Welcome to
Working with ADHD

Here you will find everything you need to know about running a successful business when you have ADHD.

If you are reading this, it’s highly likely you are creative, fun, passionate, and think-outside-the-box type of person. Although, as you are reading that impressive list, you might not be ready to embrace all of those qualities in yourself yet, because your self esteem may be a little low. [Read more...]

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How to Snap Out of ADHD Brain Fog So You Can Be Productive

How to Snap Out of ADHD Brain Fog So You Can Be Productive: working with ADHD procrastination Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield ADHD success ADHD focus ADHD entrepreneurs ADHD business owners ADHD business coach ADHD brain fog ADHD & business ADHD ADD **Marcia is on vacation this week, so we’re re-running an older article we think you’ll enjoy. Use this strategy and let us know how it works for you!

So there you are, another morning with brain fog. And there’s that important project you know you should be working on, but you can’t get through to your brain about actually working on it.

Yes, you know what you should do. And you know how to do it. But you just can’t get your brain to go along with you.

Here is one of my favorite ways to work with your ADHD (instead of fighting against it) to get your brain to pay attention:

Step 1.

When you notice that you’re drifting or have that “mired in mud” feeling and just cannot do the thing you know you should be doing, or, you watch yourself getting involved in something else you can “get out of the way quickly,” which of course is just procrastination -- the very moment you notice it, STAND UP. If you’re already standing up, take a step back, shake your arms, jump up and down a few times, and stand at attention. (Okay, you may feel weird doing this, but it’s worth it.)

Step 2. 

From there, give yourself marching orders. Whatever it is you should be doing, say it [Read more...]

How to Finish What You Start When You Have ADHD

How to Finish What You Start When You Have ADHD: overwhelm Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield getting side tracked follow through finish what I start finish projects ADHD ADD Starting a task or project and not seeing it all the way to the end is a classic ADHD trait. Most new projects seem exciting at the start, but then there is a danger period when the novelty has worn off and before the feeling of accomplishment kicks in.

As you are reading this, think of a project that you started but haven’t finished yet. Why did you stop?

Some common reasons are:
1) I wasn’t sure it would work out
2) No one around me thought it would work (don’t you hate nay sayers!)
3) I got overwhelmed
4) I got stuck, a problem came up and I wasn’t sure how to solve it
5) I got busy with other things and got side tracked

Questioning yourself is the number one reason why we don’t finish what we start. Plus, once we begin to question ourselves, we are much more [Read more...]

How to Curb Your Impulsivity When You Have ADHD

How to Curb Your Impulsivity When You Have ADHD: Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield impulsivity executive functions Dr. Ari Tuckman ADHD and impulsivity ADHD ADD If you have ADHD and run a business, you know your impulsivity can sometimes get you in trouble. You want to buy that new piece of equipment right now, without checking your budget. You want to implement that new business direction right now, without having thought it all the way through. You want to say what you want to say now, before you forget it, even though it means interrupting your client.

Not good. Not if you want your business to be successful.

So why are you so impulsive? It all has to do with creating a pause.

Dr. Ari Tuckman explains the relationship between impulsivity and the executive functions. “Executive functions” is an umbrella term for a set of mental processes that help connect past experience with present action. They include working memory, sense of time, remembering to remember, emotional self-control, self-activation, hindsight and forethought, and problem solving.

Dr. Tuckman says the executive functions “live in that little space between stimulus and response.” People without ADHD are able to hold back an automatic response to the world around them (like the urge to react or do something right now). This critical ability to stop creates a pause that allows them to think through the various response options and then choose the best one — and it usually happens in a split second. This gives the executive functions time to do their thing.

People with ADHD have difficulty stopping long enough to create that pause, which means you can’t [Read more...]

How to Set and Achieve Your Goals When You Have ADHD

How to Set and Achieve Your Goals When You Have ADHD: setting goals mini goals Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield goal setting goal planning ADHD ADD At the end of May, I joined a group to train to run a half marathon. On the first day of training, we were all given a training schedule. That piece of paper laid out exactly the number of runs and the distance I needed to do every week for the next 16 weeks. When I got that training schedule, I felt a surge of positive energy. I felt empowered. The information on that piece of paper was the key to achieving my goal: to run a half marathon.

When you are an entrepreneur with ADHD, setting goals is one of the keys to success. However, goal setting isn’t always easy when you have ADHD.

Some ADHDers don’t like to set goals because they have set goals in the past, and then they’ve been disappointed if they didn’t achieve the goals. Others find they are so busy fighting daily fires, that taking a even a few minutes to plan impossible. And some people just aren’t sure how to set goals.

This week I challenge you to set a goal. Here are the steps:

1. Identify one long term goal. (Just one for now.) [Read more...]

How to Always Appear Smart when You Run a Business and Have ADHD

How to Always Appear Smart when You Run a Business and Have ADHD: talking points overwhelm memory Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield ADHD ADD Do you ever wonder how people in the public eye—politicians, executives, media personalities—manage to sound so intelligent in interviews, and even when caught seemingly off-guard? (Most of the time, anyway.)

Many of them are no smarter than you and me, and some of them may even have ADHD. So how come they can pull off sounding smart when it counts, and you can’t?

Does any of this sound familiar?

1.) The telephone rings and it’s a client you really want to impress. You’ve been working hard on his project, but your brain picks that moment to freeze up and you can’t remember what the heck you’re supposed to talk with him about, or how to say it.

2.) You go to a business networking event and someone asks you what you do. Oh my god, you can’t bring the information to your speaking function. What is it you do again? And how do you talk about it so it makes sense?

3.) You’re making a point in a business conversation and someone asks a question. You do know the answer, so you spend 5 minutes going off on a tangent and lose the attention of everyone else about the main point you really wanted to make. And of course, you can’t remember the main point now, anyway. Darn!

Enter talking points

Remember the smart politicians and media personalities we talked about earlier? They can have the same problem. The difference is that they’ve had [Read more...]

How to End Self-Sabotage When You Have ADHD

How to End Self Sabotage When You Have ADHD: self sabotage over promising multi tasking Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield crave excitement boredom ADHD ADD Photo credit: Skot Lindstedt

If you have ADHD, then you probably also like excitement. Excitement can come in many ways, from positive experiences, negative things, and also little things you might not even associate with excitement.

Positive excitement can come from:

  • Trying new things, like visiting a new city
  • Romance, nothing is more exciting than the first heady weeks of a romance
  • Adrenaline activities, like a roller coaster ride or sky diving

Excitement can also come in the not-so-positive forms:

  • Trying new things, like your 3rd new job in a year
  • Romance, extra marital affairs
  • Adrenaline activities, like speed driving

There are also much more subtle things that you probably don’t associate with excitement, for example:

1) Multi tasking, such as having 100 windows open on your computer, jumping from one task to another without spending more than a few minutes on each.

2) Packing your [Read more...]

Why Can’t I Focus When I Know I Should?

Why Cant I Focus When I Know I Should?: Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield focus dopamine cant focus brain chemistry ADHD and focus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you have ADHD, you know how hard it can be to focus on things that aren’t interesting to you, and how easy it is to get supercharged by things that are. You’ve probably heard this, or something similar, your whole life: “If you can pay so much attention to ___________________, why can’t you ever finish  ___________________?”

It can happen at home or at work. The tasks that are mundane or boring seem almost painful to you, and you have many procrastination and avoidance tactics to get around doing them. You’ll move mountains to get to the interesting stuff, though, and work through the night with laser focus and brilliant productivity. It almost doesn’t make any sense, to others or to you. How can you work so well at that, when you can’t do this?

Your interest level changes the chemistry of your brain

According to Dr. Thomas Brown and the recent studies into the science of ADHD, your interest level actually changes the chemistry of your brain, allowing release of chemicals that enable you to accomplish tasks. Here’s the catch—it’s not within your conscious control.

It all happens on a subconscious level, before you even get a chance to think about it.

So you can’t say, I choose to be interested in this task, therefore I will now release dopamine and/or norepinephrine now so I can accomplish it. Nope. It doesn’t work that way.

In a non-ADHD brain, a chemical is automatically released so messages jump the gap of brain receptors when a task is considered, making it easy to focus. In the ADHD brain, we don’t release and [Read more...]

Guess What Justin Timberlake and You Have in Common?

Guess What Justin Timberlake and You Have in Common?: Marcia Hoeck Justin Timberlake Jacqueline Sinfield focus on strengths confidence ADHD ADD Justin Timberlake came to Montreal! JT is a brilliant performer; he can sing, dance, has an incredible stage presence, and is funny and genuine.

If you are thinking the photo was taken a long way away from the stage, you are right. It was! 15 months ago, tickets went on sale at 10:00 am, and at 10:06, those were the best seats I could get. Crazy (in a good way), right?

Justin Timberlake has a huge fan base; the noise at the concert was insane, not from the music but from the cheering crowd. Everyone was very happy to be there. Imagine having the power to make that many people happy by doing something you love to do.

Did you also know that JT has ADHD?

JT, like other successful people with ADHD, uses it to his advantage (it takes a lot of energy to perform 2 hours and 30 minutes). He focuses on what he is good at and what he enjoys doing.

When you have your own business, you are in the best position to focus on what you are good at. In fact that is probably why you started your business in the first place . . . to focus on a skill or talent you enjoy.

However, after a while of being in business, it’s easy to let ‘not-so-good-stuff’ creep into your day. You might agree to work with a client on something outside of what you are good at. Or you do your own booking because you don’t want the expense of hiring someone. Or you forget that you can make your own rules and do things you feel you are ‘supposed’ to but don’t really have to.

When you are spending time away from what you are naturally good at, your ADHD seems [Read more...]

5 Steps to Prioritize Your Work Day When You Have ADHD

5 Steps to Prioritize Your Work Day When You Have ADHD: prioritizing prioritize work day prioritization Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield ADHD ADD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, it’s difficult to prioritize your work day when it feels like everything on your plate is screaming at you and you’re drowning in things that absolutely have to get done. It takes focus, attention, and discipline. You may not get it right every time—but if you follow these 5 steps, you’ll keep getting closer to working on what’s most important for now.

1. Clear the decks

If you’re serious about wanting to get the important things done, you’ll need to take a few minutes to plan first. I know you’re overwhelmed, I know your head is swimming, but you’ve got responsibilities, right? So splash some cold water on your face, do some jumping jacks, run up and down the stairs a few times, and then sit down with a blank screen or sheet of paper. Do it now.

2. Make a list of your major projects

Don’t labor over this, do it quick. Which clients are screaming at you because your proposals are past due? Write them down. What projects were due yesterday? What do you absolutely have to get to the subcontractor by tomorrow? Set your timer for 60 seconds and write as many of the things that are overwhelming you as you can think of until the timer goes off.

3. Consolidate the list

Chances are, you wrote some things down twice, in different ways. Or two parts of the same job, so they can be put together. Group things together that may be overlapping or redundant. Does that make your list smaller? Often people find their overwhelming list of projects isn’t as big or as long as they imagined, once they get it on paper.

4. Transfer the individual project names to sticky notes or index cards and start arranging them

I know this sounds like extra work, but this is where the rubber hits the road. Don’t try to look at all of them at once!

After you have them all on individual notes, pick up two of your project notes, it doesn’t matter which two. Is one more important or pressing than the other? Ask yourself, is one of these clients madder at you than the other? Is one of the projects bigger, and worth more money to your company than the other, so if you lost that client, you’d lose more money? Still comparing just two of the notes, [Read more...]

How to Single-Task When You Are an Entrepreneur with ADHD

How to Single Task When You Are an Entrepreneur with ADHD: why not to multi task single tasking Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield how to stop multi tasking executive functions entrepreneurs with ADHD ADHD and multi tasking ADHD ADD

Single-tasking is the new multi-tasking!!!

Even though we know that multi-tasking isn’t good—it isn’t productive, doesn’t make us feel accomplished, and even makes our IQ go down—as an ADHD entrepreneur, I am guessing you do it all the time (don’t worry, you aren’t alone).

Here are some common reasons why ADDers love to multi-task:

1.) It makes you feel alive! It gives you energy, life seems more exciting.
Flitting from one thing to the next quickly means your adrenaline is pumping and that feels good.

2.) You are scared you will forget to do something. The second a thought comes into your mind, you act on it right away, regardless of what you are working on when it occurred to you.

3.) You have a low threshold for boredom. Talking the phone is boring, so talking and playing dots on your iPad is better.

The definition of multi-tasking is:

a.) Doing two or more things at the same time (such as talking on the phone while grocery shopping).

b.) Moving to and from tasks quickly. For example, [Read more...]