Many adults with ADHD have trouble with transitions. I.e., starting things, stopping things and switching between tasks. Here are notes from The December 2012 Meeting of My Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group. Here are more notes from past Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group meetings.
Topic: Trouble With Transitions. Starting Things, Stopping Them And Switching Gears
Facilitator: Pete Quily
Thanks for Megan and Cara for taking the notes.
Mentioned the new online medication pharmacy price comparison tool Pharmacy Compass. You can use it to check the prices of ADHD and other medications.
Why do ADDers have more trouble starting somethings?
Becomes uninteresting when we have to do it.
See the whole elephant sometimes the whole herd Overwhelmed
Fear of failure/success
Too long of task list
No useful structure
Lack of clarity
“Ya,ya,ya,ya,ya” = go away. Lying to self & others when you just say to spouse “yeah, yeah, yeah I understand what you want me to do”, but I don’t take any notes, don’t remind myself to do it, and usually don’t get it done. Which just creates spousal frustration and lays the seeds for future nagging.
Saying yes without knowing what yes really means. Without engaging
All or nothing attitude
Appropriate preparation-low energy motivation
Divide into doable chunks
How to deal with problems starting things
Realistic plan-time, task, resources, divided into doable/small enough chunks, projects->tasks
Differentiate between Tasks and Projects
Reduce Your Anxiety (subclinical levels of anxiety can be comorbid with ADHD; also Depression)
Number One: Take regular non-electronic breaks!!
Increase energy level -exercise, meditation, fun,
Healthy self rewards
Get Shame/Guilt out of your head, put it on paper
Journaling to relieve brain chatter (shame, guilt)
Have Compassion for yourself/Encourage
Declutter (because physical clutter can cause mental clutter) to properly set yourself up for work
Book Getting Things Done. The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen
Daytimer: palm desktop (u can colour code your tasks) Google Palm Desktop
Separating ideas of what you could do from committed tasks
Reduce Your Expectations (to what is realistic)
“Secondary processing is next to godliness”
Store on Davie Street for organizing items Room In Order
Good book for organization ADD friendly ways to organize your life
How to deal with problems switching tasks
Plan for it! (I.e. it does take time, or you may actually need a break)
Transition Time (Plan for that!)
ADHDers generally need more breaks
Answer to almost everything > it depends
Question why you are avoiding tasks
Get clear on the benefit of doing the Task
Reframing perception of task – clarify or remind self of benefit.
Realistically plan the transition
Get ready early
Plan some buffers
Know when to give up
Having a launch pad where everything that’s needed to get out of the door gets put, keys, cell, notepad, etc.
Hyperfocus takes time to get out of – plan for it
Trouble switching out of hyperfocus
Hyperfocus is nice, pleasant feeling but it’s hard to break out of
Eg: set an alarm BEFORE
Alarm Clock Sonic Grenade For Serious Oversleepers
Gentler alarm clock. Gradual Multisensory Wake Up Alarm Clock
The task of figuring out what works for me seems hugely overwhelming – probably because it is huge. > understanding this is a trail and error process.
Do intermediate task (a bridging task)
Get Ready Early
Having some Buffers
How to deal with stopping tasks
Alarms (put them away from you)
Human Alarms (if you ask nicely)
Having Structure (you need an actual plan)
Mindfulness has existed pretty much as long we have.
Mindfulness: (not a religion) created/popularized by John Kabat-Zinn, originally a Buddhism meditation technique, he took out the religious component out of it so it was more acceptable for the west
Become Present and Conscious (makes life easier), quick grounding exercise
Listen to Guided Meditation, essential oils…
Play with puppy
Clear benefits, reward or punishment
Structure -plan for what’s next or how to stop
Sensory perception/meditation/anything to be more present.
Create a plan for something that you have trouble starting, stopping, or switching.
1. What will you do?
2. When will you do it? (Later = never)
3. How will you remember to do it?
4. How will you reward yourself when you’ve completed it?
(Break into small groups to discuss)
What ways have you found that helped you deal with transitions? Either starting things, stopping things or changing tasks.