Is your relationship with time fractured?

 

Is your relationship with time fractured?

 

An inconsistent relationship with time can invade many areas of an individual’s day to day experience. The effects can be disastrous in the workplace, in relationships and can play a significant part in one’s self-efficacy (a belief in their ability to perform and succeed)   It can affect an individual’s sense of self-worth and foster negative thoughts such as guilt and shame.

Frequently my clients share with me that they are tired of apologizing for being late, adding to the already stressful feeling of running late.  They intend to get there in time, but got stuck behind a truck, an old driver, or having a bad run of traffic lights (…yet again). When an individual feels shame, they feel disconnected from others, not worthy of belonging.

It can also shape or even taint other people’s opinions also of the individual as well,

“My friends don’t even expect me to be on time anymore, and you know, they are right…”

“I was passed over again at work, time management again seen as on ongoing weakness”

 

Being consistently late can send the following messages that you’re

  • disrespectful of other people by not valuing their time commitments
  • Lazy or  being “flakey”
  • Disorganized
  • Unreliable
  • Not committed or interested

 

These labels can further reduce an individual’s feelings of self-worth. Little wonder anxiety creeps in. Is that what we really want? How is it that history tends to repeat itself and you are running the same 20 minutes time and time again?

Here are a few reasons how Executive Function challenges (often seen in ADHD) can impact one’s relationship or sense or time. Inconsistencies if the following areas of

  • Inhibition
  • Attention management
  • Emotional regulation
  • Working Memory

 

Inhibition can play a role. By this I mean that there is often a temptation to “just do one more thing before I leave the house”. So by not inhibiting that urge precious time is lost, and one is running late, yet again.

 

Attention management can be seen in literally not noticing the time.  Perhaps the individual is intensely interested in reading a book, looking at something on the computer, or watching TV.  Suddenly you’re supposed to be somewhere in 15 minutes but it will take 30 minutes to drive there…because you’re late, there are no parking spaces left, and the clock is still ticking by….

 

Emotional regulation can also effect performance and the management of time. Often reported to me is the fact that someone hates getting somewhere early as they are really afraid of being bored when they get to their destination and there is time to spare. Motivation also might be at play here.  It is often easier to arrive at a place you are genuinely interested in going to compared with somewhere that is of limited interest or attending something that can be interpreted as a chore (even if it is important). It is interesting to observe that Uni students will often unintentionally run late to get to lectures, but are never late to get into an exam for example. Lectures can feel like a chore and there is no significant consequence if it is missed at that exact time. Motivation to attend can be inconsistent. “I can always catch up later”…but sometimes that later doesn’t happen.  The stakes are just too high (and the consequences very scary) to miss an exam so motivation is high.

 

Working memory can effect time management also.  Common examples of this are “I forgot I had an appointment”, “couldn’t remember the time for the job interview or forgot it altogether”, “Couldn’t find my car keys, or my wallet or my work ID badge”, “forgot to set my alarm clock and slept in …again”

 

We specialise in helping people discover their executive function strengths and challenges. We can share some easy strategies and reminder systems that really work. This may help our clients move forward with a positive perspective and greater self-awareness.

To find out more about how Connect ADHD Coaching can help you address your relationship with time, click here www.connectadhd.com and head for the “referrals “tab if you want to hear more about what we do.

 

Today is always the best way to start a new way to moving forward to the life you deserve to live. Connect ADHD Coaching may help as we focus on the underlying neuroscience combined with our expert coaching skills and Psychoeducation, using our unique models, tools and also current aps to support people who are ready to move forward.

Intent & ADHD – Tasks

In this final of the three posts regarding INTENT and ADHD, we’ll look at the tasks that fulfil the actions of your intent.

The TASKS should be set to achieve your CRITERIA and in turn your INTENT. Choosing tasks to meet the CRITERIA ensures that you stay on track. They should be small concise steps with clear timeframes and required resources. Also, they should be attended in the manner of your INTENT (WHO/HOW)

In terms of addressing the challenges with attention and working memory, keeping concise written notes are useful as a “analog” working memory to avoid moving off INTENT and going down rabbit holes of interest. Having a specific list of TASKS and the CRITERIA also aid in finding easier on ramps to motivation (“I just need to do the next small task”) and more opportunities for reward via reinforced perception of achievement (meeting CRITERIA).

Other areas of support for maintaining INTENT are time monitoring & perception, future self empathy, and overall motivation management. There are strategies that work well with our INTENT model to address these areas and I will start looking at these in future blogs. See you then!

INTENT & ADHD – CRITERIA

INTENT & ADHD – Part 2 of 3: CRITERIA!Criteria - the proof of Intent

In the last post I discussed the critical role of INTENT in enabling us to shape our present and future to our chosen outcome. As a form of mission statement, the intent is great for capturing a multi-dimensional image of what we would like to be and how we would like to be in achieving/living it. (The WHY/WHAT & WHO/HOW components discussed in the last post).

However, this detailed and overarching INTENT concept can be challenging to maintain (or monitor) in real time and assess (or know) when it has been achieved. A more compact and efficient version is needed for day to day use! The CRITERIA fulfil this more efficient role and can be used to shape the INTENT delivery.

The CRITERIA are 3 or 4 (max) specific, measurable points that can be used as a checklist in real time to assess whether you are meeting your INTENT in progress and to decide when you have met your intent to allow you to conclude it. Another way of describing it is the evidence that you are meeting or have met your intent. It’s efficient form (a few specific checkpoints) allows you to easily retain and quickly confirm whether you are on track with your INTENT or not. Having a specific end measure also helps avoid being stuck in “perfecting” or feeling incomplete at the end of your intent or goal. Both the interim checks and end review also then allow greater access the necessary rewards.

So if INTENT is our multi-dimensional, overacting mission, and the CRITERIA are the checkpoints along the way and at the end that prove that we are meeting our INTENT – what of the jobs or tasks that are usually considered earlier in this process? – we’ll cover those in the final of this trio of post!

Adults with ADHD – Answers!

Adults with ADHD – AnswersADULT ADHD FREE
a free information presentation – Tuesday 730pm, July 12th.
Adult ADHD has been increasingly recognised in treatment and the media in recent months. With symptoms such as problems managing attention, impulsive behaviour, and trouble with relationships and feelings, ADHD impacts adults across their lives in ways that are often misunderstood. This misunderstanding commonly including the belief that these people choose to behave in this manner which can leave the adult with ADHD feeli
ng rejected, frustrated and at a loss for how to move forward.

To meet the knowledge gap regarding ADHD in Adults, Jonathan Hassall BN ACG & Monica Hassall BN ACG from Connect ADHD Coaching are providing a free, 90 minute presentation entitled, “Adults with ADHD Answers” on Tuesday, July 12th at 730pm in Taylor Range Country Club, 28 Greenlanes Rd. Ashgrove. The presentation is open to anyone interested in ADHD in adults whether you believe you have ADHD or not and for any family or friends that are also interested.

The aim of the presentation is to provide you with the current knowledge regarding how this neurodevelopmental condition has been identified and understood. With this information we hope to provide better insight as to whether you feel this is relevant to you or not and can move forward with resolving your current challenges.

This includes:

  • ADULT ADHD FREE Backwhere did it come from and what it is
  • the experience of ADHD through the lifespan;
  • how it can impact the lives of those with ADHD
  • what can be done (diagnosis, treatment options, and expected outcomes)
  • where to find out more (links to other expert information in the field)

To find out more and/or register for this free evening presentation, please visit Connect ADHD Coaching’s website and complete the registration form at www.connectadhd.com/register 

ADHD- When others don’t see your full potential, hang in there!

“It would be nice if you would leave Albert. Your behaviour at school, so distracted and absentminded, and your poor interest in all I teach, set a bad example for the whole class”- A teacher’s comment to young Albert Einstein.
Would anyone ever have guessed (see Facebook post) this would be the report card of the genius Albert Einstein? My guess is that many of you with ADHD might just find it believable. Without even realising it, Albert’s teacher scribed perfectly a description of 3 out of the 6 executive function challenges faced commonly by those diagnosed with ADHD. I am not suggesting that Albert Einstein had ADHD, I do not diagnose and there is no way to prove it. It does prove that academic success is only part of the picture in the lives of successful people. As described- “so distracted, absent minded and poor interest” relate precisely to the executive function challenges as described by Dr Thomas E Brown (PhD).
Distracted -Focus- focusing and sustaining and shifting attention to task:
Absent minded– Memory- utilising working memory and accessing recall
Poor Interest– Effort- sustaining effort, regulating alertness.

Dr Ned Hallowell has a brilliant approach regarding the role of the parent/support person / mentor in the life of a person with ADHD- “manage the challenges and celebrate the strengths”. This seems like a better approach than being frustrated and yelling at them constantly. The beauty of Dr Hallowell’s approach is that it works.

Another successful (and well documented) person with ADHD is the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. By successful I do mean the most awarded athlete in Olympic history . His mother noted that he was unable to sit still and concentrate frequently. She encouraged that he divert his energy into sport, namely swimming, and similarly to Dr Hallowell, her mantra was “continuous praise and positive reinforcement”

So when your child or loved one, through their challenging differences doesn’t fit in with community expectations, be patient, and take a step back. Look at things from their perspective. Help them find their place and their alternate way of being may end up being the guiding path towards their strengths and successful future.

October ADHD Awareness Month.

So, it’s ADHD awareness month.
Do we know what we are being aware of?

Our awareness of what ADHD is, and who it affects has changed greatly in the past 10 years. You may have friends or relatives that are affected by ADHD, but not aware of it. So like I wrote in one of my previous blogs it’s not just in kids… right?

In this months blog we explore five common myths that might increase ADHD awareness for the better.

BLOG.

ADHD is just in kids… Am I right?
This is perhaps one of the greatest misunderstandings regarding ADHD. Many people think that once kids leave school they “grow out of their ADHD.”
Many people also discontinue their medications at this time.
In fact this big transition from school to tertiary education (TAFE or University) or entering the workplace often causes more challenges for a person with ADHD. Many teens with ADHD struggle with this transition .This can be difficult as they need to create their own structure for planning and organisation. Issues such as impulsivity or challenges in planning and organisation can be extremely overwhelming and be a barrier to success both in the short and long term.
In about 30% of cases ADHD is a condition that stretches across the lifespan. That is one in three people don’t grow out of it.

Myth two

ADHD is just about kids being “hyper.”
While hyperactivity is one of the three commonly understood core symptoms of ADHD there are another two of equal importance. Think ADHD and most people think of the “10 year old school boy, jumping on the desk at school”. But there is much more to it than that. Children challenged with Hyperactivity are the ones that get noticed. There are two other “core symptoms” of ADHD, one being Impulsivity and the other, Inattention.
Inattention seems to be the symptom that is most overlooked. This is because the inattentive child will go ” under the radar ” in a classroom situation. An inattentive child or adult will most likely appear as someone that is quite dreamy, often caught in their own thoughts. They often struggle to be in touch with what is happening around them. Impulsivity can also impair the path to success. This can be seen as “talking too much or talking out of turn”. Often impulsivity is displayed when making poor choices, risky behaviours, saying the wrong, or insensitive things, not being able to wait turns, butting in on conversations, not listening fully before responding, making rushed decisions and careless mistakes in reading and writing, maths, to name a few. It can especially impact on social situations.

Myth 3.
People that think they are ADHD should just try harder to be more organised
Living with ADHD and treating it is not as simple as just trying harder. This would be like telling someone who needs to wear glasses or contact lenses just to squint harder so they can see better. ..

Myth 4.
ADHD isn’t a real thing, you can’t measure it. It’s probably just bad parenting.
There was a time when I may have thought this also… before I read the research.
It’s official and it’s in the DSMV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual #5-it is the “Gold standard ” diagnostic tool for Diagnosticians/Physicians. If it’s in there, it’s diagnosable and it does indeed exist.
ADHD has been recognised as a legitimate diagnosis by many major Medical, Psychological and Educational organisations, with current research to support it.
ADHD is biologically based . Current research in neuroscience explains it as an imbalance of chemical messages along the brain nerve tissue pathways (the medical term being neuro transmitters). Innovations in brain imaging techniques also supports the evidence that the brains of people with ADHD respond differently to brains that are not impacted with ADHD.

Myth 5

ADHD doesn’t appear in really smart people. Smart people can organise themselves.

Many people with ADHD have a higher than average intelligence quota. These people have great passion and have great attention and focus for some areas, but they have difficulty regulating their lives in other areas. Absent mindedness ( think absent minded Professor ), losing their keys, not noticing clutter, disorganisation particularly related to paper/paperwork, trouble regulating their emotions, all can be part of executive function challenges. Thomas E Brown Ph.D recently wrote a book that reflected this point exactly, “Smart but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD. ” (2014). Additionally, he recently conducted a study of 157 adults with ADHD, all having above average intelligence quota 120 or above. Of this group, all had challenges with working memory, a key executive function skill.

So, bearing in mind it is ADHD Awareness month, it may be a good time to notice who among ourselves and our loved ones could use that awareness in a positive way. There is no shame in the uniqueness that ADHD can afford individuals. There are challenges but also great strengths in this way of being. You can’t adapt to something you don’t notice or acknowledge, so there is power in this awareness. “Now” is always a great time to start .

ADHD is just in Kids…right?

MYTH : ADHD is just in Kids…right? Kids grow out of it.
This is a common misconception that ADHD is something that happens in only in childhood and that’s where it stays.
The symptoms of ADHD often occur and are “picked up” in school age children, but this is only part of the story. . I’ve even heard one mother say “Thankfully my child is finishing school next year so I won’t have to buy any more medication.”
Just because a child finishes school, does not mean that underlying cognitive processes that result in the symptoms of ADHD disappear.
While many children, predominantly boisterous boys, are diagnosed as 7 to 10 age year olds, there are many boys and girls and adults, (both male and female) that don’t have a diagnosis until much later, even into advanced adulthood. In fact, according to Dr Patricia Quinn (20110, in the US the average age for a male to be diagnosed is age 7, but the average woman diagnosed with ADHD is 37

What’s that you say? You don’t see many 33 year old women jumping on the desks at work, nor do you see them running away from their partners at the shopping centre? ADHD can manifest in other ways than that generally ascribed to or visible in the classroom.

Inattentive
It is not unusual for the ADHD client to actually be very quiet or overlooked in classrooms or group situations. This may occur if they are predominantly of the “Inattentive” subtype of ADHD. Typically they are the dreamy bookworm who is actually lost in their own thoughts. It may be a child or teen or adult who gets totally immersed in the computer and cannot check back into the real world without numerous reminders or even nagging and shouting just to grab their attention. People who have predominantly inattentive ADHD may struggle with the self-regulation ability to change manage their attention where it needs to be. This can include the ability to change focus from their current interesting task to other tasks.

Impulsivity
We have all encountered people that talk compulsively. I mean, you cannot get a word in edgewise, you are being polite, but the fact is, you aren’t really interested (as the topic is not relevant or a priority), you have other things you could or should be doing (perhaps you are at work, and a customer is monopolising your time by constantly speaking). It maybe that this talkative person is not reading your social cues , or appreciating your circumstances, and by doing so is talking impulsively and is unable to self –regulate their verbal behaviour.
Impulsivity may also be demonstrated when someone starts a task and regularly gets sidetracked from finishing the set task. This can happen with people that are neurotypical, but this can be a regular and damaging trait for someone with EF challenges.
Another common presentation of impulsivity can be “overspending” and frequent impulse buying. This behaviour can also have negative consequences on quality of life (financial impact and issues with excessive clutter).
So while “hyperactivity” is a well known result of ADHD and EF neurological landscape, it is also important to be aware the other key descriptors such as Impulsivity and Inattention. The first steps to solving any discomfort are awareness and acknowledgement.
Today is always the best day to start reducing stressful struggles and distractions. Understanding how our the ADHD like to work is the first step to help us make good plans and choices for successful outcomes of completing tasks and having successful interactions with others.
ref. /quinn,P. 2011. Part 1 ADHD in girls and women. Podcast. Academic Success Program Seminars. University of North Carolina. 7 December 2011 (Itunes U)