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...]

The Top 5

The Top 5: supercharge my business Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield finish what I start finish a task brain fog ADHD in business ADHD ADD The start of every year is a great time to make business goals. 12 months ago, in January 2014, Marcia and I decided we wanted write more articles for Working with ADHD on topics that would be most helpful to you. We mapped out an editorial calendar and each month we both wrote an article.

One year later, we thought it would be fun to look back and see which articles were the most popular. Here is a roundup of the Top 5!

 

#1. Why Does It Take Me So Long to Finish a Task?

Do you feel some activities in your business life take you much longer than they take other people?

You aren’t alone. Many ADDers feel like this. Its frustrating, and makes you feel resentful and bad about yourself.

The most common things that take a long time are tasks like writing a report for a client, writing longer, more detailed emails, spreadsheets, etc.—they usually involve attention to detail. Depending on your business, it may be slightly different for you.

This article explains why this is and what you can do to help yourself. Read it here.

#2. How Simple Systems Can Supercharge Your Business when You Have ADHD

As a business owner with ADHD, you probably don’t like systems. You think systems may stifle your creativity. Or you think they’re too difficult to set up. Or you’ll never follow them. But if [Read more...]

How Simple Systems Can Supercharge Your Business when You Have ADHD

How Simple Systems Can Supercharge Your Business when You Have ADHD: productivity Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield business systems ADHD entrepreneur ADHD business owner ADHD and systems ADHD and focus ADHD ADD As a business owner with ADHD, you probably don’t like systems. You think systems may stifle your creativity. Or you think they’re too difficult to set up. Or you’ll never follow them. But I urge you to give systems a second look—if you want your business to be successful.

With structure comes freedom

If you know me at all or have worked with me, you know that one of my favorite sayings is “with structure comes freedom.” Many of the people I talk to want it the other way around. They want the freedom to work on things without the structure. They want to work “when they feel creative,” because they didn’t start their business to become a slave to time or schedules. You may feel this way too. I guess that’s okay if your business isn’t serious and you don’t want to make money.

The purpose of a business is to make a profit

I’m going to be hard on you here for a minute. The definition of a business is “the purchase and sale of goods and services in an attempt to make a profit,” so obviously money is a big part of it. And you can’t make money if you don’t have reliable systems with which to do so. Really, you can be creative just to be creative in your free time. During business time, you have to set up structures to be productive.

Systems give focus, comfort, and confidence

You may say it’s boring to work by a system, and as an ADHDer, you don’t work well with boredom. That’s true about the boredom part. But my experience with ADHDers is that without systems, ADHDers lose focus. Without systems, you miss a wonderful [Read more...]

How to Get More Done in Your Business

How to Get More Done in Your Business: productivity Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield get more done eat that frog ADHD business owners ADHD ADD business owners ADD **Jacqui is on holiday 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!

Do you feel you never get to do the important things in your business? That you are waiting for the day (that never comes) when you will have some spare time to get those important things done? You aren’t alone, we hear this from many of our ADHD entrepreneur clients.

Because the day when you will get a chunk of free time is so elusive, this  productivity tip from Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog, is very powerful.

Mark Twain said, if you eat a frog for breakfast, the rest of the day will  be easy, as you have already done the worst thing!

The image of the frog makes it more powerful

Many productivity books suggest doing the task you least want to, first. However, having the image of a frog makes it much more powerful. ADHDers are very visual, so it’s a fun strategy to think what your ‘frog’ is each morning.

Sometimes, your frog task will be scary.

Sometimes, it will be [Read more...]

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...]