When you make a change in your life-presumably to better manage your Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)-what’s the hardest part?
The hardest part of making any change is that there is a stage in the process in which you are guaranteed to be uncomfortable.
If change was easy, we’d all be in great shape, get places on time every time, be completely organized, and get along with every member of our families. If it was easy to make changes in our lives, we’d all have everything we ever wanted. But life doesn’t work that way, does it?
Specifically when it comes to managing adult ADD, the changes you want to make and the skills you want to learn don’t come easy. They take time, energy, patience, and practice. They may manifest in stages and layers, too, coming together one piece at a time. The process can be slow, tedious, boring, and even painful. It’s downright uncomfortable. But the process is necessary.
Let’s look at some examples using a few of the 5 Essential Skills for Managing Adult ADD, from my book, Odd One Out: The Maverick’s Guide to Adult ADD:
When learning how to Break the Cycle of Overwhelm, you have to learn how to take really good care of yourself, and that often means creating strong boundaries and saying “no. "
Saying “no" can be dreadfully uncomfortable. But until you learn how to say no, you’ll find yourself stressed out and over-committed.
It’s uncomfortable to say, “No, I’m sorry, but I’m not able to watch your kids for you on Saturday. " But it’s necessary to learn how to do it in order to overcome overwhelm.
Similarly, when learning how to Take Control of Your Space and Time, you have to learn how to create organizational systems that work for you. This means spending time straightening up and organizing your stuff.
Getting organized, throwing out junk, and creating systems can be awfully boring and uncomfortable. But in order to get organized enough to reach your goals, it’s necessary to jump in and invest the time.
Taking Control of Your Space and Time also means learning how to manage your time effectively. And that means developing new patterns in which you don’t get caught up in negative hyperfocus.
When you’re stuck in hyperfocus on the Internet late at night for no good reason, it’s uncomfortable to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to move on and go to bed. But once again, it’s necessary in order to manage your time effectively.
Making any of these changes successfully requires steps that are uncomfortable, but necessary. In fact, that uncomfortable feeling is often a cue that you’re moving in the right direction!
You can expect that some of the the changes you make when learning to manage your ADD will be difficult. Make it easier on yourself and get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Copyright (c) 2008 Jennifer Koretsky
Jennifer Koretsky is the Founder of the ADD Management Group, Inc. and the author of Odd One Out: The Maverick’s Guide to Adult ADD. Jennifer and her team work with ADD adults who are overwhelmed with everyday life in order to help them simplify, focus, and succeed. For free resources and information on adult ADD, visit http://www.ADDmanagement.com .