A New Beginning

Often, September feels like New Year. This year, we might like that to be true more than ever! I doubt anyone would object to writing 2020 off and starting over. Let’s call it 2020 take 2!

We all feel like we need a fresh start more than ever. And when that feeling hits…

We Make Promises…

You want to organize everything! You swear you’ll stop procrastinating and follow through on promises. You vow to make fewer mistakes, manage your time and execute your plan.

You’ll arrive at meetings ready to crush it. Inbox zero will be a reality! Now that you’ve spent some time with the family, you realize they’re pretty nice. You swear you’ll step away from the computer and eat dinner with your family!

Back to work! You start work with renewed energy. But then you hit 400 emails in your inbox. And how could your projects be behind already? You’re pedaling like crazy to maintain any credibility. Dejected, you give up on your best intentions. How can you plan when there’s no time?


Soon you’re scrambling for those numbers seconds before the big meeting. You’re working late and through the weekends. Again. You never did organize your projects. And you’re putting out fires. Did I mention there’s no plan?

We Don’t Deliver

No one saw a lockdown coming. We didn’t have a plan for this. And the plans we did have don’t always work with the new rules of the game. If you feel stuck, it’s because you had a plan. And then someone moved the goal posts!

You are not moving forward with your business because your plan fell apart, and you don’t have a Creative Genius-friendly way of rebuilding your plan. You need a new plan that will work with the new reality we all live in.

Simple, right? Instead of waiting for circumstances to change (or trying to change them yourself), you need to build a new plan.

You Need a New Plan

But Creative Geniuses struggle to plan. Most planning systems aren’t built to work with your brain. So, figuring out what to do and when to do it is a long, painful process. And when it falls apart, it’s overwhelming to even think about creating a new plan.

What if January could be different? You’d have to start planning now. Before the craziness of the New Year. But how will you make that happen? That’s what’s missing. The best intentions can’t survive without a plan. You can count on disappointment if Christmas arrives you don’t have a plan to back you up.

In this video, I’ll share the three steps you must take to transform intentions into results. We call that being an Achiever.

First, be clear about the results you want. Do you want to be home with your loved ones for supper? Do you want a less frantic workday? Do you want to be on top of things? No more details slipping through your fingers. Do you want to be someone people can count on?

Second, identify what’s keeping you from those results. Do you have time to plan? Do you know how to plan? Do you follow through on your plan? Do you believe in planning? After all, it’s never worked for you. Or is it all those things? Though it never worked for you doesn’t mean it won’t today. Unless you learned planning that fit your unique brain wiring, you aren’t the problem.

Finally, close bridge the gap with the right strategy. Stop looking for tips and tricks. Adopt productivity-enhancing strategies. If you’re tired of disappointment each year, you need sustainable change in your life. One of the best strategies is to use habits. (And only one of the powerful strategies I teach Creative Geniuses like you.) Habits will let you achieve anything you set out to do. For example, if you want to this New Year to be different, a good habit would help. You could plan your projects every week and to check your agenda every day to ensure you’re on track. Yes, you can do that.

I have seen poor planning trip up my Creative Genius clients again and again. I want to prevent you from losing precious time to our “drive to do more” as an unwitting victim of poor planning. Here are 3 signs you could be a victim of poor planning

Goal Setting for Creative Geniuses: the Big WHY

By Linda Walker
This is the time of the year, after indulging during the holidays, when many of us decide to buckle down and set new goals or targets for ourselves in the coming year. Creative geniuses often set big goals. Big goals have the power to energize and inspire, especially when the going gets tough; however, big goals are usually long term goals and that can often spell trouble for you.

You see, Creative Geniuses, a term I use to describe people with out-of-the-box thinking such as entrepreneurs and people with ADHD, are interest-based performers who need the quick payoff of shorter goals to stay motivated. In addition, many ambitious creative geniuses think big but, faced with then taking action, don’t know where to start. Add to that a sometimes limited level of belief in your ability to reach your goal, and your stick-to-it-iveness will be tested many times. If your goal seems too “pie-in-the-sky” or feels too out of reach, only a strong belief in your ability to eventually succeed will keep you going, or not. You’ve heard the old adage: “if you think you can or you can’t, you’re right”.

On the other hand, many who’ve tried and failed too many times limit themselves by only setting small goals. The problem with this approach is that when you choose goals that don’t move you out of your comfort zone, even if you manage to reach your goal, it doesn’t feed your need for accomplishment. You know you didn’t have to stretch so you don’t respect the achievement. Of course, small goals aren’t very exciting and so don’t have the same power to motivate. So what should you do?

If you’re a creative genius who wants to aim higher and accomplish more, the first thing you need to do is to think about the change you want to make happen in your life and get clear on why it’s important to you. Keep digging deeper. Once you have found a first reason it’s important to you, ask why that’s important to you. Then ask why THAT is important to you and so on. Keep digging deeper until you reach a reason that really resonates emotionally with you.

Here’s an example: many people want to be wealthy and set a big financial goal for themselves. The problem is that, oddly enough, even if it’s a big number, the dream of being wealthy is not a compelling one. As soon as you hit some bumps along the way, you’re very likely to resign yourself to your current lifestyle. But go a step further and ask why it is important to be wealthy? “I want to be able to quit my job”, you answer. Then ask, why is quitting your job important? “I hate that my job takes me away from home”. Why is it important not to be away from home? “Because I want to spend more time with my spouse and kids”. And why is that important to you? “Because I want to be a bigger part of their lives”. And why is that important? “Because I love them and I cherish every moment I can be with them and I want to guide my kids through all the experiences life has to offer them.” Ah ha! Now we’re talking!

Once you have a reason that really resonates with you emotionally, when you face setbacks, and you will face setbacks if you’re reaching high, which is more likely to keep you going? The thought of having a lot of money? Or the dream of being present in your children’s lives and being able to share all sorts of wonderful experiences with them? So the real goal is to have more time and more freedom so you can be a bigger part of your family’s life. Your goal is really not be wealthy. The great thing is, there are ways to break that goal down into smaller steps with the possibility of spending more time with your family showing up as a reward much sooner than the time required for you to achieve sufficient wealth to quit your job.

The next time we talk, I’ll show you how to set yourself up to take action toward whatever change you want in your life.

Attention, Not Time, Leads to Productivity

Ever notice how so many of us work longer hours, cutting into our lunch breaks and home life, in a quest to get more done, yet our inbox pile keeps getting higher, our unanswered emails keep stacking up, and our to-do lists verge on becoming a to-do book?

We proudly wear the “busy” label as a badge of honor that means we’re dedicated and going places, when in reality all we’re doing is spinning our wheels. What are we really dedicated to? Achieving better results? Or squandering our personal time doing “busy work” (and doing it ineffectively and inefficiently on top of that!) This is especially true of adults with ADHD, except your “busy” badge is rooted more in shame than in pride.

I’m not implying that you’re doing this on purpose. In fact, you’re working exactly the way you’ve been taught. The problem, of course, is that you’ve been taught wrong. People with ADHD often don’t know there’s a better way to work, a way that makes you more productive but with less work. So what’s the secret? The one no one ever told you because they were too busy telling you to work harder, put your nose to the grind stone and work, work, work.

Productive Vs. Busy

Truly productive people work smarter not harder. While “busy” people focus on the hours they spend on something, productive people have learned to value attention. But you’re thinking “Hey wait a minute, Linda! I have ADHD, if attention is required to be productive and work less, I’m doomed! That’s what “Attention Deficit” means”.

Well, that’s a common myth, but like all myths, it’s dead wrong. You are capable of paying attention for longer periods of time than you ever imagined, longer even than those people who started the myth that you can’t focus! I’m talking about hours, not minutes of additional focus at a time. And under the right conditions, you can even do it consistently every day.

There’s a Pattern

Your periods of focus-ability tend to occur following approximately the same schedule each day. Yes, you can almost set your watch by it because, under the right conditions, you can have two periods each day when you have sufficient mental energy to tackle long tasks that require you to be focused. And with the right approach, those periods of attention are pure gold, no platinum, in terms of increased productivity! So how do you discover when your productivity platinum mind appears?

You start by paying attention to how you’re paying attention. Monitor how you are able to pay attention at different times throughout your day. Do it over a few days, and you will see a pattern begin to emerge. Keep watching and before long, you’ll realize that your pattern is so consistent, it’s actually predictable, and once it becomes predictable, you’re in charge!

Can Adults With ADHD Really Become Creative Geniuses?

reinvent-yourselfMany ADHD adults have tried different approaches to fit in. You’ve tried to be more “linear,” more “logical.” You’ve enrolled in Franklyn-Covey or Day Timer time management programs. They didn’t work. You’ve tried to emulate family members and friends, hoping, at least, to “look normal.” You’ve spent great amounts of time cleaning your office / desk / home, trying to achieve perfection.

“Help, I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Be Normal!”

But nothing was ever good enough. The saddest part is that many of ADHD adults eventually give up on themselves, thinking “I’m ADHD, I can’t get my s&#!t together, so how can I ever succeed?”
Of course, if you think you’re beaten, you are! If you think of yourself as defective, incapable, a victim of your ADHD, you can’t reach your full potential.

Become a Creative Genius Instead

I’ll explain. Recently I participated in a program because I wanted to bring my business to “the next level.” My business, like many others, has been affected by the economic crisis.
I couldn’t understand why I still had to struggle to make ends meet. After all, I had been working hard and investing a lot on myself and in my business. Then it dawned on me. The person I was then was not who I needed to be to take my business to the “next level.”

I’ll be honest; I had been working hard behind my computer screen. However, to grow my business I have to talk to people who intimidate me a little… okay, a lot. The current “me,” when faced with contacting these “scary” intimidating people, gave into the fear and cleaned my desk. This fearful desk-cleaning nut was not the person who was going to go far in business.

To become a successful businessperson, I had to reinvent myself as a successful businessperson and do what a successful businessperson would do. I had to be bold, to get out there and talk to people, and not just any people, but the very people who intimidate me. Oddly enough, once I figured this out, my fear was no longer in the way; I no longer let the fear stop me. No, the fear doesn’t go away, but I am not a successful businessperson who is able to feel the fear without letting it stop me from doing the things I need to do. Now I take action, making me the successful businessperson I longed to be.

Reinventing Yourself Can Be as Simple as Changing Your Point of View

When you reinvent yourself, you choose to be the person you need to be to achieve what you want, and then you take the actions that being this person allows you to take. Reinventing yourself as a creative genius allows you redefine yourself, which leads you to think and act with a very different perspective. As a capable creative genius, you no longer live within the limits your ADHD (and you) imposed on yourself.

When my husband tried to lose weight, nothing worked until he decided to reinvent himself. He reinvented himself as a healthy person and began to make the choices a healthy person would make. This allowed him to shed 120 lbs! Einstein chose to master his creative genius, not by trying to be “normal,” but by working on mathematical formulas instead of trying to improve his writing skills (he was dyslexic) or keeping his home spic ‘n span, (he delegated that to his poor wife). Judging from photos, he probably didn’t spend a lot of time on personal grooming either. To us it seems only natural.

If right now you see yourself as an ADHDer, consider perceiving yourself instead as a creative genius, who will have a huge impact on your world. This will help you think as a creative genius and choose activities that allow you to take advantage of your untapped potential instead of watching another TV show (that you really don’t like anyway!)

Seeing yourself as a Creative Genius gives you freedom and reduces the resistance you feel. You allow yourself to be Unstoppable!

How Can You Use This Tip Today?

First, visualize your life as a creative genius. See yourself working with your strengths, imagine feeling competent, and smile to yourself as you visualize enjoying the fruits of your labor. Get out a piece of paper and describe what being a creative genius allows you to do that you can’t do right now.

Now, given the potential reward, don’t you think it’s time to unleash your creative genius? What action would you take if you were a creative genius? Well, you ARE a creative genius if you say so, so take that first step. Be bold and don’t allow your old self to stop you.

Related posts:
Obstacles to Unleashing Your Creative Genius
Being ADHD vs. Having ADHD
What on Earth is a Creative Genius Coach

Obstacles to Unleashing Your Creative Genius

creativegeniusUnleashing your creative genius takes time and energy. You have amazing ideas. They’re creative, out-of-the-box and so crazy they just might work, if only…

As an entrepreneur, adult with ADHD or other creative genius, you don’t lack imagination. I’m convinced that a creative genius or, even two or three, already have the solutions to many of the world’s problems, but they just can’t seem to bring them to fruition. One of the biggest regrets my clients share with me when we first meet is, “I feel I have so much potential, but I can’t seem to execute any of my brilliant ideas.”

The sad part is that not only are you missing out on a more fulfilling life but the world, your community, your family and your friends are also missing out on everything you have to contribute.
You’re so busy making a living, keeping your job, saving your marriage, staying out of trouble, the list goes on… that you just don’t have the time and energy required to realize your creative projects. Paradoxically, your ADD brain, provides you with the flow of ideas that lead to unconventional creativity, but also creates the obstacles that prevent you from bringing them to fruition.

To accomplish your projects, you need:

  • To conserve energy so you have some left over at the end of the day to implement your ideas;
  • To organize your time so you are able to allocate time to work on them;
  • To create a better environment (physical, financial, social, family, body, etc) to support you;
  • To recognize and develop your strengths and minimize the impact of your weaknesses;
  • To manage your projects by creating systems and habits that will allow you to accomplish even the most boring task to make your creative ideas happen; and
  • To overcome procrastination.

My clients and I work on together these areas. You bring the creative genius, and I offer the focus, action and success. :). Hey, I like that!

In a few days, I’ll provide some ideas on how you can accomplish these things and allow your projects to see the light of day.

Now, how can you use this information today?

  • First, identify the obstacles that keep you from moving forward with your projects.
  • Second, consider what first two or three steps you can take to meet one of these needs.


Related posts:

What on Earth Is a Creative Genius Coach?
5 Reasons to Unleash Your Creative Genius – Part 1
5 Reasons to Unleash Your Creative Genius – Part 2

Being ADHD vs. Having ADHD

beyond-adhdAdults with ADHD often refer to themselves as “ADHD Adults,” as if ADHD is something that you are instead of something you have. I’ve never been comfortable with that idea, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on the reason until…

Last weekend, I met a woman whose child has a severe handicap. She explained that for years she had felt doomed to caring for a handicapped child for the rest of his life, or at least the rest of her life. She defined him by his disabilities instead of seeing the child behind the label.

However, she had a personal breakthrough when she began to see her son as a child with a handicap rather than as a handicapped child. When she began to notice and concentrate on his strengths, his qualities, his abilities and his persistence, well, so did her son, and before long, miracles began to happen. Her son began to develop physically and intellectually beyond anyone’s expectations.

Though it may sound like trivial wordplay, seeing yourself as an adult with ADHD instead of as an ADHD adult changes your perspective, and it allows you to see the whole person that you are with your talents, dreams, abilities and all your other gifts. Yes, you still recognize that ADHD may make some things more difficult, but it doesn’t make them impossible, and hey, it might even make some things easier. This new point of view lets you see new opportunities, bringing what’s possible into focus instead of holding your attention only on the impossible.

When you see past the “disability” to focus on your gifts, you begin to unleash your creative genius. Yes, you have ADHD, but it doesn’t have you.

How Can You Use This Tip Today?

If you’ve been defining yourself or someone you know as an ADHDer, adult or child, change the language you use. This simple change provides a new perspective and allows you to see the person in a completely new light.

Next, begin to notice your talents, strengths, dreams and hopes and concentrate on those while acknowledging and seeking help to manage any obstacles your ADHD creates. You’ll be amazed at the miracles that become possible.

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.

Related posts:

Be Productive: Take a Break

Improving ADHD Performance Starts With YOU Management

Version française

ADHD Adults struggle with their performance at work and in their personal lives

The biggest complaints I get from new clients is about their performance at work, problems with relationships as they fail to live up to their commitments with others, their tendency to procrastinate and wait until the last minute to get stuff done, and feeling that they don’t live up to their full potential because of these.

They think that these are different problems but they are really symptoms of the same problem: ADHD productivity issues. Learn to manage your productivity and these problems get solved.

Planning, organizing, engaging in, executing and following through on your commitments in your professional and personal life require you have a handle on your productivity. The problem is that ADHD adults struggle with exactly these issues because of their brain differences.

They try traditional time management systems like Franklyn Covey, Day Timer, Harvard that don’t work for an non-conventional brain. Often, the reason clients show up at my door is that they’ve tried these program and nothing worked. You have a Turbo Limited Edition brain so these programs’ don’t provide you with the right instruction manual for your brain.

You need a YOU Management program that recognizes your unique brain differences and allows you to work WITH your brain instead of against it. This means:

  1. matching your brain’s natural energy cycles with the tasks on your To-Do list;
  2.  creating ways to conquer boredom by “automating” the boring stuff; 
  3. overcoming your tendency to procrastinate by getting at the root of the problem; 
  4. using your natural strengths and talents to improve your productivity; 
  5. controlling obstacles to your productivity, like interruptions and losing things; 
  6. using a method to better manage your life so that you commit to and execute those activities that are important to you; and 
  7. choosing tools that allow you to maximize your time and avoid problems.

 The most important thing to recognize is that trying to do things like everyone else does leads to disaster for ADHDers. You need to manage YOU by working WITH your brain not against it.

Lost Productivity with ADHD? It Doesn’t Have to be That Way

Version française

A new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) lose approximately 22 work days a year! Imagine! That’s more than a month of productive time less than other people get to do their work, build their businesses, achieve their goals.

Of course, the study only focused on 8-hour work days. ADHDers lose productivity on their off hours as well, missing out on time for themselves and time to spend with their families. Entrepreneurs who typically work longer hours (because they have more to do AND because they love it) are probably losing far more of their time and energy into the productivity black hole.

Poor productivity and lost hours is one of the biggest complaints my ADHD clients come to me about. They often feel that time just slips through their fingers despite their best intentions, often leading to feelings that they aren’t living up to their full potential. Of course, it’s pretty hard to live up to your potential when you only have 11 months to do a full year’s work! The good news is that for adults with ADHD, with help to implement ADHD-friendly tools and strategies, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Once my clients learn to work with their ADHD instead of against it, they are amazed at the dramatic difference it makes in their lives, both at home and at work. It also often astounds me just what adults who have learned to work with their ADHD are capable of achieving. My clients frequently report productivity leaps using these special strategies and tools that let them deliver 8 hours worth of productivity in 5 hours.

Of course, as this WHO study proves, results like these are impossible to achieve without ADHD-friendly strategies. My clients learn to:

·        match tasks to their energy flows,

·        create systems to reduce or eliminate lost productivity,

·        eliminate procrastination

·        better prioritize so they work smarter instead of harder,

·        reduce or eliminate distractions,

·        master self-control and self-management, and to

·        take advantage of productivity tools and systems that protect your productivity like Fort Knox.

If you, like many of my clients, face ADHD or “entrepreneurial ADD” every day, and you’d like to learn more about how these ADHD-friendly productivity enhancing strategies can change your life, please enroll in this easy to follow email course (ecourse) at http://www.productivitymythsbusted.com