Recently I was talking with a group of adults with ADHD.
One person mentioned that when she is having challenges related to her ADHD she will take a step back before considering solutions, and remind herself, “It is my brain wiring.” This helps take her out of the realm of shame and blame.
But, if you are like many adults with ADHD, you may try to address your challenges without first considering what would work best for your style, preferences… and, yes, brain wiring.
And when you don’t see immediate improvements in your ability to follow through on what you’ve read or heard works for “everyone else,” you may say…
- “It must not be important to me”
- “I guess I’m not motivated”
Maybe you need to take a step back…
I Can Implement “It” Like Everyone Else
And consider whether you have mismatched expectations. That is, for each tool or strategy you try, you may assume you should be able to implement it in the same way and have the same immediate results as all the “raving fans.”
Yes, you may find tools and strategies that work for you right out of the box. But it is more likely you will need to adapt them to work with how you operate, including your ADHD. By doing this you will find a way that works best for you.
Below is an example of a system that many like, but needs a bit of tweaking for most adults with ADHD to use effectively.
Getting Things Done
Quite a few clients I work with have tried David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology prior to starting our work together. And, though some aspects work well for them, I commonly hear the lament that it just has not really worked the way they expected… it is too complex and overwhelming.
This is no surprise because GTD is founded on assumptions that are generally not true for many adults with ADHD, as evidenced by David Allen’s quote below.
“…everything I propose is easy to do. It involves no new skills at all. You already know how to focus, how to write things down, how to decide on outcomes and actions, and how to review options and make choices.”
You are certainly not alone, if you are thinking, “These are not easy!” In fact, these are all the executive functions that do not come easily for adults with ADHD.
But this does not mean you cannot use GTD or any other system that relies on these executive functions. It does mean you may need support in learning and practicing those skills needed to effectively implement a strategy like GTD so it works best for you.
It Will Be Easy
You may also make the assumption, perhaps unknowingly, that, if you have the skills and know how a system or tool works, it will be easy to implement. And, because you hold this perspective, when you encounter challenges along the way, you may become disappointed and even consider giving up.
Acknowledging that there can be a pretty steep learning curve to learning a new strategy or skill in the beginning may help you
- persist when you encounter the inevitable speed bumps.
- seek out support to make the process of learning a new strategy or adopting a new tool easier.
- build the patience that does necessarily come easy for many adults with ADHD.
And, over time it can become easier as you adapt the tools and strategies that are uniquely suited for you and your ADHD.
It Will Work
You may also expect that once you find something you think will work well with your style, preference and ADHD your work is done. Finally!
But, while you may make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time in choosing a strategy, system or tool, you will need to experiment with it for enough time before you can know for sure that it will work well for you.
Knowing this at the onset will allow you to
- yes, have patience with the process.
- ask yourself what is working and what is not working as you experiment.
- choose to stick with it or try something else after a sufficient period of time.
- eventually choose the best option for how you operate.
You can find what works best for you, really.
Are you curious whether there is support to help you build such a system?
Take advantage of a Complimentary Consultation with me. We can explore what kind of help, including coaching, you could use to help you move forward.