Distraction distraction distraction : Oh, my sweet ADD ADHD!
We were lunching at Clafutti’s, our great Santa Fe French bistro, when the alarm on my iPhone went off. That’s every day at 1:45 to remind me to take off my Daytrana ritalin patch so I’ll be able to sleep at night. So my wife, who sometimes feels I need a little direction (I wonder why?) says, “Doug, go in the bathroom and take off your patch.” She might have been afraid I wouldn’t remember what the alarm meant, or that I might open up my shirt and take it off right there (I have done that; she probably thinks it’s inappropriate but I think that at my age – )
So, I said, “Right!” and got up and went into the bathroom. Now without getting overly intimate or crude or otherwise inappropriate, let me tell you that I performed this little perfectly normal physiological function in there and then came back to the table.
She said, “Did you take your patch off?”
I said, “Oh!”
I’m distracted a lot at home. I start to go to the kitchen to do something but I see something in the living room to do and I start that and then realize I could check something on my iPhone, which reminds me of a new app I want to download so I go back to the computer to get it but I want to check my E mail first and someone asked a question that I need to research to answer and so ——–.
1. When I start to do something, say it out loud – “I’m going into the kitchen to put away this cup.” (I talk to myself a lot.)
2. Rule- for small tasks; I can’t start a new task til I finish the one I’m doing.
3. Label distractions “Oh, I know what that is; that’s a distraction.”
4. Use my index cards, iPhone, or something I have with me always, to note the distraction -”Download a new reminder app.” and then proceed with the task I’m on.
Do you know anything about distractions? Please share.
Am I just flitting about?
Quote o the Day: “Even a dog can’t chase every rabbit.” (I just now made that up.)
de clutter- from Bonnie Mincu clik
Bonnie’s course clik
more on de clutter tip 426 clik
ADD and ADHD and Change and Retirement and Structure and Menopause and and and — Add Tip o the Day 456
Trying to do too much, typical ADD. I want to address that, and further address the great suggestions/questions I got, and also the new NYT article on ADHD and ritalin etc, and and — don’t you see? This could turn out to be a long post.
Scott asked about how to create structure, routine, strategies, habits, and maintain them, and how to get back on track when you’re off. So I responded using my recent retirement as an example. Because, Boy, am I off track right now! But I need to address the question more specifically.
Scott Marckx says:
Here’s something I would like to get better at this year:
Learning how to put together and live a more regular schedule and how to get back to it when I get side tracked. Sort of make a habit out of enough parts of my life that it becomes a little less work trying to figure out what I need to do right now and just do it so I have more brain left for the other decisions. Things this schedule might include:
Regular time to get up and go to sleep
regular work time
time to get off the computer or limited time on the computer
good eating habits
time for others
Stuff like that. How does one go about getting in these habits and adding to them (realistically) and how does one get back to them when lost?
Your book has helped me a lot. Maybe it is time for me to read it again?
Margaret ask about ADHD and menopause, time management, and so how to function when you’ve got every thing off track and are overwhelmed, and when there’s been big change (like my retirement).
I really struggle with time management. I used to do pretty well as long as I used my planner but now that I’ve added menopause to the mix, I’m really floundering. For a while I couldn’t even make a to-do list. I’d sit on the couch in the evening and try but I just couldn’t do it. I finally talked to my doctor about it (along with some other issues – like brain fog) and he put me on a low dose of an anti-depressant. I felt better quickly but I’m still struggling with the time management issue. I’m overwhelmed and keep switching from planner to planner without settling on one. It’s making me crazy and I feel really out of control. I don’t know what day it is or what I need to do. I’ve never been like this before. We’ve also had a LOT of changes. I’ve learned in the past that it takes me about 6 months to switch gears. But these days the changes have come faster than that and I haven’t been able to settle into any kind of routine. I’ve read your time management strategy in your book but I’m not sure it would work for me. I need to write EVERYTHING down so I can see the whole picture. Anyway, more stuff on time management would be helpful. Maybe and how ADHD and menopause are related.
Since I didn’t know much about ADHD and menopause I researched it. So this could apply to menopause, or having the flu, or going through a depression, or any time of heavy stress. This is what I found: see if your doctor can help, use your usual tools and strategies, realize that you are not at your best and won’t be able to do as well as usual. Try to be nice to yourself, cut back where you can, lower expectations and take it a little easy. This too shall pass.
So I really like retirement, but it has surprised me, isn’t like I expected. The big internal flywheel has slowed and the sense of time pressure has lessened, but they’re not gone. I haven’t gotten the hang of it yet, and don’t have things organized. Lacking structure. But it’s been less than a month. So many things I want to do and hard to choose, prioritize, and know where to start.
So I’ve been getting this message over and over recently, in various ways, but haven’t really heard it, until this morning. Our wonderful new priest spoke about God loves us, as we are, and we don’t have to be always striving to improve.
Finally, I think I got it. ”Relax.” I still need to prioritize, let go of some want to do’s, create structure, set goals, and so on, but there’s no great hurry about it. It will all fit into place with time.
Will try to address these issues again and soon, and more specifically. But maybe get the new NYT article on medications in next. Can’t do them all at once, don’t you see?
Still looking for requests and suggestions for topics; really appreciate them.
Tip 455 on this clik
on a new anti ADHD book (ignorance is bliss?) clik
a little too much going on?
Homey and Scott raised good questions about coping with ADD ADHD. These questions are especially interesting to me since I’m struggling with the same issues, because I’ve just retired and have lost my schedule and much of my structure, and, coincidentally, am dealing with menopause (yes, in myself – long story).
Not all of you have just retired, but you can apply these concepts to your own circumstance, especially regarding structure and routine and changes, which can disrupt everything.
I thought that when I retired I’d have lots of leisure time, and could just do what I felt like doing whenever I felt like doing it, follow any whim. WRONG!
There’s very few things I have to do, some things I need to do, and lots and lots of things I want to do. With my schedule and routine gone, I’ve been bouncing around from one thing to another, getting some things done, but not really getting anywhere.
So far I have learned:
1. I can’t do it all. Ex: on the guitar, I want to learn some songs, and the fretboard, and how to play jazz, and the 7th chords for jazz, , and new strums, and master the great free lessons on Youtube, and complete the three courses that I’ve bought over the years, and—–.
Need to organize and prioritize. Can I learn two songs, and work on the fretboard, and maybe follow one of the Youtube courses? That may be too much.
I’m currently working on four books, need to choose one.
2. Even retired, I don’t have time for distractions. Caught myself writing reviews of books I’d read, on Amazon. I stopped – “Why am I doing this?” Nothing wrong with it, but what was it getting me? Had other things to do (guitar for example).
3. Need routine. Have some – prayer time when first get up, then e mails, then breakfast and newspaper (can skim most of it, not required to read every word.) Then exercise.
There’s a little time left before lunch, so how to use it? Would that be a good time to do the Spanish lesson? or work on the blog? or practice the guitar? do book marketing? writing? Need to choose, so as to make more routine. (Because I have ADD.)
Again, I realized I can’t do it all. So I made a tentative schedule (on the back of an envelope). Commit to doing the blog on Mon, Wed, Sat; the guitar on Tues, Th, Sat; writing on Tues, Fri; finances on Sat. I may do some of those at anytime, but I’m committed to doing them on those days.
Of course: 1. things come up, and I may not be able to do the commitment on some days, but this is a structure. 2. still need to decide when in the day for those things.
Coming up, more on strategies for this, and more on the new New York Times article, and lots more, and, and – wait a minute!!!! This is what I’m talking about (but I will get to it).
Eating this delicious quiche quickly became a priority.
adhd and menopause clik
the have done non list from lucy clik
this one addresses menopause and ADHD at the end clik
really good list of many of our common but less often mentioned symptoms (man or woman, menopausal or not, retired or not) clik
Are you using strategies for your ADD ADHD problems?
Strategies are the key to living better with ADD ADHD, though medication (ritalin, adderall, antidepressant) can be very helpful. For one thing, it can help us focus enough so that we can use strategies.
But, sometimes it’s hard to come up with good strategies, or we forget to use them, or we find them hard to implement, or we’re too demoralized before we start to even start.
So, we can need strategies to help us use strategies:
We need to identify a problem, and one that causes us enough trouble that it’s worth working on. It needs to be a small specific problem. One lady is writing that her problem is that she’s distractable. Well, yes, that is ADD ADHD. And there can be strategies for that, but usually it’s better to come up with a more specific target – “I get distracted in the morning and forget to brush my teeth.”
If you are reluctant to try, for any of the above reasons (“Oh, I’ve tried before and it didn’t work for me.”), then a strategy is to try a two week experiment, not a life long contract. Or, if that’s too much, try a one week experiment.
Get help. Enlist your sig other or a friend or coworker, or even on the net (see links below). They can monitor you or encourage you or remind you or help you figure out strategies, or even help you figure out how they can help. You don’t have to do it all by yourself.
Make a list of significant problems, then pick three of the most troubling, then break them down into small specific problems (if you haven’t already), and then pick one (that’s ONE) to work on. You’re not going to change your whole life (or what you have had for a lifetime) right away, but you are going to make it better, one step at a time.
There is yet another New York Times article on medications for ADD ADHD, and what they see as over use. For next time (hopefully).
What topics would you like to see next? I’m soliciting suggestions, requests, comments and reviews. Have had great responses from Homey and Scott – Thank You! Will get to them soon.
clik Jenna’s good posts on ADD issues, including transitions
Life can be peaceful..
clik Alan on memory aids – good!
clik from kiera, wonderful photos! look!
clik some good strategies
Quote o the Day: White hair is a sign of wisdom, if you keep your mouth shut.
Life with ADD ADHD!
It was the same thing again, but different. This time it wasn’t about losing my glasses.
We were volunteering at the shelter; my job was to take care of the name tags. They gave me a little box of tags along with a black marker, and I was instructed at length about where to put them when I was done. Clearly they were important.
Things went OK, and I wasn’t very busy and I had just written a guy’s name on the tag for him and given him his sleeping bag and I thought I deserved a cookie (I’d been able to resist their call so far, but was standing too close to them). You see where this is going?
OK, I enjoyed the cookie, and it’s possible I even had another one, maybe, you think? and then it was time to go back to work, and, of course, I couldn’t find the box of tags.
I looked on the chair where I’d been sitting before. Nope. Then in the closet where the sleeping bags are. Nope. Then on the tables near the closet. And all over the floor. And back over where the cookies were. No tags.
I walked back to where the boss was, to admit I’d lost them and see if anyone had maybe turned them in?
That’s when I noticed that the Box with the Tags and the Black Ink Marker were in my right hand.
Of course, I’d never thought to look there.
Anyone know what I’m talking about?
You may have noticed that this isn’t a strategy, but I did make a strategy about losing my glasses – now I always look first on my face (not on the top of my head, no, I mean on my nose!).
if you have a significant other with ADD or ADHD, this is important – from Melissa Orlov clik
wonderful survey of history of ADD ADHD from mike clik
It stands out like a sore thumb.
I am asking for your input-
What new topics would you like addressed here?
Any you like addressed again?
Any changes you would recommend?
Remember that I love your comments, Thank You!
and that you can share with the little buttons at the bottom (that was news to me).
Lets start off 2014 together on a great positive note!
Quote o the day – “It’s a great life, if you don’t weaken.”
from Jenna clik
great bad ADD idea clik
a new beginning
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Thank you to all who follow the blog and special thanks to all who comment. As well of course to all who have purchased one of the books and especially to those who have reviewed it. And to those who have shared it with the little buttons at the bottom.
Continue on to see the commenters hall of fame. I love comments.
And a very very happy and blessed new year to each and every one.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
jeg’s good start to a good new year clik
- Let’s talk About Distractions — ADD Tip o the Day 457
- ADD and ADHD and Change and Retirement and Structure and Menopause and and and — Add Tip o the Day 456
- Schedule and Structure and Routine — ADD Tip o the Day 455
- Strategies For Using Strategies for ADD ADHD — ADD Tip o the Day 454
- Did It Again, Again — ADD Tip o the Day 453
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- Strategies For Using Strategies for ADD ADHD — ADD Tip o the Day 454
- Information About ADD ADHD and Red Flags — ADD Tip o the Day 452
- Habits, habits, habits — ADD Tip o the day 288
- Schedule and Structure and Routine — ADD Tip o the Day 455
- ADD,ADHD,Stigma, and Coming Out — ADD Tip o the Day 371
- Memory aids — ADD TIp o the day 242
- ADD and relationships — ADD Tip o the Day 448
- How To Study Part 3 — ADD Tip o the Day 443
- Labeling Kids ADD ADHD and Drugging Them —ADD Tip o the Day 450