Welcome to day 1 of my 30 Posts in 30 Days challenge. I am excited to begin what I am sure will be a challenging and rewarding roller-coaster of a journey, and I invite you to jump on board and join me.

However, I have two immediate obstacles in my way that I need to address. The first is that I have the motivation but not the inspiration, so what will I write? The second will be a challenge within this challenge and one I struggle with daily; how do I stay on track to completing my goal and stop my ADHD brain from derailing me?

I figured what’s a better place to start than combining both obstacles into one article.

Five Tips for Showing ADHD You’re the Boss

A Challenge Within a Challenge

How do I manage my ADHD brain’s tendency to be sucked into a never-ending loop of overthinking and analytical questioning? What clinicians call “counterproductive excessive thinking” – revisiting the same idea repeatedly.

Another definition is what Dr. Charles Parker calls unmanageable cognitive abundance associated with ADHD. These are situations where people with ADHD become stuck in thinking that they cannot focus and attend to their intentions.

Here’s a sample of what that sounds like to someone with ADHD. (The abridged version)

  1. How do I break down the barriers between thinking about and writing something?
  2. What original idea could I write?
  3. Does it need to be an original idea, or should it be related to XYZ?
  4. I’ll need to include…
  5. If I include X, then I certainly need to have…
  6. What would others find interesting or helpful?
  7. Should I ask others to provide a theme?
  8. How many words should I set as a target? Do I need a target?
  9. Do I need to follow any rules or guidelines?
  10. Stop.

Are you interested in learning more? You’re in luck! Follow this link to read more about How a person with ADHD thinks.

10 Methods to Manage Your ADHD

Like most people with ADHD, I’m never satisfied with achieving a goal and constantly improving that goal. Ultimately, the goal is always to create, build, grow, and focus on things that work for me. This means I am constantly trying to remove distractions and eliminate wasted time. This means that I am continually searching for ways to help me manage my time, remove distractions, and assist me in finding that perfect balance of speed, form, function, and design, including technology, applications, and more traditional methods.

Here are 10 I’ve found that works for me.

  1. Put on your headphones to tune out any distractions.
  2. A clutter-free, clean, and simple environment.
  3. Setting Deadlines, even if they are ambiguous. Open-ended projects are not my friend.
  4. Work backward. Once I have a deadline, I find it easier to plan back from the goal.
  5. Delegate whenever possible. I understand what I am good at and when I need help.
  6. Compartmentalize, and chunk up the work into small blocks of focused time.
  7. Plan for your periods of downtime. E.g., Commute traffic, Dr. Appointments, or a fire drill.
  8. Create a network. We all need people we trust to vent to when needed and ask for advice.
  9. Utilize cloud-based apps that have utility and that you can use across devices. E.g., Box, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, O365, Evernote, Todoist, Toggl, etcetera
  10. Invest in a password management application, i.e.,1Password, Keeper, or Dashlane.

If you want to learn more ways to help you or a loved one manage ADHD, drop me a note.

Data is King

If you have ADHD, you know that data is king. It doesn’t matter how you’re living your life. If you’re not tracking what you’re doing and giving yourself a baseline on how to do it, if you’re not able to see your progress and not track where you’ve been and decide where you’re going, you won’t move forward. As Seth Godin said during his interview on FTN, “Forward motion is thrilling. Find a way to get forward motion.”

5 Keys to Living with Someone Who Has ADHD
  1. Remember that on those occasions, get the best of us; it makes us even crazier than you.
  2. If it’s an ADHD moment that caused us to screw up, there’s no need to remind us; we already feel beyond crap. We are horrified, humiliated, ashamed, and many others.
  3. Accept that we are naturally curious. We love asking questions.
  4. When you can help us eliminate choices, please don’t reply to questions with “I don’t know” or “Anything you want is fine” because I can assure you it’s not okay with an ADHD person. Instead, limit the choices by reframing the question, “I’m fine with either Mexican or Chinese for dinner; you pick one.”
  5. Show us that you comprehend what we’ve said and we’ve been heard. Not just “uh-huh-ing” or “okay,” if we don’t feel like we are being listened to, then we can’t let it go and move on to the next point and will repeat it.

Well, that’s about it. Almost.

Final Tip:

Always keep a notebook or notebook app near you. Making a list and checking them off is rewarding and helps us keep our ADHD brain at ease.

Last thoughts:

Learning to use your new powers isn’t going to be easy; it will take a lot of vigorous work and disciplined focus on your part, but I believe you’ll find it’s worth the effort. There are two quotes I’d like to leave you with that I feel summarize these sentiments.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine.”

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” ~ Vidal Sassoon

Never Stop Working

Okay, that is it; day 1 is in the books. Now to plan for day two.