Ready, Set, Go!

 

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“A body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force.”

Sir Issac Newton

 

Newton’s first law of inertia might explain why getting started is often the hardest part for those of us with ADHD. You might have noticed that when you are at rest it takes a lot to get you moving. Getting started is especially difficult if the task is hard, boring, repetitive, unrewarding and perhaps a little challenging. I believe that those of us with ADHD are more familiar with inertia than most folks.

Try to notice how inertia plays a role in your life.

  • Do you struggle to get yourself out of bed in the morning? Inertia.
  • Can’t begin to write that report that was due last week? Inertia.
  • Feel not just stuck but glued to the couch? Inertia.
  • Can’t bring yourself to clean up your mess? Inertia.
  • Are you late to everything? Even the things you want to be on time to? Inertia.

Now try to figure out what kind of outside force you need to help you to get moving. The same things might not work for everybody. If you have untreated depression or anxiety you need to address those conditions first. However, if you have the garden variety of executive functioning deficits these outside forces might work for you and are worth a try.

  • Use mantras: Say “ready, steady, go” outloud, or try “feet on the floor” for getting out of bed.
  • Create a plan and write it down in Big, Bold Letters. Keep your plan in sight.
  • Set reminders and alarms on your phone.
  • Use a timer to remind you to get started.
  • Ignore the negative chatter in your brain and encourage yourself with positive self-talk.
  • Work with a coach to keep you focused on your goals.
  • Encourage yourself: Tell yourself that you can do it.

Whatever you are trying to accomplish you will need to take the first step again and again. Getting started may always be difficult for you and taking that first step might require using outside forces or strategies that support you.


 

Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach who works with teens, college students and adults with ADHD. Kathy helps them with time management, planning and prioritizing, initiating and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and other life skills. Kathy is the co-author of, Managing Your ADHD: Tips and Solutions from A-Z. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in NYC. For more information visit her website: www.bravolifecoaching.com or email Kathy at kathy@bravolifecoaching.com

Asking for Help

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Many of us don’t like to ask for help because we feel it is a sign of our being weak, confused and vulnerable. From an early age we are taught that we should be self-reliant and capable of handling every task and situation that comes along. We feel that we should be able to figure out how to do things and get things done. The problem is that nobody is good at everything and some things we are bound to suck at.

There are additional challenges when you have ADHD. There are things that our brains are just not good at. Things like time management, planning and prioritizing, remembering what to do, getting started on and finishing tasks, and organizing our thoughts, papers and possessions. These are the things many of us tend to struggle with because that is the way our brains are wired. We tend to avoid taking on certain tasks because we don’t want to admit that we need help along the way.

Asking for help is actually a sign of strength. You have to be brave to recognize your personal limitations and be willing to accept someone else’s expertise to accomplish your goals. It means that you are ready to try doing things in a different way.

The good news about asking people for help is that most people genuinely like to help when they can. Helping others makes us feel good. When you ask for help you allow someone to share their gifts and expertise with you.

When asking for help be specific about the kind of help you need. Instead of asking for help with childcare in general ask someone to pick up your kids at school and bring them home on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Think of something you need help with and ask for help. You might ask a friend or family member but you can also pay people like a coach, professional organizer or therapist to help you. There is no shame in asking people for help and asking others for help may lead you to opportunities to help others.

Kathy Sussell is an ADHD coach who helps teens, college students and adults with ADHD improve their time management, planning and prioritizing, initiating and finishing tasks, organizing paper and objects and other life skills. Kathy is the co-author of, Managing Your ADHD: Tips and Solutions from A-Z. She is the organizer of the ADHD Women’s Meetup Group that meets every month in NYC. For more information visit her website: www.bravolifecoaching.com or email Kathy at kathy@bravolifecoaching.com

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