Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The ADD demons are back

This morning was the first normal morning I think I've had since June, 7th 2012.

This was a really good thing. Until it got problematic.

You'll see what I mean.

I didn't get to bed on time last night. I fell asleep at about 12:30, but for some reason, I woke up at about 6:00. I got up, and milled around, and then an idea hit me as if were the most profound possibility ever generated by a human mind: what if I were to actually start my day at this hour?


So, I did.




I went on a run and enjoyed the Seattle summer clouds and overcast skies. (Seriously, Seattle? Can we get any days of summer this summer?)

My what a brilliant summer day! Welcome to Seattle. (Or, actually Bulgaria where apparently this photo I stole was taken, but you get the idea. It's cloudy up in this joint.)

Photo Attribution: here

And then I got back and got ready. And then I ate breakfast with the girls--eggs and toast--and had a really, really good morning.

And then, like any other normal day--like the days back before June 7th 2012--I got to my office and sat down and...


and couldn't concentrate on a single flipping thing for hours. 


I don't know if you know this, but the very first blog post on this blog is something of a "coming out" post in and of itself (though at the time I had no idea where things would eventually lead).

I came out as an adult who has the inattentive sub-type of ADHD. It's a heartbreaking disease, filled with being late to almost everything, making really annoying tapping noises so loud that people in meetings actually lean over and say "could you please stop that?", and lots and lots of time--obscene amounts of hours--sitting there trying to get yourself to do something you know you have to do but for some reason can't. (If you want to read some of the horror stories, click on the archive and go back to the first four months this thing existed. And get out your Kleenexes, because it's a sad, sad tale of sadness.)

It's pretty much exactly like having cancer, except without the extreme pain, horrific trauma, need for drastic life-saving measures like excising flesh or chemo-therapy, or anything remotely resembling anything that's actually "hard" or "challenging" or "worthy of being complained about."

So yeah. If you're being "technical" it's nothing like cancer, or conditions that actually matter. But it is really, really annoying, and it affects my life a lot. (A whole lot more than being same-sex attracted does, if you're keeping score.)

Anyway, for some reason, now that the dust has settled and I had some extra time because a couple of clients rescheduled, today was the day when I thought to myself "Gee whiz I'm having a hard time concentrating on... anything."

And then I was like, "Oh yeah. There's a reason for that."

I've been so incredibly busy with stuff--so distracted, really--that I hadn't had a chance to do a normal day. And then doing a normal day like today, a day where I had a good start on things and should have been really productive, things kinda fell apart.

So, this post is a plea for help. I want to pick your brains for good ideas so I don't fail at my jobs now that a lot more has been put on my plate.

How do you keep yourselves organized and on task? Do you use apps on your phone? Planners? Do you have a book to recommend to me? Do you have a calendar that you can't live without? Any thoughts or ideas? Because I'll be honest, I'm open to anything. Even unconventional stuff. Like visiting a Shaman. Or crack cocaine. (<----this is a lie.)

Let me know of your tips. The one or two that I like the most I'll feature in my next post. (But I'm sure many, many will be very helpful, so don't be afraid to share.)

Thanks in advance.

Also, I wanted to let you know that tomorrow I'll be on the radio in Utah. (In case you were wondering, I just minimized this screen to look up the time of the interview I'm about to mention, and 25 minutes later found myself tweeting about the weather without realizing I had gotten distracted. SERIOUSLY.) It's going to be on (I JUST GOT DISTRACTED IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS PARAGRAPH AGAIN. You guys, I wish to the stars in heaven I was joking. Somebody come and stand next to me and point me back to this screen anytime I try to do something else. I beg you.)... anyway, it's KHQN 1480 AM at 5pm Mountain time, and will simulcast through live streaming video on healingtalkradio.com.

Whew.

Over and out.



126 comments:

  1. Well being a ADD person myself, the best advice to give you is use a good old app for you phone. Also when things get really rough I end up going back to a good old pen and paper solution with a check list. I also try not to multitask and will go one project at a time. I think everyone has ADD to a point. Our lives are so extremely busy it's hard to keep everything straight. While typing this, I looked at my phone, looked at something on that chick-fil-a controversy (and I am fuming mad, because I found everyone hypocritical, I mean I found Microsoft gave the opposite 100,000, why not boycott them!!! GEEZ), oh yah and then I went and checked on a DVD. :) Anyways thats all I have. Just know you are NOT alone!!

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  2. being married to one, i have noticed that his phone app has changed his life positively in this arena. granted, it doesn't cure it, but i guess its worth a try :) good luck!

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  3. Hey guys, any idea which App would be best? I'm seriously clueless.

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  4. Any.do is one that we use at home and it works somewhat... I'm still so unorganized that I overlook things anyway, but it seems to work more often than not... also, I keep a whiteboard in which I make lists for my daily tasks. Seeing the little check marks next to each task feels great. Man, I hope this helps a little bit :/

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  5. I have (not too severe) ADHD-PI. Usually, once I get rolling, I'm able to get a task done, but getting rolling is the hard part. I'll often sit at my desk, stare at the screen for a few minutes, start browsing tech news sites, stare out the window at our backyard, back to browsing, stare at the bookshelf, grab the guitar off the wall for a few minutes ... you get the idea. I've tried lots of stuff, but what has worked for me recently is super simple. I have a white board in my office and when I realize I'm having a hard time focusing I write "focus" on the board, over and over again, counting each time I write it. You'd be surprised how many times I can write it before I can actually focus on counting, but eventually I focus on it, put other things out of my head, my mind stops running a hundred miles an hour and I'm able to take a deep breath and get back to writing. When I get interrupted in the middle of something and have a hard time getting back to it, I just do it again.

    That's pretty personal to me, but I think the point is to figure out what state your mind is in when you can't focus, then try to find a way to get it under control. Maybe it's doing pushups or sitting and meditating, focusing on your breathing. Maybe it's playing an instrument or ... I don't know, tossing playing cards in a hat (it's all in the wrist!). Point is, it needs to be something that you can focus on but not get lost in that'll bring your mind back to whatever it is you need to be doing.

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  6. So I do reverse checklist. I leave ten spaces open and when I do something I feel was worth reporting I write it down in that space. Then I don't overwhelm myself with a huge long list and feel like a failure when it is incomplete. It leaves room for imaginations and ADD. You will realize ALL the stuff you do when you get side tracked. Example: Cleaning room and while putting something away in bathroom drawer start organizing bathroom drawer. Add that to list when I wasn't even planning on doing it!

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  7. flylady.net I kid you not. The biggest things to take from her site:
    *Create routines for yourself. Both daily and weekly routines. Start with short, simple ones. Put them up on your bathroom mirror with post-its (or somewhere else to remind you).
    *Use a timer. Don't try to focus on any one thing for longer than 15 min.
    *Declutter as much as possible.
    *Use a calendar, and write down everything. Put it somewhere where you'll see it frequently.
    *Stay off the computer as much as possible.
    *Take care of yourself. Get to bed on time, eat good food, etc.

    My own thoughts: you can also get ADD meds as an adult. But also make sure there isn't something else going on. Anemia, thyroid issues, and sleep issues can all cause ADD symptoms.

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    1. I'm not ADD, but I've been with a number of ADD men. Yes, its about finding what works for you.

      For one, it was a little spiral notebook he kept in his pocket. Every time something crossed his mind that he needed to remember later- he'd write it down.

      Another got an iPhone, and has downloaded a couple apps. I think the one that helped the most is the calendar- and yes, he put EVERY LITTLE THING on there.

      I know it can be tough. You will make it.

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    2. Oh and "every little thing includes appointments, chores, phone calls to make (and why those phone calls need made)... anything that may possibly be put on a to-do list

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    3. I'm not ADD, but I've been with a number of ADD men. Yes, its about finding what works for you.

      For one, it was a little spiral notebook he kept in his pocket. Every time something crossed his mind that he needed to remember later- he'd write it down.

      Another got an iPhone, and has downloaded a couple apps. I think the one that helped the most is the calendar- and yes, he put EVERY LITTLE THING on there.

      I know it can be tough. You will make it.

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  8. I believe there was a time when three different couselor-type people swore to all that is holy that I had ADD. (I think that one of those people was YOU, my friend.) This didn't make a whole lotta sense because I never seemed to have issues like ADD as a kid. Really, I sooo didn't. As it happens, I ACTUALLY have sleep apnea, where I stop breathing quite a lot at night, never go into REM stage and never dream, as a result. In a nutshell, I had days and days where I would never feel rested, slog through the foggy muck of little concentration and really get distracted by just about everything *squirrel!* Annnd never get much of anything done.
    So, I have found some gems that get me through my days (other than my new CPAP machine--Hey, I have dreams now!)
    1. Do things the minute you think about them--all the way.
    2. Put every single date in your calendar on your phone with some sort of alarm telling you to do it.
    3. Make a short, reasonable list of things to do during the day and check them off when one.
    4. Color code post-it notes with items to be done and put them on your To-Do list. (It feels great to crumplethem up and throw them in the trash.
    5. Have a cheerleader telling you how great you are doing. Never give in to people who would have you believe you aren't great at doing many things. Hope this helps, Kimo.
    When are you coming for dinner? :D

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    1. Besides sleep apnea, there are various other medical conditions that can cause brain fog and inattentiveness. Yeast overgrowths have been linked to ADD and treatment clearing up the yeast often clears the brain fog and focuses the attention. Just FYI.

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    2. I have fibromyalgia which has a symptom called fibro-fog and is horrible to live with. I also have sleep apnea. Last night, due also in part to a new medication, I had a sleu of nightmares about spiders and other things that flew out at me and was horrific. I have to write everything down and am also in pain life crazy all the time and also with scolisis. Hope you find relief soon!

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  9. "thing" Iis a great app for the phone. That is what my hubby and I use.

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  10. I keep it simple and just make lists. Like, what I have to do this week/today/in order to accomplish a certain goal, etc. I have found that anything else is too complicated! If you use a book or special app, then you have to remind yourself to go do that and I feel it takes up even more time than just writing a simple list. Also, it gives you a sense of accomplishment when you mark something off!

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  11. I have a huge problem with distraction when I'm doing schoolwork and such, so I make time limits for myself. For fifteen minutes I have to do as much work as I can and not think about anything else. Then once those fifteen minutes are up, I can surf the web or clear out all the other thoughts in my head for three minutes. Then the fifteen minutes start again. I put a timer on my phone and it really helps. It's easy to get distracted because you can have so many ideas in your head that you don't want to focus on the important task at hand, so giving time limits helps me divide my time.

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  12. I have ADHD as well and a calendar is an absolute necessity for me. I use the free google stuff which allows me to access it on my variety of devices and they are all synced. When I think of something that needs to be done, I immediately put it on the calendar and everything has an automatic 10 min alarm. If I don't get it done that day for some reason I can move it to the next day. Being realistic about the time it takes me to do things is also helpful. I have learned that I have to switch tasks fairly often so I allow myself to have other things going on and switch for a bit when I need. I also have to give myself grace when I don't do everything I want in the time I want.

    As a clinician, I also agree that there are lots of things that can look like ADD and is something else. Sometimes meds can help but I've found brain training can help more. Www.bal-a-vis-x.com. It really helps, I've personally experienced it as well as seen it in others. I get no financial gain from posting this website. Just wanting to share the love. :)

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  13. Have your read the book, "Change your brain, change your life". It's a awesome book. I would recommend it.

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  14. I have moderate/severe ADHD depending on who you ask. And I've tried all kinds of apps and calenders etc, but I either lose my calender or forget which app I am using to organize my stuff so my stuff is organized in 6 different apps which makes it worse. BAD.
    So, I go old school. I write everything down on a white board that needs to get done. I have one at home and one at work. I have a calender white board as well so I write appts on there. My girlfriend likes to leave honey-dos on the white board at home, and it helps because instead of just saying "hey we are having dinner with so and so on friday" and pretending I'll remember she can write it on the calender. (sometimes she write me nice notes to BTW)

    The white board helps with my adhd AND our communication. So its kind of a win win. Plus I get to check it off and erase stuff when I'm done which makes me feel successful. My girlfriend is a teacher and we joke that I'm worse than one of her kids. :-)

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  15. I have ADHD & I tend to do better with less time, & multitasking, then I do with plenty of time, & minimal things to do. So if I have all the time in the world, I will be completely unproductive, & if I have hardly any time & many things to do, I will be more productive. Ridiculous. But I find that if I need to get something done, I can often trick myself into doing it, by stimulating my brain with something interesting for it to hyperfocus on. This way, the chatter that usually distracts, is occupied by something else. So if I have a big project I need to get done or even just cleaning the house, I turn on the "conversations" section of the Mormon Messages YouTube channel & listen to that while I do whatever it is I need to do. Then all of a sudden whatever I need to do is done, & all I remember are the things I liked from the videos.

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    1. "So if I have all the time in the world, I will be completely unproductive, & if I have hardly any time & many things to do, I will be more productive"

      Oh my goodness yes.

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    2. It's true. It's real. It's the exact same way for me too. Hyperfocusing can sometimes be a real asset. Other times: It creates real problems. Ugly ones.

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  16. I haven't been diagnosed with this, however, I have the same issues as you do. It's so frusrtrating. I find I have to write everything down. If I don't, I have been know to stand or sit in a room staring for hours at a time. Even something like remembering to do the dang dishes. They're right staring at me but I just can't remember I need to actually do them. I keep a calendar on my iPad with notes of things needing to be done from day to day... Even hour to hour sometimes. My family doesn't understand, at all, my issues with concentrating. I have a hard time reading because of this too. I wish you much luck with finding a solution. I'll check back in hopes I might learn too! =}

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  17. List lists lists (and sometimes lists,of lists...seriously) otherwise I will literally wander around the house like I don't know where I am.

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  18. I took a sort of "homework self-help" class at BYU a couple years ago and here are three of the most helpful things I got out of it.
    1. A "DAAG" board: Day-at-a-glance. Sort of like a daily calendar or planner where you write all the things you have to do for your day, and then highlight which of them is most important to least important. Then just work through the most important ones first.
    2. Or just a regular old check-list. It feels good to cross something off even if it was a really small thing like brushing your teeth.
    3. And just this little tip which may or may not work for ADD people...I don't know. But just the idea that if you can just START working on something you can usually finish it. It's just the will to start that is the hard part. If you are really unmotivated, just say, "I'll work on this for 1 minute!" Chances are you will end up working on it for ten. :)

    Hope this helps!! You are awesome!

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  19. I believe in a "6 Most Important Things" list. We all have a million things that need to be done every day, but if you focus on only the 6 most important things, you're more likely to accomplish them all. And if there's something that doesn't get done, you just move it to the top of tomorrow's list.

    I also agree with setting time limits for yourself. Since you perform better under pressure, setting a 15, 30, or 60 minute time limit to accomplish a task might help you focus on it more intensely and get it done more quickly.

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  20. My hubby has ADD and finally saw a doc about it 3 years ago. After trying 3 different meds, all with bad side effects, he started taking Provigil. ADD is an off label use for the drug (it's typically prescribed for narcolepsy or shift work) but after reading several positive things about its effectiveness with ADD, he gave it a try. It has made a night and day difference for him. The biggest thing he notices is that there is no longer the seemingly insurmountable activation energy required to start a task. He just suddenly becomes aware that he is doing something without even thinking about it. His ability to focus and stay on task has been transformed. Provigil has been so good that we were even willing to pay several hundred dollars a month for it when we didn't have insurance. The very best news is that it just went generic and last time I picked it up from the pharmacy, it was a $7 copay. Suh-weet! I would highly recommend it to you and anyone whose life and work is being impacted by ADD. Good luck!

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  21. I'm not an expert in being productive but I sometimes feel crippled by this inability to be productive too and I hope this helps. I pray when I start and end the day. I ask God what He wants me to do today/tomorrow and to keep me on track. There's always going to be a flurry of thoughts/projects that I'll want to do, so I ask for His guidance and leadership to let me know what's important. I can't say I always do this or I'm great at it... but on the days when I do, I am productive because I am focused and purposeful. Might sound a bit too simplistic, but I hope it helps.

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  22. My therapist told me to buy a day planner so I did but I keep misplacing it. So I keep buying them. There has to be a better way.
    (I woke up at 5:00 one Saturday about 12 years ago and even though it seemed really counter-intuative, I decided I might as well get up because I really didn't feel tired at all. About ten minutes later I realized it was 5:00 pm. I was really depressed at the time. I guess I needed the sleep. I was so pissed about sleeping away my entire recreation day of the weekend that I skipped church the next day.)

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  23. Shock collar maybe? Seriously, sometimes I think I need one to keep me on track and moving in the right direction. Question is, who would I trust with the collar's remote . . .

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  24. Hey, Josh. You are like what? 32? To every intelligent person - and you ARE one - it would dawn on by now that no conventional wisdom could make you wiser in the matter. I hope you would not need to wait until you are 42, 52, 62, 72, 82, 92, 102 before it really hits you.

    You live way too much to the West. It is probably as far West as one can possibly go. (I mean Seattle? If you go any further, you put yourself in danger of falling off of the Earth's surface.)

    Let me tell you. West is obsessed with performance. I live in a spot of the Earth just enough West to fully understand that obsession, but just enough East to do not take that obsession too seriously.

    Procrastination is one of the greatest sins there is. Except when it isn't. And it is not more than sometimes. Much more than rarely. Sure, that kind of logic to a Westerner may sound utterly preposterous. After all, one has responsibilities. Putting food on the table. Mortgage. Organizing birthday party for aunt Sally. It is her fiftieth, you know. And both the fridge & the toaster are broken. Unless fixed, you won't be able to enjoy your perfect beginning of a day: eggs & toast.

    That's why Lehi did not take the Western route to the promised land. And that's why he, by taking the Eastern route, he got murmuring wife and not all of his kids entirely devoted to the cause.

    I know. The idea may still very well sound preposterous. Perhaps even scary. Okay. I'm with you. Get back to me when you figure out something else.

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    1. so ADHD is a sin! New York CIty is quite east but I hear they are quite frantic there too.

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    2. Anon 7:27 AM, you seem to think that if you would go any further to the east from New York City, you would also fall off of the face of the Earth.

      But no, there is quite an East from the east of NYC. You do not fall off until you at least reach Kamchatka.

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    3. True indeed. I agree about ADHD being a sin though.

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    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    5. you can have your own opinions but not your own facts.

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    6. FG I have no clue what you post says. I need you to write in layman's terms please. :) I think I need a "understanding a post for dumbies" book. :) Wink. Wanna shed some light on what your post is about.

      :)

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    7. my comment on opinions and facts makes no sense since the comment above was removed, so just ignore it! Thanks.

      Delete
  25. I was recently diagnosed...ADHD-C but i'm a bit skeptical...I'm heavier on the inattentive side I think. Anyways, at this time the greatest thing I've learned this summer about myself is that the more outside structure I have and more that I have to get done, the more productive I tend to be.

    Right now, I'm doing the worst job for what I have...this is because I am my own boss. I'm a research assistant for my professor and all I have to do is take notes as I read books related to the research he's doing. I can work as little or as much as I want. (currently during the summer that means up to 40 hours) I wanted to work as much as I could...once I knew I could be full time, I kept telling myself that is what I would do! I can work from home and I clock in from my computer.It's so easy, but of course it's sooo hard!
    I need my computer to work, but Its my biggest distraction. It's ridiculous! I'm my worst boss. I haven't given up yet though.
    I'm nervous and excited to be in college classes again at the end of Aug.-excited to be busy and more productive...but nervous at the battle with procrastination that I always have. Having a daily planner and monthly calender has helped a lot! And, once my research job has ended (when my teachers budget is dry) I'll find a job with specific hours -having responsibility to others seems to motivate me more.
    It was amazing that I stumbled upon your blog when I was diagnosed! Its been a help! I've finally gotten to a point where I don't hate myself as much for being so lazy, forgetful, and spacey. I can look at my accomplishments and think how much better I have become. When something doesn't work after a week trial- I make new goals and try again, and I do my best!

    I have heard a lot about finding ways to stimulate the brain-and I'm trying to make the best of my unique brain. I think sitting to long kills me mentally-My focus dies really...(again research assistant? heh...) So, I praise myself when I finally start working and try to keep working for as long as I can focus. Anyways, I'm keeping my eyes out for ideas and I hope you find what helps you!

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  26. I highly recommend checking out the Pomodoro technique. Basically, you structure work time into set periods of focus and rest, with a timer. Helps you to get stuck into a task and then gives permission to be distracted for a while between "Pomodoro"s. There are apps on iphone, android and the web. I found after giving myself permission to goof off a bit, it was easier to focus on work as well.

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  27. I'm 22 and I was just diagnosed yesterday with ADHD. I definitely had it growing up but it kind of went under the radar because I always did well in school.

    During college I started to suspect that I had it. There are a couple ways that I had learned how to cope with it during school.

    1) Kept my schedule insanely busy. I always had a commitment to be somewhere so there was little time to get distracted. I would take a full load (18 hours) of coursework, work at my job for 12-20 hours a week, and then also go to practice for the school track team. The best grades I ever got were during a semester of 20 hours classes, 20 hours of work, during track season. The worst grades came when I was taking only 2 classes during the semester.

    2) Regular exercise. This is the one "drug-free" method that has tons of studies backing its efficacy. It's often to find time to workout, but if you make it a priority, you always have time.

    3) Google calendar. I scheduled every piece of my life using Google's calendar. You can even have events send you text messages to remind you that you need to go to this appointment or walk the dog, or something.

    4) Google tasks. Essentially a glorified checklist, also can be integrated into Google Calendar.

    5) The Stay-Focused chrome app. This app goes on my browser and limits me to 10 minutes a day on time-wasting sites such as Facebook.

    Anyhow, good luck, I hope that helps.

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    1. Around 40 years old, I was diagnosed with ADD by a friend/psychiatrist. He put me on Ritalin-I lost weight, got really active in my life, was interested in it actually, had tons of creative thoughts all of the time but also talked a LOT (okay, but it was still more than I do NOW), and felt happy. After 18 months, my heart rate would instantly jump to 180 bpm and then as quickly it would stop. Psychiatrist/friend blew me away with "Perhaps you take it for its antidepressant effect."
      Yep.


      I am now 56 years old, I continue to take an antidepressant which helps (as well as divorced and free of shame to have a testimony) but I am also a Kindergarten teacher in an insane school district (Las Vegas is a roller coaster ride and not just the one at the New York, New York Hotel)with immense loads of work outside of class and finishing up a Master's degree. I have always functioned best, but hated it, through putting things like papers and project off until the bitter end. This bitter end propels me through the project/paper at the last minute. I am wired and crazy but get it done. At age 56 I am finding I physically can't handle the wired and crazy part anymore and am wiped out for a couple of days after said wired.

      What am I getting to? Good question. Uh, I need to find out about the Stay-Focused chrome app because I can spend 15 hours on FB. I can't seem to start what needs to be done. I always discover later that the paper/project that needed to be done was very doable and in fact I would have enjoyed it if I would have started earlier. But I never have started earlier. I feel so helpless in this.

      But the Chrome app could be really helpful to lock down the computer. It is like a drug, I think I can handle it but surprise! I can't. I go back to it over and over and feel stupid/hopeless afterwards (not to mention exhausted because of sleep deprivation).

      Gee, I guess I needed to say all of this because I do feel helpless at times. I sit here in my night gown at 1:30 p.m. and have lots of good and useful things to do in these summer weeks and I've not done one of them. I almost feel bound and close to giving up on learning any other way because each summer the same thing happens.

      So, all of that wordiness (difficulty organizing my words too, others sometimes can't follow me but luckily I have a charming personality that help me get by-honest!) comes down to: Chrome App.

      I've appreciate all of the ideas and will continue to watch for me help on this blog.

      Thanks for doing this. I have so appreciated the Bambi Nuggets and the Club Unicorn-to hear the gentle and respectful conversations. See, there I go off on another tanget!

      Thank you.
      Cheryl

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  28. Josh,

    I have the same form of ADD as you (and I'm gay too - correlation?), and I have problems with any kind of list/calendar. The only thing that has worked for me was the calendar on my e-mail program. If I put stuff in there, my computer will beep before the event is due, and it also synchs up with my iPhone calendar, which will also beep.

    That's the best I've been able to do at this point. Even then I can get distracted AFTER the beeps and still miss a meeting or go off on a tangent, but it has really cut down on the number of incidents.

    Take care, and pay inattention! :D

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  29. I've heard a special (not too special) diet can help as well.
    http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-diets

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  30. These are the things/apps that work for me. I am slightly neurotic so keep that in mind as you read.

    Calendar (Google Calendar or planner):
    - Break things into small tasks and put even the most routine things on the calendar (drive to work, lunch).
    - Make different categories for different "segments" of your life (ie. Personal, Work, Family). When you need to focus at work, you can turn-off the calendars which aren't relevant at the time and focus on what work tasks you have ahead of you.
    - Schedule breaks for surfing the next or getting coffee to break up the more monotonous or challenging tasks
    -Set reminder so that you get alerted to when you should move on to the next task

    Timer (phone or manual):
    - although the calendar reminders can be helpful at other times more enforcement is nice, getting a timer to set will remind you that you need to focus to get the task done during the allotted time (or remind you that "break-time" is done and it is time to get back to task)
    - When I was in school I would calculate how many pages of reading I needed to cover and then set myself a goal to be at a certain page by a certain time. When I would get distracted I would look at the clock/timer and realize how behind I was getting. It helped me to refocus and stay on task. If I finished my work in the allotted time I then took 10-15 minutes let myself be distracted before working on the next goal.

    Lists (Notebook & Tasks N Todos App)
    - I keep a notebook at work to manage projects/tasks I am working on. Each page is a day. As I come up with things I need to do I write them on the day in which I need to complete them (usually that day). At the end of the day I write what tasks I didn't complete on to the next day so that I wont forget to do them again. This list includes not only important things such as calling clients, following up on appointments but also includes things as google alligators (or other things that I randomly decide I want to research). This allows me to not be tempted to google alligators immediately and instead do so when I have my "break" time.
    - Create a list of rolling tasks (such as filling, paying bills), so that if you have a client cancel you can fill that allotted time with something else.
    - I use the Tasks N Todo app to manage my personal lists. I have reminders set for: refill rx, pick-up rx, call mom, book airline tickets, etc. You can set reminders, prioritize and categorize tasks. I enjoy the repeat function for all of those repetitive tasks that I seem to forget.

    I hope you find everyone's comments helpful and not to overwhelming. I've enjoyed reading through the comments to see what works for others too.

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  31. I have had to make myself a schedule that I print out....it has check boxes next to everything so that I can check off when I have actually accomplished something. And I put everything on this list.....call so-and-so...it's on there. Then, I go down the list and I do everything. Works....and it helps me feel like I accomplished something at the end of the day when I can't remember what I ate for breakfast, let alone what I did today.

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  32. I work as the training director for the company LearningRX, which trains the brain to overcome cognitive weaknesses, including attention issues. We've helped LOTS of people with ADD (www.learningrx.com). One of the things I've started at our center is diffusing essential oils from DoTerra. We diffuse the blends Serenity and Balance. Not only has this helped a lot of our students, but I've got trainers and staff coming to me wanting to order oils for themselves and their families. I've also heard that using the oil Vetiver is fabulous for ADD symptoms. The website is http://www.mydoterra.com/megansantini/index.html. Send me an email at megansantini (at) gmail (dot) com if interested in learning more about either suggestion.

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  33. I've tried calendars and apps on my phone or computer. The only thing that consistently works for me (because I can't ignore it as well as I can my phone) is a giant (think: to cover the whole desk) calendar hung on the wall and lots of post-it notes. Good luck!

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  35. We use iCloud as our calendar and reminders are constantly popping up on our phones to keep us on track. It seriously has become my mobile brain and its scary how much I depend on it with 3 busy, active, scheduled kids and a husband to keep track of. I also live by check lists at home. I have them on my kitchen counter to keep me on task. Life is overwhelming sometimes. But it's excruciatingly much more so with ADD. It sucks. Good luck!!!!

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  36. Two words: STICKER CHART!! (It works with my kids...)

    Seriously - I have to have my calendar/lists where it is staring me in the face and doesn't require the difficult tasks of opening a planner or turning on a computer. I use a clipboard with my planner pages/to do list on it or a 3 ring binder that stays open on the counter all the time. From time to time, when we're making more of an effort, my husband and I use Cozi Family to schedule - its free, it works really well and can be shared between multiple people, so you can keep each other on task.

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  37. Hi Josh! Here is my honest and simple advice. First, get enough sleep -- I mean, sleep until you feel rested, even if on some days you might need 12 hours! If you feel tired throughout the day, take a nap. Secondly, eat well, eat regularly, eat often. Not so much that you get sluggish, pay attention to what kinds of foods actually give you energy at the end of the meal. If your mind feels fuzzy after a meal, you're probably eating something that doesn't suit you at that time, or that doesn't suit you period. Eliminate sugar and caffeine -- this is a tough one, but boy does it make a difference. And finally, and this is the most important -- pray. Look deep into your heart (not your mind!) in any given moment and ask God sincerely what it is he is calling you to do. Is there a gentle desire in your heart to do something? Is there sense of being "drawn" to do something, no matter how strange it might seem to your mind? This "call" ought to give you a sense of peace and joy. These small calls throughout the day are your signposts (call it your checklist) for that day. Because the problem with ADD is that a person is living too much in his mind without being anchored in his heart and body. And so you get that sense of "airyness", of "being lifted", of "being scattered"... of shifting, of wind... think of all the qualities of air and there you'll find a perfect metaphor. I sincerely pray that this helps! :)

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  38. i was diagnosed with ADD as an adult. I tried meds (adderall) and it helped, but i hated the side effects and the maintenance of having to get refills. my calendar on my phone is my life line. i have EVERYTHING in there with appropriately timed reminders. i also use essential oils to help me with my focusing abilities. i blend several of them together and wow...it is good stuff! it's like my mind gets quiet from all the chatter and noise and i can actually focus.

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  39. Take Concerta- Drugs are a hard thing to rely on and I know people don't like to take pills, but this one works for a lot of people. It's worth a try. It helped my son- he can actually feel it start to work. He can do more things for much longer periods of time. Good luck. I have ADD on Sundays- 3 hours of church is getting harder and harder...what's with that???

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  40. John Gray recommends Lithium Orotate.

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  41. "Weed" things out of your life. (Pun intended) I don't have any experience with ADD, but when I have too much on my plate I stop sleeping at night and panicking that I'm forgetting things. (And organization is my strongpoint). I either have to get rid of things, or I have to decide that if I'm going to do something that is incredibly time consuming I actually make lists of everything I'm purposely not doing. My last breakdown occured when I was YW president and I think I filled 4 pages both sides with everything I wasn't going to do. Since I've been released I've been able to do some of those things. For me, it's not about the time, I can spend hours on one thing, but I find if my creative energies are pulled in too many directions, the switch in my brain just turns off.

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  42. You sound exactly like my husband. Once he forgot to shave half his face. He says adderall really does help him focus when he doesn't want to, but to be perfectly honest, I think it's how he feels in his head that is different, because damn if I can see any difference around the house, haha! Honestly, I think getting diagnosed made him stop trying so hard, if that makes sense. I'm glad he has accepted himself, but I married a man who could and did do laundry, and 13 years later he can barely remember to take out the trash once a week. However, I hear from other women that's just symptomatic of Y-chromosome possession. ;)

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  43. Oh, and I also use "Remember the milk" and Google Calendar to keep things straight. David Allen's "Getting Things Done" has helped me. He keeps a "someday maybe list" which is his way of admitting he can't do everything now, and he takes a balanced approach to prioritizing. For example, say the #1 thing on your Todo list seems overwhelmeing. Then just do something, even if it's down at #43 and seems insignificant. Just doing something gets things going in a positive direction, and eventually you'll have the time and resources for the things that matter most.

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  44. Sticky notes save lives. I have them EVERYWHERE. Books I'm reading, on my computer, bathroom mirror- you name it. I makes lists for what I need to do, and then I have lists that remind me to look at lists. I know it sounds a little crazy, but I can't survive without them.

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    1. Agreed! The SUPER sticky notes are the BEST. I love them a little more than I should lol!!!

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  45. I've found Ted Hallowell's books on the subject helpful.. He points out that ADD folks can become so consumed in the process of getting organized/making helpful systems that a) the organization/systems never get finished or b) the organization and systems become too complex for the folks to actually implement and use on a regular basis.

    So that leads to my advice: easy routine and as basic a 'system' as you can make. I know some ADD folks who love electronic apps and organizers and integrating them with pen-and-paper organizers, but I need to keep it simpler and I'm a Luddite, so I use a basic planner.

    Also! I have no incentive to say this, but a therapist once highly recommended Franklin-Covey to me. I took one of F-C's online basic organizing/time management classes for $120 or so with a coupon and bought their planning supplies.. I found their class incredibly helpful and that I could use basic planners to work the system they teach.

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  46. I also break larger/more complex tasks down into very, very simple steps so that they seem more doable -- I don't feel as overwhelmed and my urge to procrastinate is lessened.

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  47. When I was teaching elementary school I had so much to do I felt like I was going crazy! So I actually took some advice from a writer--it was an article I read online and wish I could cite, but I'd never find it. Anyway, on Monday I made a big list of everything that needed to get done that week. I then too the items from that list (or parts of the items) and divvied them up to all of the days of the week so I had a separate to-do list for each day that would ultimately lead me to accomplishing everything I needed to do that week. I tried to put the daily lists in order of priority so I would know what to start with. Since you struggle with getting things done, it might be better to put the easiest first so you have that little reward of being able to check off the first thing early on.

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  48. I also have adult ADHD. Routines and list are the way to go. If I don't write it down, it didn't happen and there is no way I'll remember 10 mintues later. At the office, I keep to the same routine each morning: for the first hour the only things I MUST accomplish are checking my emails and listening to my voicemails (there are tons!) It is better for me to hold off on responding to calls/messages until I am ready to deal with them- if I take a random call I may never get back to what I was working on in the first place. Helps to eliminate some of the chaos during the day.

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  49. I saw someone posted a diet above...I'm gonna give some advice of stuff that helped me, and yes, it is food related, but I didn't do a special diet. Being neurodiverse, and having 4 neurodiverse children, I think there is no one-size fits all diet. BUT, I can tell you that 2 things affect my attention issues: sugar and nutrition. I actually just read some studies on sugar and attention. When I eliminate processed sugar from my diet, it's amazing how my brain functions so much better. Also, the amount of nutrients I'm getting from my food, either through fresh produce, or vitamins, plus an omega supplement, like fish oil, is amazing how it helps me and my kids.

    Otherwise, I'm still trying to find that perfect app that will keep me on track on my distracted days, I'll be looking into any and all suggestions made here.

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  50. I have tried computer programs apps etc, but when it comes down to it I have to make a what I call my "stupid tasks" checklist. I have found that if I'm not doing a task, I have to break it down into extremely easy steps. Let me give an example. I needed to write a press release a while back. I hate press releases and so I was constantly stuck and distracted. I broke it down to the following stupidly simple tasks that I could check off:

    1. turn on computer
    2. open word
    3. write sentence about what I want to say.
    4. write three things to support that idea.
    5 Write rough first paragraph
    6. write rough second paragraph
    7. write final paragraph
    8. send to coworker to read for feedback.
    9. Take feedback and implement
    10. wait a day and read again.

    I find that the easier the first steps in the list are the better the results. You get to pat yourself on the back quickly and easily. I do this with everything even if I'm just thinking in my mind "Okay, just pick up the 5 things on the table and put them away. Now wipe the table.". Works wonders.

    Another piece of advice is to quickly identify the task that is killing you. I stop doing anything when I have one thing that is most important, but I dread doing that thing. Once I realize I'm not being productive because I can't get past that item I can break it down into the stupid easy steps I talked about earlier.

    If computer/internet distractions plague you I have found that having a pad and paper by the computer and listing the things that you want to do/read that don't relate to your job so you can come back to them. For example, check facebook, look up that random fact you were wondering about, follow-up an a friend's e-mail, etc. Instead of doing the tasks right then, make yourself wait until you have completed a task or two and need a break.

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    1. Oh my gosh - this is/you are BRILLIANT!! Seriously love this. Except you should rename it. Stupid tasks just would reinforce how stupid I think I am with ADD!! Something less negative, more neutral - like Focus Tasks. Just a minor suggestion to an otherwise friggin brilliant strategy!!

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  51. I use the reminder thing on my phone and voice record stuff I need to doonto my checklist as I think of them. It's easy and quicker than typing, and I get a perverse joy out of checking things off my list. Does this make me sound like the worst kind of person?

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  52. I saw a Ted Talk once on motivation. The guy said that if you sit for a moment and think about the task already being done (think longer than fleetingly), you have a physical response to do the task and the procrastination is gone. Works wonders for me. It's not specific to ADD, so I don't know if it will work for you, but it's worth a try.

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  53. okay, so I was reading a book called superparenting for kids with ADD or something like that (I never did finish) but anyway, the guy gave loads of theories on every kind of treatment proven and unproved, I think it was hallowell. He talked about something his wife and son did that was really experimental and would only work if another person does it with you but you have to do exercises like juggling or balancing on one foot for 10 or was it 15 minutes twice a day for like a year. The thinking being by engaging your brain in way that activiates whatever part of your brain it is it kind of helps train it or something. He said that it really did help his son but it takes a lot of practice everyday. They tried it as a last resort and it would have been impossible to stick to unless his wife did it with hiss son. Whatever they were trying to work on worked. so at least for them it was successful.

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  54. So, I don't think I have ADD (types the girl who has managed to spend the majority of the day getting distracted by wikipedia, listverse, her google alerts articles, etc and it currently shaking her leg like she's on a caffeine kick - and this is a good day), but here's a little something I've found helpful - the big problem for me is that I'll be totally focused on a task and then I'll be suddenly reminded of something else I want to accomplish and I think, oh, I'll just do that really quick, then get back to this, and two hours and fifty detours later, I've finished none of the tasks I started on. So, what works (sometimes), is instead of just having a to do list to reference for the day, every time one of those awesome new ideas pops in, i write that down and then I know I can come back to it. Then I take a deep breath, remind myself that a top ten list of most famous serial killer couples, while clearly of vital importance to my education as a human being (I have issues, I know this) will still be there to read on my own, non-work related time and I can get back to writing up pricing charts without a panic attack. Also, a play list of music I know really, really well helps sometimes because the words are so familiar I don't have to pay attention to them. Ok. That's all. Back to pricing charts.

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  55. The things that have helped me the most are flylady.net, Getting Things Done, and the most impactful one--a daily plan that I put together in the morning.

    Flylady helped me develop routines and break tasks down into more manageable pieces.

    Getting Things Done helped me develop ways to contextually categorize my to-do lists and the importance of processing incoming "stuff".

    For my daily plan, each morning at work I print off my calendar for the day. It shows my appointments/meetings and the times I have available to do things. I break my day into categories: 1) Prep & Plan; 2) Process; 3) Work; 4)Breaks/Errands; 5)Home. On the notes part of my schedule I write down the tasks that I'd like to get done that day (only up to five)for each area. I keep longer, comprehensive to-do lists for these areas in Evernote (a great app!). Then I write on my schedule when I'm going to prep & plan, process, work and break. If I don't make my plan for the day, I'm all over the place and don't really accomplish much. With my plan, I feel like I get most of what I want to get done at the end of the day. I rarely adhere perfectly to my plan, but at least I know exactly what I'm trading off if I decide to do something else.

    For my "processing" time, I process my voicemail, stuff on my desk, inboxes, notes and e-mail. Processing include reviewing notes, filing papers, and capturing action items on my to-do list. According to the book, Getting Things Done, while processing, if you can do it in two minutes or less, go ahead and do it. If it will take longer than two minutes, decide the next step and put it on your to-do list.

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  56. I was just thinking that you would never get through all this advice with your ADD and all. :D

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  57. Lots of great advice here--helpful for both me (I have mild to moderate ADD) and my son (more severe ADD).

    He's on Concerta as well--and it's made a HUGE difference in his school performance as well as his frustration and depression levels (which were often a direct result of not doing well in school or in other areas).

    For me, one thing that's a huge help is something my son (age 17) found that helps us both: When I had to sit at the computer and focus, putting in ear buds and listening to white noise from SimplyNoise.com. It's really amazing how well I can focus with the noise. Sometimes I'll listen as well as set a timer (20 or 30 minutes, typically) and race through whatever I need to do. Amazing how much I can get through in a short spurt.

    I prefer the "pink" noise (there are 3 colors).

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  58. Use lists to keep yourself on tasks.

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  59. My husband has a really tough time keeping track of things... but he figured out a way to get Google Calendars to text his phone.

    so he puts important dates and meetings and stuff like that on Google Calendars (which I would imagine if you had a smart phone of sorts this would already be a lot simpler...) then he doesn't have to worry about forgetting the meeting or whatever because "Winston" aka Google Calendar texts him about 15 minutes (or more if you want, i would guess) before the important thing is happening.

    I prefer the simple pen and pocket notebook approach because I can lay out my to do lists exactly how I want them for the day. and if I write it down I am way less likely to forget it (because I forget everything...people get annoyed).

    good luck to you.

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  60. I find myself having to trick my brain sometimes. I'm not naturally organized...no, I'm not naturally conventionally structured. I dip my toes in a little of everything until I find what fits. Planners are the hardest for me to maintain. I only really use them to stick things in and make myself feel good from time to time. What I've found most helpful is list making. I'm not super fancy with it either. Just make a microsoft doc and list out all of the things I want done (homework, housework, random goals, etc). Then I figure out the deadlines or rate of importance for me to do them. I then write out my week and put them in each day. There's usually three or four on each day. The best part is blacking them out (I take the dark highlighter feature and mark them out). I try my hardest to get them done that day, but if not I just bump them to the next day.
    This is the best method that I've found. But I'll still find myself fooing around with calendars, planner, etc just for kicks.

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  61. Consider Getting Things Done by David Allen: http://www.davidco.com

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  62. ADD here too. I find that the easiest and most effective way to stay on task is to wait until the absolute very last minute required to get it done. Works like a charm for me.

    Someone may have already mentioned this approach, but those were a lot of comments to read through, and you know...well...I got bored of reading them.

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  63. I have not been diagnosed (had to get the kid's medical issues under control first), but I am absolutely certain that I am also suffering from adult inattentive ADHD. It first became a problem for me around age 14, when I realized that I could no longer skate through school without my grades taking a dump. And even though my parents had good medical coverage, convincing them - or anyone else - that my brain just didn't work right and I needed outside help was beyond my meager abilities.

    As for coping skills -

    1. A Calendar. I actually have two. I started using the Franklin Planner system about 15 years ago and have adapted things over the years. 2 pages a day is too much room, and all that white space is daunting. 2 pages a week isn't enough room. So I found a page-a-day layout online, tweaked that a bit, and print my own pages. Calendar pages document my daily to-do list, my appointments, and other events like birthdays. I also keep my checkbook, my scripture reading log, long-term to-do lists, my budget, and a variety of other resources and inventories. Not always stuff I need to have every day, but it is all contained in one location. Most of that is backed up on the computer if something were to happen to the book.

    2. Google Calendar. I have this synced to my Android phone as well, so I can enter new appointments immediately when making them. I refuse to take appointment cards at the doctor's offices. Too much garbage, too easily lost between the office and home, too annoying. I also set Google to send me both emails and text messages to remind me of appointments, just in case I forget to transfer something to the physical calendar.

    3. Music. I can't work when it's too quiet. I need background noise. White noise machines don't suffice for me. Some days it's hymns, other days I need heavy metal. The tasks at hand will often influence the choice in musical accompaniment.

    4. Timers. This might actually be the most important part of my personal coping system. When the pull of some distracting activity gets strong, I allow myself to indulge. But only for a specific amount of time. I set an alarm for however long I am willing to give up to that distraction and set it as loud as I can. This is especially effective at work, because the boss hears it and knows I'm supposed to be back on task again. I think of it this way - I'm reducing the allure of the forbidden by making it merely restricted. I actually do get more work done overall if I allow myself small breaks.

    The first thing I do when I get to work (because right now my early mornings are too crazy to do so at home) is to compare the contents of the Franklin-esque calendar to the Google calendar. While at work, I'm constantly referring to the hard copy. I mark off projects as I had been taught when I first started using the Franklin system (dot for "in progress", checkmark when complete, arrows if it's put off to another day, X if aborted entirely), although I don't use the priority rating system they taught. Doesn't work with my brain.

    I also take extra time compare the two calendars to prepare for Family Home Evening. I don't know if all families do this, but we take time every week to go over the calendar for the next couple weeks. Since I usually find out about the kids' activities at this time, and I'm not using the computer or my phone during FHE, they go into the hard copy first and have to be entered into the digital calendar later. Clearly, this is a potential gaping hole in my system, but I haven't yet figured out a better way to do it.

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    1. google calendar is awesome!!

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  64. I can't help you. This blog is one of my most reliable distractions when I should be doing homework. Thanks for being there for me. :) I think I'll be using some of the ideas others have suggested, too! Good luck!

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  65. Both husband and I are Bi-polar. There are times when I can't focus on ANYTHING. I even have trouble reading. I don't leave things to the last minute. I have jus finished another Uni degree and about to start a Masters (in Social Work)and we have 7 kids (youngest is not yet 2). So with all these potential excuses I make sure if I get something I start it immediately. Mediation helps. So does running. Organize everything!!!

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  66. Recently read Jonah Lehrer's book 'Imagine: How creativity works' and I have to say it made me feel much better about my tendency to daydream and lose myself in thought. It can actually be productive. Lehrer gives some tips on how to use daydreaming/lostinthought time productively, but I can't remember what they are because I was daydreaming when I read that section.

    Personally, I use calendars, all types. I have one on my night stand, two on the fridge, one in my purse, one on my computer, phone and iPad that are all synced. I find that writing things down multiple times keeps it in the forefront of my mind.

    My second favorite tool is the good ole fashioned timer. Seriously. You can do anything for 2 minutes, right? I find on days when I am particularly bad, I have to give myself a time limit or quota for nearly everything from taking a shower to paying the bills to washing dishes. For those tasks I really dread or can't seem to get going on, I play beat the clock and then reward myself when I finish before the times up... and/or for just working and staying focused until time ran out.

    I also talk to myself. When I really can't focus and can't seem to have more than one thought on the same topic at a time, I start talking aloud. Something about focusing in on my own voice pulls my brain out of the random frenzy and starts to gel my thoughts and then I am able to move into action.

    I loved the idea of writing 'focus' repeatedly and counting and doing it until you could actually keep a running count. Really, we all have to find what works best for us, otherwise, it won't stick. But without trying a variety of things, we may never find what works for us. The trick is not getting lost in the process. Which if we were good at that, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    Daydreamers, unite!

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    1. "I find that writing things down multiple times keeps it in the forefront of my mind."

      This. Oh so very true. Repetition reinforces memory.

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    2. And the more senses involved the better. I think that's why writing on different calendars works so well, each one looks, feels and even feels different adding to the sensory input associated and attached to the memory. If you say it out loud each time you write it down, even better... I wonder if saying if mixing up my accent each time I move to a new calendar would have any different effect?

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  67. ps if you find yourself floating around distracted feel free to read my blog post I recently wrote about putting your shoulder to the wheel :)

    http://thissideofinvisible-mlm.blogspot.com/2012/08/whip-it-wednesday.html

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  68. Drugs keep me more organized than any app, list, or timer. As an ADD-PI adult like yourself, stimulants are the only thing that keep a girl sane.

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  69. Drugs keep me more organized than any app, list, or timer. As an ADD-PI adult like yourself, stimulants are the only thing that keep a girl sane.

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  70. Kinda funny that you have problems with ADD. I used to think I had it, but my current therapist thinks the symptoms are due to childhood/teenage depression. (As far as I can tell, the difference is pretty much academic.)
    Anyhow, I can't really offer a lot in productive advice, since I'm still struggling. But I can vouch for having a scheduled day. (I do much better during the school year, when I have to do certain things at certain times.) Maybe if you cooperate with your wife to design a daily routine, it could help.

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  71. I'm wondering if I have ADD myself now?!
    I barely can sit for a while before getting completely distracted! It's crazy! Or maybe it's just indiscipline? How do you tell the difference?
    (Josh, my friend Makes a timetable of what he has to do and has it plastered up above his study table, so it's visible at all times. Thus, even if he gets distracted, with a glance he can go back to doing what he's supposed to be doing.)

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  72. I am an LDS LPC in Pocatello. I love your blog and have used it to help clients who struggle with gender identity and impulse control issues. It has been really helpful for them.
    I also provide a neuro-balancing service called Brainwave Optimization that has helped MANY who struggle with ADD. It is similar to neurofeedback, with a few profound--and much more effective--differences. Check out my website: www.AnOpenMindNB.com

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  73. I'm an ADD college student so right now I use this tip for hw but it goes well for most other projects as well, take a five minute break every twenty/thirty minutes. This five minute break sometimes includes the bathroom. I can always edit a rushed assignment once it's actually done so hydrate and use it to keep you focused!

    Also, this five minute break can have nothing to do with what you are doing. If you're on the computer get up and walk around the office, check in with the world around you. So much easier to focus. Take a timer with you and set it for five minutes so you don't get distracted past your five minutes. But it's ok to be distracted during the five minutes. It's giving you permission to be distracted.

    Good luck!!!

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    1. But how do you get yourself back to doing the task at hand after the 5 minute break. I don't get back. There almost seems to be some kind of a fear associated with it.
      Cheryl

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  74. I have no advice but I wanted to say that reading about someone else with ADD is one of the things I appreciate most about your blog. I was diagnosed when I was 14 and was on Ritalin. It helped a lot but by 21 I felt like I had outgrown it and it wasn't helping at all. That was also when I got married and started a family so I went off all my medications. I'm still trying to figure out how to live with ADD, even 9 years after I went off my meds. Making lists helps, I use an app called cozi but it only works on my iPod touch when I have Internet so I get into trouble away from home. I couldnt even access my grocery list the other day and I almost lost my mind! Today I went to an appointment, only to find out the appointment was actually yesterday. Ugh.

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  75. Hi I was just wondering what your opinion was with the whole chick fil a thing. Also what is your believe on prop 8 and changing the definition of marriage?

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    1. that is a loaded question for sure!!! Geez does it really matter what he thinks? He has every right to think the way he thinks without someone bashing it either way. There is no point discussing a HUGE loaded question.

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    2. .....I was just curious what his opinion on the topic was since it is such a hot topic right now in our country. I am also a member of his faith and just wanted to know his perspective since I am not homosexual and therefore could learn a lot from his view point. Loaded question? Bashing him? I don't know what you mean. I seriously was just curious and I would never think to bash Josh Weed for any of his opinions. In fact, I learn a lot from his opinions about this whole topic. I personally think it does matter what he thinks, at least it does to me. Anyway, sorry I offended you anonymous and if this question is too huge to answer here, Josh, feel free to email me at lizzykate@gmail.com. If you want to answer that is :)

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    3. Well I'd he says he's against something like gay marriage then hell get censored. If he is for then the other side. Why do you really need to know that. Like I said your question is a very loaded damned if you think one elway and damned if you think another way question......

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    4. Yeah, they're quite touchy on here. If you look at earlier comments on earlier posts, you'll get a feel for his opinion. Also, never post a link that brings into question anything about Mormonism, it will get deleted. Don't ask any questions about Mormonism as people will jump down your throat. As long as you are a Mormon though you can post incomprehensible comments and they won't be removed.

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    5. Anon 2:59 I find your comment dishonest. I've been following this blog since the unicorn post went viral. All kinds of questions and discussions have taken place on this blog. Most of the discussion has been civil but a few individuals have tried to hijack the discussion with their own agenda. Not everyone that frequents this blog is LDS. However Josh and his family happen to be, so I'd imagine that they require a basic level of respect when referring to parts of their religion that they hold sacred. There is a difference between asking an honest question about his religion or using HIS PERSONAL BLOG to advertise for anti Mormon web sites. There are blogs and websites by the dozens and dozens that discuss the beliefs of Mormonism, maybe that is the kind of site that you'd be more interested in. I've been amazed at the level of tolerance the Weed family has displayed. Thank you Josh and Lolly.

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    6. Oh I see what you are saying. I didn't mean to ask a question that would cause ridicule to the weeds. And you have a point, either way he would lose some support and so it is prob better he didn't answer me. I wouldn't want him to lose favor with anyone bc I think he is doing great job with his blog. I was just wondering. Didn't mean any harm

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    7. Now I don't mind sharing my opinion but josh is in public eye and people are already touchy on here. His answer will not be taken good either way sadly...

      Wanna know my opinion....probably not but here goes...

      Thr chick fil a thing is a bunch of bull!!!!!!! I mean thru are being censored and boycotted and called bigots because they dOnt support gay marriage? But then you see Microsoft donate 100000 to approve gay marriage and it goes unnoticed. I find that absolutely down right wrong!!! Everyone has a right to an opinion on this touchy subject. I do not feel its right to try to censor and ruin a company because they made a stance.

      On the prop 8 and changing definition of marriage.... I am for saving marriages.. Not that I'm against the gay community having insurance , medical etc rights.. If that makes sense.. But I am against a group trying to change gods law to fit their circumstances..which is exactly what's happening here. They want everyone else to have to deal with a redefinition of marriage because they made a choice to live the way they do. And yes I believe it's an absolute choice to live a gay lifestyle. Yes someone might be born with tendencies but it's a conscious choice to follow those tendencies. Perfect example of this is actually josh. It was his choice despite his tendencies ( and we all have tendencies we deny ourselves often, I know I do)
      Also I feel that if gay people do want it changed they would need to advocate for other groups to be included (polygamy etc etc). To make it not just about their needs but everyone who does not fit into to the traditional family mold... It seems hypocritical of them to only include there cause in the fight.

      Anyways I'm sure I'll get some angry comments from this saying in a bigot or something but that's ok because I am not I just am not afraid to say how I feel and not ashamed or feel my opinion is any less important then the other side. I am entitled to my own opinions just like the flip side.

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    8. I wouldn't worry. 99.9999999% of people on here agree with you.

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    9. Actually, it wasn't an anti-mormon website. It wasn't a website actually, it was an article that brought something into question and a practicing Mormon was quoted and agreed with it. It was a respectful article - I would not post a link to something that was merely people spouting opinions about tendencies and the chick fil thing being a 'bunch of bull' and things like that.
      FG Mormon had posted something at the end of his move east comment to cure ADD about Lehi and so that's where the connection was.
      I note that Josh, in his most recent post about the mall, joke about not being partnered with a man. He is keeping the gay dicussion kinda going.
      The clear homophobia presented in the comment above mine does not get deleted but my link does. Go fig.
      Although I'm all for censorship on personal blogs. On mine, I have to approve the comments first. That keeps out spam and also bigoted and cruel comments about people based on their race or their sexual orientation. I imagine that say white supremacists censor comments by people who call them out on their white supremacy. Or fundamentalist Islamists censor comments that question their religion.

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    10. is Missouri far east enough,FG? That is indeed a sacred place, no?

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  76. I am a trauma therapist, specializing in adolescents and adults. I have some good therapy suggestions for you, based on ten years of treating teenagers in residential treatment programs.

    My experience suggests that the best ADD information is coming from the most recent research in neuroscience, and from the neurosequential treatment modalities. Notable is the work of child trauma psychiatrist Bruce Perry. Dr. Perry's approach is based on a lot of careful research about neurosequential development of the brain. He has a sophisticated diagnostic instrument called "brain mapping" that charts 36 different specific areas of the brain that can be dysregulated due to developmental or traumatic insults of some kind. His article, currently available at http://www.icdl.com/graduate/documents/TheNeurosequentialModelofTherapeutics.pdf, was published in the Journal of Loss and Trauma in 2008. Although neurosequential therapy is not specific just to ADD, it is specific to what is being termed "Developmental Trauma Disorder"--essentially repetitive trauma of childhood.

    Although Bruce Perry's brain mapping and NMT therapy may be accessible in your area: (go to his website to see a list of trained providers at http://childtrauma.org/index.php/about-cta/cta-partners If not, some of the fundamental components of Neurosequential Therapy treatments (those that are most likely to help with the most common symptom clusters) are simple to do. I have used them with a lot of dysregulated teenagers and adults, with very good results.

    The basic essence of brain regulating therapy is:
    First, regulate the brainstem using rhythmic, repetitive motion: at least 20 minutes a day of rocking in a rocking chair or hammock, swinging on a swing, doing therapeutic dance or Tai Chi, or jumping on a mini-trampoline. The cadence is most effective if it approximates what a fetus experience in the womb as the mother is walking.

    Second, take care of any sensory integration problems, ie hypersensitivity to sound, light, touch, taste or smell. If hypersensitivities are present, the sensory integration process used for autistic spectrum are helpful.

    Third, resolve any fear or shame-based childhood trauma experiences using a brain-stem based (dynamic) release therapy, such as EMDR, EFT, TFT, Somatic Experiencing, Breathing releases (rebirthing breathing, Sudarshan Kriya Yog) Any of these can work well if the therapist is skilled and empathetic. Talk-based or cognitive based therapies do not access the brain stem and hippocampus very well, so they do not resolve fear completely which is easy to do with dynamic release therapy. This step is not listed by Bruce Perry in his published articles, but some of his earlier drafts make mention of some of the dynamic therapies and I have found this step greatly accelerates progress.)

    Fourth, learn and practice a skill that slows brain waves down to a "natural alpha" or a theta wave state: Meditation, relaxation training, guided visualizations, self-hypnosis, or neurofeedback training are helpful, best if done at least 20 minutes daily. A tape recorded script is often helpful. Note that most ADD/ADHD individuals are not able to meditate consistently until they have first done the brainsteim regulation, ie rocking or swinging. Also, unresolved trauma can prove distracting and needs to be addressed if it comes to the surface.

    There are many cognitive therapy components as well that come later, but they are much more specific to the individual challenges of each client.

    I also have two relevant videos from my Healing Talk Radio show. The first one is "nonmedication solutions for ADD/ADHD, which can be viewed at http://www.healingtalkradio.com/2012/02/09/non-medication-solutions-for-add-and-adhd/. The second is "New Hope For Survivors of Childhood Abuse and Neglect", archived at http://www.healingtalkradio.com/2012/02/03/new-hope-from-neuroscience-for-abused-and-neglected-childlren/

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  77. I just love all of your blogs! So down to earth! Thank you!

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  78. This is a very interesting book that I highly recommend, I'm using the techniques to help my son with autism: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/039953475X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=savsissho-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=039953475X

    I guess it all goes back to brain balance- my son's right brain is behind and my daughter's left brain needs some boosting. :)

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  79. I don't want to sound flip about your condition but I think it is impossible to have three small children and NOT suffer from a bit of ADD -- even if you are naturally a focused and controllable-energy person, distractions pop up constantly, it is simply impossible to stick to any schedule you set for yourself, the strategies offered for helping with ADD kids (keep rooms neat and organized, take time at the end of the day to plan out the next, etc.) are utterly impossible, you're sleep-deprived...add that to ADD brain chemistry and I doubt there is a single magic solution that will work in all cases. I have a friend who swears by knitting and crocheting or kicking a hacky-sack around while she talks; anything that involves repetitive and constant movement apparently lets her brain concentrate. Again, not sure how easy that would be with small children in the room...

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  80. I don't usually comment, but this is something I *have* to weigh in on...even if I am a little slow on the draw. (I've been out of town and didn't see this post until last night.) I have ADD, am married to a man with ADD, and we have four little girls, most or all of whom also have ADD. So, I have some degree of experience with this. I know from previous posts I've read that you take ritalin. But, you've never (that I've seen) mentioned any supplements. I recently discovered supplements, and it has made all the difference in the world. The best one, hands down, is vitamin b12. I take a multivitamin in the morning and b12 and omega-3 three times a day. Those plus my adderall plus regular exercise lend the clarity and drive that I've never before experienced with just meds, or meds and exercise, or anything else that I've tried.

    As for apps, I have found a couple that I just love. Like so many others have mentioned, I live and die by my google calendar. My husband and I can coordinate everything we both have going on at a glance via phones, computers, or tablets. Also, I found an app called Astrid that works better for lists and reminders than anything else I've tried (and I've tried LOTS of list and task apps). I have heard of an app called Evernote, but haven't tried it myself yet. I also have one called Alarm Clock Plus that I use instead of the regular alarm app, because you can set it to make you do math problems before snoozing or dismissing the alarm (with a huge range of settings possible), which makes sure I wake up enough to think clearly before being able to turn of my alarm. It makes it a lot harder to ignore that way. Last app of note is Sudoku. When I need something to help focus my thoughts and quiet some of the noise in my head, I sit down and play sudoku for a few minutes (but I usually have to set an alarm so I don't lose huge chunks of time to the game). My sister, also ADD, uses sudoku the same way. My husband does the same thing with tetris (as does my nephew), which I have actually read articles about before.

    Anything else I have to say, I am sure you have heard before. Like I've heard many times, "It's not that people with ADHD don't know what to do, it's that they aren't able to do what they know." Good luck. I hope you find something that works!

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  81. The reply button isn't working at the moment. to Aug. 2 at 3:25- Gina Judd - Josh doesn't have gender identity issues, not sure how his blog would help those who do? As an LPC I'm sure you know the vast difference between gender identity and sexual orientation.

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  82. I'm going back to school right now and let me tell you, I get it! It takes me 6 to 8 hours to do math homework. Anyway, what helps me is focusing on getting one thing done at a time. I waste alarming amounts of time still but do my best. Sometimes it helps to listen to classical music while doing something but sometimes this can get too distracting to focus on the task at hand! Oh, and I've suffered the humiliation of having others ask me to stop tapping my fingers on the table, lol.

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  83. I have had ADHD since childhood. Everything came hard to me. In fact- I dropped right out of high school. Well, half dropped, half flunked. I didn't go back my senior year because I was failing all my classes. Always had.
    It wasn't until in my early twenties that I was finally diagnosed and medicated. Please believe me when I say I am a completely different person on meds. I'm the person I was meant to be. I'm the person I've always wanted to be. On meds, I'm not inhibited by my own ridiculous brain. I'm on Vyvance.
    Distractibility is an issue, sure. Not by outside influences though, I distract myself. My brain will just naturally stop focusing or won't begin to focus. It's like hitting the print button on the computer and nothing prints and you're all 'hello?! I said print!' That's what it's like in my head. I try to put info in there and: nothin'. Read a single sentence of instruction: never began to listen in the first place. Sure it was me reading it, but I have no idea what I read.

    My question to you is this:
    How in the world did you make it through schooling? Did you have parents who got you help?
    Meds?
    What?
    It's only been recently that I've gotten enough courage to even look at this subject (easier just to have a dr. say 'here take this and you'll be fine). It's like looking at the grey hair I have and knowing I am WAY too young for grey hair- I don't want to look at it.

    I'm grateful I found this blog though. Thank you for creating a space for people to share on this subject, and:

    THANK YOU ALL FOR SHARING YOUR WONDERFUL INSIGHTS AND SUGGESTIONS!!
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

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  84. I get distracted for a totally different reason -- I've struggled with depression (and more recently with a TON of anxiety) my entire life, so my suggestion may or may not be helpful to you, but I'll offer it just the same.

    What I do is pray.

    Now, I'm not talking about a sweet good morning hello to God, and then a quick good-night-I'm-off-to-bed. I'm talking about going into the chapel, and sitting in front of Christ for an hour at a time.

    I'm a teacher. I don't have time to "not be productive" for an hour every day. But I keep in mind the words (I believe of Mother Teresa) who told her nuns that they needed to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament for at an hour every day. When asked, "But, Mother, what if we're busy?", she replied, with a twinkle in her eye, "Then you need to pray for two." And, in my experience, she's right.

    The more I have going on, the more likely I am to be distracted -- and the more I *need* that hour of prayer to settle my soul back into itself and give me the grace and strength to "get things done."

    Now, it's not like I walk into church and I'm immediately centered and calm -- my mind flits from thing to thing and back again every single time. Sometimes I spend the *entire* hour thinking about my lesson plans, and my online business, and the things I should've said to that jerk who hurt my feelings two months ago, and calculating exactly how financially stable I have to be before I can let myself get a cat. So, sometimes, it doesn't feel like I'm praying at all. But just putting myself in the presence of God -- sitting there and being open to His grace -- gives me so much energy and focus.

    It may sound crazy, but it just might work. :)

    Many blessings!

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  85. Calendar app that came with my smart phone and 5 minutes of meditation in the morning with one mantra (mine is that I am a good woman--pick your own *wink*)keep me more focused. I still find a few unfinished projects lying about at the end of the day but I just put them together in one place to start on first thing the next day and begin again. Each day is new with no mistakes in it, right? (Thank you Matilda from Anne of Green Gables.) Good luck!

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  86. As I entered my thirties, I realized that there was something "wrong" with me. I haven't been diagnosed, but ADD, or the complete INABILITY to focus (so gingerly described in the post below) seems to be the problem. I am thankful to see others have come up with solutions and will check them all out. Otherwise, Weeds please help!!

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  87. first off, if you a caffeine user, your only making things worse, or that is my experience at least. I use apps on my phones, lists, calendars, and I have to leave important stuff lay around so I don't forget to do it. I have the same issue, and due to adhd I end up procrastinating and then often completely forgetting to do something, like sign my son up for college entrance exams, for months on end. Did I mention he is a senior, and college apps need to be in by Dec. and he STILL has not taken them, ooops, but I am working on it. Be aware that the ADHD brain can also become easily overwhelmed, and that can cause meltdown/shutdown. Good luck!!

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  88. So about two months ago I took my son to the doc to check him out for possible ADHD-I. I walked out of there with the doc "diagnosing" me with probably being the genetic source for his ADHD. I laughed. Silly doctor. My husband laughed (mostly AT me lol). Aaaaaand then I started reading up on ADHD-I. Um ... yikes! It's right on. Anyway, before I give my tips I just wanted to say I love reading your ADHD posts bcs I feel normal! Anyway, I'm new but not new to this since I've apparently been developing coping mechanisms for 35 years. I LOVE lists, but I also write down things I've done after I've done them if they're not already on the list. I "tier" my lists or set differently priorities, or daily vs. weekly tasks, etc. It helps me focus on what is important NOW. Recently I've found it very helpful to focus on one small part of a task rather than the whole task. If I have to clean a huge, messy room, I just focus on one corner to start. Also, I do as much as possible through the apps on my phone. This way I stay in that specific app rather than being tempted to browse the internet and get distracted (side note: right now I'm here rather than grading papers for my online class. *sigh*). Anyway, I know many people have said the same things, but just wanted to get my 2 cents in. :)

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  89. I have a mental trick or two. I have my To-Do list and my Could-Do-at-a-Later-Time list. Not everything needs to go on my To-Do list.

    Lately I've been MAKING myself finish a task before going onto another (particularly housework-type tasks). I have to stifle the urge to dash off to do whatever is intriguing me at the moment. I have to resist believing that I really will come back in a minute to finish the dishes. (I won't.) So, I make myself stay and finish the dishes.

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  90. Rejuvelac-- the mild grain drink.

    http://sproutpeople.org/recipes/drinks/rejuvelac.html

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  91. Thanks for defining the frustrations of ADHD-I in ways that my husband and friends might finally understand! I just wanted to recommend the book: ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. I've implemented several of the suggestions in it and they're working well. I also use essential oils along with Adderall to give me the initial push I need to get going.

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  92. My A.D.D. - many times I will dial a number, then forget I was even making that phone call.

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