First of all, let’s get something straight. ADHD is very real and very complex. That complexity leads to ADHD showing up for each individual differently. Add that to the fact that is an “invisible” brain based disorder it is understandable that there is confusion about ADHD in general society.
ADHD most often includes difficulty getting and staying focused, modulating attention, controlling impulsivity and self-managing behavior. While these symptoms are directly related to the ways the brain works (brain cells & neurotransmitters), there are specific groups of mental (thought process) skills that coordinate the way the brain works. These are commonly called “executive functions,” and they involve things like organizing and planning, shifting attention, regulating emotions, self-monitoring and holding information in mind for easy recall. Executive functions are essential in every aspect of our lives.
If you are impacted with ADHD, you experience a breakdown in some executive function areas chronically and at a higher level than other people. However, your level of difficulty in an executive function area will vary from how it shows up for someone else with ADHD. This contributes to the confusion about “what ADHD is” in society that we talked about earlier.
My work as a coach is to support those with ADHD in taking the Actions that meet their Intentions. We build structure, processes and find tools that support lapses in executive functions. This enables you to take actions consistently and show up as your best self. When you are willing to actively manage your ADHD and build a structure that works for you, your stress will decrease and your productivity and relationships will improve. Coaching is fantastic for college students as well as adults that have decided that coping and accepting “good enough” is no longer working for them.
Time management is no one’s favorite topic but essential to success so we often spend a lot of time in that area. Here are 3 tips that work for many of my clients that will get you started:
Keep it Visual– Many people try schedule using their phones for calendaring so they can always access it. This is fantastic but often not the complete solution, since if you have memory challenges you often forget to check your phone when it is tucked away. Try adding a very visual calendar into the mix. A wall or desktop calendar kept right in your face where you will see it several times a day can be a big help. Keep the MUST’s on the visual calendar. When you review your schedule; double check that the MUST’s are in your phone along with your other smaller priorities so they all go with you.
Schedule It– Often new clients are trying to use a calendar system of some sort but they are only scheduling big tasks and commitments on the schedule. Our goal is to get all those smaller details onto the calendar so you aren’t trying to keep everything in your head. When you have a memory lapse, it is okay! Your calendar is now a useful support to keep you on track.
Color Coding– Color coding not only helps priorities catch your attention, it is fun! Use your creativity and give each type of task a color or assign colors by family member. Colored markers, sticky notes, stickers, it doesn’t matter- use whatever works for you to get things popping and keep priorities top of mind.
I would love for you to drop me a note and tell me how these tips worked for you.
Girl meets Boy. Cute Boy. Very Cute Boy.
Charismatic and Funny Boy. Boy with ADHD.
Girl knows little about ADHD. Boy only knows how it causes him problems in school.
Neither Boy or Girl have any idea of how ADHD impacts their relationship.
Years & years of roller coastering emotions, struggle, confusion go by.
It didn’t have to be so painful.
If the Boy and Girl had understood how ADHD impacted him. How ADHD impacted her.
How ADHD impacted their Relationship.
Books about ADHD and the impact on the person diagnosed are plentiful and very valuable resources. Coaching is often talked about as a fantastic option for improvement in executive function deficits such as managing priorities, staying on track, initiating, etc. What is often neglected is the very real impact of having a partner with ADHD is on the non-ADHD partner.
My own experience led me to discover ADHD coaching but in the back of my head there was always the thought:
“The Non-ADHD partner needs you more. Certainly, they benefit in some ways from the progress their partner with ADHD is making through coaching. But they DESERVE more”
It is now time for that voice to come to the forefront and be shout from the rooftops, for the non-ADHD partner in Las Vegas to have their own coach. I am very excited that you have found ADHD Partners.
The Las Vegas tourism board has done a fabulous job of imprinting the slogan on my brain. “What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas”
implies an escape from normal life, freedom to do let go and be impulsive with no future consequences. Opulent Entertainment, excessive gambling and drinking are what the city has been known for from the start. Casinos are designed to pull you in, keep you there while you lose track of time and money spent while perpetuating the fantasy that there are no consequences. Only the here and now.
Don’t get me wrong! Escaping normal life to rejuvenate and recharge is an important piece of the puzzle in a well-balanced life. (Don’t have to ask me twice) However, the freedom to make poor and impulsive choices with no future consequence is a fantasy that is being sold. Our choices always create waves that circle back to us eventually and without forethought and regard for the impact of choices on the future the wave can knock you down and pull you under.
Of course, as a coach that specializes in ADHD, my next thought is: “What happens in Vegas, when you live in Las Vegas and have ADHD?” Common challenges related to ADHD are impulsivity, hyper focus on favorite activities, and difficulty connecting choices in the here and now with progress towards future goals and dreams. When you live in a city that never closes and is designed to promise “reward” for impulsive behavior and hyper focus how can you keep the waves from pulling you under?
Here’s to living well with ADHD in Las Vegas!