I didn’t find out I had ADHD until I was 31. In 2020. So that was a fun year.
But after learning that ADHD isn’t a lack of attention but a dysregulation of dopamine, and accepting having it did not mean anything was “wrong with me,” I took what some people saw as a weakness and turned it into my biggest strength as an entrepreneur with ADHD.
Have ADHD too? You’re in good hands. While I know it can be tough to do this business thing at the same time, here are a few things that have helped me manage…thrive, actually.
Addressing your ADHD means figuring out which moments tend to trigger you the most. Where are you feeling most “lost” with it? Is it when you haven’t had enough sleep? Or when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work?
And while yes, there are common triggers many people with ADHD face, you have to understand yours. Being prepared when you know you might experience your ADHD symptoms can help you figure out your best way to eliminate distractions, and make your workflow run smoother.
The more you convince yourself you have a problem, the more of a “problem” it will be. Now while I don’t think that having ADHD is one, I do know firsthand how some of the symptoms can be debilitating if left unchecked.
And the more you convince yourself that your ADHD is a problem and a complete hindrance, your brain will start to believe that too.
To reign it in, you have to start framing it differently. You’re not any less than because of your ADHD…in fact, it actually gives you an edge, a leg up, from others because it’s part of what makes you unique.
Start practicing healthier ways to acknowledge your ADHD by changing the way you think about it — and start using it to your advantage!
Business is prime territory for those of us with ADHD. Our minds have a million ideas a minute, and we’ve always got something creative in the works (not just traditional creativity either — powerful and innovative ideas too). Business NEEDS that kind of creativity and innovation to thrive.
People with ADHD are also known to be more creative, and detail-oriented, have great people skills, and have a great memory. Personally, ADHD has ended up being a huge strength in my business, but only after I changed the way I thought about it.
ADHD can feel a lot like burnout, especially when it seems like you aren’t getting that much stuff done. Or at least getting as much stuff done as you would like to do. But it might not be burnout…it could just be that you aren’t giving your brain the time it needs to chill out.
I know a lot of people with ADHD — myself included — get overwhelmed easily. And over time, that overwhelm can lead to intense exhaustion. When your brain is going a million miles a minute, while running on fumes, then yeah…you’re going to get reeeeally freakin’ tired.
You need to give your brain time to rest and recharge. And I’m not just talking about sleep. One of the interesting things about ADHD is your body can feel energized, but your mind can feel depleted, all at the same time. So it’s crucial you take care of yourself!
My favorite way to do this is going out to take a hike when the weather is nice. But find something that works for you. That could also look like having a “safe space” aka somewhere quiet without distractions to sit and just chill out.
Taking enough time to recharge can help you feel ready to get up at get at ‘em again. Even if that’s just a few minutes every evening. It works WONDERS.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for your brain to feel confident that it can achieve a goal you’ve made — big or small.
Setting unrealistic standards for yourself about what you can, and “should,” get done in a day is upsetting for anyone, but for those of us with ADHD, when we tend to hyper-fixate on the big and little things alike, this can feel like a huge setback.
But setting realistic goals can help. At the beginning of the week, or day even, plan out what you know you can do. Don’t burden yourself with unrealistic expectations. Start small and keep it small — I’m talking one to three things per day. This will help you stay productive and will simultaneously train your brain to start realizing that yes, you can get shit done.
I also dive a little more into some of the tools/strategies I used to help me set goals in the video, so if you want that full BTS look, check it out here!
ADHD is not an illness, it’s a superpower. I know that may sound a little bit cheesy but it’s true!
The ability to devote immense amounts of attention to something can be shifted for the better. You have control over your ADHD and all you need to do is find the right habits that help guide that energy in the right direction!
If you want more ways to develop those habits, you may want to look into how to schedule your day in a way that works best for you. I know you may be sick of hearing that you “just need to manage your time better and focus” but you can feel good about this advice because it’s coming from someone with ADHD, too.
The video below walks you through exactly how I manage to schedule my life with ADHD — daily, weekly, and monthly!