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











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...]

Five Ways to Follow Through and Get Things Finished

finish line

When we did our ADHD and business survey in November, over 70% of you ranked “follow through” as what you wanted help with the most. Getting better at following through is not an easy, overnight fix—it’s very individual, it takes knowing yourself and your ADHD, and it takes commitment.

Here are five tips that will help you to follow through:

#1. First, understand the elements of your business that can only be done by you. Take these on as your responsibility, and, if at all possible, delegate the rest.

You’ve got a lot on your plate, and you’re getting new ideas all the time. Too many times, you get hung up on the boring things—no wonder you can’t get them finished! Your brain isn’t wired to do the admin stuff of your business or to chase down details, so if you can (and it’s probably more possible than you think it is), get someone else to do these things so you can focus on your genius work.

#2. Notice what lights a fire under you and gets you to finish things, and find a way to purposefully work those things into your project for planned accountability.

Some things really work to clear your head and get you to focus and wrap up projects, and others just don’t. So, what gets you moving?

• Impending important deadlines

• Set-in-stone client meetings

• Getting paid—as in, you get paid as soon as it’s finished

• A deadline for something public, like speaking

• Presentations and reports

• Going on vacation—getting everything off of your desk before you go

• Being reminded by someone else, to keep you on track


Once you know what it is that lights a fire under you, find ways to make it happen in your schedule. For example, when I have [Read more...]

Focus Your Time Management

timeblockingJuly2013EditedI saw a statistic recently that the average person wastes fully one-third of their work day . . . one-third! And that’s before you take into consideration that the remaining two-thirds can’t be entirely billable or income producing. Once you do get focused on work, a good portion of that remaining time you don’t waste will be allocated to administrative tasks and marketing your business, things that don’t directly bring in revenue.

Scary, huh?

And that’s for the average person. Think about what that statistic would be for the average ADHDer! We’re business owners — we can’t afford to waste this much time.

That’s why it’s so important to plan up-front and be proactive about your time and productivity, and not let it get away from you. Once you drift off into Time-Wasting-Land, those minutes go by really fast.

So what’s the best way to focus your time management and stop wasting so much time?

Just do this one thing

I’ve heard this one thing credited by highly effective people and management consultants as one of the most important actions successful people take. (Not just successful ADHDers, successful people do this.)

It’s worked for me for over 30 years, so I like it a lot. And I stumbled upon it myself, before I even knew other people did it.

This is it: Schedule every part of each day ahead of time

It’s easy to do. The hard part — like so many things for ADHDers — is actually doing it.

Take these steps to make it happen:

1. Save 15 to 20 minutes at the end of every day just for this

Once this becomes a habit for you, you’ll look forward to it. It’s a wonderful time to clear your head and calm your anxiety about what’s coming up next. Making time to schedule the next day is an extremely satisfying way to pull everything back down to earth and end the day.

2. Decide what you’ll do for just the next day

During this end-of-day time, make a list of just the tasks and meetings for the next day. If you’re not going to do it tomorrow, it doesn’t go on this list.

3. Block these things on your calendar

After you know what these tasks, meetings, and obligations are, go one step [Read more...]

How Can I Focus So Well on One Thing, and Have Such A Hard Time Focusing on Another . . . even when I know they both are important?

ThomasBrownPhoto2Did you listen to our interview with Dr.Thomas E. Brown? It was fascinating!

(After you listen to this interview, be sure to listen to our follow-up interview with Dr. Brown, How Can I Be So Smart and Capable, and Still Get Stuck?)

Dr. Brown sent Marcia and me both a copy of his new book, “A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults: Executive Function Impairments,” which is packed full of great information – especially the new science behind your ADHD.

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

Working With ADHD

or click on the player below to listen online:


During the interview we learned about:

  • Why people think ADHD is about not trying hard enough, and the scientific reasons why it’s not about willpower

It’s got nothing to do with effort! Dr. Brown explains this misunderstanding arose because ADDers can focus and concentrate on things they enjoy, yet can’t on things that are boring to them. It has nothing to do with willpower or effort and everything to do with brain chemistry.

  • ADHD meds

Why and how they help
Why they make some people feel “different”
Why they get bad press
How to find a knowledgeable doctor in your area to prescribe the right meds and dosage for you

[Read more...]

Take Control of the Squirrel: How to Master the Mental Game of (ADHD) Business


Did you see the movie“Up!” where Dug the dog keeps getting distracted . . . by squirrels?

That’s the story of our lives. 

Join us as we walk you step-by-step through the exact solutions we teach our clients and use ourselves to feel accomplished and productive in our businesses every day.

We are excited to announce our first comprehensive virtual training series, 

“Take Control of the Squirrel: How to Master the Mental Game of (ADHD) Business So You Can Get Things Done, Make More Money, and Feel Good About Your Business.” 


This 4-part training series begins February 11. Click here to find out more (and don’t forget to check out the awesome bonuses!)

Bonus #1: Running a business with ADHD is lonely. Our first bonus is a Private Facebook group for interacting, networking, supporting, and getting your questions answered.

Bonus #2: Register now and you’ll get a complimentary ticket to our live 3-day retreat in May!

Our wish is that you’ll have buckets full of confidence and success . . . and take control of that squirrel!

“Look! Squirrel! How to Stop, Find Direction, and Get Things Done”

It can be so frustrating. You’ve worked so hard to get your business to the point it’s at now. You’ve invested time, money, blood, sweat, and tears. Your business idea is sound, your experience is solid, and there is no doubt in your mind that the work you do gets results and helps people a great deal.

Yet often, without warning, you’re spinning out of control.

You’re overwhelmed. Or stuck, anxious, unable to focus or really do anything productive. Or you just feel like you’re in nowhere land.

You procrastinate because you don’t know how or where to start, or what to fix. You know you need to find a way to stop this crazy cycle and focus on your work.

We talked about how you can do just that in our no-cost training class,

“Look! Squirrel! How to Stop, Find Direction, and Get Things Done”Training Class

Free recording is available now

Get immediate access to the MP3 recording here!

This is a virtual training class. Sign up here to get immediate access to this training call and announcements about future classes.

Click this link to sign up now.

Interview with Mark Kawate: The Best SmartPhone Apps for Entrepreneurs with ADHD

In our call yesterday, Marcia and I got up to speed with the lastest and greatest ADHD-friendly apps that are perfect when you have your own business. The term “app” is an abbreviated form of the word “application,” and in the last few years, it’s been used in regard to software programs.

We couldn’t have done this without our special guest, Mark Kawate. Mark is a self-described “ADD Geek” and knows exactly which apps are best when you have ADHD. You’ll want to hear his recommendations.

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

Working with ADHD: The Best SmartPhone Apps for Entrepreneurs with ADHD


or click the player below to listen online:

Here are Mark’s top picks for ADHD-friendly apps:

Financial & e-commerce
PayPal Here (soon to be available)

[Read more...]