Tag Archives: ADHD

meet little billy …

“If you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out… Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”
― Randy Pausch

Who is Little Billy?   He’s a supercharged kid with a learning disorder.   He comes to life through the animation of Chance Raspberry a Simpson’s Cartoon animator.

If you have ADHD or any other learning disorder this cartoon is designed to help those identify and see their challenges in a new light, a not so serious light that may offer some support and understanding for those who don’t know much about learning barriers.

Meet ‘Little Billy’ and see the story unfold.

You can find out more at, Little Billy’s website.    So, if there’s a Little Billy that you know that is charged with a little bit more energy than everyone else, or chases after the next sparkling thing let them meet him.

Where did the time go?

“It is the idle who complain they cannot find time to do that which they fancy they wish. In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is wanting.”   Sir John Lubbock

“I don’t have enough time.”

“I’d like to live a balanced life.”

Procrastination often anchors people’s dreams and desires to the shore of inactivity and results in regret. It takes a burst of energy to move out of the depths of inaction and often that energy is lost in the thoughts of fear and failure.

When there is more activity pushed into a days worth of time than can be consumed it can result in a sense of failure.   Sometimes it is packing into the minutes things that are of low value, easy to do and complete but they may be things that don’t really matter.

1. What really matters?

2. What value will it produce?

3. What will it feel like to accomplish those goals?

Success is about making every effort to complete the goal.

Now more than ever there are tools that can help you use time to your advantage.

1. Simpleology

2.  Evernote

Having your tasks, goals and activities are in one place can help you organize your day better and improve the opportunity for results.

What time management tools do you use?   How well are they working for you?

Experience magic moments

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonize.  The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” ― George Eliot

Take a moment to reflect back on something that was a magical moment for you. Perhaps it was taking the time to look at the splendor of autumn, or perhaps it was something else. Whatever it was, remember it and then remember the feeling you experienced at that moment.

Those special moments which may happen many times in a day are caused when dopamine is released into the brain.   That dopamine creates a feeling, a feeling of satisfaction, joy, happiness, pleasure, tingling, or something that just makes you feel good.   Our brain likes those small rewards and they can be small moments, perhaps the taste of a great cup of coffee or a great meal at your favorite restaurant or just getting something done for the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we are able to do something or experience something positive the brain gives us a small reward of dopamine.     Video gamer’s are constantly being given small dopamine rewards as they accomplish small victories in the game and that might be the reason games can be do addictive, lots of small rewards and that sensation can become habit-forming.

The idea is to find those things that produce those moments of joy.   Create work that can provide moments of joy.   The people who have found work that is integrated with their strengths may have many small moments of success, small dopamine moments that push them on. If you’re not experiencing moments of joy in your day then perhaps you aren’t fully living the way you want to be.

What would allow you to experience more joy in your day?

Frustration … dealing with ADHD

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.”  T.F. Hodge

People with ADHD often find that everyday challenges  leave them very frustrated.     “It should be easy” is what they hear and after spending more time than most a person with ADHD can easily find themselves still at the starting line.   It isn’t just a one-time event it seems that everything takes longer, even simple things and that leads to frustration.    Frustration leads to anger and for some it leads into depression.

How does someone with ADHD transform the negative experience of delayed success into something that doesn’t lead to frustration?    In your mind you may be thinking this should only take a few minutes to do and then an hour passes by and the desired outcome isn’t close to being realized.     When you were thinking about the result how much time did you think the task would take?   What are the steps you have to take to achieve the result you want?    For each of those steps how long does it take an expert to complete those tasks and how long does it take a novice to complete those tasks?    How many times have you completed those same tasks?

What leads to frustration is an unrealistic expectation on how long it will take to get something done.   For someone with ADHD executive memory function isn’t what it is for most people and it means adjusting the time it takes to complete a task until it becomes routine.    Repetition of the same task or similar task is going to result in improved outcomes.   Over time there will be improvements in how long it takes to accomplish the same time of work.

Here is a simple five step process to reduce frustration:

1. Identify – Is this something you have done before or is it something new.

2. Analyze – what needs to take place to get the right result.   Break it down.  Do I understand clearly what it is that I need to do.

3. Plan – create a step by step plan, an outline and estimate the time it will take to do each step.   How close is the plan you have now to what you thought it would be.

4. Execute – go do it.  Often people with ADHD wait, and then wait some more waiting for the energy level to increase so that something happens.   Take action, get a result.

5.  Reflect – what worked, what needs to be adjusted, what can success can you celebrate?

Frustration occurs when the expected outcome for any task or activity exceeds what you believe should be true.    The gap between what actually happened and your version of the truth leads to thoughts of failure.    Thoughts of failure amplify the internal messaging that are negative.   “I am not good enough”, and repeated often subconsciously or consciously leads to a build up of negative hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) and those are toxins that the body has to process.    The body wants to run away from the threat but when there isn’t something to run away from  that energy has to dissipate in some fashion and it turns into frustration and anger.

Dr. Orloff suggests practicing in dealing with frustration through being patient:

Would that be something you’d be willing to try? What do you think would happen?

It’s too much

“The sheer availability of information… has launched a tsunami of seeking… at the same time, the information glut contributes to pervasive cynicism, fragmentation, and a sense of helplessness. ” Michael J. Gelb

It seems that more and more people are suffering from the effects of “too much”.   “Too much” information, too much work, too much busyness, too much stress, too much …

The “too much” symptoms look a lot like ADHD when you start peeling the onion a bit.    People start losing focus,  are unable to manage time effectively, forget simple things, and generally feel overwhelmed with their world.   The Wall Street Journal just published an article that talks about the fact that many people may be approaching some practical limits of the mind.

Executive function impairment which is thought to be the central issue in ADHD is now impacting a greater part of the population.   Recent ADHD statistics show that ADHD is rising in the population.    With the rapid increase of information (games, TV, video, internet, etc.) the ability for the brain to process all that information is resulting in stress and decreased brain function.

Looking at the ADHD statistics you can see that there is an increase in overall ADHD incidence.    The rate of increase of ADHD could be tied to many factors but one thing that is probably the most pressing is the rate of information growth and information saturation in the lives of young people.

While the appearance of ADHD seems to be growing along with the growth of information it could also be tied to a  linear logical system of education where the creative and physical aspects of education are being eliminated.   When executive memory function starts decreasing there is a rise in negative behaviors in teenagers and young adults.   Finding ways to reduce brain overload is going to be critical as we move towards a more information rich society.

In children executive memory function is increased  by taking time to engage in physical and creative arts.    It is precisely the things that are being pulled out of the education system marginalizing more and more children.  If there was a resurgence of arts and physical activity there would be a wholesale improvement in the education system.

Take this a step further and we see adults being inundated by information and not having the time to take a break from the onslaught of data.    Moving away from strict linear logical work would have great benefits.

What do you do?

1. Take creativity breaks

2. Exercise and increase your oxygen uptake.

3. Work on exercises that focus on short term memory work.

As the influx of information increases the symptoms of ADHD will likely increase as the more right brained thinkers slip under the tide of more information.   The rate of information growth isn’t going to stop it is only going to increase and in order for children and adults to thrive in this new age more focus and more energy should be applied to practicing things that increase the executive memory function.

Paul Saffo noted that, “Point of view” is that quintessentially human solution to information overload, an intuitive process of reducing things to an essential relevant and manageable minimum.  In a world of hyper abundant content, point of view will become the scarcest of resources.”

What do you think?  Are we teetering on the edge of information overload?  Are we damaging the next generation of leaders by removing the arts and physical activity from our education process?   What would you do?

 

beyond frustration – living with ADHD/ADD

“People who fail to achieve their goals usually get stopped by frustration. They allow frustration to keep them from taking the necessary actions that would support them in achieving their desire. You get through this roadblock by plowing through frustration, taking each setback as feedback you can learn from, and pushing ahead. I doubt you’ll find many successful people who have not experienced this. All successful people learn that success is buried on the other side of frustration.”  Tony Robbins

On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = low, 10 = high), what is your level of frustration?   It could be any aspect of your life that is causing you some doubt, some fear and anxiety and that all leads to a certain amount of frustration.

For those who live with ADHD/ADD frustration is a common theme in their lives.  Finding the career that matches their abilities is often hard to find and that uneasiness with work causes frustration.   Imagine not being able to organize your day effectively or efficiently and then having little interruptions cycle in and out of the day, that adds to the frustration of just trying to get a day to work.

If you experience ADHD/ADD what are your biggest frustrations?    What would you like to change in your life?    And, what has worked for you?   How do you get your life back under control when it seems like it is just going off on a long tangent?

Frustration just adds to the stress of life and if it isn’t managed it can easily push someone over their stress threshold.   Once the stress threshold is exceeded then there is withdrawal, anger, sadness, and grief or a combination of those stress mechanisms.

So, what is frustrating you?

“The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and “mangled mind” leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict.”  Elizabeth Drew

Coaching as a tool for those with ADHD/ADD

“I prefer to distinguish ADD as attention abundance disorder. Everything is just so interesting . . . remarkably at the same time.” — Frank Coppola, MA, ODC, ACGA

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) affects approximately 5% of the population in America.  The impact of ADHD/ADD is significant in terms of lost opportunity and decreased productivity for those impacted.   While there is no cure for ADHD/ADD there are many ways to cope with the disorder.

While coaching is an effective method to work with those to who are diagnosed with ADHD/ADD coaches are not qualified to make the diagnosis of ADHD/ADD and those who feel that they have many of the ADHD/ADD symptoms should get a reliable diagnosis to ensure that the symptoms are not caused by something else.

ADHD Categories

There are three categories of ADHD (ADHD includes ADD). 

1. Combined ADHD, which is a combination of all ADHD symptoms.

2. Inattentive ADHD (this is what most people call ADD) and shows up as having difficulty concentrating and loss of focus.

3. Hyperactive-Impulsive behavior and is recognized by high activity, high energy behavior.   These people are able to focus they just can’t sit still.

What does ADHD look like?

The symptoms that are most obvious are:

1. Difficulty paying attention, a loss of focus in a conversation, compulsive daydreaming, easily distracted, constantly shifting attention from one thing to another and not completing tasks on time, disorganization, carelessness (partially completed work, or high incidence of mistakes), inability to focus in on the conversation (switching subjects in the middle), lower social intelligence (inappropriate comments and remarks, lack of contextual sensitivity).

2. Can’t sit still, must keep moving and talking, a general restlessness.  

3. Impatient (want it now), speaking before thinking, intruding on others (with different conversations), need to be first in line

While these symptoms show up in everyone from time to time most of the time “normal” individuals are able to manage their behaviors.  The person with ADHD is going to have a history of being easily distracted, on the go and being impulsive.   In school ADHD may result in social isolation, lower grades and greater discipline problems.   The ADHD person will likely not even be aware that they are different and see themselves as normal and wonder why others are behaving as they do. 

WebMD has a quick ADHD assessment that can be taken to get a first look to see if ADHD might be what you are dealing with (you or someone you know) .

Once a reliable assessment has been made for ADHD/ADD options for treatment or coping with ADHD/ADD can be made.   While there is no cure for ADHD there are many ways to minimize the impact that ADHD can have.   One of the options for those with ADHD is to work with a coach so that the individual can start creating new positive habits.  

Coaching ADHD clients

There are numerous benefits of using a coach for people with ADHD.   A coach can work with the client to improve confidence and a positive self-image which will help in all aspects of life from career decisions to improved relationships.  Some of the topics could include:

1. Daily planning  (getting the day organized)

2. Creating small moments for focused activity (reducing hyperfocus as well).

3. Using color to create focus (as the mind is distracted, intentional distraction helps provide focus).

4. Carelessness reduction   (improve the quality of the work)

5. Accountability (non-judgmental methods to boost confidence while increasing commitment)

6. Generating positive self-esteem

7. Organization of space, clutter reduction in small steps lessening the chance of overwhelming the ADHD person.

Coping with ADHD

Getting the right amount of sleep, adequate exercise and having a good balanced diet are good first steps in managing ADHD.   Other interventions include coaching which is a great tool to help create the necessary coping mechanisms to thrive in a world that is continually getting more chaotic.    It may be that in the future that those with ADHD will be in demand as they are often highly creative and always thinking and those qualities will be what businesses and schools desire, but until then coping with ADHD and creating positive habits will help those with ADHD be successful.

I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.” — Steven Wright, comedian