3-Part Article on the Most Effective Ways to Increase Productivity at Work – part 1

Part 1: Four Effective Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

As an entrepreneur, or self-employed professional, you face constant demands. You need to make the most of your time. But if you want to get more done, it’s easier to work smarter than to work harder.

If that sounds familiar, I have good news. You can be far more productive at work than you are right now. But you’re managing your time and your life like a production line.

You “punch in” on someone else’s schedule, instead of working when you’re at your cognitive and creative peak. You react to whatever anyone throws at you instead of planning your day and executing that plan. And you do, do, do instead of thinking, strategizing and creating.

But when it’s your business, new rules apply. If you want to be a more productive entrepreneur, I’ll be sharing some simple but effective strategies over the next three sessions.

Today, I’ll share the first four of a dozen great ways to increase productivity at work.

The First Strategy Is to Love What You Do.

When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. When you are passionate about what you do it is easier to stay focused. Passion combined with the right conditions will almost always let you hyperfocus. This is what top athletes call being “in the zone.” It makes high productivity automatic. If you hate what you are doing, it’s impossible to achieve peak productivity.

Strategy #2: Delegate Your Weaknesses

If you wonder, what do I do with all the tasks I hate doing, this second strategy that says: Delegate your weaknesses, will answer that question.

No entrepreneur can be good at everything. You have weaknesses. You also have tasks you hate. I call those my “yuck bucket” tasks. Identify the tasks that need you to work with your weaknesses.

Hint: They’re your “yuck bucket” tasks too! Delegate those to team members better suited to handle them. Remember, the best ways to improve your productivity at work is to do what you love. Focus on tasks where you excel and delegate the rest. This will transform your business – and your life.

The Third Strategy Is to Give Up On Perfection.  

As an entrepreneur, you will work hard and put in long hours but burning yourself out doesn’t help anyone. Entrepreneurs have a personal stake in the business. I get it. It’s your reputation on the line.

But nothing is perfect.

Work smart. Decide how much of your precious time your creation is worth. Make it as good as you can in that time and move on.

Done is better than perfect. If necessary, you can come back to improve it later.

Strategy #4 Is to Take Exercise or Other 12Energy Breaks

The final strategy in today’s post is to Take exercise breaks.

Stop managing time. People learn to manage time but for an entrepreneur, or self-employed professional, hours aren’t important. Your energy is what’s important.

Especially your mental energy, since your creativity and cognitive abilities depend on it. When your energy flags, take a walk. Do some deep breathing. Stretch. A few minutes will release some tension help you focus again.

What you do is up to you. But several times each day, take a break to recharge and come back stronger. Trying to get more done by pushing through when you feel tired won’t impress anyone. Exercise gets your heart pumping, boosts your energy and helps you focus. You know when you feel tired. Avoid that sugary snack and take a walk or even go to the gym.

The best way, the only way, to benefit from these strategies is to use them. Learning doesn’t count until you put it into practice. I split this into several sessions to give you time to put the lessons into practice in your business. It’s the only way you’ll increase productivity at work.

See you next session with more effective ways to increase productivity at work. If you don’t want to miss it, subscribe and get your free report, the : Top 3 Productivity Hacks for Creative Genius Entrepreneurs.

Register for the free Creative Genius Entrepreneur’s Roadmap Live Webinar

There are three legs to the Creative Genius’s journey to success as an entrepreneur. Each leg of the journey has milestones. And you’ll traverse peaks, valleys and detours.  But if you master these three skills, you will succeed: 

  • You must focus. When you start, you are single-minded. You can’t imagine a time when your business won’t consume you. But as you put in the hours, the days, weeks… you struggle to focus.  
  • You must plan. You are visionary. You spot opportunities others miss. Your challenge is creating a plan to get from where you are now to what you see in your mind’s eye.   
  • You must streamline. To build a business that can scale and leverage your energy you must do two things. You must systematize the activities in your business. And you must build a team.  

While the journey may seem long, your dream will give you the courage to continue. And the biggest reward is not the success of your business. It’s who you become by undertaking the journey.  

This Live Webinar will take place on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 8 pm EST /7 pm CST/5 pm PST. Find webinar time in your timezone here.

Register today for your free Creative Genius Entrepreneur’s Roadmap Live Webinar 

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A Creative Genius Entrepreneur Asks THE Tough Question

Years ago, my business went through a rough patch. It’s normal for clients to stop coaching as they achieve their coaching goals. But I wasn’t getting new clients either. I work with entrepreneurs and professionals. The economic crash cost me many clients. The economy was so bad they had to divert limited funds to save their businesses and homes. Around that time, I was having my Web site updated. The programmer made a mistake and destroyed my well-referenced Web site. My Web site had always placed first in search results for my type of ADHD coaching.

But because she removed my site before she was ready to replace it, my Web site “disappeared.” It was as if my Web site had never existed when you googled me.  New clients couldn’t find my site. Soon I couldn’t pay my minimal operating costs or my salary! I had no hope of replacing lost clients through my Web site. I had to drum up business through local contacts. But these contacts scared me.

My best sources were physicians, psychologists and successful business owners. Who was I to ask for their referrals?

Paralyzed by Fear

That fear paralyzed me for months. I’d schedule time to call. Then I’d clean my desk. I’d check emails. I’d check my Web site stats. I was doing busywork. But I’m a coach. I help my creative genius professional and entrepreneur clients overcome procrastination. But here I was procrastinating big time. Does this ever happen to you? What’s holding you back?

Today, I don’t even remember what snapped me out of it. Was it an article I read? Was it a course I took? Was it someone I met? Who cares?

The light came on! I discovered fear was at the root of my procrastination. What’s more, that the fear was completely unfounded. Why was I afraid?

I’d lost confidence. I felt like I wasn’t enough to talk to these people. I thought they’d laugh at me.

It would humiliate me! And that would leave me devastated.

Past Memories Haunt You

I remember the bullying I endured as a teenager. I still remember how bad I felt. Back then, I didn’t think I’d survive the humiliation.

And I didn’t think I’d survive the humiliation again.   We forget we’re grown up now. As an adult, what horrific thing would happen if they laughed at me?

I knew it would hurt. But I realized I wasn’t a child anymore. I would bounce back.    In fact, I did bounce back when I was young, and I’d bounce back faster now.  

Getting Past the Fear

And in that moment, I asked THE question that helped me overcome this paralyzing fear.

Who Did I Want To Be?

Was I satisfied as a scaredy-cat? Was I afraid of a little humiliation?

Or was I a powerful, courageous, businesswoman?

Was I someone who did what it takes no matter what the challenge? I chose the latter.

The next time I sat down to call one of these experts, I caught myself about to clean my desk. I stopped. Then I asked that powerful question: Who do I want to be right now?

My answer convinced me to pick up that phone and make that first call.

Of course, I had no reason to be afraid. Every one of these people I feared were happy to hear from me. And were happy to send me clients! After all, they were professionals. I wasn’t still dealing with a bunch of mean-spirited teenage girls!

There is a small downside. My desk is a mess! But I’ll deal with that at another time.

If fear is at the root of your procrastination, ask yourself “who do I want to be?”

Then, “what are you most committed to, being that person or being safe?

To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must get past your fears and remember who you want to become.

Remember how resilient you are. A Creative Genius entrepreneur shows courage and determination. Even in the face of fear and uncertainty. When you’re able to go beyond this fear, you will become a superhero.

If you have what it takes to bounce back, you can succeed in anything. The only way a Creative Genius entrepreneur loses is if you give up.

Who do you want to be? Do you want to be a fearless entrepreneur? Get your copy of the Top Three Productivity Hacks For Creative Genius Entrepreneurs.


Resolutions: a Trap or a Fresh Start?

Are you an entrepreneur? A self-employed professional? Maybe you’re an adult with ADHD. So many of my clients (who all fall in one of these categories) have given up on making resolutions for the New Year. They can feel like you’re just setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.

Resolutions Help Decide on a Direction

Unfortunately, when you avoid resolutions, you give up on fresh starts. A resolution is an opportunity to draw a line in the sand and make a start fresh. It’s the best way to make improvements in your life. If the word resolution brings up feelings of incompetency for you, call them “intentions”, “decisions”, “a promise to yourself”, or a “direction”.

I’m always looking to become a better version of myself. Entrepreneurs need to constantly strive to be better versions of themselves to succeed. That’s why I refuse to give up on resolutions. I make resolutions to improve the quantity and quality of my sleep. I resolve to get in better physical shape. And I certainly want to socialize more with friends. Yes, I may fail to meet my goals. But any improvement is better than not trying.

Resolutions Build Excitement

Resolutions can help you choose and get excited about the projects you want to pursue this year. I’ll be launching two new and improved group coaching programs, Focus to Freedom and Plan to Succeed. I’m excited about helping more people reach their full potential.

What would you like to be excited about this year?

To increase your chances of achieve the change you desire, be aware of and solve the resolution traps. What are they?

The Resolution Traps

  1. A Decision with No Plan: Admittedly, most resolutions don’t bring lasting change. The problem isn’t the resolution. The problem is the poor plan for implementing the changes we want.
  2. An All or Nothing Attitude: ‘Black or white’ thinking is a problem. When we decide to lose 20 lbs., we go all in. We start strong! We go to the gym seven days a week. We eat kale every day. We quit smoking and drinking. Something’s got to give. When it does (and it will!), we miss a day or indulge in a piece of cake. Then we throw up our arms in disgust. We failed!

Avoiding the Traps

Adopt layered learning. What is layered learning? It’s a way humans were designed to change.

Layered learning looks like this:

  1. You decide to get healthy.
  2. You make incremental changes. Like becoming more physically active by taking the stairs when you can. Then you add 10 minutes of exercise twice a week. You drink more water.
  3. You implement these small steps and learn from them. You realize you need to carry a bottle of water with you to be able to drink more water. You look for more stairs to add into your travels. You realize you like going to the gym, so you up it to 20 minutes!
  4. You make small adjustments and improvements.

If you falter, you don’t abandon your resolution. You decided to improve your healthy habits.

You stick to that decision. But you stop and ask…

  • What went wrong?
  • What adjustments do you need to improve your chances of success?

5. You make adjustments and observe.

You’ve been learning that way from Day One. You learned to walk, one shaky step at a time. Once upon a time, you could only babble. Now you speak your mind. You would never have learned to do these things without Layered Learning.

Apply that lesson to the rest of your life and make 2020 and all the years to come better and better.

What project are you excited about for this year?

What Makes Us Happy… It Isn’t What You Think

By Linda Walker

It’s getting to be so difficult knowing what gifts to give to your loved ones at the holidays. We all have so much “stuff.” Do we need more “stuff” to be happy? That’s a big “No.” That’s when I began to imagine what affordable yet memorable gifts I could give. I had some interesting ideas, so I thought I’d share them with you here.

What Makes Us Happiest

Studies tell us that the money you earn over $75,000 in annual income doesn’t make you happier. Neither do the things more money buys. What does make us happier? “Experiences!” Here’s what I mean by that.

Remember a time you bought tickets to a concert, a play, or a trip you’d been anticipating. As soon as you buy the tickets, it could be months before the event, you begin enjoying the experience. Anticipation of the event is a big part of the experience! Your brain’s reward center floods with dopamine. This help the Creative Geniuses and adults with ADHD I work with who lack dopamine.

Then comes the big day! The real live experience happens! You enjoy it, you make memories, it’s amazing! More dopamine hits! If someone else gifted it to you, you’re reminded of their gift and are grateful; another dopamine hit! Months, even years later, you describe the experience to others. You relive it again and flood your brain with more dopamine. Experiences are the best gifts you can give and receive. They flood your brain in dopamine as you wait for the big day. A dopamine flood again during the experience. And they live in your memory, flooding your brain with dopamine again and again!

What Makes a 73-Year-Old Grandmother Jump Like a Teenage Girl at a Beatles Concert

A few years ago, I gave my mother tickets to a Fleetwood Mac concert. She is their Number ONE fan. She was so excited. I kid you not, my then 73-year-old mother jumped up, screaming like a one of those teenage girls at a Beatles concert. She was so excited! It was a great gift for her but also an amazing gift for me! I loved to see her so excited. Then, of course, going to the concert was a great experience we still talk about today.

My grandkids live very far away. I only see them twice a year. They have a huge extended family so the kids have almost every gift under the sun. It’s hard to get them something they’ll appreciate. So, what do you give them? I know my oldest grandson loves reading, so I got him a subscription to National Geographic for Kids. Several times a year, he gets something new to read from me. And it reminds I love him.

The Gift of Creativity

Of course, one of my most famous and successful “experience” gifts I gave to my husband. When we were struggling with his ADHD, life wasn’t much fun. He was under stress and felt guilty for not pulling his weight at home. He didn’t feel he deserved to treat himself to any downtime. I wanted him to have the chance to develop his amazing artistic talents. I enrolled him in an art course as a Christmas gift. The course forced him to take two and a half hours a week to do honor one of his gifts. He loved the course! It helped him relieve stress. He became so much calmer after attending the weekly classes it was a gift for the whole family! And it was a catalyst for his art career.

Many of my clients’ spouses register them to one of my group coaching or online programs. These courses help them improve their productivity. But more important, it helps them find time and energy to do what they want in life. I’m revamping my programs to be better than ever, so I’m not trying to sell you anything. They aren’t available right now. But consider the gift of a course that will improve your loved one’s life.

Memberships are also great gifts. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) is an organization serving adults with ADHD. They offer webinars, virtual support groups and more great services minimal cost.

Giving Is Also a Gift

Another great gift is to give money to charity. You can also volunteer as a family during the holidays. Each year I’ve given to charity in the name of my loved ones instead of gifts. World Vision has a catalog of projects you can gift.

My mom is an advocate for school children, teaching to prevent abuse and bullying. Each year I give money to save child soldiers or young girls sold into prostitution on her behalf. My father-in-law is a retired farmer. I give a donation to equip poor families with what they need to start a farm to feed their families in his name.

My oldest daughter and her family adopt a struggling local family. They assemble a gift basket of all the fixings for Christmas dinner and toys for each of the family’s children. A local organization involves the whole family in the experience. Everyone gets those dopamine shots that make you happy when you help others. These types of gifts remind us to be grateful for all we have and to pay it forward.

Enjoy your holidays. Be the change you want to see in the world.

Procrastination Is a Habit: Here’s How to Break It

By Linda Walker

Creative Geniuses tend to procrastinate. Or at least that’s one thing they complain to me about. Business owners wear many hats. Even if you love your business, there are plenty of less enjoyable tasks you’re tempted to put off. And since there are always new emergencies popping up, it’s easy to keep kicking them down the road.

If you do this often enough, you might even begin to think it’s who you are; you might think, “I’m a procrastinator.” Keep saying that and soon it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You begin to think it’s in your DNA. But that’s not empowering. Since you can’t change your DNA, you think there’s nothing you can do about your procrastination. It’s also completely wrong.

Procrastination is a habit. And you can replace a habit.

Let’s look at how you developed that procrastination habit and what you can do about it.

Procrastination Is a Learned Behaviour

Creative Geniuses often have difficulty making decisions. Your brain makes many random connections. This is the secret of your creativity but gives you too many options! Faced with uncertainty, you hesitate. Once you hesitate, you’re easily distracted. Your brain isn’t activated by importance. It’s interest, passion, urgency and excitement that get your attention. In fact, you’ll do anything to avoid boredom, no matter how important the task. If you’re bored or uncertain, your go-to approach is to delay or divert your attention to a different task.

Unfortunately, delaying or diverting your attention to a different task is very “rewarding.” When you put off a necessary but boring or uncertain task long enough, it becomes urgent. Your brain activates on urgency so leaving things until the last minute is rewarding. (Yes, it’s hard on you and the people in your life in the long term, but right now, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?” has become your motto.) Over time, this became a habit of procrastinating.

You Can Replace Your Procrastination Habit

What is a habit? Habits are anything we do automatically. There are good habits and bad habits (does anyone else feel like we have way more bad habits than good habits?) A habit is a series of routine behaviors you complete when a trigger occurs. Completing that routine gives you a reward. It’s very difficult to stop a habit. To do this, you need to identify the source of the habit. Is the trigger boredom, uncertainty, indecision, lack of planning, lack of focus, fear…?

Once you understand what trigger activates the routine, you can try to get rid of the trigger. For example, you could delegate boring tasks rather than put them off. Or you could plan better to avoid indecision. One client was always late to the office because he took so long to get dressed. He fixed that by planning all his outfits for the week on Sunday evening. He chose his shirt, tie and suit and even put underwear and socks in his shirt pocket. No more morning decision-making.

Sometimes you cannot stop the trigger. But by playing with the elements of the habit, you can replace it with a different habit. You do this by creating new behaviours you repeat each time you’re faced with the trigger. For example, if you can’t focus on a task now, don’t put it off because you “don’t feel like it.” Choose to schedule the task at a time when you will have more focus.

When you’re tempted to put off a task because of indecision, choose to use a decision tool instead. List the pros and cons of a decision and act on your analysis. (If the pros and cons balance out, you could flip a coin! Acting is often better than procrastinating.) If you’re putting off a task that bores you, delegate it. Or take a different approach. Go work in a coffee shop. Commit to an accountability buddy. Phone a friend and tell her you’ll have this task done in an hour. Call her back to confirm. Or invite others to do it with you. One client gathered coworkers in the conference room on Friday afternoon to finish their paperwork. Once everyone finished, they ordered pizza.

Focus on the Reward

When you want to create a new habit, pay attention to the reward. With the right reward you can replace procrastination with a more empowering habit. To create a habit, you must repeat your new routine each time the trigger occurs. Make sure the reward for this new routine is as good or better than the reward you get from procrastinating.

Notice the win. Reinforce the new routine by celebrating the win. Notice how you feel when you’ve completed the task. Recognize who you had to be to get it done. You’ve become someone you and others can count on! Celebrating reinforces the benefit you get from completing the task. We rarely celebrate procrastinating. Making a fuss about completing the task helps repeat the behavior in the future.

Procrastination as a habit, not a character flaw. After all, you have the power to change the habit and stop procrastinating.

The Choices You Make for Your Time are the Choices You Make for Your Life

By Linda Walker

I attended the Entrepreneur Experience conference in San Diego last week. Rachel Hollis, author of Girl, Stop Apologizing was one of the speakers. She said something that gave me pause. It might give you pause too. She said “You have the time to do what you want, but you choose to do other things instead.”

My first thought was, “Are you kidding me? I have no time, I’m busy, busy, busy!”

When Someone You Respect Says Something You Don’t Want to Hear

So here’s the thing, when someone I respect says something I disagree with. Or they outright irritate me, I journal about it. Not to complain. But to question my thoughts about it. More about that another day.

Have I have been making the wrong choices? Have I been busy doing something besides the important things I need to do?

I had to say I have. I’ve been “binge learning”. I love learning. And I do need to continue learning. We all do. But – I spend many hours of my day learning – not using this knowledge, not sharing it.

And sharing my knowledge. Helping you. That’s what gives me joy. And it’s more helpful for you! Not doing what I want to do is causing all sorts of anxiety and guilt.

You Have Some Choices to Make

You ever think the universe aligns to hit you over the head with messages you’ve been ignoring? This was one of those times. I’m updating my Focus to Thrive program and today I filmed, “We have 24 hours to fill each day. We are already so busy, it’s impossible to add more. We have to make some choices. You can’t keep doing more. And more. And more! You need to drop something.”

Thing is, I’ve been saying this to my clients for years.  So why was I not choosing what I do more carefully?

The Choices You Make Say Something About You

You choose and accept what you’re already doing. Or you can choose to create space in your schedule to do what you want to do. But to do that, you must give up some of what you’re currently doing. It could be something easy, like watching cat videos. Or it could be hard, like not hanging out with your friends as often.

What Brings You Joy? What You Choose to Do with Your Time Is What You Choose for Your Life

Once I realized I did have the choice, the decision was easy. I want to share what I learn. I want to connect with you. I want to make your life better. Because I LOVE doing that!

I want to, and need to, continue to learn. I need to block out specific times for learning. But I’ll use time boxing to limit the time I spend learning. And I’ll use time I save to write more. You’ll be hearing from me a bit more. I hope you see that as a good thing! J

Now it’s your turn

What are you choosing to do instead of what you need to do? To grow? To achieve your goals? To succeed?

What choices do you need to make?

I’d love to hear what you’ll do: Share what you want to do more of?

What will you remove from your schedule to carve out more time for that?

Happy Quitters’ Day! Now What?

I’m curious. What are you striving for this year? Do you have a plan for how you’ll get there? New Year’s Resolutions are popular. But they aren’t very effective. If you’ve adopted a New Year’s resolution, there’s an excellent chance you’ve already abandoned it. In fact, on January 12, you can wish people “Happy Quitters Day”! Studies show this is the tipping point. On this day more New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside than are still in effect.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve abandoned your resolution. Some people have given up striving for personal growth. They are so discouraged they have given up trying to become a better version of themselves. They’re afraid of deceiving themselves and others around them. We all want this year to be better than last year. But New Resolutions are an ineffective way of making that happen. If you’ve become frustrated with the whole process of making resolutions, I don’t blame you.

A typical New Year’s Resolutions hasn’t got a chance because:

  • It’s unrealistic. News flash. You cannot change all your bad habits in one fell swoop, even if it is a New Year!
  • It’s not sustainable. Two hours of working out every evening is not possible. Even Olympic athletes allow for days off.
  • It lacks backbone. A resolution cannot work alone. You need a plan for how you will make it work.
  • It is pass/fail, with no room for nuance. No one gets ideal results on the first try. You must be free to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and adjust your approach.

So instead of New Year’s Resolutions, what can you do?

  • Identify what you want to achieve. Then get very clear on why it’s important to you. Focus on the “Why” for motivation.
  • State your goal as if it was already happening. Say “I’m taking steps to increase sales by 50%.” This is much more powerful than saying “I want to increase sales this year.”
  • Create one new habit that will help you reach your goal. To increase sales, you could increase the number of sales calls each week. You could by publish one new article each week on your blog, publish it on social media to increase engagement with your clients. You could attend one new networking event each month. To name a few…
  • Start with small steps. Radical changes cause too much stress because they take you far out of your comfort zone. Start small and make incremental steps that let you stretch your comfort zone. As you get more comfortable, raise the stakes.
  • See “failure” as a learning opportunity. Then adjust your plan. Don’t quit, make small changes to your habits.
  • Reward yourself. Notice what you’ve accomplished. Don’t waste energy fretting about not achieving what you’d hoped. Celebrate even small wins. Being a tough taskmaster doesn’t help you reach bigger goals. Celebrating increases your energy and provides an experience you’ll want to repeat. When you celebrate progress, you’ll want to continue that progress.
  • Start now! Don’t wait until everything is perfect to get started. Nothing will ever change because things are never perfect. Don’t wait until you have time. Make time.

Be happy no matter what. If you achieve your goals, celebrate! If you don’t reach your goals, striving towards them has already changed you for the better.

So now, let me know what new habit will you be adopting this year?

One Magic Ingredient That Increases Intimacy in Your Creative Genius Relationship

by Linda Walker

The way we were

Duane and I have shared our story many times. We are open about how bad things were for the first 15 years of our marriage. We don’t hold back, because we want people to understand we’ve been where you are. But we also share how we’re still married after 34 years. We want to give you hope.

Those first 15 years were rough. We were in dire financial straits. Duane never followed through. I don’t have ADHD, so I picked up the slack for everything Duane couldn’t do. And there was a lot he couldn’t do. (Sometimes I was sure it was stuff he wouldn’t do!) We were both under a lot of stress and that puts strain on a relationship. We fought all the time!

People think it was Duane getting help for his ADHD that changed our relationship. They think once he was “fixed,” it was smooth sailing. Of course, when Duane got help, it reduced a lot of stress on our relationship. But even that wouldn’t have saved our marriage. We needed one more thing. Luckily, we discovered the missing ingredient. And it turned our hellish marriage into wedded bliss.

What’s that secret ingredient?

Empathy was missing from our relationship. We discovered we weren’t listening to each other. Neither of us understood how much we had in common. We both felt lonely and wounded. It was only once we began to “listen” that we were able to see each other’s point of view. Once we were able to see our partner’s point of view we were able to mend the relationship.

Empathy is the ability to see things from another person’s point of view. We often say “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.” Seeing the world from their perspective is the only way to understand what’s happening. During our many fights, (actually shouting matches) we spewed our anger and pain at each other.

We weren’t listening to each other because we were too busy trying to be right. When you listen, listen to understand. Don’t listen only to prepare your comeback. That’s “empathy.” Is it the missing ingredient in YOUR relationship?

It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again

by Linda Walker

As another February started, I was reminded how often adults with ADHD relive the same old challenges they’ve been dealing with all their ADHD lives. It’s as if you keep replaying the actions, hoping the outcome will be different each time.

But now that Groundhog Day is over, why are you continuing to relive the same challenges? If this sounds like you, it may be that you feel as if you’re stuck and not making any progress. Of course, if all you’ve been doing is replaying the scene over and over in the same way, and of course, achieving the same unwanted results, you are stuck!

Though maybe today is the day you realize that if you want a different outcome, you need to change some things. If you’re ready to make that change, where do you start?
Many ADHDers and other creative geniuses struggle with managing everyday life.

How often do you rush out the door at the last minute for an important appointment then berate yourself or scream at the drivers around you who seem to be slowing you down? How often have you looked for your keys, your wallet, your bus pass? How often have you promised to buckle down and get work done in your business but found yourself watching cat videos on YouTube for an hour instead?

Each time you mess up, you vow to never repeat the mistake again. Yet the next day, you find yourself doing it again. Each time you repeat the same mistake, you berate yourself for your lack of discipline. Every time you repeat this same cycle, you are eroding your self-confidence, convincing yourself that if only you had more willpower, you could change. Soon, you believe that you are simply flawed, you don’t have as much willpower as other people, and therefore you’ll never be able to change.
This is simply not true. You’re reliving the same problems, not because you lack self-discipline, but because you lack a plan to solve the problem at the source. And it’s not a lack of willpower that’s at the source.
How would you like to live a new life adventure, one where you’ve got your sh**t together?

Here’s a strategy to do that: As my husband always says:

“Don’t solve the problem once, solve the problem once and for all.”

The first step to doing that is to set aside time to think about the problem.

Consider the steps you take to get the current result – otherwise known as the routine. You accomplish your current results by following a series of actions, and those actions are the same each time. Next look at the results you want and compare them to the results you’re getting – what is the gap? How close, or how far, are you to achieving the results you want?

Determine the source of the problem

Why are you always leaving at the last minute? Are you getting up too late? Are you getting involved in something in the morning and losing track of time? Are you looking for something to wear? Are you spending too long singing in the shower, practicing to get on The Voice?

Identify a solution you want to adopt

As a result of your analysis, you determine you’re checking your emails and spending too long answering them. What’s the solution? You could decide not to open emails in the morning or set a timer to limit the time you spend on them and only scan for and respond to urgent emails. You could get up earlier.

Put it in writing

Next, write down what you’ve chosen to do because there’s a good chance you’ll forget. You could create a notebook in Evernote and create a note. Include a trigger to use to remind you of your new plan. It could be a paper or electronic post-it note that pops up when you turn on your computer, or a visual cue you leave on top of your computer – a troll doll or other small figurine, for example – or have someone remind you – although I am not a fan of deferring your responsibilities onto others because when they mess up, you end up playing the very unproductive blame game.

Make changes where needed

Next, test your plan: Take some time at the end of the day to determine how well it worked and tweak as needed, then test it again.



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