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...]


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...]

Why Do I Have Such a Poor Memory?

Why Do I Have Such a Poor Memory?: remembering to remember prospective memory poor memory memory strategies memory problems Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield bad memory attention ADHD ADD H

Have you ever been working on a project—doing some research, taking notes, or making a plan for something—and then come across your notes or plan for the very same thing—and you had already figured it out, months or years ago, but had totally, totally, forgotten about it? With no memory of it whatsoever?


Worse, have you ever gone into a meeting with clients, associates, or employees, and passionately described your ideas for the next steps of a project, only to be met with blank stares and confusion—because, as they later tell you, you had passionately described something else (perhaps something entirely different) the week before?

I have. And many of my business owner clients with ADHD have, too.

It used to make me feel like such an idiot when one of my employees would raise their hand in a meeting and ask, “Um, Marcia, does this mean you don’t want us to do what you told us to do yesterday?”

Why can’t we remember these really important things we’ve already done?

A lot of it has to do with “remembering to remember”

ADDers’ long-term memory is usually fine. It’s the short-term, or working memory, that trips us up. This is what most people call “attention,” which is why others often think we’re not paying attention.

This working memory is the part of our memory we need to watch. We get into trouble getting information that’s important to us from the practical level into our long-term memory. For some reason, it just slips through [Read more...]

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

Why Does It Take Me So Long to Finish a Task?: tasks take too long slow to finish procrastination Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield entrepreneurs with ADHD cant finish tasks ADHD and business ADHD ADD


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

You aren’t alone. I hear this a lot! Let’s presume you have already delegated the tasks that aren’t your area of expertise (accounting or web maintenance for example). You will still be left with some things that only you can do.

However, these tasks take you much longer to finish than anyone you know. This is 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, but as you are reading this I am sure a few tasks pop straight into your mind.

There are many reasons these tasks seem to take a long time

A) How long does it actually take you? Usually the tasks we find take a long time are also [Read more...]

Can Your Mindset Help You Succeed with ADHD?

Can Your Mindset Help You Succeed with ADHD?: mindset and success mindset and ADHD mindset Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield growth mindset fixed mindset ADHD ADD








Of course, you know I’m going to say yes. But it’s not just my opinion.

After decades of research in achievement and success, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has discovered a groundbreaking idea: that it’s not just our abilities or talent that brings us success, but whether we approach opportunities with a fixed or growth mindset.

What’s the difference?

Let’s say a new opportunity becomes available for you and your business. How do you react?

Fixed mindset

If you approach an opportunity with a fixed mindset, your fixed mindset “voice” might say things like this to you:

“You can’t do that. Things like that never work out for you.”

“People may laugh at you if you try and fail. You’ll look foolish attempting something like that.”

“It’s safer if you don’t try. You’ll be able to protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

You simply understand and agree with what your fixed mindset voice tells you—that you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure.

We surprised ourselves

If you attended our Focus, Control, and Balance retreat last December, you know that I can’t dance. And Jacqui can’t learn to speak French.

Now, Jacqui and I are very growth and learning oriented, and we were shocked to find out [Read more...]

ADHD and Essentialism

ADHD and Essentialism: Marcia Hoeck just say no Jacqueline Sinfield how to focus Greg McKeown focus on a few things Essentialism do less achieve more ADHD in business ADHD and essentialism ADHD ADD

Have you heard of the term “Essentialism”? I hadn’t either until last week when I read a great book by Greg McKeown that explained all about it. It’s a brilliant strategy that every ADD entrepreneur can benefit from.

The Essentialism concept

The basic concept is to focus on a few things and do them very well.

One of the examples in the book is about Sam, an executive who said “yes” to lots of requests. He dashed from one meeting to the next trying to please people. He was stressed, people were frustrated with him because the quality of his work had gone down, and he wasn’t getting any job satisfaction.

Then he made a change. He started to say “no” to requests and stopped volunteering to do things. Much to his surprise, people weren’t mad, in fact they respected him more. With his new-found time, Sam was able to focus on the things that did matter. He was able to do his work really well, which pleased his clients. Better still, he really enjoyed the process.

What happens when you implement Essentialism

When you start implementing Essentialism into your life, your day stops [Read more...]

11 Steps to Organize Your Phone Calls, So You Can Stop Putting Them Off

11 Steps to Organize Your Phone Calls, So You Can Stop Putting Them Off: phone calls organize phone calls Marcia Hoeck making phone calls Jacqueline Sinfield hate making phone calls dread making business phone calls ADHD ADD









Do you hate making business phone calls? Because you never know how to get into them, how to stay on track when you’re on them, and how to get out of them?

Many business owners, especially those with ADHD, dread making calls to keep clients up to date, keep on top of their contractors, and keep in touch with peers and partners.

One reason you’re stuck may be your ADHD inability to shift gears and just get started, but another may be the simple dislike of talking to all those people. Yikes! It’s so easy to get off track, a few simple phone calls could take hours! And, will you really get accomplished what you want to get accomplished?

You will if you take the time to plan and organize your calls ahead of time.

Take these simple steps before you pick up the phone:

Step 1. Make a list of everyone you need to phone.

Step 2. Next to each person’s name, write the main reason you need to call them. Keep it simple, like “give project update” or “get price quote.”

Step 3. Are there other points you need to cover with certain people? Jot these reasons down under the main reason, but no more than two or three points per person per phone call.

Step 4. Now, group your calls by subject so you don’t have to bounce around and can [Read more...]

How Can I Be So Smart and Capable, and Still Get Stuck?

How Can I Be So Smart and Capable, and Still Get Stuck?: Smart but stuck Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield emotions and ADHD Dr. Thomas E. Brown ADHD ADD Did you listen in on our most recent interview with Dr.Thomas E. Brown? Once again, it was full of really interesting information. We always learn so much from him!

Dr. Brown sent both of us a copy of his newest book, “Smart But Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD,” which is packed full of great information about people just like us. It’s easy to read, too, because it’s broken up into sections based on the people Dr. Brown interviewed for his research.

If you missed this special program, or want to listen to it again, click on the link below to download the MP3:

Download our Smart But Stuck interview with Dr. Thomas E. Brown here.

or click on the player below to listen online:

We covered lots of topics, including:

• Adult onset ADHD
• Motivation, and how emotion motivates action [Read more...]

How to Deal with People Who Think ADHD Doesn’t Exist

How to Deal with People Who Think ADHD Doesnt Exist: Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield ADHD doesnt exist ADHD ADD doesnt exist ADD A few days ago I went to an event. There was lots of small talk with strangers and the inevitable questions, like, “What do you do?” I am a coach for adults with ADHD, so I say that. Usually there is a person who has an issue with ADHD. Rather than keeping that opinion to themselves, they start an attack. Even though this has been happening for 10 years, it always surprises me. Each time takes a different slant, but this time it went like this . . .

A woman thought everyone is misdiagnosed with ADHD, and all their symptoms are caused by an allergy. In her 20′s she gained a lot of weight and was unmotivated and to do anything and couldn’t think straight. After lots of research she found out that she had an allergy to something unusual. When she cut this thing out of her life, she lost the weight and regained her cognitive functioning. It wasn’t clear if she was ever diagnosed with ADHD, or if she just felt like she had a few of the symptoms. However, it was very clear that she gets argumentative and rude when she meets someone in the ADHD field. She went on and on about how ADHD doesn’t exist and that if people just knew about this allergy solution, then all the symptoms would go away.

I tried to explain that allergies can make ADHD worse, but they don’t cause it, and that ADHD doesn’t just appear in adulthood and would have been present since childhood. But she wasn’t interested in reason. She just wanted to keep talking about her opinion—which she did for a really long time.

Here is what I know for sure:

1) ADHD is a very hot topic—it stirs up a lot of emotions
2) People with even a little knowledge about ADHD think they are experts
3) People discuss at great length if ADHD exists, which they don’t for other conditions like cancer or Parkinson’s

4) When you are connected with ADHD—either you have it, or work with people who have it—strangers think it’s fine to have a heated debate about the topic whenever you leave your home.

When you have ADHD, life is already challenging. You really don’t need this extra stress. Plus, when people are argumentative and picking apart the validity of ADHD, it feels personal. Because ADHD is part of who you are. Which means you end up questioning everything about yourself. I don’t have ADHD, and still this encounter really upset me.

If you have an encounter like this, here’s what to do:

1) Remember that ADHD does exist

Here’s what two of the ADHD giants have to say on the matter:

“ADHD, a disorder which has [Read more...]

How to Deal with Shame and ADHD when You Run a Business

How to Deal with Shame and ADHD when You Run a Business: shame vs guilt shame and ADD Marcia Hoeck Jacqueline Sinfield ADHD and shame ADHD and running a business ADHD ADD It seems crazy to think, with all the other things on your plate, that you might also be dealing with feelings of shame when running a business.

But you may—especially if you’re running a business and you have ADHD.

Feelings of shame are something Jacqui and I run into a lot with our ADHD business clients. In fact, Jacqui posted a terrific video by TED speaker Brene Brown about the difference between shame and guilt in a previous blog post. You can read what Jacqui has to say about how shame affects your business and find the TED video here.

Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behavior.

Shame says, “I’m not good enough,” and “Who do you think you are?

Shame can paralyze us.

This is what shame in business looks like

Take a look at how shame can creep in with a hypothetical business owner I’ll call Gary:

1.)   Gary’s business has many moving parts. It is growing, he has a lot on his plate, and he is overwhelmed.

2.)   Gary has been following our Working with ADHD articles or podcasts, and he contacts us for support or attends one of our programs for entrepreneurs with ADHD.

3.)   We begin to work together in an individually customized program, or in a group program, or at a retreat. We start to get our arms around Gary’s individual challenges, and map out a plan.

4.)   Gary is inspired and excited by the practical information we provide, and looks forward to implementing some of the simple strategies.

5.)   Back at work, procrastination or overwhelm or both set in, and Gary gets off track, losing focus. Somehow the simple strategies get lost in the weeds.

6.)   Gary feels he is breaking promises to himself and others, and is not getting the value out of his coaching investment by not following through with assignments promised to us. He begins to feel shame.

7.)   Shame builds on shame, pushing the simple strategies further and further away, until [Read more...]