ADD/ADHD and TIME: 5 Systems Basics


Exercises in Systematizing

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part 2 of ADD/ADHD and Time: will ANYthing work?

In the first part of this article, subtitled Time Management Tips and Tricks, I promised to share Five Underlying Systems Principles.

Remember: These five underlying concepts really do need to be accepted — with systems and work-arounds in place — before you stand a prayer of a chance of managing your energy within time’s boundaries.

Working effectively within the boundaries of time is an exercise in systematizing.

As I said at the beginning of Part 1 . . .

  • There are a lot of pieces to that systematizing concept.
  • “Pieces” require juggling, cognitively.
  • Cognitive juggling is highly PFC intensive [prefrontal cortex]
  • Guess where the ADD/EFD/TBI brain is most impaired?
    YOU GOT IT – the PFC.
  • Don’t make it harder than it is already – make friends with the concepts below.

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ADD/ADHD and TIME: will ANYthing work?


Time Management Tips and Tricks

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
PART ONE of two: In support of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

Like I said in an older article, “Listening for Time Troubles – struggles with time and follow through,” a great many ADDers have trouble with T-I-M-E.

• We run out of it
• We are continually surprised by it, and
• More than a few times we seem to be completely unaware of it.

All ADD Coaches worthy of the term must remain aware that Listening For and Languaging to your clients’ awareness of time, and their relationship to time (oh yes, my friends, they most certainly DO have one) almost always involves some serious sleuthing on the part of the coach!

However . . .

Lest I be accused of keeping all the good stuff for the carriage trade (remaining mindful of the need to avoid joining the “Ten Time Tips that will Pay your Mortgage and put hair on your grandfather’s chest” crowd), I’m going to share five underlying principles that I listen for and try to language to my clients and students.

I’ll even tell YOU what I tell them 5 System Basics – but few clients ever really hear me the first couple dozen times, so don’t be too surprised when some of these basics float right past you too.

Let ’em simmer in your brain’s slow-cooker — as long as you don’t actively resist, fighting the ideas or ruminating over the thoughts that yet ANOTHER person simply doesn’t get it, you will be one step closer to getting a handle on this time thing.

Even when you’re desperate, change is just flat-out HARD!

ADD

Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

ADD/EFD ain’t EASY!

If you read more than a few articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com, you will begin suspect that I’m not particularly fond of tips and tricks — and you’ll be absolutely right about that.

Why not?

For the most part, they don’t work.

The neurotypical advice almost always scratches where it doesn’t itch. The reasons they don’t do things are seldom the reasons we don’t.

And then they fire the “resistance” salvo our way — and we fight the urge to do something that will send us to prison for life as they sing another rousing chorus of the “you’re-not-really-trying” hymn of the republic.

Even most of the ADD/EFD-flavored tips and tricks miss as many flavors of ADD/EFD as they catch. It is simply impossible for anybody to write a book that handles all situations for all people – at least not a book anyone could lift. I know. I’ve tried. (Why do you think my articles are so darned long, linked to so many others to cover each individual point in yet another long post?)

So, for the most part, most of the tips and tricks books don’t really work for a great many of us.

WHEN they don’t work, it shuts us down.

We self-flagellate (then ruminate endlessly)

  • Didn’t I do this right, or am I missing a key point — AGAIN?
  • Everybody thinks I just don’t want to succeed, and that’s just not true!
  • Will I ever get a clue?
  • What’s wrong with me?
  • NOW what am I going to do?

We get defensive (then go on the offensive)

  • This book got great reviews, how was I supposed to know it was crap?
  • I work a full-time job and have primary responsibility for 3 kids: meals, laundry, school activities, sick days — how am I supposed to squeeze all these lists and things into my day? Who is this written for – ladies who lunch?
  • Yada, yada, yada, YADA!

Ultimately, we come back to where we started, concluding that “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” management is the most we can ever hope for – until the next time, that is, that things get SO unmanageable that we fall prey to yet another tips and tricks ploy.

Can you tell I’ve been there?

I finally figured out WHY all those tips and tricks didn’t work for me: they weren’t written for ME,
they were a
compilation of items that worked for the author (who was, very likely, NOTHING like me!).  [See Why Tips and Tricks Fail for more]

Once I learned that the root of my chronic disorganization had a NAME, and began to look at everything through The ADD Lens things began, ever so slowly, to come under my control. Simply having a diagnosis shifted my shifted my expectations.

As I said in an earlier article: until we believe we can, we can’t!! 

“How many times can we keep trying until we decide it’s impossible?

It’s a coach’s job to avoid sending their ADD/EFDers off to tilt at windmills. That means, you absolutely must DETERMINE THE CAUSE before you begin to work on solutions.

How much sense does THAT make!!”

But what do you do if you don’t HAVE a coach?

Do whatever you can to remedy that sad situation.  You simply must.

Dr. Edward Hallowell has been quoted many times saying that, “[ADD] Coaching is the single most effective tool for ADD self-management” FOR A REASON!

Coaching may well be “optional” for many, but those of us with “alphabet disorders” (ADD, EFT, TBI, PTSD, OCD, etc.) need the externalization of our prefrontal cortex activities as much as a sailboat needs ballast to keep it from tipping over in the first substantial gust of wind.

And not just any coach – a comprehensively trained, brain-based ADD coach — a coach who has been trained to listen for EFD issues, and understands how to coach them!

Don’t “cheap out” on yourSelf
(and don’t let money be a stopper)

  • If you can’t afford the fees that professional coaches charge, ask about the possibility of a reduced rate. Many of us maintain a few sliding-scale slots, simply because we KNOW how important that external PFC support can be.
  • If you can’t afford even the low rates that many of us slide to, apply for coaching with a student, mentored through an coaching intern program — or go for Group Coaching.
  • If even that is beyond your budget, check out, sign up or get on the waiting list for my next really-low-fee PEER Coaching Basic Training. (click here for information)  Start looking around for a buddy who’s in the same situation — the two of you can trade accountability coaching forevermore. (You don’t even need to take the class, by the way, but it does help increase the effectiveness of what you do together quite a bit).

MEANWHILE . . .

Coming up are some essential concepts that need to be in place before you stand a prayer of a chance — really!  

Don’t beat yourself up about that reality, use it as a lever to adjust your expectations appropriately, and to help you to figure out where you need to concentrate your
time and effort ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible).

Trying to systematize a life without the basics is like trying to
to start a car that’s out of gas.

  • Agonizing isn’t going to make a bit of difference.
  • Neither will “voting” – you may not like the idea, they may not like the idea. Sorry Charlie, it is simply what’s so
  • Hearing what a doofus you’ve been for not focusing on that little gas detail (especially hearing it internally) will shut you down and delay you further.
  • Go for the gas.

Like a mantra: essential concepts need to be accepted – with systems and work-arounds in place – before you stand a prayer of a chance.

Working effectively within the boundaries of time is an exercise in systematizing.

  • There are a lot of pieces to that systematizing concept.
  • “Pieces” require juggling, cognitively.
  • Cognitive juggling is highly PFC intensive [prefrontal cortex]
  • Guess where the ADD/EFD/TBI/PTSD
  • brain is most impaired?  YOU GOT IT – the PFC.
  • Don’t make it harder than it is already – make friends with the upcoming concepts.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS WARNING:

The upcoming five concepts that will begin to put some gas in your car are simply that: FUEL.

Until you make sure your “car” has fuel, you can’t do much about checking to see if the starter needs fixing.  You may also learn you need to adjust the steering mechanism.  Oh yeah, and you certainly won’t get very far on lousy tires.

  • You don’t expect your car to magically transform with a little gas, do you?
  • How about a whole tank full of gas?
  • How about gas and four new tires?

Yeah, right!

Try to remember that the next time the beatings begin, as well as when you feel defensive and become offensive.

You can’t eat an elephant in a day — EVEN if you take tiny bites.

In Part Two of this article, we’ll talk details about those Five Systems Basics.  Scroll down for other related articles here and elsewhere.

——-
Graphics gratitude:  Stopwatch Guy & Gas Pump from free-clipart.net
 ADD Coach Success Systems: Marty Crouch: Webvalance Internet Partners
Convertable/bad exhaust from webweaver

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If you’d like some one-on-one (or group) coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this article (either for your own life, that of a loved one, or as coaching skills development), click the E-me link  <—here (or on the menubar at the top of every page) and I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

Related Content on ADDandSoMuchMore.com

You might also be interested in some of the following Coaching Skills and Practical Application articles

For links to still more: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links (subtle, so they don’t distract you) will turn dark red; AND check out the links to Related Content in each of the articles below

Related articles around the ‘net

*NEW* ADD/ADHD Medication Rules: 5 Resources


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Free downloads – gifts from Dr. Charles Parker

 by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An article in the ADD Advocacy Series

If you haven’t been over to Dr. Charles Parker’s “new and improved” CorePsych Blog yet – for a wealth of information you won’t find anywhere else – maybe a “bribe” or five might move it to the top of your list.

“There ain’t no IS about ADD” ~ mgh

Fellow ADD advocate (originator of a TON of web content and author of two “Rules” books now), Dr. Parker is one of the physician crusaders for specificity – of diagnosis and of treatment approaches.

He insists that we need to take a detailed look at a whole lot more than
many of his collegues realize, and that the look must be individual specific.

The checklist below is from his download link page — another of my “reblog” work-arounds: a few points to consider as you think about why YOU might be interested in what he has to say.

Full Disclosure: he doesn’t even know I’m doing this, so he certainly isn’t paying me to do it!

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Brain-Based Coaching Basics: watch videos, change your brain


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Parts of the Brain and What They Do

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another article in the Brain-Based Resources Series

from wikimedia.org, Creative Commons

“Hardwired” — out of the box — that’s what we’ve always believed, and with a uniformity of structure and function that neuro-surgeons count on.

But brain surgeons have always known
that’s not all there is to the story.

Did you know that, as far as we know right now, the brain itself has no pain receptors?

At least, once a a surgeon gets through what we usually refer to as “the skull,” the brain itself does not need to be anesthetized.  The patient feels no pain.

That’s a good thing, too, because the surgeon may need the patient to be wide awake for the surgery.

Why?

The surgeon knows better than almost anyone that, because no two brains are exactly alike, patient feedback may well be necessary to make sure that areas needed for vital functions don’t get damaged in the process.

They really can’t take much of anything for granted when they are operating on an individual brain. Not only are we all BORN with brains that are uniquely our own, as we grow and learn and experience day-to-day events, our brains change.  Literally — structurally.

Our brains are as unique as our fingerprints: like snowflakes, no two alike!

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Distinguishing-101


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while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Distinguishing “Distinction”

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC   ©1995, 2012
Another article in the ADD Coaching Skills Series

Thanks to artist Phillip Martin!

Coaches are in the Wisdom business. It is our job to share with clients the language and awarenesses they need to get what they want. One of the ways to share wisdom is to do something called “drawing distinctions.”

Distinctions are just a fancy way of saying that we give the client the proper language for what they really want to say, be or do.
~ Thomas J. Leonard

Shifting your come-from

The primary goal of any kind of Coaching is to facilitate client “shifts” in attitude and awareness that will allow them to avoid what Einstein (or Narcotics Anonymous) referred to as insanity: repeating the same thing, expecting a different result. 

Nowhere is shifting a more important concept than in coaching relationships with clients who struggle with atypical Executive Functioning.

What’s a Shift?

A shift — sometimes referred to as a paradigm shift — is a reframe, a change in perspective that expands thinking. It is an instantaneous “get out of the box free” card that changes how you view all areas of your life impacted by the shift.

By virtue of your new vantage point, your relationship to whatever problems or challenges you are currently facing is suddenly redesigned.

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Plowing through the Paper Piles


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Quick Thought of the Day

from Maria Gracia

If you are not already a subscriber to Maria Gracia’s excellent Get Organized Now newsletter, you’re missing out on a great resource. 

Her most recent “special” issue contained a great article with tips that just might help more than a few of us who are drowning in paper. It also contained some nifty tips from readers that I’m not sharing – you have to get your OWN subscription if this taste test suits your palate!  (It’s a free resource, by the way )

Seriously, if you are “organizationally impaired” and haven’t already stumbled across Maria’s website, RUN to sign up – you’ll thank me for that tip many times.  In addition to her free newsletter, she also has some nifty organizing systems for sale on her site.  (Disclosure:  NO hidden agenda — I don’t make a penny for sharing this with you. I don’t even know the woman, except as a subscriber.)

Consider this a sort-of “reblog”

Those of you who have been following ADDansSoMuchMore.com closely already know that, after one test of WordPress’s “reblog” feature (inflicted on all of you – sorry!), I decided not to use it ever again. 

I didn’t find their formatting particularly ADD-friendly. Those of you who struggle with reading would be likely to run away screaming, but I still run into content that I want to be able to share. Hmmmmmmm . . .

I decided to work around around the feature (not a bug?) from here on out. Respecting the spirit, if not the letter of reblogging’s intent, cutting, pasting, formatting, attributing and linking is my ADD work-around.

Enjoy her article!

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, MCC, SCAC

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New Study: CBT Looks Promising for ADD Teens


New Study shows Teens w/ ADHD helped by
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Guestpost from David Rabiner, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor;
Dept. of Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University
ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE
August 2012

=====================================================================================
I have been a huge fan of Dr. David Rabiner’s ATTENTION RESEARCH UPDATE since its inception in 1997. Not only do I count on his comprehensive, plain-English explanations of up-to-date research trends and developments as key resources in my drive to keep my information base current,  I also archive them for future reference.  

For those who aren’t already among the over 40,000 people currently subscribed (sponsored now by CogMed, so no longer a charge to you), at the conclusion of this post I tell you how to get your own monthly copy in your very own email box.

I urge any professional working with individuals on the Attentional Spectrum — whether teachers, counselors, coaches, therapists or physicans — to sign yourself up the second you see those instructions, before it falls through the cracks.  (Parents and ADDers themselves can benefit too!)

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T, MCC, SCAC

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Anger and Advocacy


by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Reactions to the Brain-Based Processing Series

WOW!

In the twenty-five years I’ve been an ADD Advocate, I don’t think I’ve EVER gotten the kind of response elicited by the Processing Speed posts (*links to posts follow article).

AND, I’m thrilled to report, there was not even ONE flame in the bunch, even though only a few of the missives were of the “You Go Girl!” persuasion.

Thank you EVERYONE!

  • For being interested in ADD . . . and-so-much-MORE!
  • For being engaged in life and eager to learn how to “drive the very brains you were born with™” (even if they’ve taken a few hits in the meantime)
  • For taking time from your lives to draft and send carefully crafted responses
  • For being concerned for my welfare (and my feelings)

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Processing slower or more to think about?


How FAST can you sift & sort?

Intro by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part THREE of the Brain-Based Processing Series

How fast can you FILTER? 

THAT is the question.

CLICK HERE for Part I: ABOUT Processing Speed
CLICK HERE for Part II: Processing Efficiency

Introduction

EFD: TBI & ADD (and more!)

There are a great many disabilities that are manifestations of Exectutive Functioning Disorder [EFD] – some inborn, and some acquired subsequently.

Some EF struggles are a consequence of damage to the frontal cortex, others are a consequence of another disease or disorder and its impact on hormones or glucose metabolism — or anything that has an effect on the neurotransmitter balance in the Prefrontal Cortex [PFC].

Read more of this post

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