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The Most Overlooked Barrier to Focus and Powerful Intention

Barrier-to-Focus-ADHD

For 90% of our waking hours, we are typically overlooking the opportunity to choose our thoughts. We are not paying attention to our “inner dialogue”, and therefore letting it play us like a fiddle.

That was the short answer I gave Shell Mendelson, one of our ADD Crusher™ affiliate coaches and an authority on focus and intention, who recently asked my thoughts on the question: “What is the barrier to focus and powerful intention that most people overlook?” I didn’t have to think long on that one.

Even the more emotionally intelligent among us spend way too much time on mental “autopilot” – allowing our pre-determined beliefs and pre-wired responses to run the show. Which results in:

…making less-than-ideal choices in response to external stimuli…

  • We’re not thinking before doing – which gets our keys locked in the car or a child left at the soccer game.
  • We’re not thinking before responding to people – which can often offend or miscommunicate.
  • We’re not thinking through tricky problems as thoroughly.

…stifling creativity…

  • We’re not accessing the “higher functions” of our creative mind.
  • We’re not letting new, sometimes unrelated-yet-synergistic thoughts filter in.

…clouding our brain with exhausting, irrelevant – even harmful – thoughts.

  • We’re spending time senselessly worrying about the past.
  • We’re nervously and needlessly anticipating future scenarios that are not even likely to occur.
  • We’re judging people, things and ideas (including ourselves).

Making things even worse is that this unchecked “mental BS”, as I call it, increases our level of stress (cortisol), reduces oxygen supply to the brain, and generally drags down our entire physical being…and overall wellbeing.

If, on the other hand, you could be in the habit of reminding yourself to pause and be “in the now” at various times over the course of the day, you’d be less stressed, have more mental focus and physical energy, and be just…plain…happier.

Break-Through-Barrier-ADHD

But how? I have a bunch of tricks that work well for me. For instance…

  • Cause the Pause: Whenever I enter or exit something – a doorway, my truck, a conversation, a website – I use that entrance/exit as an external cue to pause and think before proceeding. (See my blog on this.)
  • Cue Good Thoughts: I have posted in my living and work spaces simple reminders, such as a stickie at my desk that reads, “Acceptance. Enjoyment. Enthusiasm.” – meaning that if I’m not in one of those three states…I’m not being present.
  • Quiet = Power: I do mini-meditations I call “Shut-Up-a-You-Mind” – a few seconds or minutes just…quieting…my…mind…before entering into a demanding task or conversation.

I’ve got a million more of these, but those are a few biggies. I hope you’ll try one or two, because if you can…be…here…now…

…you can break down a major adult ADHD barrier to focus and powerful intention.

…aaaaaand CRUSH!

-Alan

P.S. – Not bothering with our Back-to-School Sale this year, but for our subscribers and blog readers we’ve re-activated one of the old coupon codes – BTS15 – which grants a 15% discount on our revolutionary videos. Get back to school or back to work with more focus, less overwhelm and more productivity. Limited time, so if you’ve been thinking about trying ADD Crusher™ with a no-risk results guarantee, go for it using BTS15.  -ab

P.P.S. – We get wonderful emails from fellow Crushers all the time – this from just the other day: “Thank you so much for ADD Crusher, it has seriously impacted my life and given me hope that I can be a success in this world that I find so very difficult to operate in.” Humbling.

P.P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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Undiagnosed ADHD Adults at Risk: Reaching Out to the 85%

At the ADDA conference in Orlando, one of the presentations I gave carried the same title as this blog. And I humbly submit that it was among the most important at the conference. Here’s why: we who enjoy the meanderings, the sense of community and the shared triumphs and trip-ups within our ADHD communities (blogs, Facebook pages, forums, etc.) are blessed with our awareness of our own ADHD. We know what’s what.

Granted, we don’t know all the answers to our foibles or solutions to our weaknesses, but our awareness has put us on the path to those answers and solutions – and ultimately to greater life fulfillment.

But we “awares” are only about 15% of the adult ADHD population. The other 85% are in the dark about their condition. And that non-knowing is often deadly. At the very least, it’s an onerous, invisible burden to themselves, their families and to society. So I wanted to share a little more about the impact of the non-awareness in our midst – along with a few things we can do to perhaps help the 85%.

Some Sad Stats on Undiagnosed ADHD

Here’s the big picture: ADDers – diagnosed or not — are much more likely to have a range of negative outcomes. And whatever the stats for the group as a whole, you can bet the 85% are even worse off. So for instance, a young man with ADHD will…

  • Have a lower education level, higher unemployment and lower lifetime income. While at the same time higher personal medical costs.
  • Have a higher likelihood of smoking and substance abuse. Indeed, he’ll be seven times more likely to develop either a drug abuse problem or an antisocial personality by the time he reaches adulthood than someone who does not have ADD.
  • Be twice as likely to be arrested, about three times more likely to be convicted and up to 15 times more likely to be incarcerated.

[A bit of disclosure here – a big reason this is an important topic for me is that, for much of my adult life, I lived many of the above statistics – and am lucky to be sitting on my balcony writing this right now. Watch this video for more on that…]

Here’s my award-winning TEDx Talk on this…

The Best ADHD Videos of the Year
Healthline

And for a young woman with ADHD? All the above statistics, plus…

  • More likely than her non-ADD counterpart to suffer from an eating disorder, obesity, prescription drug dependence.
  • A higher divorce rate and will be 7 times more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy.
  • And will be twice as likely to attempt suicide.

45percentPrison

 Did you know that up to 45% of our jailed population is ADHD?

I could go on. It doesn’t get any prettier. But we can do some things to reach out on behalf of the 85%…

What We Can Do

I divide opportunities for action into three areas…

1. Alert Your Network

  • Like/Share/Post at Facebook.com/DelawareCenterForJusticeInc (they’re among the few doing groundbreaking work with ADHD prisoners).
  • Like/Share/Post at Facebook.com/TheEightyFivePercent (a companion site to my TEDx Talk on this topic).
  • When ADHD Awareness Day/Week/Month are upon us, do everything in your power to share links, FB posts, Tweets, etc. especially with your NON-ADD network!

2. Take Some Action

  • Click on ADDA’s Legislative Action tab on their site and follow links.
  • Donate to ADDA and ask that your donation be directed toward the undiagnosed and/or corrections.
  • Go to CHADD’s Legislative and Media Action page and follow links.
  • Volunteer to mentor an incarcerated kid.

3. Advocate

  • Tell your politicians at all levels, criminal justice system, healthcare system and both mainstream and social media about the clinically researched link between ADHD, crime, and jail.
  • Advocate for a national change in all areas of the justice system to recognize ADHD as a legitimate neurological disorder.
  • Demand screening, diagnosis and treatment for ADHD and other LDs for all children with behavioral/educational performance problems in public schools.
  • Demand that diagnosis/treatment of ADHD and other LDs be covered by all health insurance as part of a basic package under the Affordable Care Act.

 

If we could each do just a few of these things, we’d make a bit of a difference. Thanks in advance on behalf of the 85%!!

-Alan

P.S. — Any thoughts to share on this? Personal experiences that put you or a loved one at risk in the past?

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

 

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Book Review: Dr. Wes Crenshaw “I Always Want to Be Where I’m Not – Successful Living with ADD & ADHD”

As anyone who’s seen the intro to ADD Crusher™ Video I knows, I can’t read my way out of a paper bag. Slow. Painful. “What was that paragraph I just read? Oh, wow, I just read 14 paragraphs, none of which I remember. Guess I’ll go back and try to read ‘em again.”

I always want coverMany of you know the feeling, or a similar one. So when I come across a book that’s easy, maybe even fun to read, and provides some real nuts-and-bolts alternative ADD solutions, I have to share.

The book, by Lawrence/Kansas City-based based psychologist Dr. Wes Crenshaw, grounds itself in relatable case studies of his many varied clients at his family psychology practice’s two offices. Relatable stories are of course a good thing, but what Crenshaw does is make the book relatable in several other ways:

First, he sets up each chapter with an intro called, “Is This Chapter for Me?”, including a checklist of questions that help us crappy readers know, before we embark on fourteen+ paragraphs, whether that chapter is likely to be of interest to us. Makes me think that every self-help book should consider this: “Hey, this chapter’s about so-and-so. If you don’t give a doody about so-and-so, save your eyeballs and skip to the next chapter.”

Second, the doctor’s a good writer. Meaning he knows how to have fun with his prose without “jumping the shark” and losing credibility. He tries to fit a little bit of grin-inducing wordplay into most pages.

But most importantly, he shares some smart concepts and solutions for ADHD adults and teens that are memorable as they are useful, e.g.:

  • While we ADDers always want to be “somewhere else” (hence the name of the book), we must constantly remind ourselves that, “You are where you are right now and you have to make the most of it.” Indeed, the more we ignore the here-and-how, the less likely we are to create something positive out of our situation.
  • Following on the preceding point, “Somewhere Else is not always better” than Here and Now. In fact, it rarely turns out to be what we think it’ll be. And the more you’re present, the better that “next place” will be.
  • Lastly, I like his overall attitude, summed up in this quote: “This book is about doing what’s hard so life turns out better and easier in the long run.” He calls himself “a tough coach” with no apologies.

This honesty about what it takes to turn the tide on one’s ADD/ADHD struggles is refreshing. Too many products are screaming, “Try this and everything’ll be dandy”. As I say repeatedly in my videos and speaking engagements, you have to take the action, over and over, until habits are formed.

Even for the crappiest ADHD reader, this book is worth the action. Link to it here.

Crushatarianism for All,

-Alan

PS – Read a book that really helped you out? Share it below. We are your peeps!

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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5 Must-Haves to Declare Your ADHD Independence

We ADHD adults so often walk around with our ADD hanging around our neck like a yoke…or drag it around like a ball-and-chain. It’s always there, seemingly right out in the open. Dragging us down, tripping us up, making us feel “apart” from whomever we’re with.

But there’s a point at which successful ADDers flip the script and no longer proceed through daily life with this burdensome feeling. While I continue to hone my anti-ADHD skills and develop new natural ADD remedies, I made the big switch some years ago…

I Declared Independence from My ADHD

In other words, one day an accumulation of actively discarding negative old habits and incorporating positive new habits lifted that weight off my shoulders. I stopped seeing my ADHD as pure burden and more as a relatively minor reality that I could work around every day. On most days, I see the gifts of my ADHD in action.

Looking back at the lead-up to my own turning point, and having spoken with countless successful ADDers having made their own declarations of independence, I’ve boiled down what were the most important prerequisites for liberation. So herewith…

5 Must-Haves to Declare Your ADHD Independence

  1. Get Aware. The more you know about how your brain works and why certain things are harder for you than for other folks, the more quickly you can come to terms with it, observe frustrating situations in a healthier light, and start putting together strategies to whoop some butt.
  2. Clean Out Your Brain. You have unique wiring. You can’t run around gulping sugar and carbs like other people. You can’t go for a week without any strenuous cardio, and you can’t keep running on 6 hours of sleep every night. These all clog your brain. Get these right and everything else gets easier.
  3. Believe in the Gift. It’s easy to believe the “gift of ADHD” is a lot of fluffy rah-rah talk. Some of it is. But our tendency toward lateral (non-linear) thinking along with Hallowell’s oft-stated mantra that “distractability can be viewed as curiosity” are two very real concepts we should embrace.
  4. Judo-Flip Your Emotions. Next time you’re down on yourself because you forgot an appointment or got a poor performance review or just feel overwhelmed, embrace that feeling. Meaning, look it in the eye, grab it by the collar and judo flip it into DESIRE to change things. Convert powerless sadness or frustration into ‘empowering anger’ and determination. This is how we can fire up our brains to provide rocket fuel we otherwise tend to have in too short supply.
  5. Get with a Program. You can’t just flit between trying this tip and then that tip. You need a systematic approach. This is why coaching is so powerful. And it’s the reason the Crusher approach is built the way it is. With a legitimate program, bad habits start fading…powerful new habits start taking their places. THAT’s the difference between a program and re-reading some friggin’ pamphlet.

Now, if you’re serious about declaring your independence, you’ll think seriously about all these. And you’ll consider reaching out to a coach. Or if it’s not the right time for a coach, try a virtual coach program like ADD Crusher™ Videos & Tools.

Declare-Your-ADHD-Independence-Sale

Take no prisoners, you bad-ass revolutionary!!

However you end up ending up there…hope to see you on the other side of your turnaround soon. And put a comment below if there’s a particular barrier keeping you from greater ADHD independence and I’ll try to blog about it soon.

-Alan

P.S. Got a turnaround or other ADHD success story you want to share? Share it below. Don’t be bashful – be proud and share that positive energy with your tribe! -ab

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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How to Stay On Task: Natural ADD Remedy for Getting Stuff DONE!

Quote ADHD Unfinished Task

 AAARRGGGGHHHH!! Why must you be so TRUE, truthful quote?!!

We ADHDers are the undisputed kings of starting-but-not-finishing. And a big underlying reason is that we just can’t seem to stay on one chosen task to see it through.

Is there REALLY a simple alternative ADHD strategy for getting things DONE? C’mon. Staying on task? Resisting the “but first” syndrome? (“But first I’ll do this…But first I’ll do that.”) Not getting distracted from what I’m doing by a million potential squirrels? It’s impossible for the ADDer, right?

Actually, Staying on Task Is Quite Possible

There are two keys to keeping ourselves on track to do the important things we know we need to do. The first is awareness and acceptance of two truths:

  1. That multitasking is for suckers. Research confirms that even the best multitaskers…suck at multitasking. And don’t buy the myth that ADDers are somehow better at it than others. Baloney.
  2. That we are impulsive and have an intense desire to do the things NOW that interest us NOW – rather than what is most important now!!

 

If ever you needed evidence that multitasking is a social illness of ours…

iArm-ADHD

(OK, it’s not a real product. But it COULD be!)

 

A Simple Natural ADD Remedy “Brain Hack” for Staying on Task

The second key to staying on task is the simple-yet-powerful trick of LABELING important tasks and potential diversions. You need three labels:

  1. What I’m doing now.
  2. BS that is not what I’m doing now.
  3. Important, but not what I’m doing now.

 

Labelling

Take a moment right now to design your three labels. What color are they? What shape? Like a STOP sign?

Or more like a tag that spits out of a labeling gun? Or just like mine, above.

Doesn’t matter – as long as you have formed a picture of them firmly in your mind.

 

How to Use Your Labels

Using your labels in the manner described below is nothing more than a simple “brain hack” for productivity…

The way to get firmly engaged in an important task is to determine forcefully that THIS IS WHAT I’M DOING NOW. So, identify that thing you need to work on and mentally label it as such. This alone will make it easier to stay on task.

But the way to really keep from getting pulled away from your important task is to guard your mind’s open window…with your mental labeling gun for things that are “NOT WHAT I’M DOING NOW”.

 

Two Kinds of “Not What I’m Doing Now”

Per the above labels, there are two kinds of “Not What I’m Doing Now”…

“BS” distractions are easily identified, but not always easily dismissed. Again, the ADDer is powerfully attracted to what is interesting at the moment – regardless of its importance. Cleaning your garage looks mighty uninteresting compared to that text from your friend or yet another peek at your Facebook feed. Neither is important, and the way to resist them is to forcefully LABEL them as “BS That I’m NOT Doing Now.”

Important things that are Not What I’m Doing now are even tougher to dismiss, because you CAN’T just swat away an important interruption, because ignoring it will burn you later. But unless it’s urgent, you must dismiss it, in order to finish the important thing you ARE doing now. And you need only dismiss it temporarily – by labeling it, “Important But NOT What I’m Doing Now”, and jotting down a note on a sticky so you can come back to it later. Then return to What You Are Doing Now!

Here’s a free short clip from ADD Crusher™ Video II, with a fun interactive game to practice this “brain hack”

Bottom Line: If you can firmly decide the ONE task you want to do now – and LABEL it as such, you can better fend off interruptions from yourself and others. And GET MORE STUFF DONE!!

Remember also that the reward for deviating to some titillating distraction is nothing when compared with the reward for staying on task and completing your project!

Label it…Crush it.

-Alan

DID YOU KNOW? ADD Crusher™ Videos & Tools are recommended by professional ADHD coaches across the country to help their clients live to their potential. They’re as close to having your own personal ADHD coach as you can get…without hiring one. Try the Crusher approach totally risk-free.

P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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Death to Procrastination, Part 3: Get the Drudgery DONE

Everybody procrastinates. But as you probably know, we ADDers procrastinate significantly more and with uglier consequences.

The good news is, most of our procrastination is caused by mental barriers built on the ILLUSION that we can’t or don’t know how to do the tough stuff. There are three main barriers:

  1. Fear — that you won’t know how to do it (or do it right); that it will take too long;. fear of the impending frustration and unpleasantness; perhaps some confrontation involved in the doing.
  2. Disarray: you don’t know which project to start with or where to start with that project. So, you don’t…start…anything!
  3. Indifference: You don’t feel the urgency. Nothing is compelling you to attack. Even if you KNOW it needs to get done and how to do it, you can’t get motivated — until the 11th hour when you’re in crisis mode (e.g., you’ve run out of clean underwear…or gas…or excuses).

In an earlier guest blog at coach Carol Gignoux’s site, I showed how how the first barrier, irrational FEAR, keeps us from taking action, and I prescribed a simple one-two punch to knock down that barrier to progress. More recently, I disemboweled the barrier of DISARRAY by breaking it into two digestible parts. Be sure to check those out, but first, let’s dispatch with the final one…

Indifference

Indifference as a Barrier to Action

Why do we blow off even things we don’t fear and know perfectly well how to attack? Mundane things like washing the car, sweeping the kitchen, cleaning the litter box. It’s because…they’re mundane: they don’t hold enough interest for us.

Typically-wired folks can easily get all atwitter just thinking about washing and folding. But we need a little more “shiny/sparkly” to get interested enough to get out of our chair. Especially since the continued delay of such mundane stuff doesn’t significantly threaten our wellbeing…or our job, etc.

In fact, we seem to take brief pleasure in not doing something we’re supposed to be doing! Think about it: I mean, it’s kind of comforting to say, “I’ll do the laundry later…Ya, fuggetabout that stinky laundry room…I’ll just watch another episode of Family Guy…Ahhhhhhh, yes.”

The temporary pleasure of procrastination on a non-urgent to-do is about as commonplace to us ADHDers as random thoughts. But bottom line, we know it ain’t right, because we SHOULD be doing that laundry (or washing the dirty car, or fixing that bicycle chain, or whatever). But even the “should’ing” isn’t enough to fire up our dopamine receptors.

 

The Solution to Non-Execution

The solution is to create a greater pleasure in your mind that outweighs that little pleasure of indifference. That perceived greater pleasure will be your motivational fuel. And the way to create it is to visualize—really intently visualize–the rewards of doing the task; to imagine that completed project and the happiness it will bring you — or, the folks around you. For instance…

  • The laundry – all stacked crisp and neat, or…
  • The car all sparkly-sexy-clean…or best of all…
  • Your kids – all smily cuz you baked that cake or fixed that broken bicycle chain.

Visualize-the-Outcome-ADHD-Remedies

Just spend a quiet moment anticipating the the sights and sensations of the positive outcome of your actions, and you will actually begin a physiochemical cascade that generates interest and motivation…and the ability to get up and get to work.

 “The wise does at once what the fool does at last.”

– Baltasar Gracian

Remember, YOU have the control of this mechanism. Not the laundry. Not the TV. YOU do. And know that fear, disarray and indifference begin to evaporate when things are begun!

This is a powerful natural ADD remedy! So paint that mental picture. And crush procrastination!

-Alan

PS – Let me know if there’s a topic or challenge you want attacked. Already working on a couple of your requests…feel free to suggest more!

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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Death to Procrastination: Crush this ADHD Barrier to Action

Everybody procrastinates. But we ADDers procrastinate significantly more and with uglier consequences, because we procrastinate most on the tough tasks — and the tough tasks tend to be what we most need to be doing.

The good news is, most procrastination is due to mental barriers built on the ILLUSION that we can’t or don’t know how to do the tough stuff. There are three primary barriers:

  1. Fear — that you won’t know how to do it (or do it right); that it will take too long;. fear of the impending frustration and unpleasantness; perhaps some confrontation involved in the doing.
  2. Disarray: you don’t know which project to start with or where to start with that project. So, you don’t…start…anything!
  3. Indifference: You don’t feel the urgency. Nothing is compelling you to attack. Even if you KNOW it needs to get done and how to do it, you can’t get motivated — until the 11th hour when you’re in crisis mode (e.g., you’ve run out of clean underwear…or gas…or excuses).

In an earlier guest blog at coach Carol Gignoux’s LiveADHDFree, I showed how how the first barrier, irrational fear, keeps us from taking action, and I prescribed a simple one-two punch natural ADD remedy to knock down that barrier to progress. Be sure to check that blog out, but first, let’s dispatch with the next one…

Disarray as a Barrier to Action for ADHD Adults

As mentioned above, disarray has two sides: deciding what task to work on, and once that’s decided, figuring out how to get it started.

The first SHOULD be easily dispatched with: just ask yourself, of all the things on your to-do list, if you could only work on TWO of them today – what would they be? In most cases they’ll be among the tough and/or important things you’ve been putting off.

AH, you might say, “But my problem is that I can’t decide which two things because my mind is a jumble and I can’t evaluate them and…AHHHH!! – they ALL feel equally important!!”

Stickies-MULTITASKING-ADHD

Too many to-do’s = mental disarray – but there IS a way through it!

That’s OK. Classic ADDer dilemma. But think about this: if you truly can’t make priority distinctions between these things, you’re fully justified in picking ANY one and ATTACKING IT! So pick one – at random – and start attacking it. Pull the trigger. It beats the hell out of not starting ANYTHING cuz you’re unable to prioritize!

Disarray Random ADHD

Can’t prioritize among many to-do’s? Don’t let that stop you from action!

 

But I Don’t Know Where to Start!

Now, once the tough task has been identified, often you don’t know where to start or what the best approach is or how to yada yada yada…and a bazillion other thoughts that keep you from starting.

The trick is…START. It doesn’t matter which step is the first. We often procrastinate waiting for some brilliant insight that will make the project easy. But those insights only appear when the work is under way. So the longer you wait to start, the longer you postpone the solution.

So what if you’re not attacking it perfectly? Attacking IMPERFECTLY beats the CRAP out of not starting it!!!

There’s a great quote from Dr. Neil Fiore that sums up this simple truth powerfully: “Keep starting – finishing will take care of itself. If you must worry, worry about starting, never worry about finishing.”  Indeed, you can start many times every day. Always focus on what you can do next. One little step at a time. One start at a time.

Bottom Line: If you can get out of the trap of thinking you have to PERFECTLY choose the next task and then PERFECTLY execute and finish it, you can really start getting things done.

Next time out, the trick to crushing procrastination on things we know perfectly well how to do, but just…don’t…feel…like…doing…uggghhhh. (i.e., Indifference. Here’s the link to Death to Procrastination, Part 3.)

‘Til then, Crush away that disarray!

-Alan

P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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Fire Up Your ADHD Brain in 2 Minutes with Power Poses – Natural ADD Remedy

Mentally fatigued? Nervous about an impending meeting or presentation? Just feeling a bit out of sorts? You can re-boot yourself by doing this for a couple minutes (understandable if you want to do it in private)…

Power-Poses-ADHD

This is not a joke. Not even hyperbole. It’s science – about as sciency as it gets. And it’s a powerful natural ADD remedy of sorts. Fact is, research shows that at least two things happen physiologically when this pose is struck and held for two minutes: stress goes down (cortisol reduction) and confidence and clarity go up (testosterone bump – yes, even for the ladies…in a good way).

Fire Up Your Brain in Two Minutes with Power Poses

Featured in a fascinating TED Talk, Dr. Amy Cuddy’s research on body language shows how we can change our own body chemistry — and even other people’s perceptions of us — just by changing our body position.

Posture not only can alter our emotions, it can affect how confidently we approach situations and solve problems, which in turn affects how powerful we appear to others.

In other words, power poses like the one above (a few others have been identified) not only result in greater self-confidence, they increase the confidence others have in us.

And here’s a kicker: We positively influence our own mood and the perception of others when we’re happy and smiley. Even when we force a smile (like, by holding a pen in our teeth). So you might say that, to feel happy or powerful, you can “fake it ‘til you make it” with power poses…and power smiles.

“Poses are powerful,” said Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard. And her studies build on earlier research showing that “expansive” poses (as opposed to low-power poses, e.g., slouching, or “closed” stances) can…

  • Help recovering alcoholics from relapsing.
  • Help subjects take the initiative and take risks.
  • Even increase pain tolerance.

But back to firing up the ADHD brain:

Bottom line, expansive poses can re-set your weary mind, improve mental performance and positively affect how you’re perceived. And the physiological change lasts for 15 to 20 minutes – or longer.

So, when feeling fatigued or stressed, or before heading into a stressful situation, strike a two-minute power pose. And always avoid slouching or otherwise “folding into yourself” or “making yourself smaller.”

“It’s about becoming so comfortable and feeling you have so much control over how you present yourself that you become more your authentic self,” says Dr. Cuddy. “It’s about quieting all those voices that say ‘I don’t belong.’ ”

Hmmmm. Sound like something that might help an ADDer? I do it all the time. And it @#$@&! works.

So give it a go and crush it, you Wonder Woman/Superman/King of Siam!

-Alan

PS — Anything you’d like me to write about? Any particularly stubborn challenges vexing you? Leave a note below and chances are I’ll help you crush it. Seriously. -ab

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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3 Simple Tricks for Battling ADHD Overwhelm

How do you deal with the feeling of overwhelm?  You know — when your to-do list is so long it hurts to even look at it…there’s a constant nagging worry that things are falling through the cracks and you’re gonna get burned big-time. Worst of all, no solution or end in sight. Reality is, few of us really deal with a surge of overwhelm. Some just keep chugging through it, some temporarily check out (escape), others totally freak out.

Before my adult ADHD diagnosis, my way of “dealing” was booze and drugs. I checked out whenever I could…and ended up a junkie. Not very effective. Post-drugs, my new way of battling overwhelm was to just work harder. More hours. More coffee. More ignoring friends and family. Not healthy.

Gradually I adopted what I call Practical Zen Brain Hacks. And as I write this blog, I’m about to head to the ADHD Coaches Organization Conference in Phoenix, where I’ll present some of my Zen Brain Hacks to ADHD coaches from around the world, among whom such natural remedies for ADD adults are an important addition to their toolbox.

Here are three of the tricks I’ll be sharing, each a simple-yet-powerful way to quiet the gut-churning, totally unnerving, emotionally disturbing state of overwhelm…

1. Check Into the Now

We’re naturally wired with a bias towards negativity.  Seeing things as more “threatening” kept us from becoming lunch when wandering away from our cave. But we’re not living in caves any more.

So when you’re tempted to check out or freak out when in a state of overwhelm, step back from the edge and recognize that, right here and now, even in this moment of overwhelm and stress, there actually is no serious threat or problem – because if there were, you would already be attending to it.

In other words, if you really faced a serious issue right now, you would’t be reading this blog – you’d be dealing with that issue. Upshot: there is no problem in the Now.

In the Now, we are freed up to act more powerfully:

…to NOT be paralyzed by that intimidating to-do list.

…to NOT check/freak out.

…and instead, to think more clearly and creatively about dispatching with a to-do.

One-Thing-To-Do-ADHD

Get into the Now more often, and your to-do list can start looking – or at least feeling — a lot more like this.

2. Stop Trying to Finish

Overwhelm is made worse when we realize that finishing even a few to-do’s seems impossible. That feeling paralyzes us…so we can’t even START, let alone finish. I say, screw finishing! Forget about finishing!

The brilliant Dr. Neil Fiore says, “Keep starting – finishing will take care of itself. If you must worry, worry about starting, never worry about finishing.” I.e., never look at a big project and say, “I have to finish that dang thing”. Cuz the thought of having to finish abets procrastination: the more painful a task is perceived to be, the more we try to avoid it.

So never set out to “finish” anything. Just start it. Again. And again. You’ll be more likely to take action (and ultimately, finish).

3. Flush the Brain Toilet

Overwhelm grows out of accumulation. Things build up. Stress builds up. And our brains get backed up. Yet a healthy shot of brain Drano® is simply to do something exhilarating, or at least invigorating. E.g.:

  • About once a month I have to race my motorcycle. I call it “flushing my brain toilet”. If I don’t, my brain plumbing starts to feel clogged. Seriously. Granted, that’s an extreme form of exhilaration; but you can flush your pipes with something that’s a little scary (try something new!), really beautiful (a fabulous sunset) or somehow inspiring (see an intense live performance).
  • You can also do something invigorating right now. Drop and do 20 push-ups. Stand up, head outside and go around the block. I guarantee when you get back in your chair you’ll be less stressed and better able to get stuff DONE!

Alan-Flush-the-Brain-ADHD

How do you flush your brain toilet?

What exhilaration and invigoration have in common is changing your brain chemistry: boosting your good stuff (dopamine, etc.) and repressing your bad stuff (cortisol, etc.). Super-simple. Super-effective.

…as are all such Practical Zen Brain Hacks. More of these to come in future blogs, and of course a few are taught in the Crusher videos.

Hope you can soon put these to work undercutting that overwhelm!

Flush ‘til you crush!

-Alan

P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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3 Deadly Time Wasters -and Fixes- for ADHD Adults

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

…and boy, do the days tend to run us ADHD adults, cuz we let so much time slip away needlessly.

 Indeed, if there’s one thing we ADDers need more of, it’s TIME. So if there’s one thing we should never be doing is WASTING IT. And here are three of the deadliest (and most common) time-wasters, along with some simple time management fixes that act as natural remedies for ADD

1. The But-First Syndrome: Heard of this one? Even if not, I promise you’ve experienced it. You start on a major, important task…but just before getting fully engaged, you say, “But first I gotta…” and you dart away to do that other thing. During which you blurt, “Oh, and let me also just do this one other thing…” and then another…yada yada. You know the rest. Hence The But-First Syndrome – a massive time waster, cuz NOTHIN’ gets completed, least of all, the major, important task you first set out to complete.

The Fix: The key to staying on task and resisting But-Firsts is to LABEL thoughts and things. If you were to use a mental labeling gun to forcefully label the task at hand as “What I’m Doing Now”, you’d be less likely to But-First yourself away from it. All the more so if you then label potential distractions as “NOT What I’m Doing Now”. Here’s free access to ADD Crusher™ Video II, Way 8, with the full treatment on this alternative ADHD strategy: Do What You’re Doing Now

 

2. Screensucking: A term coined by Dr. Ned Hallowell, it refers to wasting time in front of electronic screens. For instance, TV has rightly been called the great preventer. It sucks precious hours from our life and undercuts our productivity. The three hours a day the average American is watching TV are three hours preventing growth and accomplishment. And we ADHD adults are more likely to have addictive attachments to TV – and all electronic consumption.

So for anything with a screen – Facebooking, video games (including the particularly stupid ones on our phones), online shopping or gambling, etc., we must ask ourselves – what is the VALUE of the time we spend with these vs the VALUE of doing other things?

Screensucking

The Fix: Make a list of your top electronic behaviors. Go ahead – do it right now, cuz otherwise you’ll never do it! All electronic behaviors – necessary and frivolous. Rank them in descending order of time spent over the course of a typical week. Circle the biggest offenders: those eating most time and being least important to your success. Then make a pledge, right here on the spot, to reduce or eliminate one or more of those behaviors.

Think about it: How often do we say to ourselves, “I just don’t have enough time to do everything I need to do”?  Yet, NOTHING horrible is gonna happen if you do NOT watch another re-run of Two and a Half Men or check Facebook every 10 minutes. By honestly facing up to our screensucking crimes, we can free up gads of time.

 

3. Doing It All Ourselves: We ADDers waste HUGE amounts of time trying to do things at which we suck – or just needn’t be doing ourselves. Things that people around us can and will do FOR us – if we are WILLING and ABLE to hand them off.

Delegate-Authority-ADHD-ADDCrusherIf you could delegate just two things this week, you’d free up tons of time. I know, easier said than done. We’re terrible at delegating because 1) it requires giving a subordinate a clear roadmap to completion of a task, which we suck at; and 2) delegating means asking something of another person, which we don’t feel entitled to do…we’re always aiming to please.

 

The Fix: The above two barriers to delegation apply mostly to major, complex tasks. But there are lots of to-do’s and routine tasks that can be easily delegated – either to a family member (e.g., laundry to one of the kids) or a paid service (e.g., laundry to a wash-and-fold service). Take the time right now to identify one or two things you could delegate, even if just on a trial basis. Keep it simple. Key thing is to flex that delegation muscle so you can begin to build it up.

 

Lets’ face it. We can’t stop time. But what we CAN do is cut it down to size and start taking control of it by pulling on our Big Boy or Big Girl Pants and facing these time wasters head-on. So there ya go. Three deadly time pirates that, if reduced even modestly, would make your ADHD waaaay more manageable.

‘Til next time…

-Alan

PS – If you like no-BS insights and suggested fixes, think about how powerful a video “virtual coach” could be in slaying some of these classic ADHD miseries. We are humbled and honored that thousands have benefited from the Crusher approach to treating ADHD symptoms, and I hope you’ll give our videos and tools a no-risk try one of these days. Check out the various packages here. -ab

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of www.CrusherTV.com, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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