Unleash Your Creative Genius

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20 ADHD-Friendly Ways to Re-Energize Your Brain

Taking a break may be better for productivityIn part one of this series, Be Productive: Take a Break you learned how important it is for ADHD adults and other Creative Geniuses to recognize when it’s productive to take a break. Yesterday, I discussed the science behind re-energizing your brain. Today, I have a list of possible break activities you can use to get your second wind. Every one of them is better for you than watching TV or playing a video game. Hopefully, these will inspire you:

  • Short 20-minute nap
  • Vigorous exercise, such as a brisk walk around the block
  • Activities you enjoy such as Sudoku, office-chair chariot races
  • Laughing – read a joke, watch a very funny short video
  • Read for enjoyment
  • Listen to music
  • Better still, listen to music as you play air guitar or air drums
  • Dance
  • Draw or do something creative
  • If you’re extroverted, chat with a friend (co-ordinate breaks so you’re not disturbing people!)
  • Meditate (if it energizes you)
  • Play a musical instrument for one song
  • Stretch, yoga, Tai Chi
  • Visualization – imagine yourself on the beach, on a water slide, parachuting…
  • Deep breathing
  • Drink water
  • Journal rant – write what you’re feeling and thinking – get it out of your system
  • Dreamscape – think of your dream vacation, dream house, your dream date (McDreamy or McSteamy for any of you Grey’s Anatomy fans)…
  • Walk to other parts of the building where you work and visit

Years ago when I still had a job, for a break a bunch of us decided to see how many people we could fit in our über small coffee closet. Weird, I know, but we had fun and while we were crammed together, we started talking, others began to entertain. By the way, we fit 26 people in a 15 square foot place.

Be creative and have fun!

How Can You Use This Tip Today?

  1. Choose from these or hopefully get inspired to find your own productive break activities and schedule time in your day for these types of breaks when you run out of steam. You’ll be amazed what happens.
  2. Choose a personal activity you’d like to do in the evening and see how you feel.
  3. Let me know how it goes; write your comments below, and please share your ideas as well.

What Constitutes a Productive Break: It Isn’t What You Think

A few days ago, I discussed the importance for ADHD adults and other Creative Geniuses to recognize when it’s productive to take a break . Today, we’ll discuss what constitutes a productive break and a bit of the science behind it.

Why Bother?

Choosing productive, rejuvenating breaks doesn’t only benefit your employer, if you have one; it benefits YOU. If you take a re-energizing break when you need it, you’ll regain your energy so that you’ll have mental and physical energy to finish your work on time but better still, you’ll also have energy left to engage in personal goals and projects and unleash your creative genius.
Many ADHDers work late to make up for a perceived lack of productivity. You work late so you get home late, feeling tired and with little energy left to pursue your own passions. Discovering the best way, the most productive way, for you to take a break is not only altruistic; it serves your needs as well.

What Constitutes a Productive Break?

In modern society, we’re encouraged to “take a break” using external forms of stimulation such as watching TV, surfing the Web or playing video games.

You might even feel that since these activities are stimulating, they’ll give you energy and allow you to bounce back from feeling tired. Unfortunately, they are not only addictive, some of these activities actually totally drain your energy supply and, worse, leave you drained even after you’ve stopped engaging in them.

I know you’ve heard how bad TV and video games are for ADHDers. I don’t want be another nagging voice telling you to “Turn off the TV and go outside!” so let me take it a bit further and explain a bit of the science behind the issue.

Short Course on Brain-Wave Patterns

Your brain produces waves in response to your activities and depending on the activity, your brain waves fit various patterns. Your ability to focus also depends on those brain-wave patterns. Beta brain waves keep you alert and able to focus. Alpha waves indicate that your brain is at rest. Delta waves occur when you are asleep.

Since the aim of a productive break is to rest your brain but then allow it bounce back and regain energy, at the end of a productive break you need to be producing beta brain waves, right?

Now the Studies

Studies using EEG and MEG (to measure your brain wave activity) have shown that when people watch TV, their brain produces Alpha waves; this is why you tend to watch TV to relax… it is relaxing. But here’s what’s crazy-bad for you: when you turn off your TV set, the sense of relaxation ends but your brain remains passive and lacks alertness. In other words, TV “sucks the energy” right out of you.

Video games are no better. Studies that measure brain activity show that video game players show an overall decrease in Beta waves; the more you play video games, the longer Beta wave patterns stay near zero even when you’re no longer playing.

I’m not saying you can never ever watch TV or play video games again. But if you’re taking a break because you want to regain energy so you can unleash your creative genius after your break, those activities are big no-nos.

Conclusion:: Watching TV and playing video games does not allow you to regain the Beta brain wave production you need to feel alert and energized.

Tomorrow, I’ll share 20 ADHD-Friendly Ways to Energize Your Creative Genius Mind.

How Can You Use This Tip Today?

If you’d like to progress in your personal projects and goals by taking full advantage of your creative genius, commit to doing something other than watching TV, playing video games or going on the Web, before your personal development activities.

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Be Productive: Take a Break

Be Productive : Take a Break

Entrepreneurs, ADHD adults and other Creative Geniuses often seek my services because they fail to be very productive. That’s why they’re surprised when in my Maximum Productivity Makeover I tell them that to be more productive, they may need to take a break.

Don’t confuse productivity with busy-ness

You confuse productivity with busy-ness. We all do. In fact in North American culture, working hard means you’re moving up in the world, you’re successful. As I was writing my first ebook, Grow With the Flow, I thought of how proud I used to be to tell people how busy I was; I wore it like a medal or a badge of honor. Not anymore.

I realized that being productive is doing what you need to do or get done in order to progress toward what you want to achieve.

As an avid gardener, I liken busy-ness to working hard at pulling whatever sprouts up, without considering if it’s the right thing to do; in the end, I have a garden overrun by weeds. If I had been productive I would have taken fewer but very focused steps and ended with a garden full of flowers.

Respecting the lulls of energy can actually make you more productive

ADHD adults feel especially guilty taking a break because they think they have to work more to get more done. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When you feel mentally and physically wiped, pushing through to get more done is the worst thing you can do.

We all have cycles throughout the day where at times you have a lot of energy and at other times you have virtually none left. But for ADHD adults and other Creative Geniuses the peaks are very high and the dips look more like crashes.

Consider the athlete who trains hard for an important competition. Did you know that before a competition, the same hard-working athlete rests to conserve energy and recharge for peak performance?

This strategy is not only good for athletes, it can also benefit you. Taking the time to recharge when you feel wiped allows you to regain your energy; whereas, working through this period in your day, actually never allows you to recover.

So now, how can you use this today?

First, become aware of periods in your day when you feel wiped.

Then, instead of pushing through, take a break that will give you energy.

In my next article, I’ll provide ideas for rejuvenating breaks.

5 Reasons to Unleash Your Creative Genius – Part 2

ADHDers aspire to more than they often achieve. Unleash your creative genius.Earlier this week I published Part 1 of the 5 reasons to unleash your Creative Geniuses. ADHDers and other Creative Geniuses spend so much time and energy at work, they have little left for anything but family, and even that’s on back order. We discussed the importance of working with your strengths and passion as a way of crafting an amazing life. Here are other compelling reasons why you must unleash your creative genius.

3) You’ll reach your full potential
“Be all you can be” is more than just a U.S. Army recruiting slogan. People have different strengths and talents. The truly successful discover their special ability and pursue that one thing with unerring diligence until they are the best at it that they can possibly be. Your potential for greatness lies not in struggling to improve your areas of weakness, but is found in developing your strengths, talents and passions.

Working to overcome your weaknesses saps your energy. Unleashing your Creative Genius energizes you, allowing you to make huge strides in your areas of strengths. The thrill of pushing the envelope of your own abilities and always striving to reach just a little higher is far more enjoyable than the nagging disappointment you feel when you suspect you’re capable of more.

4) The world needs your talents and strengths
The world is in serious trouble and we need your help. Right now, thousands of gallons of oil are spewing into the Gulf of Mexico daily, global warming is a dangerous reality, millions of people are without food, water or medical services and war rages in many areas of the world.

I’m not implying that you put on your mask and cape and save the world, but we need the strengths and talents of every Creative Genius to help find solutions to problems.

5) Someone inspired you – pay it forward and inspire others
It’s rare to turn on the TV or open the newspaper to discover good news. The media focuses on bad news in the form of disasters, crime and corruption. If you’ve been inspired to unleash your Creative Genius, please “pay it forward” and provide the inspiration for another Creative Genius who’s struggling to fit in rather than standing tall and standing out.

And because your deserve more, here’s a bonus reason you must unleash your Creative Genius:

6) The world needs more passion!
The world needs your passion. Nothing is more contagious than a smile on the face of someone passionately pursuing a dream they believe in. It seems each year brings the threat of some new pandemic, but imagine what would happen if this caught on instead!

So what are you waiting for? Unleash your Creative Genius!

You may be ready and willing to unleash your Creative Genius but lack the tools to manage the mental and physical energy required to get there. That’s why I created The 10 ADHD Productivity Myths, Busted! report, a free report with implementation email series to help you discover how to achieve this.

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Strengthened by Adversity

The Best Time to Have Adult ADHD

Sing Your Heart Out

Who Are You Not To Be Great?

5 Reasons to Unleash Your Creative Genius – Part 1

Surprised woman looking up with white backgroundCreative Geniuses (AKA ADHDers) often work undercover. Sometimes, you’re so well disguised you don’t even recognize your own inner Genius yearning for freedom. Of course, it can be hard to recognize your Creative Genius if you’ve spent many years ignoring it, tamping it down or covering it up so as to fit in with “normal” people.

As a Creative Genius, your brilliance lies in your non-conformity, but throughout history, non-conformists have been ridiculed, labeled as heretics, imprisoned or worse. Your parents, your friends and your school have invested tremendous effort to mould you, make you conform and teach you to do things the way everyone else does. Since the goal is standardization, they give no consideration to the effectiveness of this approach.

Little wonder many Creative Geniuses find themselves working in jobs they hate, doing things they aren’t particularly good at and expending enormous effort to overcome their weaknesses. You know (or at least suspect) you’d be much happier, and you’d probably be far more effective, if only you felt free to do what you really love and do it in a way that works for you, “acceptable” or not.

Many Creative Geniuses desperately want to explore and develop their talents, but find that when trying to keep up on the treadmill of life takes everything you have, there’s no time or energy left to even think about let alone make a change. Exhausted, sometimes it’s easier to blame your responsibilities and commitments to your job and family for your inability to pursue your passion or to explore and develop your strengths and talents.

But rather than blame anyone, consider instead that it is your responsibility to yourself and to your family to live your best life, to inspire, to motivate and to lead your family. And the best way to lead is by example. You will succeed when you pursue your passion, doing things your own way and creating in the way only you can. Even better, you will show (instead of just telling) your children that they too can live a successful life, not by conforming but by standing out, not by playing it safe but by throwing themselves wholeheartedly into life.

What better lesson could you teach your children, and who better to teach that most important of all lessons than a Creative Genius?
Here are five more reasons why you must unleash you Creative Genius:

1) It’s great to be great
You’re a Creative Genius, but when you don’t work with your strengths, you’re sapping all your greatness as surely as if you were Superman carrying a pocketful of kryptonite. Work with your strengths and reclaim your Creative Genius status. Instead of worrying about fitting in, you’ll shine, and when you shine, you share the best of yourself with your family and the world.

2) You can only truly be happy when pursuing your passion
Nothing is more motivating, energizing and inspiring than pursuing your passion. Little wonder since your passions are where your Creative Genius lies. No one is happier than a person striving for greatness while chasing a dream that ignites his or her passions. What’s more, happiness attracts happiness; your happiness grows exponentially, and your happiness rubs off on the people around you.

Many of my coaching clients struggle with the decision to strike out in a new direction in life. They fear leaving the status, perks and big money their unfulfilling career provided, assuming that pursuing their passion means abandoning those things. Passion and profits are not mutually exclusive, but while you may lose some of those things, you’ll gain a huge amount of satisfaction and joy in your life.

Continue to Part 2

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Strengthened by Adversity

The Best Time to Have Adult ADHD

Sing Your Heart Out

Who Are You Not To Be Great?

What on Earth Is a Creative Genius Coach?

I’ve been coaching ADHD adults for five years. I’ve been married to an ADHDer for 26 years, and I raised a daughter with ADHD as well. However, you may have noticed that in my recent articles, I’ve begun to use “Creative Genius” rather than ADHD when I describe my clients. I’m even changing the name of my blog to “Unleash Your Creative Genius.”

I’m not changing my coaching clientele, so you might wonder why I would change the name of my blog. It was not an easy decision, but I feel it’s the right one. I’ve always preferred to define things by what’s right rather than by focusing on what’s wrong. As your coach, I must believe in your abilities. After all, there will be times, especially early in our relationship, when I’ll be the only one who does! Your family may doubt you, your boss may doubt you, your friends may doubt you… and you’ll almost certainly doubt yourself. You’ll appreciate having someone in your corner.

I have no problem being in your corner. When I work with my clients, I am constantly amazed by your positive characteristics – your ability to hyperfocus, your passion and excitement (for just about everything!), your astonishing creativity – and I choose to focus on those positive traits rather than on your occasional distractibility, your forgetfulness or your struggle to follow through on projects.

I am not minimizing the impact of ADHD on the adults who live with it or on their families. Nor am I trying to “pretend it doesn’t exist.” I speak from personal experience when I describe the devastating effects ADHD has had on my daughter and on my husband. I would never deny that without the right help and knowledge, life with ADHD is something to endure rather than enjoy.

However, what you focus on grows. If you focus on the problems of ADHD, you’ll have more problems. However, if you focus on developing your strengths and talents, forget about trying to fit in and throw yourself wholeheartedly into the pursuit of your passion, you’ll soon discover that, ADHD or not, you have many positive traits. Focus on those and guess what grows?!

Watching my husband transform from a struggling project manager to a successful vice-president was astounding, and the inspiration for me becoming an ADHD coach. Five years of working with ADHDers has confirmed that my husband’s story, while inspiring, was not unique. Many, if not most, adults “suffering from” ADHD are Creative Geniuses who simply have not yet tapped into their strengths. In a statement to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Michael Fitzgerald agreed, describing links between ADHD and creativity, risk-taking, and high levels of novelty seeking, the very characteristics that are the keys to success as an artist or entrepreneur!

I see the qualities of a Creative Genius every day in my clients, who yes, are ADHD adults, but who are also quite often artists, authors, inventors and/or entrepreneurs (as many as 50% of all entrepreneurs have ADHD, were diagnosed with ADHD as children or show many of the characteristics of ADHD adults). Your ability to hyperfocus on activities that truly interest you allows you to optimize learning, providing the perfect incubator for developing your Creative Genius. A quick look at some of the most creative people in almost any field today reveals that most share many ADHD traits, and more than a few have confirmed their diagnosis of ADHD.

Creative greats such as Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson (founder, Virgin Enterprises), entrepreneur David Neeleman (founder, Jet Blue Airlines and inventor of the electronic airline ticket), TV handyman Ty Pennington (Extreme Home Makeovers), TV host Donny Deutsch (Big Ideas TV show), writer, actor and TV producer Rick Green (The Red Green Show, ADD and Loving It), award-winning actor Patrick McKenna (Traders,The Red Green Show, and ADD and Loving It) and Howie Mandel (Who Wants to Be A Millionaire) all use their great passion, energy, propensity for risk taking, creativity and their ability to hyperfocus to develop their talents with amazing results.

I have changed the name of my blog because, while I still help adults with ADHD overcome the negative impact of ADHD in their lives, I’m not coaching an ADHDer; I coach the Creative Genius that is within you.

Tell me what you think of this new direction.

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The Best Time to Have Adult ADHD

As an adult diagnosed with ADHD, one of your first reactions is likely regret at not knowing earlier. I often hear my clients say, “Things could have been so different for me if only I had known sooner that I had ADHD.”

The Best Time to Change

An ancient proverb tells us, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time to plant a tree is today.”

This is true of trees, and of improving your life. Yes, if you had changed your life 20 years ago, you’d be reaping the benefits today. However, it’s never too late to change (or to plant a tree!). Start now to improve your life and you will reap the benefits of change in the future, and chances are, it’ll take a lot less than 20 years. On the other hand, throwing your hands up and deciding you are too old to change guarantees you’ll never benefit from your new found knowledge.

The Best Conditions for Change

Do you think you can’t really change your life until you’ve organized your home, or you get a better job or you get the kids out of the house? Or you may feel like the “old dog” and think it’s too late to change the course of your life or learn any “new tricks.” But what if you’re wrong?

What if you could change something today that would change your life for the better? What if you could make a difference right away? Your life would be better… for the rest of your life!

What if, instead of waiting until you had the “right” education, you got a job working toward your new career right away? Would the experience put you that much further ahead, both while you’re studying, and when you graduate? What if you could have a better life even if your house doesn’t look like a Better Homes & Gardens layout? What if you didn’t wait until you can take a year off to write your novel, but you began now to create your outline, do your research or even write, a bit at a time?

Instead of waiting until conditions are perfect to get into the life you want, could you start doing something today that moves you a little closer to it? More importantly, what regrets will you have in 20 years if you don’t plant your tree, or change your life, today?

If you think things could have been different if you’d known about your ADHD earlier, prove it! Now you know, so do something. Make that change, plant that tree, and avoid the bigger sting of, “I knew I had adult ADHD and I did nothing about it…”

Strengthened by Adversity

I wanted to share this inspiring story with you. After all, if you have ADHD or you love someone who does, you could use a reminder that it’s possible, even, under the right conditions, (which you CAN create, by the way) inevitable, to be wildly successful despite ADHD.

In an interview with the March edition of Success Magazine, Creative Genius, Sir Anthony Hopkins, describes the rejection and pain he felt as a child with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia. Labeled a “problem child” and struggling in school, anger consumed him as he compared himself with his brilliant cousins who excelled academically.

“Act Happy” to Be Happy

Thankfully for those of us who have long enjoyed his acting, he chose to channel the fire of his anger to “rise above it” instead of becoming a negative force in his life.
Playing different roles as an actor allowed him to discover that being happy is a choice. He explains how, just as a great actor must do for any part, once you assume the “role” of a happy person, you program your mind to be happy and in the process you become happy. It took me years to realize that indeed, we all have a choice as to how we respond to life’s difficulties, and that choosing to be happy is just as possible and easy as choosing to be unhappy.

Choose Your Strengths

Adopting a strategy that every successful ADHDer will recognize, he chose a career that uses his strengths and talents while minimizing his weaknesses. This is not to say that everything comes easily. To succeed as an actor, he works extraordinarily hard and invests a lot of time and energy preparing for his roles so he’ll feel confident and at ease during rehearsals. He doesn’t waste time or energy making excuses why he can’t learn his scripts because of his ADHD and dyslexia. Instead, he realizes that, for the opportunity to pursue his passion, this is a small price to pay.

Give It Your Best Shot

When you focus your energies and efforts in an area of strength, you can do anything or overcome any obstacle, yes, even with ADHD. Sir Anthony Hopkins struggled in school, was labeled early in life, and works harder than other actors to overcome his dyslexia to read his scripts and compensate for the short term memory issues that make it so difficult to memorize his lines. And yet he doesn’t allow any of these obstacles to stand in his way.

Don’t Let Obstacles Stand In Your Way

Are you letting obstacles stand in your way? What can you learn from Sir Anthony Hopkin’s example as a Creative Geniuses and ADHD Adult? I was inspired by his story and realized each of us can:

  • Choose to use adversity as a springboard to greatness
  • Choose to be happy, “act” happy, and you will be happy
  • Choose a career that uses your talents and minimizes your weaknesses
  • Work hard and “over” prepare to feel confident and in control as you pursue every opportunity.
  • Don’t follow the crowd but make choices you intuitively know are right for you; success follows.

What other inspiring lessons can you draw from Sir Anthony Hopkin’s story? Or do you have your own inspiring story of overcoming adversity to succeed in spite of ADHD. Please share below.

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Announcing: The Maximum Productivity Makeover for Entrepreneurs

Several entrepreneurs have requested that we offer an “Entrepreneur Exclusive” version of The Maximum Productivity Makeover for Creative Geniuses specifically for Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Professionals. Entrepreneurs face unique challenges and have more flexibility in applying strategies to maximize their productivity than other Creative Geniuses.

It will include three one-hour morning group coaching sessions each month for six months, along with electronic books and workbooks accompanied by online audio and video instruction. Group members will select the day – Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday mornings starting in May. You’ll invest $267/month, which covers all materials, the group sessions and two additional one-on-one sessions with me. Visit the Entrepreneur Exclusive version of The Maximum Productivity Makeover for Creative Geniuses to learn more.

If you are interested in joining us, sign up by visiting the Entrepreneur Exclusive version of The Maximum Productivity Makeover for Creative Geniuses or if you still have questions, please complete a Request for Complimentary Session and check your interest as Maximum Productivity Makeover by requesting a complimentary session or call 514-807-5008.

Entrepreneurs Need Productivity Too

Entrepreneurship and ADHD go hand in hand. For many ADHDers, entrepreneurship is the best career choice. In the right business, one that excites you and that takes advantage of your strengths, entrepreneurial success is within your reach.

Entrepreneurship can solve many problems for ADHDers, after all, as an entrepreneur, you can’t fire yourself and you can definitely delegate those tasks that don’t interest you. There are many role models of successful entrepreneurs with ADHD, and I’m not describing a select few “rock star” business owners. Every day, I work with entrepreneurs successfully facing and conquering their ADHD demons, and even using their creative genius to their advantage.

Of course, these same entrepreneurs are quick to confirm that maximizing your productivity is an absolute necessity for any entrepreneur to succeed. Time is money; really, time is more valuable than money… you can’t get more time if you run out! You may not have a boss to impress (besides yourself), but the forces that will judge whether you were productive enough are even less forgiving than even the toughest boss. You need to be amazingly productive.

Most entrepreneurs start their business as a solopreneur. You’re responsible for every aspect of your business, from creating the vision right down to every gory little detail, like sales, invoicing, chasing payments and managing paperwork. And you have personal and home responsibilities, unless you want to come home late one night to find your suitcase waiting for you on the front porch!

You must maintain your health with exercise, a good diet and sufficient sleep because if you miss a day, there’s no one to take your place. And staying financially healthy, though often more challenging when you’re in the early stages of starting a business, is essential. There’s nothing more distracting than creditors’ phone calls!

It’s easy to see how so many entrepreneurs get overwhelmed or neglect essential aspects of their lives. So how do you do it all?

You adopt strong entrepreneur productivity practices. Productivity is not only about work performance, it includes all the commitments you make to others, to yourself, and to all that supports you, including your health, work-life balance and financial security. It’s about self-management.

Neglect your self-management and you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed, possibly in divorce court and procrastinating on your invoicing or sales calls. And that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

What have you been neglecting lately?

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