ADD Crusher Recap Ways 6-10

Ok, ok I know I said I’d post this recap awhile ago, and I’m sorry for the delay, but…sometimes life gets in the way of my blogging.  Never fear my fellow tribespeople – recap part 2 is here!

Way 6: Consolidate, Automate, Delegate

This section is all about action!  These are things I’ve been “meaning to do” but not doing, such as backing-up my laptop to an external hard drive.  Did I have to go buy one?  Nope – it’s been sitting on my desk not being used…doh!

Consolidate – But lets start at the beginning.  The tagline starts with Consolidate or as I like to call it – Simplify!  I’ve been on a simplification mission for awhile now and although it seems like a never-ending process, every step I take in that direction reduces my stress and that is a great feeling!  So, I quit putting it off and consolidated my to do lists into one task list.  I recently got an iPhone and I have to say it’s one of the best things EVER.  I use Google calendar and tasks so I found an amazing app (It’s called Calendars…there are a few different options) that integrates Google calendar and tasks with the iPhone’s built-in calendar.  It’s incredibly helpful and I can color-code different calendars for my various activities, which helps me see what I have going on at a glance.

Automate - Thanks to the awesome calendar app I instituted, I have automatic reminders for my tasks and appointments.  This is a life-saver!  And not a yucky lemon one no one wants…a cherry life-saver!  Oh yeah!  Another thing I’ve been working on is cleaning up my email.  Instead of just deleting all the crap that piles up, I’ve been taking the extra time to actually unsubscribe to stuff I don’t have time for or care to read.  I hate to admit it, but I’m still working on this because I had about 3000 items in my inbox!  RIDICULOUS.  And every time I saw that number it really stressed me out!  No mas!  I’m cleaning it up, setting the junk mail filter to kill (not stun) and not looking back!

Delegate - And finally, the action step here was to make a list of things you suck at.  Heh heh – I love the humor in these videos.  The top item on this list for me is the financial side (taxes, etc…) of my business.  I am absolutely a mess when it comes to keeping the records and getting those damn forms mailed in, etc…My wife is much better at this than I am, but right now she has a full plate with work and grad school, so my mission is to find someone else to help me out.  This is one area where I really need the help so I’m going to suck it up and do it.

Way 7: Attacking the Tough Stuff Now  I have to tell you…I had to listen to the audio right away because it wasn’t quite sinking in.  Maybe it’s because it hit too close to home with a few tough tasks that I’ve not been able to get to…nah, I’m sure that’s not it.  Anyhoo, I watched the video and listened to the audio and indeed it did start clearing things up for me.  I’ll be damned…I didn’t realize fear was keeping me from doing a couple of the items on my list, but…it is.

Fear – this may be fear that you don’t know how to do the dreaded task or it may be the impending frustration because the task is a tough one.  Whatever the case, I’m committed to getting my most fearful tasks out of the way by the end of this week.  I will report back on this!   Crusher pointed out that the task doesn’t go away when we ignore it – it just frequently grows larger while we’re putting it off!  He asked, “What is the worst that can happen when you do this task?”    Chances are very low that physical pain will actually result and if I’m afraid of something other than physical pain then I should probably take another look at that fear and move past it.

Disarray – You don’t know which task to start on and/or then you don’t know where to start, so you don’t…ugh!  This is an awful feeling!!  I get so overwhelmed sometimes!  Even if I have a beautiful to-do list all written out, I swear sometimes it’s like it’s mocking me from my desk.  “Here I am!  You don’t know what to do with me, do you?”  No, I don’t really hear the voice.  Ok, maybe once in a while, but let’s focus here people!  I still have to finish packing tonight, remember?!  I think the best point I got out of this part was Crusher pointing out that it doesn’t matter if you start imperfectly, it still beats the heck out of not starting at all!  So dig in!  If you can’t decide which task is most important then play some pin the tail on the task and pick one!  JUST START SOMETHING and the momentum will come.  I have found this to be true!

Indifference – just not motivated until the last-minute, then you’re motivated by the consequences of NOT doing it!  For example, maybe I promised my wife I’d do a load of laundry during the day.  If it gets around to 4:15 or so and I haven’t done it, you can bet that I’m motivated by wanting to avoid seeing “that look” on her face if I have to tell her I didn’t do it.  According to Crusher, the trick to beating indifference is to create a greater pleasure in your mind surrounding completing the task versus putting it off.  So I would visualize the look on my wife’s face when she realizes I did that load of laundry AND the dishes because I know she is exhausted from working full-time and going to graduate school in the evening.  Satisfying, right? Yes!

Way 8: Do What You’re Doing Now

Distraction is definitely one of the biggest issues I have as an ADDer!  Particularly when it’s something that is actually important.  It’s easier to recognize when you’re doing something that is complete BS as Crusher puts it, but when it’s something that really needs done it’s a bit trickier.

Crusher says there are 2 keys to keeping ourselves on track when we have a job to get done.  The first is Awareness of what we are actually doing and the second is Labeling what we are doing.  There are three ways we can label activities: 1) What we are doing now; 2) Important, but not what we are doing now; and 3) BS that is not what we are doing now.

Here’s an example from my life.  It’s time to straighten up my home office for the week.  I get started, but then my brother calls.  That’s important, but it’s not what I’m doing now.  Crusher suggests writing a reminder on a sticky note to call back when I’m done.  Ok, back to the task at hand (what I’m doing now).  Then I find the magazine I love and haven’t read yet as it’s been in a pile on my desk for last couple of days…Reading the magazine may be a great way to relax later, but right now it’s BS that is “not what I’m doing now.”  I should put the magazine aside and finish what I’m doing now.

This is something that will no doubt take some practice, but the rewards will be well worth it!

Next up: Ways 9 and 10 with a video!  Hang on tight!  We’re almost done!

Hey everyone!  Yes, still here and still alive :-)  I have a confession to make.  I said in my last post that I was going to do a video blog segment.  Well, I had some technical issues that made that difficult and delayed my post as well, but the biggest problem I ran into was…fear.  Yep, there it is.  I kept putting it off and putting it off because I never felt like I looked right for video or I didn’t have the right equipment, you get the idea.  However, if you read all the way to the bottom you will see my request for the Crusher himself to join me on video!  I’ve also had some personal things going on that actually fit in quite well with most of the ADD Crusher course including the last two segments, Ways 9 and 10.  Can you believe I finished the whole program?!  That MUST be scored as a success all by itself!

Nice segue, if I may say so myself, into Way 9: Scoring Your Successes.   Crusher says that we ADDers are really good at remembering and ruminating over every failure, real or perceived, and I think he is right.  It’s probably not only ADDers who are good at this, but if it was an Olympic sport I think we’d have good odds of making the team.  I am certainly an expert at beating myself up when I screw up, but I”ve actually been working on this in the past few months by (trying!) to do a weekly gratitude post I’ve entitled “Thankful Thursday.”  Focusing on what I’m grateful for has really helped me focus on the positive things in my life over all, including my successes.  And, as suggested in the action steps for Way 9, I am scoring myself on the template I downloaded from the ADD Crusher Toolkit so I can actually tally up my successes on paper.  I will report back on what categories I counted and how well I scored in a later post.

Perhaps the biggest take-away from Way 9 for me was Crusher’s challenge to turn failures into lessons.  As some of you know I’ve been underemployed for some time.  In July I finally got a job that I was pretty psyched about and one where I could continue my media consulting business on the side.  It lasted 6 long weeks.  The first few weeks were great and the last two were awful.  Needless to say I spent a few days feeling like an utter failure even though I knew the end-result wasn’t my fault (seriously…this time it truly wasn’t).  At any rate, I remembering saying that I needed to think about how everything went because I felt like there was something to be learned from the whole situation.  And then, voila!  I watched the Way 9 video and there’s Crusher talking about turning failures into lessons!  Nice timing!  And yes, I did learn some things from that whole situation and am stronger for having gone through it.

Way 10, Get a Lateral Mindset.  This section is all about embracing the fact that we ADDers think differently than non-ADDers.  It’s true – we are genetically wired differently and that’s ok!  Non-ADDers generally have a vertical or linear mindset and go about figuring things out in a way that is opposite of ADDers.  You know all that stuff about how you have to love yourself first…I’m not a huge one for the mushy stuff, but I am determined to embrace the fact that I think in a different way and therefore come up with new ideas in different ways.  It does NOT mean I am wrong, just different.  There are some pretty cool folks out there who are (or were) fellow lateral thinkers and I, for one, am quite proud to be in the same group with them: Einstein, Da Vinci, Monet, and oh yeah…Alan Brown :-)  Of course as Crusher says, ADD is neither an absolute gift nor an absolute negative, but it’s not until we embrace our unique way of thinking that we can unleash our full potential on the world!

Now that I have gone through all 10 Ways, I doubt it will be any big surprise that no, I will definitely not be requesting my money back!  This program has and no doubt will continue to have a huge impact on my life.  I highly recommend it!

Thankful Thursday 9/20/12

Hello Friends!  I hope you are all having stellar weeks.  Me…I can’t lie…not so much.  I’ve been on the job search for a full-time position for about 16 months now and it’s kinda getting me down.  It’s hard to take rejection for that long, but I’m determined to keep going!  When you get right down to it, I don’t really have any other choice.  So, a good way to get moving in a positive direction is to once again think about what I’m thankful for.  And btw, for those of you who don’t know, that new job I mentioned a while back fell through…but back to the positive for this week!

I’m thankful for the Executive Center at Workforce Plus that is located 10 minutes from my house and is geared towards people like me with degrees and more than 5 years of work experience.  I was finally able to get in touch with the right people to get registered and hopefully move my job search in a far more productive direction.

I’m also thankful for support from friends and family, especially my wife.  Were it not for them I would have had a serious meltdown by now.

And last, but not least, I’m thankful for the opportunity to discover and learn so much from ADD Crusher.  This program has really helped me function on a better level and now that I’ve completed the program I’ve decided to buckle down and go through the whole thing again.  It’s more than worth the time and effort.

Have a good week friends :-)

ADD Crusher Review: Ways 9 and 10!

English: receiving from Judge his certificate ...

English: receiving from Judge his certificate of American citizenship. Deutsch: erhält von Richter Phillip Forman seine Bescheinigung über die amerikanische Staatsbürgerschaft. Português: recebendo do juiz seu certificado de cidadão americano. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey everyone!  Yes, still here and still alive :-)  I have a confession to make.  I said in my last post that I was going to do a video blog segment.  Well, I had some technical issues that made that difficult and delayed my post as well, but the biggest problem I ran into was…fear.  Yep, there it is.  I kept putting it off and putting it off because I never felt like I looked right for video or I didn’t have the right equipment, you get the idea.  However, if you read all the way to the bottom you will see my request for the Crusher himself to join me on video!  I’ve also had some personal things going on that actually fit in quite well with most of the ADD Crusher course including the last two segments, Ways 9 and 10.  Can you believe I finished the whole program?!  That MUST be scored as a success all by itself!

Nice segue, if I may say so myself, into Way 9: Scoring Your Successes.   Crusher says that we ADDers are really good at remembering and ruminating over every failure, real or perceived, and I think he is right.  It’s probably not only ADDers who are good at this, but if it was an Olympic sport I think we’d have good odds of making the team.  I am certainly an expert at beating myself up when I screw up, but I”ve actually been working on this in the past few months by (trying!) to do a weekly gratitude post I’ve entitled “Thankful Thursday.”  Focusing on what I’m grateful for has really helped me focus on the positive things in my life over all, including my successes.  And, as suggested in the action steps for Way 9, I am scoring myself on the template I downloaded from the ADD Crusher Toolkit so I can actually tally up my successes on paper.  I will report back on what categories I counted and how well I scored in a later post.

Perhaps the biggest take-away from Way 9 for me was Crusher’s challenge to turn failures into lessons.  As some of you know I’ve been underemployed for some time.  In July I finally got a job that I was pretty psyched about and one where I could continue my media consulting business on the side.  It lasted 6 long weeks.  The first few weeks were great and the last two were awful.  Needless to say I spent a few days feeling like an utter failure even though I knew the end-result wasn’t my fault (seriously…this time it truly wasn’t).  At any rate, I remembering saying that I needed to think about how everything went because I felt like there was something to be learned from the whole situation.  And then, voila!  I watched the Way 9 video and there’s Crusher talking about turning failures into lessons!  Nice timing!  And yes, I did learn some things from that whole situation and am stronger for having gone through it.

Way 10, Get a Lateral Mindset.  This section is all about embracing the fact that we ADDers think differently than non-ADDers.  It’s true – we are genetically wired differently and that’s ok!  Non-ADDers generally have a vertical or linear mindset and go about figuring things out in a way that is opposite of ADDers.  You know all that stuff about how you have to love yourself first…I’m not a huge one for the mushy stuff, but I am determined to embrace the fact that I think in a different way and therefore come up with new ideas in different ways.  It does NOT mean I am wrong, just different.  There are some pretty cool folks out there who are (or were) fellow lateral thinkers and I, for one, am quite proud to be in the same group with them: Einstein, Da Vinci, Monet, and oh yeah…Alan Brown :-)  Of course as Crusher says, ADD is neither an absolute gift nor an absolute negative, but it’s not until we embrace our unique way of thinking that we can unleash our full potential on the world!

Now that I have gone through all 10 Ways, I doubt it will be any big surprise that no, I will definitely not be requesting my money back!  This program has and no doubt will continue to have a huge impact on my life.  I highly recommend it!  I am going to post a summary of the second half of the program just as I did the first half, probably in the next day or so.

And finally!  I would like to ask the ADD Crusher himself if he would be willing to chat with me on video as a final recap and/or question answer session for my readers!  What do you think, Crusher?  Sounds like fun!   

The Mona Lisa.

8 Tips for ADHD Law Students

justice #2

justice #2 (Photo credit: InsideMyShell)

8 Tips for ADHD Law Students

When I started law school in 2001, I had no idea I had ADHD*.  I proceeded to muddle my way through a hideous first year, but like many other ADDers, I created coping mechanisms that somehow allowed me not only to graduate, but to pass the Florida Bar Exam on my first try.  Recently I sat down with a friend who is a rising 3L with ADHD and afterward I put together these tips based on my memories from school and her current experiences.  Although law school in general is no picnic, I’m sure my experience would have been a bit smoother if I’d had a few of the tips I’m about to pass along to you.

1.       Figure Out Your Learning Style

Probably the biggest piece of advice I wish I’d had back then relates to learning style.  I am an auditory learner, so instead of trying to transcribe notes in class that were more like hieroglyphics, I would have been better served listening in class while recording the lectures and transcribing them into outline form at my own pace later.  Take my word for it – you will not have saved any time when it’s time to study for final exams and you can’t figure out what in the world your notes mean.  Another option might be to take advantage of education accommodations by obtaining a note taker, or strike a deal with a friend who takes good notes in exchange for…well, something legal you can agree on!

2.       Are You a Morning or Night Person?

You can only control this to a certain extent, but try to schedule your classes, particularly in your 2L and 3L years, around your strongest mental times.  If you are most alert in the morning, try to take classes at times that will allow you to pay attention in class but make the most of your study time as well.  For example, a morning person should avoid putting themselves in the position of having to do the bulk of their reading late in the evening.

3.       Remember to Take Breaks!

Even though you will never feel like you have time for it during law school – you must take breaks!  The trick here is to avoid getting pulled into something that you won’t be able to get away from after your allotted break time is over (usually 15 minutes max).  Some ideas: call a supportive family member, do a short cleaning task, take a walk or perform some other exercises, do a short cross-word or Sudoku puzzle, or do something creative to give your mind a much-needed break.  If you take regular breaks you will get more done in the end.

4.       Take Care of Yourself

This goes for all law students, not just ADDers, but you must take care of yourself.  You must get enough sleep, eat right, and remember your vitamins to stay healthy when you’re functioning in a constant state of stress.  Otherwise, you will find yourself catching every bug your fellow students bring to class.  And of course, if you take ADD meds (or other medications) remember to keep your any prescriptions filled so you don’t get around to finals only to discover you are out of your ADD meds!

5.       Back Up Electronics

Do yourself a huge favor and always back up your documents regularly, but don’t stop there.  Back up your laptop regularly to an external hard drive as well as to a cloud platform such as Dropbox or Google Drive.  This is absolutely imperative!  Electronics always fail at the LEAST opportune moment, such as the minute you finish an outline while studying for finals, and it will happen to you if you don’t back up everything religiously.  And yes, this happened to me.  Not fun!

6.       Use a Planner

This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are still people out there who think they can remember everything in their heads.  I promise you, you will not make it through law school without a planner and daily to do list of some sort.  If you like the paper variety, fantastic; if you’re a gadget gal or guy, go for it, but find a system that works for you and use it.  Period.

7.       Find Your Sweet (Study) Spot

Is the library too quiet?  I could count on one hand the few times I studied in the law library, but I can’t imagine how many hours I spent in my bedroom and at various coffee shops.  Bottom line is that you should study where you can concentrate best.  Don’t worry about where other people are studying.  Do what works for you.

8.       Choose Your Bar Exam Prep Tools Wisely

And speaking of not worrying about what other people are doing, let’s talk about Bar Exam prep.  If you’re just about to start law school, you may think it’s strange to think about this topic now.  However, I guarantee you will immediately find yourself buried in initial payments for various bar review programs starting in orientation and going non-stop for the next three years.  If you get nothing else out of this article, please do yourself a favor and do some hard thinking about your personal learning style and don’t be afraid to look into review systems other than the BIG ONE.  I will refrain from naming products, but you will quickly find out which one I’m talking about!  There are other products available that will fully prepare you for the exam, even in a super tough state like Florida.  I consider myself lucky to have figured out the BIG ONE’s format wouldn’t work for me and I found a reputable alternative.  Whichever system you use, just make sure it works for you.  Peer pressure is still alive and well in law school, so don’t do anything just because everyone else is doing it that way.

Good luck!

*I use the terms ADHD and ADD interchangeably .

ADD Crusher Review – Way 8!

Hi everyone!  I’ve missed you!  Hope you’ve all been well.  Life has been a complete mad house here, but I’m using the Crusher tools to wade through everything and with any luck at all I will come out stronger on the flip side!  

I’m picking back up with Way 8, which is titled “Do What You’re Doing Now.”

Distraction is definitely one of the biggest issues I have as an ADDer!  Particularly when it’s something that is actually important.  It’s easier to recognize when you’re doing something that is complete BS as Crusher puts it, but when it’s something that really needs done it’s a bit trickier.  

Crusher says there are 2 keys to keeping ourselves on track when we have a job to get done.  The first is Awareness of what we are actually doing and the second is Labeling what we are doing.  There are three ways we can label activities: 1) What we are doing now; 2) Important, but not what we are doing now; and 3) BS that is not what we are doing now.   

Here’s an example from my life.  It’s time to straighten up my home office for the week.  I get started, but then my brother calls.  That’s important, but it’s not what I’m doing now.  Crusher suggests writing a reminder on a sticky note to call back when I’m done.  Ok, back to the task at hand (what I’m doing now).  Then I find the magazine I love and haven’t read yet as it’s been in a pile on my desk for last couple of days…Reading the magazine may be a great way to relax later, but right now it’s BS that is “not what I’m doing now.”  I should put the magazine aside and finish what I’m doing now.   

This is something that will no doubt take some practice, but the rewards will be well worth it!

Next up: Ways 9 and 10 with a video!  Hang on tight!  We’re almost done!