10 Tools For The ADD "Gifted"
10 Real life techniques for making Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) your best asset in today's instant information world.
We live in an age of fast food, fast information, and fast thinking. We want it now, we want it right, and we want it all!
Those of us, who have struggled to stay focused on just one task or two, may actually have “leverage” and an advantage over our highly attentive and carefully analytic counterparts. Here is why-
Information and ideas are shot at us, from every direction, all day long. Our computer, phone, tablet, television, search engines and social media, text messages, and actual people are vying for our attention at every turn! Those of us with the “gift” of ADD can actually thrive on the madness once we learn to organize it. Here are a few ways to do just that:
1) Keep a list! –The list, the whole list, and nothing but the list. I know it sounds simple, but we ADDers love the “idea” of being organized. We will be tempted to make many color coded, alphabetical lists, for each day and every area of our life. Then we will promptly lose one or more of said lists and immediately forget we had an appointment with our Coach yesterday.
2) Use your calendar (not the one on your phone) – It’s ok to set yourself a reminder on your cell phone or desktop. But it is very important to write every appointment down. I highly recommend putting pen to paper. I believe something happens in the brain that triggers our ability to remember and our commitment to follow through, when we write it down verses typing it out.
3) Give yourself a time cushion – Give yourself extra time so you’re not thrown when the unexpected pops up (like getting lost downtown for the 30th time), and you don’t let others down who are counting on you.
4) Sometimes say NO – It’s ok to turn down a job or appointment that you don’t believe you can commit to. Be honest with people and they will respect your integrity.
5) Stop talking – Our brains are usually thinking faster than our mouths can keep up. And we are sometimes afraid that if we don’t get the words out….”uh what was I saying? Oh yea!” We will forget them. If you find yourself rambling or hitting 10 topics without finishing a complete thought….just stop talking for a second or two. And refocus on the most important thing (or two) that you want to get across.
6) Develop routines – Some examples may be: Getting in the habit of putting your badge for work, in the same pocket of your computer case every day. Keeping the meat and cheese in the same drawer in the fridge. Buying gas for your car every Tuesday. Scheduling Doctor’s Appointments only on Mondays. Eventually, you will begin to think “Was I supposed to go to the Dentist today?…Nope it’s Wednesday!”
7) Take Inventory – Before you head out the door, take 2 extra minutes and ask yourself the following: Where am I going/what am I doing? Do I know how to get there? What will I need when I get there? Doing this will save you SOOOOO much time later when you are scrambling to find your report or locate your trusty list.
8) Become the constant Project Manager – In the business world, good project managers are constantly looking at all the events, activities, and tasks needed to finish their project. Think of your life as a “project”. Leverage your ability (and need) to focus on many tasks at once. Consider taking a project management course or readings up on styles and tools; use those techniques to manage your life on time and on budget!
9) Hit the Gym- It’s widely known in the ADD world that stimulating the body helps settle the mind. The next time you need to read a boring article, listen to a lengthy Mp3 speech, or generally focus your thoughts. Try doing it while on the treadmill or elliptical machine. Your body’s movement may help your brain stay moving.
10) Breath- Taking 3 deep long breaths in and out your nose increases oxygen levels to your brain, lowers your blood pressure, and helps you stay calm and collected. The next time you have a big meeting, scary interview, or find yourself having trouble focusing. Just Breath!
There are hundreds of techniques to focus your ADD in a positive way, these are just a few that I have used myself and share with my Coaching Clients. For more ideas and specific ways you can use your best attributes to overcome your roadblocks, consider working with a Life Coach.