How to Prioritize When You Have ADHD

Prioritizing is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to many people living with ADHD so it takes on almost a mythical quality.

Prioritizing simply means ‘deciding which task is more important than others so you can work on it first.’

Prioritizing is a practical skill that helps you work on the tasks that are connected to moving your life forward in the direction you want it to go.

A to-do list is a helpful way to capture all your ‘to-dos.’ But! If you can prioritize your list and complete the items in order of importance, your productivity, sense of accomplishment and confidence is raised to whole new level!
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Is There a Stigma Attached to ADHD?

Even though I wish it weren’t true, ADHD is a condition that carries a certain stigma.

The good news is that the stigma is slowly shrinking thanks to research and an increased understanding about the condition.

A stigma is described as ‘something that carries shame, is looked down on, or is not respected or valued.’

How much stigma a person living with ADHD faces, depends on the country they live in and how open-minded the people around them are.
Some countries are reluctant to recognize ADHD in adults. This means it is hard to find the appropriate health professionals and get accommodations in the workplace or universities. It also means the general public is less inclined to take ADHD seriously.

Although things are better in countries where adult ADHD is recognized, misconceptions about ADHD and stereotypes continue.

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ADHD and SAD

ADHD and Seasonal Affective DisorderThe winter of 2013/14 was a particularly brutal winter here in Montreal. The cold weather started earlier than usual and went on and on. It seemed to be a never ending winter. That year, I had an unprecedented amount of clients suffering with depression. I had already had a sneaky suspicion that adults with ADHD were more prone to get SAD than the non-ADHD population, and a little research backed up my hunch.

You are more likely to experience SAD if you have ADHD.

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a form of depression. It is triggered by the reduction of sunlight and colder temperatures that come with the change of seasons. These environmental changes spark a change in your circadian rhythm. [Read more…]

ADHD and Lists: Do You Love or Hate Them?

People living with ADHD often have a love-hate relationship with lists. Some people love them, others hate them and another group fluctuates between loving and hating depending on the day.

What is a list anyway?

A list is a number of items written down vertically, one item underneath the previous one. Lists can be on paper or pixel and are often created around a theme. For example, people to invite to a party; items to pack for a trip. [Read more…]

Do Your Thoughts Stop You Taking Action?

Are you constantly second guessing yourself? Do you question your ability to do a task even though other people know you are capable of it? This happens to so many people with ADHD. It results in procrastination, feelings of resistance and ambiguity, anxiety, guilt and emotional torment. It’s a classic case of getting in your own way.

If this happens to you, the long term goal is to increase your self-esteem. Then, you will believe in yourself and the resistance will disperse. In the meantime, here are 5 things you can do right now to start taking action and meet your deadlines.

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ADHD and Don’t Break the Chain!

Motivation is the urge ‘to do’ something. Lots of people with ADHD, find they don’t feel motivated to take action until a deadline is looming.

Then there is a sense of urgency, as they race against the clock. The neurotransmitter dopamine is released so they can focus and prioritize. Everything unrelated to goal is blocked out until the task is completed.

When the project is finish they breathe a sigh of relief, feel victorious and vow never to let that happen again. And really mean it! However, when the next project comes along, getting started is just as difficult.

Creating a deadlines for yourself before the actual deadline sounds like a good way round this, but you know these aren’t a ‘real’ so these personal deadlines don’t provide the same motivation.

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ADHD and Bags

Did you ever see the Friends episode where Joey starts to carry a bag that looks a bit like a woman’s purse? He is very proud of it and calls it a Man Bag.

This is how Joey describes his new bag to his skeptical friends.

‘At first I thought it just looked good, but it’s practical too. Check it out. It has compartments for all your stuff: wallet, keys, address book.’

Then he reaches into the front pocket and retrieves a sandwich to snack on. [Read more…]

ADHD and Feeling ‘Behind’ in Life

People living with ADHD often report that they are ‘behind in life.’ This feeling of being ‘behind’ is coupled with feelings of frustration, ‘if only’s and a little despair.

When you feel ‘behind’ it is usually compared to where you thought you would be at this phase of your life, or in comparison to what similar aged friends are doing, or to traditional milestones that are considered normal. For example, graduating at 21 years old, being happily married with children at 30, and retiring at 65. [Read more…]

A Simple Tip to Make Your Life Less Complicated

When I was studying psychology, I came across a fascinating study about memory. A group of people who identified themselves as having a good memory were closely studied.

After observing them at home and in their workplace, researchers found this group didn’t have a better memory than other people.

Instead they had created an environment that supported their memory. For example, if they ran out of milk, they had a visual reminder as a memory prompt so they remembered to buy more milk. [Read more…]