When It’s Okay to Do Nothing — (When You Have ADHD and a Business)

When you have ADHD, you may be used to people trying to light a fire under you – and you may sometimes have to find ways to get yourself moving, too.

But, there are times when it’s better to do nothing when you have ADHD, especially when you also run a business. Do nothing for at least the time being, that is.

Here are some of those times when it’s better to do nothing:

A.) If you get an email from a client or customer that immediately gets under your skin, and you have an emotional reaction to it

Even though you want to respond right then and there, this is the time to stop. Sit down. Take a deep breath. And do nothing.

Your ADHD may be causing you to jump to conclusions, and read things into the email that aren’t really there. ADHD triggers emotions more quickly than it does for non-ADHDers, and emotions sometimes make it difficult to think clearly. It’s much better to let your emotional reaction pass and go back to the email later – you may see it in an entirely different light. Or you may choose to phone the sender to ask what the ambiguous wording means – she may have meant something entirely different. Either way, a cool head is necessary in business, and you won’t have one if you’re reacting from emotion.

B.) If an employee, partner, colleague, or vendor doesn’t meet a deadline or in some way doesn’t measure up to their usual standards and something goes very wrong — and you feel yourself spiraling out of control

It’s easy to flip out and want to point fingers, especially if you were counting on someone, and the buck stops with you. Don’t. It’s time to stop. Sit down. Take a deep breath. And do nothing.

There may be a good reason why things went wrong. You might be able to salvage the situation if you take the time to think it through. Reacting first may be what you want to do, but if you can put some distance between what happened and what you do about it, you’ll make smarter choices.

C.) If your cell phone rings when you’re meeting with a client

I know you want to answer it – it’s ringing! But you don’t have to. So don’t. Let voice mail pick it up. And do nothing.

This is just common courtesy, but it’s amazing how that ringing phone makes us feel we have to answer it. Actually, you shouldn’t answer your phone when you’re in a meeting with anyone, unless you’re expecting an emergency. That’s what voice mail is for – you can always check it after.

Reminding yourself to stop, pause, and let some time pass before reacting to the circumstances in your business will not only help your business, it will train you to help do the job your executive functions don’t always do (that valuable pause) – which helps your ADHD.

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