As Independence Day draws near in the US, my thoughts turn to how you can gain independence if you experience ADHD. Whether you are a working adult, college student or even a younger student, I encourage you to think about how you can advocate for your self. Do you have ADHD? Other time management or attention-related concerns? It is important that you self-advocate for yourself! This will help set you up for a successful semester.
There are many ways to implement advocacy in your life. I have listed a few thought starters here and would love your input as well. Please leave us a comment!
- If you are in college and have been diagnosed with ADHD or a learning disability, contact the disability services office on your campus. If you aren’t sure of the name at your school, just search for disability services and the name of your school. You’ll find them.
- Talk to your professors and teaching assistants about the support that you need. Even if you have accommodations from the disability services office, conversation with professors and teaching assistants will ensure a common understanding among everyone.
- Consider your learning style and how you can maximize your strengths in school or work settings.
- At work, consider the type of environment in which you work best. I remember when I was still in the corporate world, my least favorite desk location when I was the last cubicle before the hallway. Everyone thought it would be nice to stop in and say hello on their way to the vending machines, coffee, elevators, etc. My friend Bridget helped me arrange my cubicle furniture to make it less inviting to guests. It worked! I didn’t want to be rude, but I needed to get some work done!
- Seek your supervisor’s assistance if you need help in minimizing interruptions. It may help to explain that it can take up to 25 minutes to refocus after each interruption. By being proactive and asking for assistance – you’ll get more work done too! (And what supervisor can argue with that?)
- Join Barbara Wilson and I on July 21st to learn how to Succeed with Assertive Communication. Using assertive communication can really help you in your self-advocacy journey. Register today!
How do you advocate for yourself at school, work or home? Share with our community by leaving a comment here.
Join me as I interview Barbara Ann Wilson who is an expert speaker, trainer, coach and author on the topic of assertive communication. We’ll discuss how to Succeed with Assertive Communication.
You do not want to miss this class if you would like to learn…
- why assertive communication is so important
- how to communicate more assertively
- the importance of assertive communication if you have ADHD or other attention challenges
ADHD can make it difficult to prioritize. If a task is important, but not interesting, it can be difficult to make it a top priority. Read on for suggestions on ways to improve your prioritization skills!
If you have ADHD, I recommend that you commit to spending 5 minutes each day making a quick plan. Once each week, spend 10 or 15 minutes. If this is a task you dislike, set a timer so you know you’ll be free when the buzzer sounds!
When planning your week and day, make sure you are working towards your top priorities. Ask yourself a few questions regarding each meeting, task or other assignment to help you decide what are the highest priorities in a given day or week…
- How will this task or meeting move me towards my goals?
- Is this task or meeting important?
- Does this task feel important just because it is urgent?
- Is there another way for this task to get accomplished?
If you commit to asking yourself these questions for at least 3 weeks, experience tells me that you’ll see a positive change in your prioritization skills. Are you ready to commit? Leave us a comment and let us know your plans!
PS – We have an exciting call coming up on Monday, June 14, 2010. Turmoil to Tranquility: Tools for Increased Productivity. Register today to make sure you don’t miss out on the call or the recording!
ADHD can cause challenges with procrastination. If this resonates with you, read on for some simple ideas that can help you end the procrastination right now. Before you continue reading, just pause and commit to take ONE action today or tomorrow. Can you do that for yourself? Agreed? Okay, read on….
- Decide when you are going to take the first step in that project hanging over your head right now. Schedule time in your calendar right now and set an alarm to “beep” and send you an email. These reminders can be very helpful in moving forward.
- Start your day tomorrow by working on that big assignment for 10 minutes. That’s it, set a timer to remind you when 10 minutes is done. When the timer sounds, decide whether you can stand it for another 10 minutes. If not, do it again the next day, and the next….
- Give yourself encouragement. All too often, ADHD, and some of the co-existing conditions that come with it can cause a lot of negative self-talk. Try to change that self-talk to something positive. Start your day tomorrow by saying, “It will be great when I get this project started,” or something similarly positive.
- Do the hardest part of the project first. Once you have accomplished the hardest or most unpleasant part, the rest will seem like a breeze! If this isn’t feasible, just start with something on the harder end of the difficulty scale.
- Spend some time planning out your work and break it into the smallest steps you can develop. Commit to taking one step each day for the next week. The momentum could be just what you need to make big progress.
As I said earlier, just commit to taking one of the ideas above and putting it into action. Do you feel like you might procrastinate? Leave a comment with your commitment and when you will start. I’ll send you a reminder!
So tell us, what are you going to do? Good luck!