I want to share with you the steps you can take to figure out and maintain the best practices to help you work with your ADHD.
Because your needs are unique and change takes time I hope you will
- spend as much time as you need at each step.
- circle back to a step as needed.
- be patient and compassionate with yourself along the way.
After all you are not after the “quick fix.”
While this may seem daunting at first, it will seem less so the more you practice.
These steps are the same ones I use with my clients to guide them through the process of creating a customized strategy to enable them to take action and complete what is most important to them.
Step 1 Identify What You Want
You ultimate goal in working with your ADHD is to figure out the best practices, the ones that are uniquely suited to you to help you take action.
But not just any action.
You want to take those actions that are in alignment with your goals and values. So, your first step is to clearly identify these so you know you are on the right path.
Take a look at Sue who, while not a real person, is a composite picture of the people I have worked with.
Sue, a Sales Manager, values doing well at work. She also really values balance in her life so she can spend time with her family and pursue other non-work related interests. In order to honor these values she has a goal of being more productive and organized at work so she will not have to take so much work home.
What goal can you set to support what is important to you?
Step 2 Make It Specific and Measurable
In order to create a plan to reach your goals based on your values, you need to have a clear vision of where you are going.
The best way to do this is to make your goals specific and measurable.
So, Sue needs to figure out what it means to be productive and organized at work. While there are certainly other factors, being able to schedule and complete her tasks each day is one part of this larger goal. She will know when she has achieved this by tracking how much of her daily plans she completes.
Being able to visualize where she is going helps Sue to create a path to becoming productive and organized, her ultimate goal.
Do you have a goal in mind? Try making it specific and measurable.
Step 3 Determine The Gap
Once you have made your goals specific and measurable the next step is to understand what will help you achieve these.
For Sue, one of the stumbling blocks to being able to reach her goal of “scheduling and completing all of her tasks each day” was not being able to estimate time accurately in order to create a realistic plan.
Day after day she did what was in front of her (attending scheduled meeting, answering client calls as they come in, etc) – letting her impulses direct her activities.
What is one thing that you think might be getting in the way of reaching your goal?
Step 4 Use A Solution Focused Approach
The next step is to use what you learned from above to create a customized strategy that works with your unique needs and preferences to address your challenges.
In order to create this strategy you will need to identify and experiment with the:
- skills you need to learn.
- specific systems and tactics.
- right tools for your needs and style.
Because getting to your goals is not about trying harder or exerting more will power.
Sue decides that part of the solution to her challenges was learning how to estimate time better. So, she practiced by estimating how long she thought certain tasks would take and then timing how long they actually took. Over time her “time sense” improved, and she was able to schedule her tasks more accurately
Through a process of experimentation you can also figure out solutions to your challenges.
Step 5 Maintain Your Progress
And once you know your best practices the next step is to put in place a maintenance system.
How do you do that?
Sue decides that she didn’t need to practice estimating time any more. But she would take time during her weekly review and planning session to evaluate how she is doing with completing her scheduled tasks. When she found herself slipping (happens), she would consider whether she was using her best practices. And “get back on the horse” when needed. She also enlisted a friend as her accountability partner to help her stay on track.
Other ways to both create and maintain your progress are:
- acknowledging your successes.
- addressing your limiting beliefs
- getting support
- considering how you can upgrade you environment to support you.
Yes, working with your ADHD is a lifelong process and needs maintenance. But it can be easier!
p. s. Need Help?
Contact me for a complimentary Strategy Session. We can talk about how you can get started creating the change you want.
Not sure if you want to do this by yourself?
We can also discuss my coaching services and explore how I can help guide you through the above process of creating a customized strategy to enable you take action and complete what is most important to you – without the struggle.