial, volunteer, family, social, errands. It made it easier for me to figure out what the priority would be during the time I want to focus on work, for instance, and it keeps me from doing other things during that time. If I need to pick the most interesting thing to do because I need a dopamine boost, at least I’m choosing the most interested work-related activity during the time I’ve designated as work time.
I find my ADHD coaching clients abandon lists when they don’t really know how to make them actionable – often it’s a challenge with how to figure out priorities. Once we do that, and we work with their learning styles – ie. big white boards with coloured sticky notes might work for visual learners, notebooks or paper planners for the tactile learners – the list is more likely to be acted upon. I do find a lot of tactile, visual people try to put lists on their phone – but keystrokes don’t help us remember, and the list disappears into the phone and isn’t visual – the phone isn’t always the best place to keep lists if you have ADHD.
Sue is emphasizing some of my favorite points:
Everyone is different, unique, although we ADHDers share many of the same problems. For example, setting priorities is a booger. You need a strategy that works for you when you are stuck, or that helps you not get stuck – when you “need a dopamine boost.” Lists are essential, but they don’t work unless you know how to use them. And, an important point that I have not emphasized, writing things down helps us remember them. I often take notes during a talk or a lecture, even though I know I will probably never look at them again. But the writing not only helps me remember the key points, but also helps me keep my focus on the talk.
Thank you Ram and Sue.
I love comments.
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