Archives for April 2013

The Power of the Group ~ How a bit of support helps your ADHD

power of groups for people with adhd We live in a society that prizes independence, at work employees value autonomy and at home more people live on their own than ever before. However, humans weren’t designed to forge ahead as lone wolves. We are pack animals. We perform better at work and live longer and are healthier (physically and emotionally) when they are connected to others.

There are 1000’s of research studies to support this, however here are two. Babies that have all the physical needs meet, but aren’t picked up and held, gain less weight than babies who are given exactly the same amount of food, but have lots of cuddle time.

Pre-diabetics who tracked their food intake, exercise, weight and attended small weekly group meetings saw much better results control group that were just taking medication (AND they were eating a diet that we now know isn’t helpful to diabetics)

From my own personal experience every time I have run a group program, no matter how the great I think the content is :), the thing people love the most is connecting with other positive ADDers. Even though they hadn’t joined for that reason, that is, what they enjoyed the most.

When you connect with people who ‘get’ you, who have the same struggles and challenges, it’s validating and healing. That in turn changes something inside you, so you can be the best version of you possible.

This week your homework is to get social and join a group. It could be an ADHD support group (just make sure it’s a positive, action oriented one) or you could join a group that isn’t specifically for ADHDer, but addresses one of your challenges.

For example, an exercise group.

If the thought of joining a group is really off putting research also found that even teaming up with just one person is helpful. So you might find a friend or colleague who is interested in the same goal as you, perhaps decluttering or tackling your procrastination list and work on that together.

Happy Socializing!


PS The best way to find a group near you is the ask the fountain of all knowledge…the Internet…to help you:)

ADHD and Kitchen Timers!

ADHD and Kitchen Timers!One of the best ways to work productively when you have ADHD is to use a kitchen timer. By setting the timer for 30 minutes and not changing activity until the timer rings, you develop the ability to stay on task and make progress on even the most difficult or boring task. It also helps you beat procrastination because you break overwhelming tasks into small do-able 30 minute chunks.

Using a timer like this isn’t a new idea…Behaviourist Psychologist, B.F Skinner used a timer to track his work. His timer went on when he sat down to work and off when he got up from his chair. It’s surprising the power that a simple timer has on even the most brilliant minds.

The variety of timers on the market has definitely advanced since Skinner’s day…but which one should you choose? Below is a short review of my client’s favourite timers.

The Simple Timer

This is the timer I use. It was $4 from the pharmacy. Over the years I have tried lots of different ones from the complex to the simple and it turns out that the simple one works best for me.

The Fun Timer

This Cube timer is both fun to look at and to use, which will properly mean you will use it more!

The Dual Timer

This Dual timer is a step up from the simple timer. It has some practical extra features including a clock, 2 countdown timers, a stop watch and a keypad lock. You can stand it on a flat surface, or clip it to a belt or pocket. It also has a magnet so you can attach it to a steel surface so it can go everywhere with you! As well as an alarm it has a vibrate setting.

The Posh Timer

A client discovered this Rolls Royce of timers in her yoga magazine. It has 150 alarms which is perfect to keep you on task, it gives you transition times between tasks and reminds you to do task at certain times. Rather than loud beeping or buzzing there is a choice of 4 gentle sounds, which is perfect if you are sensitive to sound.

The dos and don’ts of choosing your timer:

1) Do get a timer you love and works for your needs.

2) Do get a digital timer. There is some fun wind up timers, but they tend to have a noisy, ticky sound that is distracting.

3) Don’t use your smart phone.
Even though phones have alarms and there are tons of great timer apps, a separate kitchen timer still works the best. There is something very powerful about having a separate timer, whose sole job is to keep you on task and productive. Your phone’s alarm is useful for other things, but for this purpose the kitchen timer is the best.

Thanks to Clare, George and Susan for your timer recommendations!