As an adult with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), you may often feel like you’re not meeting your potential. You may feel like you are behind even when you are ahead. You have big goals and dreams but feel like you struggle to follow through. Hobbies. Career plans. Work commitments. Home projects. And…a lot more. So many unfinished tasks. And untackled ideas. Maybe you’ve even been promoted, but you’ve noticed your paperwork is behind. Or you’ve found yourself in a job that pays the bills but are struggling to go after a new career that truly sparks your interests. It is possible to take the first steps, make a real plan, and achieve your goals. Finding the right tools and right support is the key to unlocking your potential to get started and stay engaged.
Struggling to complete tasks is neurological. It’s not because a person is lazy or a quitter. For example, did you know that the ADHD brain struggles with time awareness? In fact, when existing in the present, many ADHD adults are unaware of the passage of time. Additionally, they may also not consider the urgency of the future.
The ADHD brain has a tendency to kick motivation into gear at the last minute, only when the future is too close to get things done in a reasonable amount of time. And for many ADHDers, it is then a struggle to sustain attention once the novelty of a task has worn off.
Here are some simple ways you can start looking at problems differently to begin exploring the right solutions for you:
Usually, goals fall apart during the planning phase. It’s important to pick reasonable goals out of the gate and make a clear plan. While ADHDers can tend to dream big, the ADHD brain struggles to see the footpath to the destination. You may see the end goal, but then come up with a hundred examples of why that is or is not a good idea, and then get off track following a few offshoots of the bigger goal, etc., etc.
Intentional planning involves sitting down and making a roadmap. The best way to plan is to externalize. Write it out. Use Post-It notes, and markers on a whiteboard…just get it out of your head and get used to seeing it in front of you.
A short-term goal is time sensitive and reasonable. Your feelings can guide you here. If you’re immediately overwhelmed, it’s not because you’re flawed or broken. It’s often because the goal is too big and too fast.
Goals should be attainable and small. Start with the smallest first step. If overwhelmed, make it smaller. For example, “do laundry” isn’t actionable. “Walk downstairs and open the laundry basket” is actionable. Breaking things down into smaller steps makes tasks less overwhelming.
Create visual reminders.
Another option for staying on track is to keep yourself prompted with visual reminders. It’s usually best if reminders are large and located in a very obvious place. For example, a whiteboard.
Another thing to externalize is time itself. Don’t have a large clock? Get one. ADHDers often benefit from being aware of time so that they can keep deadlines in sight.
Limit immediate distractions in the moment, but also larger distractions overall. Putting the phone in another room during a daunting task is an example of smaller distractions. However, you also need to limit distractions in the broader sense. This might mean setting boundaries and simplifying your life.
Need one night a week to focus on updating your resume? You might need to cancel something else on your calendar. We don’t always clear a path for our goals. You may need to turn down the volume on other tasks (if they aren’t pressing) in order to be able to really listen to the ones that will get you to your goal.
Learn about your emotions.
As the research advances, the role of emotions in relation to ADHD has become more clear.
This is because the frontal lobe of the brain (the part impacted by ADHD) is involved in self-regulation, including the regulation of emotions. Many ADHD adults will share that they struggle to identify and manage their emotions. And not knowing how to handle big emotions can get in the way of your goals. From feeling frustrated to following your joy, it’s important to fully understand your emotions when building the life you want.
Working with a therapist on self-regulation can help to manage emotions, which means better managing your life.
Putting it all together
Progress on goals is the sum total of figuring out which tools work for you and knowing why they work. This means unpacking what works and what doesn’t and understanding the deeper reasons why you chose one behavior over another. If you are feeling stuck, ADHD-focused therapy can help put all of the pieces together, while providing the right support and encouragement to meet your goals and unlock your potential.
Begin Adult ADHD Treatment in Columbus, Ohio
You don’t have to live your life feeling behind. ADHD-focused counseling can help you meet your potential. Our Columbus, OH counseling practice in Columbus, Ohio has caring therapists who specialize in ADHD Treatment. To start your counseling journey, follow these simple steps:
- Fill out the contact form contact to reach out and schedule a
- Meet with one of our caring therapists
- Stop feeling behind. Start meeting your potential.
Other ADHD Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling
Adult ADHD treatment is not the only service we offer at our Columbus, OH counseling practice. At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer a variety of mental health services including ADHD testing. As an adult with ADHD, we know you may also benefit from anxiety treatment for ADHD, counseling for men with ADHD, or depression counseling for ADHD. You can also view our blog for more resources and helpful info!