ADHD Management: When Enough is Enough
I’ve been noticing a growing anxiety over the past few months, especially when I open my email. It wasn’t until I got away from my desk to a quiet, contemplative place (also known as the library) that I realized what was happening.
Last year, I signed up for newsletters, free webinars, courses, and other offerings from ADHD experts. After all, managing your ADHD is a full-time job, right? Paradoxically, things were already going well. So well, I didn’t have time to read, let alone participate in most of the forthcoming e-mails’ invitations.
Every time I ignored an expert’s e-mail, I felt guilty, incompetent, and worried that I’d missed the ADHD tip of the century! I’d inadvertently recreated my pre-diagnosis sense of failure. Once again, I just couldn’t keep up.
I’d voluntarily subscribed. The problem was, I’d never stopped to ask why.
Failure – that old familiar feeling
When you’ve spent 47 years developing a fear of failure, it’s a habit that’s hard to break. Signing up for these e-mail feeds was a sign I was on auto-pilot. Instead of reinforcing my new feeling of competence, I’d slipped back into the old “I’m never good enough” mentality. No wonder I felt stressed!
When is enough, enough?
Recently, ADHD coach and fellow ADHDer Dan Perdue reminded me of Dr. Edward Hallowell’s concept of “good enough.” We’d both latched onto this idea as an antidote to our perfectionism and self-judgment. After talking to Dan, I realized I’d been applying “good enough” only to my office clutter. And that just wasn’t good enough.
Maybe the ADHD treatments and strategies I had in place were already good enough when I signed up for even more.
Like buying too many groceries, sometimes when you have too much of a good thing something starts to rot. My self-confidence was starting to stink as I missed one more webinar, added one more e-mail to the list of those I didn’t know what to do with and didn’t have time to deal with.
I’m pretty sure I’d be more productive if I stopped trying to learn how to be more productive.
Do I really need five time-management techniques when one will do? I’m pretty sure I’d be more productive if I stopped trying to learn how to be more productive.
Just like tossing out the rotting food at the back of the fridge, I’m tossing out my subscriptions to e-mail feeds that don’t feed me. I’ve added a few strategies to keep me from making the same mistake twice and maximize the tips I’ve already learned.
Just say no! I got myself into this mess because of insecurity and for self-improvement. It’s time to subscribe to self-confidence and unsubscribe from being overwhelmed.
Find tips on an as-needed basis
Instead of collecting ADHD strategies, I’m going to fly with the ones I’ve got. Once a month I’ll assess where I’m at. If I’m not happy with any area, including friendships, family ties, work, social life, and so on, I’ll look for a solution on an as-needed basis.
Keep track of accomplishments
I’m a firm believer that a positive attitude and self-esteem make all the difference. I’m going to remember what I have accomplished, not focus on what I haven’t, and put my energy into my current goals.
Find an accountability partner
I’m switching to direct, not digital help with ADHD management by teaming up with an accountability partner. Once a week, we set our goals and check in for evaluation and support of our progress.
Having someone else to report to is curbing my procrastination. It’s also forcing me to prioritize and verbalize my goals and keep focused on what I’m supposed to be doing rather than getting distracted by a million other shiny things. Plus, my accountability partner won’t let me off the hook as easily as I do. Did. Now, I don’t want to lose face when I have to tell him I watched a hockey game (or the Grammys) when I was supposed to be working on a query letter.
Enough is enough already!
With so many juicy offerings out there, it’s hard not to let go of the quest for constant improvement in ADHD management. But it’s important to remember that the goal of ADHD management is to help you get to your other goals.
Kessler, Z. (2014). ADHD Management: When Enough is Enough. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 5, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-zoe/2014/01/adhd-management-when-enough-is-enough/