Hello, friends! This is a Q&A come deep dive episode where I tackle a single question that focuses on ADHD. I offer my advice and provide some top tips for improving attention and productivity.
So I did really well with your anxiety and depression books. I have bipolar disorder and anxiety. But I also have ADHD. My therapist told me she doesn’t do ADHD counseling! So she referred me to a specialist, who sent me some paperwork that I not so promptly started filling out, got bored, set it down, and lost! My psychiatrist gives me Adderall for it, but he doesn’t give me any tips on dealing with it. Sometimes it’s good, because I can literally do 4 things at once at my job, but then I am literally doing 4 things at once and forget wtf I’m doing on 6 things I was supposed to do. So, wtf are we adults with ADHD supposed to do to be productive and successful besides take powerful stimulants?
Awesome that you have been able to make progress with my books and thank you!
Isn’t that great how the approach used to help someone doesn’t take into account the problem they are having? That’s a pet peeve of mine. Don’t give someone a mountain of paperwork if completing paperwork is directly related to their problem. I’m glad that you sought out a specialist to work with and I would suggest you give that another shot because your experience of the psychiatrist just giving you medications and not any tips or counseling on how to work with your ADHD is quite common. There are a variety of people that might help you work with ADHD – some might be licensed psychotherapists others might be coaches or tutors.
You highlight a good point about your attention when you say that you can do 4 things at once but then you forget what you were supposed to be doing on the 6 things you were actually SUPPOSED to do at your job. A common misconception that I talk about way back in episode 32 of the podcast is that people with ADHD do have an attention span. In fact, sometimes their attentional capacity is quite strong – they just have trouble controlling where it points. With bipolar you are also going to have cycles – hopefully less severe due to your meds but you need to be aware of these fluctuations and plan for them. Use motivation when you have it to plan for those times when you don’t. Set up systems.
So – I want to just give you a bunch of tips that might apply to you that you can use to be more productive and less frustrated. These tips apply to everyone, but they are particularly relevant to people like you that have attentional difficulties.
- Limit distractions
- Adjust your space – physical and digital
- Do NOT multitask
- Practice mindfulness meditation frequently
- Journal/Plan every day
- Check your planner at least 3x per day
- Set yourself up with an outline before leaving a task
- Keep a notebook nearby for impulsive thoughts that can wait
- Force yourself to prioritize
- If you take it out, put it back
- Don’t procrastinate – if it takes less than a minute do it (unless you’re in the middle of something else)
- Keep a place for your small things
- Make a mise en place for your workplaces
- Use neutral inputs to satisfy your attention hunger (white noise etc)
- Take breaks for movement
- Abort when you’re in to deep
- Work in shifts
- Don’t use your partner as a coach
- Use the solution that works, whether it’s perfect or not
- Study yourself
This episode of Hardcore Self Help is sponsored by Word Forest.
I’m happy to be partnering with Word Forest, a free word puzzle app. If you’re looking for a nice way to take a break and challenge your mind, check it out! They are offering 2500 coins and 500 gems when you download and play. Just check out the Apple or Google store and search Word Forest (it’s the first result).
Download Word Forest for free today, and get ready to flex that brain!
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