I could have been a perpetual student. That’s how engaging I find learning. I actually believe it is a way my brain stays focused and engaged, to have this habit of learning new things. As I’ve grown into this career, which I started in 2004, I’ve also learned how to incorporate my experience and wisdom into my classroom learning and reading.
The Institute for Challenging Disorganization just held its annual educational conference, with some excellent, fresh thinking on the topic of chronic disorganization. Today, I’m sharing my personal notes from two speakers. These are written for me, as notes and suggestions to bring into my work with clients. At the same time, I thought that many of you would find these suggestions useful for your own challenges with organization and productivity or for someone you know or work with.
Engaging and Collaborating
Our focus was on engaging our client, so he/she is in the process, engaged, committed … and does not walk away from what can be very difficult work. It’s never about “the stuff” or “the tasks.” It’s always quite a self awareness process, understanding what is underneath the practical challenges we are working on in the realm of disorganization.
- Structure a starting routine for meetings. It’s easier to get started and engaged. Relax it a bit later on. The structure helps motivation and energy.
- Develop compassion for the past. Often our clients come to us feeling like a “complete” failure. Look together for perspective on the past so you can look at it differently and more favorably at least for what it has taught you or how it is part of your unique essence.
- Start a working relationship with shorter, more frequent meetings. Taper off as you move along the process.
- Look for one, small decision to make. And then another and another. Start small. If safety is an issue, start there as a basic human need, whether for yourself or others around you.
- Take a walk together. It’s often easier to share when you’re not looking eye-to-eye.
- Seek to understand your core values. Connect them to the work you are doing.
- Connect to people beyond your usual world. Social connections are proven to motivate, improve our attitudes, and are healthy.
- Meet your professional outside your office/home for the first meeting if you need to. Very helpful to be away from the disorganization challenges you are wrestling with. Less self-judgment.
- Things have energy. Notice this in the volume of things, thoughts, tasks you have and also in whether they give or take your energy.
- After some of the basic issues are managed, what’s next; what do you want? That’s a way to find your motivation to continue on, to believe that this issue, once handled, would allow you to do something or be someone you haven’t been in awhile.
- Instead of “goals,” think “vision” and “steps.” Say the words aloud; goals can feel like an obstacle sometimes or too much pressure. Vision and steps usually feels like a doable path.
- A “challenge” is a growth opportunity.
With thanks, our speaker was:
Satwant Singh, Nurse Consultant in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; Mental Health and Clinical Lead for an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service, London, England. ICD Conference Sesson Title: Reclaiming Space and Life – Engaging and Working Collaboratively with Individuals with Hoarding Issues
Secrets to Making ADHD Quirks Work
Favorite quote/most telling: ADHD is a “holistic disorder,” in that it affects every single aspect of your life. You end up living a “smaller life” because of it, until you learn about it and manage it.
ADD/ADHD shows up differently for each person who has it. Rick Green, of “ADD and Loving It” PBS special and TotallyADD.com primarily spoke about his ADD journey, and yet he also included what he has learned from his work, advice for all of us and some very funny ways of sharing!
- If you feel that medication is affecting your creativity, it’s the wrong dose. [I often hear: I don’t want medications to affect my creativity.~Sue]
- Overly sensitive? That’s ADD emotions. Or do you seem to jump out of your skin with noise? [More from TotallyADD.com here or ADDitude magazine here. ]
- When a parent says “I don’t want my child labelled,” share the statistics about divorce (twice as likely), accident rates (three times), addiction (twice). Much higher rates among undiagnosed ADD/ADHD. Is it worth ignoring, not finding out?
- ADD is about a life of unexplained failures. And yet, with the irregular working memory of ADD/ADHD, these failures are not remembered. And that means successful strategies also are not easily remembered. So we know what to do. But we can’t remember when to do it nor do we remember in the moment how we did it successfully before. Without memory of what did work and did not work, we lose the ability to learn from past experiences. [That’s part of why coaching works; it’s a lot about reflection.~Sue]
- What we do well, we dismiss.
- And because we don’t/can’t trust ourselves, how could we trust anyone else?
- We are loyal beyond belief once we do trust you.
- We will forget. If you are working with us, begin with frequent check-in’s, until we can handle it on our own.
- ADD/ADHD includes a paralyzing level of perfectionism.
- We constantly feel like we are underachieving.
One of his parting discussions was this advice: “Bend the world to you.” [I LOVE this.~Sue]
With thanks, our speaker was:
Rick Green, TotallyADD.com. The producer/writer/co-star behind several PBS programs such as “ADD and Loving It!”
What surprised you? What could you bring into your own life or work? What works to engage you ?
P.S. I have some new and free things for you. Click here. and look for “Understand your ADHD.”
If you are self-employed, your free piece is here. Look for How Are You Managing Your Time.
And if you’re in transition, with lots of life changes happening, try this: “Reflect on Getting Organized.”