How Simple Systems Can Supercharge Your Business when You Have ADHD

Abstract business flow chart diagramAs 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...]

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

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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...]