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Avoid These 3 ADHD Holiday Blunders

Ah the holidays – the warmth of family and friends, the spectacle of football on the big TV, wine glasses and silverware clinking as everyone digs into a bountiful meal…all with a deep sense of gratitude for all our blessings.

Ya. Aaaaaand…the quibbling leading to emotional outbursts, out-of-control kids screaming and playing catch with the cat, red wine and gravy spilled liberally, crumbs and nut shells embedded in the carpet. Freakin’ chaos. Gratitude? Thanks for nuthin’!

Santa-Shiner-ADHDThere’s a reason “liquor store” is the #3 search term in Google Maps just before the holidays.

However lovely or looney your holiday gatherings tend to be, ‘tis the season for dysfunction and disarray, especially for our tribe. And in my experience, there are at least three egregious ADHD Holiday Blunders that befall the ADDer who is not vigilant…

The Relative that Baits You into Confrontation

Maybe it’s a cousin or an uncle or a sibling. Seems every time you’re together there’s a conflagration (or Armageddon if booze is deployed) before the end of the night. Politics, religion, your kid’s behavior – whatever. And our volatile emotional wiring makes it all so predictable that you begin to anticipate the encounter on your way to the gathering.

But here’s the deal…

As you anticipate, you sub-consciously start formulating your retorts and assaults in advance, which starts generating the negative sentiments that attach to the offender’s most offending behaviors. The trick is to STOP WRITING THAT SCRIPT, and alter your anticipation of that encounter by identifying something positive about your nemesis. Yes, you can if you try. And then when you arrive let that be what guides the discourse. When you walk in the door in that mental space, you can undercut the otherwise inevitable. Epic Win.

[Bonus Tip from a Seasoned Hostage Negotiator! According to Gary Noesner, author of Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, “Tone is king here: subtle vocal inflections can impart either ‘I disagree, let’s move on,’ or ‘I disagree, let’s turn this into The Jerry Springer Show.’” (From a NYTimes article – seriously.)]

The Impulsive Over-Spend

You want to do the right thing. You want to be considerate. You want to have some fun. You want to reward yourself and your family for a year of hard work – whether with gifts or gourmet gluttony. And so, you invariably blow a small fortune and piss off the spouse and, come April, can’t understand why there’s only enough funds for another Staycation.

But here’s the deal…

We ADDers are 1) always aiming to please and 2) boneheaded wielders of credit cards. Deadly combo. (Um, ya, I had $100,000 in credit card debt at one time. Bonehead.) Yet we do NOT have to shower anybody with anything to show our love (including love for ourselves). In fact, a great way to love yourself is to respect your money. And the best way to show your love to your family and friends is to do some gifting that doesn’t involve the latest gadget or designer purse or soul-less gift card.

The Over-Subscribe

If you’ve signed up to do the whole shebang – hosting everyone at your place, preparing and cooking everything, etc. – you’re a good person. Bless you! Yes, we ADDers want to be the good hosts, or at least the heroic bringers of unseemly joy. And the more we sign up for, the more we’ve signed up for mistakes, misery and missed opportunities to actually BE with our people. Which we perennially remember just as the hordes begin to arrive – “Ruh-roh. I am swamped!”

But here’s the deal…

Reality is, you don’t have to sign up for nothin’, least of all being the Iron Chef for 17 people. Everybody already LOVES YOU (even Cousin Jackass, in his own jackassy way). So just sign up to bring yourself, some genuine silent gratitude prayers and some authentic eye-to-eye Hey-man-great-to-see-you!’s. And/or at least commit to not over-committing.

 

Wishing you lots of holiday dysfunction-crushing!

-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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ADHD Negative Self-Talk: Extreme Edition!

I’m a loser. A failure. A…
Fraud-ADHD

Some of the most brilliant and successful people in the world think they’re a fraud. Some 40% of successful people, by one estimate. Probably higher for our particular tribe – however we measure our success.

Recently read a New York Times story about Amy Cuddy, the Harvard researcher who uncovered the power of Power Poses. Her TED Talk on the subject is now the second most shared in the history of TED Talks – pretty impressive. As is her career: a wonderful story of a comeback from a paralyzing accident and a prognosis that she would never walk again. And yet…even after recovery and fame and success and a book deal…she felt she was a failure.

She suffered from Impostor’s Syndrome – the “psychological phenomenon in which…despite external evidence of their competence, people remain convinced that they are frauds and don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved” – per Wikipedia.

When one of our blog readers asked me to write more about negative self-talk and strategies to battle its debilitating effects, I was looking for the right angle to complement my previous blog on the topic. Amy’s story provided the spark – cuz Impostor’s Syndrome is Negative Self-Talk: Extreme Edition! And everyone in our teen and adult ADHD tribe suffers from some degree of this insanity.

Before delving into some nuts and bolts of this specter, here are two more examples of hugely successful sufferers…

Claude Monet: Changed History of Art…Thought He Sucked

There’s a great quote from Claude Monet that made me think, now this guy was a classic ADDer. Toward the end of his career, he says, “My life has been nothing but a failure, and all that’s left for me to do is to destroy my paintings before I disappear.”

David Neeleman: Changed Airline Industry…Thought He Was a Loser

Dr. Ned Hallowell, a friend of Neeleman’s, tells this story fabulously. In a nutshell, he dramatically altered the efficiency of travel by inventing the e-Ticket and founded three airlines. On the day JetBlue was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, he was driving back home to Boston after ringing the opening bell when Ned called to congratulate him. “How do you feel, David? Great day, huh?” To which Neeleman replied something along the lines of, “I don’t deserve any accolades. In fact, I feel like a failure.”

Now, I realize these two people were/are in fact hugely successful, so you may be thinking, “Fine Alan. Who cares if they thought they were losers? They had their success and accomplishments. I’m busting my butt over here trying to be successful and THAT’S why I’m frustrated, on top of feeling like a fraud!”

OK, ok. But reality is that these people had a few things in common that got them where they are, one of which may very well be ADHD. And here’s what the one confirmed ADDer from above has to say about our tribe’s ADHD gift (and curse):

“In the midst of all the chaos in your mind, and all of the disorganization, and all the trouble getting started, and procrastination, your brain just thinks a little bit differently. And you can come up with things.” – David Neeleman  TWEET THIS

grad-school-impostor

A disproportionate number of academic high-achievers are likely Impostor Syndromers

 

Do You Suffer (Even a Little) from Impostor Syndrome?

There are three categories of this syndrome (which, by the way, is not officially a psychiatric disorder). If you’re like me, you can probably identify with one or more of the following…

  1. You feel like a fake: You don’t deserve whatever success or degree or job title you’ve achieved. And what goes along with not feeling you deserve the status is the worry that you’ll be “found out”.
  2. Your success was just luck: It’s not because you worked hard or made smart choices. You just got lucky. And so you have little confidence you’ll be able to find more success.
  3. You downplay your success: “Ah, it’s no big deal – anybody coulda done it.” And accompanying this is difficulty accepting praise.

A lot of this is classic Negative Self Talk, and we do it every day. But it has emotional and physical costs. So we really have to stop beating ourselves up and start celebrating our successes. And in a sequel to this post, I’ll outline the ways to do just that.

Stay tuned, you incredibly successful, fabulous, destined-to-be-famous Crushers!

-Alan
P.S. – Have you checked the Crusher Facebook page yet? My goodness – there’s all KINDS of good stuff on there. Over 30,000 fans can’t be wrong! C’mon over and Like us – and make sure you select “Follow” or “Get Notifications” – so that you, um, get all our notifications!

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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Top Tips from New ADHD Awareness Project Book

InspirationalCvr3DwebCropped1As part of ADHD Awareness Month, mega-coach Laurie Dupar has, for the 4th year in a row, compiled from top ADHD experts (yes, including moi) yet another Amazon #1 Best Seller. It’s called Inspirational Ways to Succeed with ADHD, part of the ADHD Awareness Book Project.

My favorite thing about this book series is that it dispenses lots of great tips in ADD-friendly, bite-size bits. And among those bits in the latest book are quite a few that really caught my (mind’s) eye. Can’t fit ‘em all here, but can fit a few of the greatest hits…

Create an Action Board! [pg. 87]

Laurie Dupar has not only put a lot of energy into creating this book project, but has put a lot of her own wisdom into its pages as well. Of the many Tips-de-Dupar to choose from, my favorite is this one.

I’m a big fan of vision boards – as I teach in ADD Crusher Video I/Way 2: Get a Nagging Desire, we ADDers often need emotional stimulation to fire up our motivational rockets. And a vision board loaded with powerful imagery of what we most desire out of life can be a great source of that fuel.

Laurie’s tip is to create a more tactical version — an action board. What makes it more tactical is that you include images of near- and mid-term goals, and also of action steps toward those goals! The upshot is that, “In the process of creating an action board, we spend time considering our goals, finding the right pictures and putting them together [so that] we literally see: ‘This is important’ and ‘This is how to achieve it.’ This clarity and motivation can propel us to action!”

 

How Do I “Get” Me? [pg. 48]

As ADHD coach Judy McNamee says, “…understanding about one’s own brain wiring is a vital link to your child’s acceptance of the challenges of ADHD, and ultimately in the ability to gain or maintain high self-esteem.”

This statement really resonated with me, especially on the heels of Dr. Ned Hallowell’s rousing keynote at the recent ADDA Conference, where he repeated his admonition that we MUST move away from the phraseology of “deficit” and “disorder” if we are to start de-stigmatizing ADHD.

So think about how you talk to your ADHD kids about their condition. Or for that matter, think about how you talk to yourself about your ADHD brain! For instance, Judy suggests using a metaphor such as, “a cell phone trying to juggle too many applications at one time”. Now, comparing my brain to a smartphone sounds a heck of a lot better than “deficit” and “disorder”, no?

 

“We MUST move away from the phraseology of  ‘deficit’ and ‘disorder’ if we are to start de-stigmatizing ADHD.”

Tweet That!

 

Test Myself? You’re Kidding! [pg. 67]

Coach Liz Ahmann, who specializes in helping students succeed with their ADHD, shares a disarmingly simple tip for learning: test yourself. Now, nobody likes quizzes or tests, but if you can make self-quizzing your friend, you’ll be leveraging what research tells us is one of the most effective ways of absorbing new information.

And as I see it, this isn’t just for students – a businessperson could quiz herself before an important meeting or phone call on the key points she needs to make or on the elements of her proposal – ensuring a smooth, confident delivery…a busy mom could do a pop-quiz in advance of a parent-teacher meeting, or on what the key to-do’s are for the week, with similar benefits. So put this one in your Succeed with ADHD toolbox!

 

The (Unsustainable) Adventures of Executive Function Mom [pg. 74]

Diane Dempster, one half of the dynamic duo behind ImpactADHD.com, shares a personal account of thinking she “had it all together” even with three kids all born in the space of 19 months while managing a full-time career – until (you guessed it) her son was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD…and then she lost her job…and then her marriage began to unravel…and then another child diagnosed…and then…Wow.

Her tale will surely resonate with many of you parents. And the short version is that she survived – and even thrived, with a major transition: from trying to be the “Executive Function Mom” for the whole family, to being more “Self-Care Super-Mom”. All with the help of three principles:

  1. A perspective shift toward compassion, which allowed her to view her children’s (and her undiagnosed ADHD hubby’s) behaviors through a healthier lens.
  2. The upending of resentments based on the understanding that, “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen”, i.e., setting expectations for the family high was setting everyone up for failure!
  3. A new focus on herself, beginning with self-compassion and not taking things personally. But also, “actively managing the triggers that put [her] into stress-mode.”

 

Danger-Expectations“Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.”

Tweet That!

I hope you found some resonance in one or more of these. The book really is full of great stuff. If you want to see mine and others’, you’ll have to buy the book! (NOTE: Sales proceeds don’t go to the contributors – but a portion does go to CHADD, ADDA and ACO.)

Happy reading!

-Alan

P.S.: We’ve got some new videos coming to our Crusher YouTube Channel, so if you’re not subscribed yet, please do so you don’t miss them! Lots of great free tips and more to come. -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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Not-So-Obvious ADHD Time Management Hacks

Procrastination Clock ADHDIn the realm of teen and adult ADHD natural remedies, perhaps no subject is talked about as much as time management.

It is, after all, one thing we almost universally suck at. But just as universally, seems we hear similar time management tips over and over. Most are legit and many are powerful if adopted, but at the request of one of our blog readers, I wanted to take a fresh swing at this topic and churn up some effective strategies you might not have heard a million times before.

Here goes…

 

Protein Power Pops

When you’re sitting at your desk trying to think and move things forward, but you’ve hit a wall — maybe in the late morning or mid-afternoon – you’re wasting time. You’re getting declining returns on your efforts and you’re just frustrating yourself. Keep a healthy protein snack handy at all times – nuts/seeds are best. A handful of nuts (NOT sugary or carbo-loaded snacks) with one bit of dried fruit such as apricot tossed in, will fire you back up. And repeated protein pops whenever you start to drag will power you through to quittin’ time or meal time. This can add an hour or more a day to your productive output.

Reel In Rumination

This is a huge time (and energy) waster. As I sit here writing this particular section, I have an occasional “urge” do ruminate on a couple of negative things that came my way today. Nothing too horrible – just the kinds of things my mind instinctively wants to mull over a bit…maybe get some violins playing in the background so I can have a legitimizing soundtrack to abet my feeling bad. But STOP!, I tell myself…with a simple reminder that dwelling is the opposite of propelling

Worry Does Not

Yep. I could’ve indulged in that mini woe-is-me episode. But it would have stolen a good few minutes from me, not to mention some mental energy that I have better things to put toward. So instead, I’m now back to writing this blog. And propelling, not dwelling.

Re-Wire Waiting Time

We waste a lot of time waiting (e.g., in line at the store or post office) – and waste a lot of mental energy being frustrated at having to wait. I don’t like waiting any more than the next antsy-pants ADHD fidgeter. So, when I’m waiting, I’m doing…one of four things:

  1. Deleting unimportant emails (on my smartphone, of course…If you don’t have one yet, get one). I’m not reading important ones unless they’re urgent — just cleaning house, so that when I’m back to work I can focus energy on the emails that matter.
  2. Scanning the headlines. I’ve reduced my media intake dramatically – but I still have to stay on top of certain news and pop culture, so I scan a few media outlet apps on my phone. (And I resist the temptation to surf into titillating but irrelevant articles!)
  3. Meditating. If I’m caught up on email garbage duty and am abreast of top headlines in my business sectors, I…quiet…my…mind. Nothing fancy – just switching from listening to mental noise, to listening to my breathing for a coupla minutes. And I’ll usually throw in a Power Pose…so that when the wait is over and I’m back to work, I’m ready to CRUSH IT.
  4. Problem-solving. When there’s more than a five-minute wait – e.g., a doctor’s office or waiting for my flight to take off – I go into problem-solving mode. What’s something that’s been puzzling or frustrating me lately? What active project needs some mental lovin’? Let me just open up my ADHD-gifted-mind and noodle around with that issue a bit. Hmmm. Ooh! That’s a good idea!

Note that all four have a forward-moving purpose. I’m not engaged in small talk on the phone or texting…I’m not watching the latest video of cute kittens. And just as important, I’m not burning energy on being frustrated – cuz I ain’t really waiting!

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have the same number of hours in a day that were given to Helen Keller, Michaelangelo, Mother Theresa, Leonardo DaVinci and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.     Tweet That!

In closing, if you were to put just two of these three time hacks into regular practice, you’d start seeing your to-do list shrink a bit…all those stickies on your desk might start to thin out. You might even start to feel some control over that slippery clock.

So start by giving one (not all – just one) of these a try and let me know what you experience. Maybe you have a less-known ADHD time management hack of your own you’d like to share. We’re all ears!!

Crush Father Time – or he’ll crush YOU!

-Alan

P.S. – Are you following @ADDCrusher on Twitter yet? Please do, and you’ll start seeing #CrusherTip’s in your feed. Lots of great tidbits of wisdom, tips and solutions. You can of course also search #CrusherTip on Twitter. -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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5 Easy ADD Alternative Treatments for Back to School or Work

BTS ADHD1Well, by now we’re all likely back at school and certainly back at work – including the work of that brutal job called running a household…accompanied by our teen or adult ADHD and maybe even an ADHD kid or two. Every September we post a fresh batch of Back-to-School/Work ADD alternative treatment tips (i.e., things that don’t require a doctor visit!), and here we are, two-thirds into the official month of BTS/W. So….here they are…

BTS/W Tip#1: Remember that SUGAR SUCKS, CARBS KILL and to FEED YOUR BRAIN RIGHT!! Diet is the foundation of your brain’s day (which is why Feed Your Brain is Way ONE in the Crusher curriculum); if you’re eating crap, it’ll be a longer, crappier day at the office or on campus. Skip the sugary cereal, the useless muffin and the disgraceful donut. Go for a protein-based breakfast (and lunch, and snacks) and you’ll immediately feel the difference in your mental fuel tank. Here’s a free snippet from Video I/Way 1, with a little more on ADD diet.

BTS/W Tip #2: When your mind becomes worn engaging study or a tough task, execute a VENUE CHANGE — pick up and move somewhere else. To another room or  even just another chair. Or to the back porch or a coffee shop. The movement gets blood back to your brain…the brief break rests your brain muscles…and the new environment gives you a psychological fresh start. Of all the ADD alternative treatments I use, the power of this simple change-up has surprised me the most. And if you’ve got a spare two minutes before you sit back down, do a Power Pose.

BTS/W Tip #3: Consider getting a coach. Even if you only do a handful of sessions, you can make huge strides with a great coach’s counsel. And increasingly there are opportunities for GROUP coaching, making it very affordable. Here’s a list of some of the top ADHD coaches.

BTS/W Tip #4: Don’t make your ADHD worse than it needs to be!!! There’s a bunch of stuff you’re probably doing every day that will make school/work tougher. Ain’t NO need fa dat!!! Get the free eBook, “5 Things You’re Doing Every Day that Make Your ADHD Worse” at ADDCrusher.com ASAP!

BTS/W Tip #5: Keep your workspace visually clean. Clutter is not only a reminder of your many un-done to-do’s, it affects your ability to focus on the task at hand. Keep a basket or box nearby to store miscellany. Make the surface of your desk like a clear blue sky. While not one of the easiest ADD alternative treatments to execute, once the clearing is complete, you’ll be quite relieved and more eager and able to focus.

I’m not a big proponent of Top 10 Lists of anything, including ADD alternative treatment tips – because they tend to get read but not put into action, since you’re getting too many ideas thrown at you at once. This is why I limit lists to fewer. And in fact, my suggestion is to bite off just ONE of these and make it happen — just pick the one that resonated with you most. Then come back for more.

Wishing you a crushingly good return to school…or work…or the messy house…

-Alan

P.S.: For a limited time we’ve turned on last year’s Back-to-School coupon code — BTS15 — so take advantage of it to save 15% on any risk-free purchases of our acclaimed videos that were selected as a CHADD Innovative Program. Get crushing and use code BTS15 here before we shut it off!

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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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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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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