Friday, August 21, 2015

ADHD

I have a confession.  I think I have ADHD.

I want to apologize to anyone who has ever had a conversation with me.  I'm sorry.  It must be excruciating for you.

When I look at the picture above, I can relate.  This is what it's like inside Cheryl's brain most of the time.  It's not that I want to be scattered.  Truth is, I really, really, really love organization. But I get derailed by shiny things.  All. The. Time.

It's been a joke for a while now that I have "Adult ADHD".  Well, folks. it might be true!  I went to the doctor a few months ago and there was a chart on the wall similar to this...
OMG.  I have them all!

Now, this doesn't necessarily mean I have ADHD.  I know this.  And I have no plans to see a doctor and become a zombie by taking medication for this.  However, it made me think.  I have noticed in the last couple of years that lack of focus, trouble with concentration and disorganization have become the norm for me.  I don't like that.  I don't like it one bit.

So, I'm going to do something about it.

What am I going to do?  I'm going to educate myself and learn to control my thoughts  What a concept!  I may actually have ADHD and it may be a real medical condition, but I believe I can change my mind, my habits and my thinking and not have to take medication.

I found a few things to try that I'd like to share with you.

1. Make lists.  When your brain is scattered, you may start 12 projects and never finish one.  I've discovered when I write down my list of projects at the beginning of the day, it keeps me on task most of the time.  Think of everything you need to accomplish that day and make a detailed list.  Then, stick to it.

2. Limit distractions.  If you are trying to finish something in the kitchen, but your favorite show is on TV, it's hard to stay in the kitchen and finish.  Turn off the distraction and focus on the task at hand.  Maybe you need complete silence.  Or maybe you need upbeat music.  Either way, find your "happy place" where your brain is calmer and not pulled away by distractions and go there when you're working.

3. Train your brain.  Try doing brain teasers or crossword puzzles.  I've been told our brain is a muscle and like anything else, we need to train it.  Practice focusing.  If you feel your thoughts drifting, pull yourself back in.  After a while, this will become second nature.

4. Get an accountability partner.  When I started really trying to get a handle on my brain, I decided I need someone to help make sure I'm completing tasks.  I can start 542 tasks, but I may only finish 6.  I have started telling my husband what I'm going to work on and asking him to check in with me to make sure I did it and finished.  It may sound silly, but having someone "check up" on you will help you complete your tasks.

These are just a few things I've learned that help me out.  

Do you have ADD/ADHD?  If so, how do you deal?

The struggle is real, folks.  The struggle is real.

Now I'm on to do some work and try to maintain focus.  I'll be fine as long as I stop watching the elephants on TV.  I love elephants!  And that's why I must turn it off now.

Hugs,
Cheryl