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17 Time Management Hacks for Entrepreneurs With ADHD

17 Time Management Hacks for Entrepreneurs With ADHD

You know the feeling.

You try extra hard to pay attention.

Be it with a client discussing their needs with you or a slew of emails you have to respond to.

But doing these tasks feels like you’re running a marathon up a cliff.

And it’s not because you’re lazy. You’re actually quite dedicated.

But it may be because you suffer from something very real and very distracting that could wreak havoc on your business. Something that’s not even your fault.

That something is called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

ADHD is a common mental disorder that’s diagnosed most often in children but it can very possibly follow them into adulthood. According to WebMD, while there is no known cause to ADHD; some doctors credit genetics and other mental health disorders for the chronic inability to pay attention more tentatively.

ADHD occurs when the neurotransmitters in the brain work abnormally, affecting things like your attention to detail, listening, and memory.

You may feel there’s no way to run a business if you can’t even pay attention to simple tasks.

But there are numerous ways to improve your time management skills for your business. Let’s lay out 17 of them below.

Get A Proper Diagnosis

For some people it’s easy to get attached to the notion something is wrong when it really isn’t.

And even worse, some people will try to use it to their advantage. This could be bad for you and your business.

So, one of the main steps in improving your time management skills is to admit something’s truly wrong with your time management.

This is where you’ll either come to the conclusion that you’re simply unorganized and need some help at running a business or you have a very real disorder that must be addressed.

WebMD spells out some of the main symptoms of ADHD including:

  • Chronic problems with showing up to work on time with no valid excuse
  • Paying bills on time
  • Monitoring children properly
  • Keeping commitments
  • Listening
  • Lack of sympathy towards others
  • Becoming easily annoyed

Visit a doctor to get checked for ADHD. Only then can you truly address your management problems effectively.

Ask Yourself: “Do I even want to run a business?”

Sometimes, people are drained by managing a business that’s run it’s course. And the lack of attention the business may deserve lies upon the fact that your heart simply isn’t in it anymore, which could have nothing to do with ADHD.

Think about it for a minute.

What skills do you need to run a business? What activities happen in a business?

Listening to other peoples’ needs. Staying organized. Paying expenses. Monitoring market trends applicable to your business. Caring about clients and coworkers.

These common thoughts may cross your mind:

Oh my God. Is he still talking?

Goodness, these spreadsheets are a pill!

This meeting is taking forever!

While some people with ADHD may find grave difficulty in finding time to balance all those activities – getting lost in business meetings, hating the loud office space, feeling overwhelmed with just a few tasks – it may be because your interests have simply floated elsewhere.

If you find yourself giving other projects more undivided, dedicated attention, it may not be a ADHD issue. You may simply have no interest in being in business any more.

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Close the curtain on it and get your life back.

Get (and Keep) A Regimen of Medications

The results are in: you have ADHD.

But before you fall in a rut, understand ADHD can be monitored and treated successfully.

And one of the best ways to keep your symptoms under control is by taking your prescription medications as necessary.

Common ADHD medications like Amphetamines and Dextroamphetamine work by regulating the brain chemicals responsible for your attention span, impulses and hyperactivity.

While you should be cautious of any potential side effects, medications are only as good as you are at taking them. You will continue to experience the same symptoms if you don’t take your prescribed meds regularly.

Cody Lister, owner of an online marketing strategy business, stated in an email interview that setting your alarm clock to remember important tasks (like remembering meds) is one of the easiest hacks in managing time for folks with ADHD. He also recommends setting calendar reminders on Google Calendar so you’ll receive email reminders (and phone reminders for Android users) via your cell phone where ever you are.

Todoist and Remember The Milk are two more apps Lister recommends as both all-in-one task managers, popular with busy business folk, who juggle several important duties in a day’s time.

Hire A Nanny

This may sound extreme, but hear us out!

Not hiring extra help could be the difference in sustaining your business and watching it go south.

According to Sandy Maynard, a writer with Additudemag.com, hiring a nanny to improve your time management could be all the difference in making more time for your business.

Folks with ADHD often have a hard time focusing on things that are not truly pressing. For example, they could have difficulty stressing over why their house isn’t perfect (i.e. clean, spotless dishes, making sure every coil of dust and dirt is vacuumed from the floor, spending an hour to iron a shirt, etc).

Give these tasks to a nanny if you can afford it.

Provide her a set of tasks and a schedule and the chores become someone else’s problem, allowing you more time to focus on your business.

Do Small Tasks the Day Before

If you have a business meeting tomorrow, and there are small chores you may have planned to the same day, do them right now.

Grocery shopping planned for tomorrow? Do it today.

Promised to take the kids to the movies? Do it today.

Don’t know what suit to wear for the meeting? Pick it out now so you’re not worrying about it tomorrow.

Handling small tasks today allows you more time tomorrow when you have serious business commitments to keep.

Set Your Clocks Back a Hour On Purpose

This is an easy hack that forces you to think you have more time in the day.

Setting all your clocks back, especially the clock in your car, makes you not only keep business appointments but it helps you address these appointments earlier than scheduled.

This will help you build trustworthiness with your clients as well as those in your social circle.

Your reliability will help you sustain more business, build a more positive brand for yourself, and help you feel better about being able to keep commitments.

Imagine What Failure Feels Like

failure

    Additudemag.com details an interesting way approach ADHD as a business person: fear.

    What will happen if you turned in a half-done project to a client late? Or not at all? Or fail to process a refund within the time you promised?

    It could feel like your business is going through a public beheading.

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    Try imaging everything around you falling apart.

    Your business crumbles.

    Your spouse and kids walk out on you.

    The utility company cuts your lights off.

    All because you simply didn’t know how to control your ADHD.

    But the sad part is that when it comes to your business, clients usually don’t care.

    They are doing business with you for your products and services, not to be sympathetic to your health problems.

    Sounds cruel, but it’s true.

    Sit back and just imagine what life could be like if you lost it all. Sometimes, that’s enough to take health problems seriously.

    Become a Minimalist

    Simply put: the less you own, the less you have to worry about.

    When you convince yourself you have many tasks to accomplish in 24 hours, you attention could be stretched between meager jobs and very important tasks, like running a business.

    By the time you realize it, you have no time for nothing else because of your struggle to focus.

    The less clothes you have, the less ironing you have to do. Sell them at a yard sale.

    The less dishes you have, the less you have to wash. Give them away.

    Take a grocery list with you, every time, to the store, so you know you won’t overspend.

    And as far as business, take on only a few loyal clients or spread the workload across other employees.

    Hire students as part of an internship or part time employees to reduce your expenses while meeting the workload.

    When battling ADHD and multiple tasks, always remember less is more.

    Avoid Perfection

    Many times, when someone has difficulty focusing, when they do actual settle for a task to do right, they go for perfection.

    But perfection doesn’t mean the project gets turned in on time.

    Laurie Dupar, a senior certified ADHD coach and psychiatric nurse, states in PsychCentral.com  that perfection can be detrimental to people with ADHD trying to manage their time better.

    She explains that it’s better to have a project 85% perfect but turned in on time than to have a project 150% perfect and turned in late.

    Late delivery in business dealings could hurt your ability to work with clients in the future.

    Just Say No

    When you have ADHD, it’s easy to assume you’re the problem.

    But that’s not always the case.

    Not every client or business deal deserves your time. Sometimes, they’re late or they don’t respond to your inquiries.

    And that’s an obvious waste of your time!

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    Not every customer can get an instant reply, regardless how hard you try. Sometimes a product doesn’t work because they didn’t follow the directions.

    A wise man said the fastest way to misery is trying to please everyone.

    And in business, any good business owner tries to make each customer happy.

    But it’s proven time and time again to be an impossible feat.

    The most you can do is to do your best. But that doesn’t suggest being a door mat to please people.

    When you know people, even customers and clients, are taking advantage of your time, politely tell them no.

    Exercise

    meditation

      There are many exercises that are well-known for building concentration and focus for anyone.

      One of the most popular being meditation.

      This doesn’t always include yoga mats and awkward stretches.

      The practice of mindfulness and awareness could simply be sitting in a quiet room, focusing on nothing but your breathing.

      You can also exercise your brain’s memory and concentration functions.

      Learning a new language or a new complex job skill can all help build better focus for you.

      Or you could simply program on your Google Calendar each and everyday, like Mr. Lister recommended earlier, to take a short walk between meetings at work.

      These all in turn could make time management for you more doable. It wont’t feel like your struggling to meet every commitment for the day.

      Explore Your Curiosity

      If there’s something you’ve been curious about, make time for it.

      There’s a new product in your market you want to know about before your competitors do.

      You should make time to research it.

      The very idea that you’re making time for these curiosity should be a milestone for you.

      You can concentrate and focus on things!

      Use this as a means to approach other things in your business. When you allow your curiosity to play a part in all your company dealings, you find yourself focusing better on the company as a whole.

      Try Some Listening Exercises

      Next time in you’re in a business meeting or interviewing a potential client or employee, do little talking.

      Force yourself to listen to the other person and how they can benefit you and your company.

      It may seem like a drag, but forcing yourself to listen to others helps build empathy and generosity.

      More importantly. it helps eliminate miscommunication when approaching serious deadlines, like signing a contract or delivering a project on time.

      Additionally, stresses at home can affect your work performance. This exercise could be extremely helpful if there are communication issues within a marriage where ADHD is causing a spouse to appear uninterested in the other.

      Seek More Pleasure

      On the outside, ADHD can sound depressing.

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      The difficulty concentrating and focusing on everything could be stressful on your business and personal lives.

      Sometimes, one can get wrap on the crippling idea of ADHD without realizing you can still live a fairly normal life.

      Make it a point to enjoy what you love without fear your ADHD will ruin a good time.

      When you feel more lighthearted and content, meeting items on your schedule won’t feel like such a strain.

      Study People You Admire

      How do they do it all in one day without losing their mind?

      When you come across that one Superman or Superwoman who seems to balance work and family like a boss, study them.

      See what they do that you may not have thought of before.

      If they are people in your social or working circle, simply reach out to them during a conversation and just ask.

      Compliment their ability to make it all work and just ask for some tips.

      It’s very likely they’ll be happy to provide you a tip or two.

      Or study celebrities with attention deficit disorders by simply Googling them. According to Additudemag.com, celebrities like will.i.am, Lisa Ling and Justin Timberlake have all have been diagnosed with the disorder affecting their ability to focus and concentrate.

      Are You Eating The Right Foods?

      This one was saved for last for a reason.

      Eating right is necessary to combat anything in life. But there are also foods which can help people with ADHD focus and find more time in the day for their work.

      According to WebMD, there are several foods that help with ADHD symptoms. Here are some of them:

      • Caffeine
      • Natural sugar (in fruits)
      • Seafood
      • Avocados
      • Breakfast foods, especially whole grain

      Incorporating these into your routine could help you maintain your schedule and meet appointments more effectively.

      Don’t Be Ashamed of ADHD

      At the end of the day, the fact remains you have ADHD.

      But that’s not to suggest it’s something to feel down about.

      ADHD is not a death sentence.

      It only has a negative connotation in your business and your life if you allow it.

      There are many support groups online for people with ADHD and similar conditions.

      Some notable national support groups include Children and Adults with ADHD and the Attention Deficit Disorder Association.

      Consider joining one if you’re having some trouble accepting your ADHD.

      As mentioned throughout this article, it’s easy to get tied up in the existence of ADHD and forget about the existence of still enjoying life.

      Approach your ADHD with a can-do attitude. Talk to your doctors and follow the regimen they provide you.

      Or consider the numerous tips provided above.

      So, the next time you feel down and out because time management is proving to be your weak spot in managing your business (or your life in general) due to ADHD, just remember a few final points:

      This can be treated.

      It doesn’t define the good business man or woman you are.

      And you can still lead a successful and happy life.

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      Last Updated on October 12, 2018

      11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation

      11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation

      How do you motivate yourself? We all want to maximize our time and do more of the things we love to do but sometimes we get stuck in the ‘getting ready’ process.

      We want to live every day with a clear intention to get closer to achieving our goals and living a happy, successful life. We want to get better every day but we never actually jump off.

      The most powerful form of motivation comes from self-motivation. You can light your own fire.

      It is not enough simply to wait for inspiration to start you moving forward. It doesn’t have to be something that happens to you, it can be something that you create.

      All progress and motivation starts with taking action. One action will lead to another. Action will create better outcomes and new experiences for you.

      When my coaching clients are suffering from distraction, I simply get them to start taking action. To get fired up. To do something specific.

      This may be getting up earlier, or committing to doing exercise daily. Even if it’s doing something for just 5 minutes, it’s often that little push that it enough to get them going.

      If you focus on a small number of things to create the change you want, it can have a dramatic effect on your business and life.

      Here are 11 things you can do right now to take that jump and in the process of increasing brain power, memory and motivation.

      1. Simplify Your Life

      By creatively planning your life, it allows you to simplify. Delegating and eliminating activities that don’t motivate or excite you ensures you maximise your time and focuses your energy on achieving your goals.

      It’s really hard to stay motivated when your mind is confused and cluttered with all of the projects and tasks you need to do. But if you can simplify, if you can carve away the unnecessary, your life will become more focused. And more focus leads to more motivation.

      What areas of your life could you simplify?

      One way you could do it is to combine tasks. Think about two things you want to do and see how you could combine them into one activity.

      The author Marilyn Vos Savant takes this one stage further in her book Brain Building in Just 12 Weeks. She recommends that we make a list of every small task that has to be done, say, over a day or a week-end and then do them all one after another.

      Essentially, you are fusing lots of smaller tasks together into one task and completing them all together. So rather than doing one task on one day and another task on another day, it becomes a focused blitz to get lots of little things completed all together.

      This frees us more time and gives you a sense of accomplishment, that increases motivation.

      2. Focus on How Far You’ve Come

      One of the things that stops us being motivated and causes procrastination is that we measure our success not from how far we’ve come, but how far away we are from our dreams and ideals.

      If we can change our thinking and become more conscious of how our brain is working, we can set ourselves up for success.

      We’re often at our happiest when we use our brains to problem solve, visualize, achieve and measure our progress.

      If you talk in specifics rather than generalities, there is an opportunity to feel happier and more energized.

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      One way to do this is to start training your brain to measure specifics, which grounds your feelings in reality and can boost motivation.

      Rather than focusing on your ideal, think about what you’ve achieved from a specific starting point.

      If your goal is to lose 14lbs in the next 6 months and you’ve lost 3 lbs in the first 3 months you have two choices. You could focus on the fact that you’re still 11lbs away from your goal or you could focus on the fact that you have lost 3lbs since you’ve started.

      The second option will allow you to celebrate success and build motivation and refocus your mind to lost more weight whilst the first option may focus your mind on how far away you are from your goals.

      Let your brain set your own goals and have your own experiences.

      3. Set Measurable Goals

      This follows on nicely from the previous point. When I work with coaching clients we always set specific, measurable 90 Day Goals.

      This is great for motivation and training the brain to focus only on things that are specific and measurable.

      When we are making real progress towards our goals, it makes us a lot happier. We are motivated and inspired.

      We all sense where we are in the present moment. The past has gone and the future is well, the future.

      In this present moment, we feel like we’re making progress, moving forward in the right direction or we’re not. We can’t stop time. We can only make better use of our time.

      If you’re not happy with the progress you’re making, you may start comparing with others which can make you feel a lot worse and stop motivation in their tracks.

      So, think about what goals you want to achieve for the next 90 Days. Ask yourself what is the meaning/purpose behind each of the goals.

      Write the goals down. Put specific measurements against each goal and visualise what achieving the goals will mean to you in terms of your own personal progress.

      4. Shift Your Motivation from Getting to Giving

      Some people only focus on what they can get out of life and relationships. It’s all about me, me, me.

      “When you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

      However, if you come from a position of serving and helping, and being more consciously awake to the world around you, your mindset can shift from merely receiving to giving.

      And when you create this shift, coming from a space of giving, your brain starts coming up with more and more creative ways to spread more and more abundance.

      It’s far more satisfying to focus on giving. If you really focus on this, it can become a true purpose and focus for you.

      Rather than focusing on simple transactions, you focus on deepening relationships and doing things that will genuinely make people happy.

      If you focus on giving and gratitude and surround yourself with people of a similar mindset your motivational energy will always be high.

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      There are also additional benefits. When givers come together the results can be so much bigger than on an individual level as everything has the capacity to be multiplied.

      When your motivation is to give your brain will think of more and more creative ways to do that. Random thoughts will pop into your head and you’ll find more creative ways to improve other people in both your business and personal life.

      5. Create and Repeat a New Habit

      Sometimes, the smallest shifts create the biggest results. When you start a new habit, whether that’s going to the gym, creating videos or improving your speaking the key is consistency and repetition.

      By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you create incremental improvements.

      If you want to start a new morning routine, the key is repetition. If you want to start meditating, the key is to stay with it. If you’re gearing up to run a 5k, the key is to run every day and build that strength and stamina.

      If you have a vision of yourself as someone who doesn’t complete projects, then you think of yourself as that person. But if you tell yourself every day you’re a world class ‘project completer,’ you’ll begin to think and act like that person.

      If you’re procrastinating on a big project, just start small and do something to move it forward, even if only five minutes. The next day work on that project again.

      The key is deciding what you want to improve and then working on that thing every day. A 1% improvement every day can produce big results in the end.

      Bonus tip: Here’re 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick!

      6. Direct Your Subconscious Mind Before Sleep

      Many successful people never go to sleep without a request to their subconscious mind.

      “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious” – Thomas Edison

      Your brain is a fantastic problem solving tool. If there are decisions you are struggling with or a project you’re looking for answers on, just spend a few minutes before you go to sleep visualizing the challenges, ideas, questions and experiences.

      You can follow a similar process with your goals. Visualize your goals every night and visualize what the achievement of those goals will look like.

      Your subconscious mind will then go to work, creating different connections and ideas. When you wake up, write down everything that comes to mind and then put things into action.

      You’ll be surprised how amazing your subconscious mind is: Why Sleeping on a Difficult Problem Helps You Get the Answer

      7. Focus on Your Environment

      The people who you spend time with will change your life in one way or another. Surround yourself with people and things that support you in your business and life.

      Cynics can pull you down with them but supportive people will motivate you to becoming even more happy and successful.

      Throughout every day, we have choices regarding what we spend our time on and who we are going to spend our time with.

      You can be with people who stifle and bring your energy down, or be with people who inspire your creativity and celebrate your success.

      Spend more time with people who make you feel more alive and happier and see where that takes you.

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      8. Express More Gratitude

      When you come from a place of expressing gratitude both to what you have and the people around you, the change can be immense.

      If you express gratitude for what you have, you are less envious and fixated on what other people have.

      When you express gratitude to the important people in your life, it changes how you perceive them and how they feel about you.

      Gratitude increases your energy and your feelings of abundance. With gratitude, everything is appreciated.

      Gratitude also makes you a lot more creative and deepens your motivation. Handwritten notes, more expressive feelings, instantaneous notes or calls to the people that matter most become commonplace.

      The thing about gratitude, though, is that it requires an active pursuit in all areas of your business and life. It’s not about what that person has done for you. It’s about how you feel about them, and their value to you.

      Here’s a quick exercise:

      Think about the people that are most important to you.

      Next, write down 5 things you are grateful for, or appreciate, about that person.

      You could tell them the 5 things or just keep it to yourself and sense how you are with that person the next time you meet.

      Another important focus for gratitude is yourself. What are you grateful for today?

      Taking the time to look inwardly and appreciate what you have built momentum and motivation and makes you a lot happier.

      If you want to learn more ways to practice gratitude, check out these 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

      9. Increase Your Energy

      Energy is a huge motivator. If we are fired up or excited about someone or something, we are usually very motivated.

      Think about the last time you achieved something important. I’m guessing your energy and motivation was high?

      If you’ve beaten your best time on the track, or lost the weight you wanted, or won a big piece of business, your energy will be sky high and you will want to dive back in again to improve your previous performance.

      When we are excited and motivated about the things we are doing, we bring high levels of energy.

      If you could spend more time doing the things that excite and motivate you, what would that mean for your business and life?

      High levels of energy produce continual growth and give you higher levels of confidence.

      Try this:

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      Pick three things that give you high levels of excitement and motivation. Commit to spending at least one more hour on each of the things every month.

      See what you can achieve. If it brings in the results you want, aim to spend more time on those 3 things and remove 3 things you want to spend less time on.

      10. Visualize Your Ideal Future

      If your motivation is lacking, try focusing on the purpose behind what you are doing or on how it plays into the larger goal of what you want to accomplish.

      One great way to increase your brain power and motivation is to start thinking bigger and then challenge yourself to think bigger and bigger about your vision of your ideal future.

      Where would you like to be in 3 years or 5 years’ time? What is your bigger purpose in your business and life? What would have to happen to make you happy with your progress?

      Identifying and then focusing on your bigger vision gives you the feeling of working on something greater and being part of something bigger than yourself. It gives deeper meaning and purpose to your daily life.

      If you are putting long hours into something or making a lot of sacrifices to achieve something it will help put things into perspective and ensure your motivation stays strong.

      Can’t figure out your purpose yet? No problem, here’s How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life

      11. Take More Actions

      If you’ve been resisting taking on a big project for a while, be that at home or at work, everything else in your life can begin to suffer.

      Sometimes, you just have to face your resistance and fear and do what you’ve been avoiding. That one thing, could make a real difference to your life.

      We all have lots to do and sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand.

      The key is to prioritize so we make the best use of our time and make an internal commitment to just get started.

      One of my clients was very close to finishing a new online course but there were some things she was avoiding and procrastinating over. It was very easy for her to fill her time with social media updates, shiny new things and check out the things her competitors were doing to avoid taking action. She knew she was neglecting something really important to her personal goals and putting off things that mattered to her.

      I got her to focus just half an hour at the beginning each day for a week on this project. That amount of time grew as her excitement and motivation increased.

      She felt more excited and motivated by just getting started again and doing the work. This newfound energy also impacted other aspects of her life.

      She felt more in control and knew she would succeed. Just by taking one small step and getting started.

      Conclusion

      Here are some things for you to consider as you reflect upon this article:

      • What’s motivating you right now?
      • Are you as inspired as you want to be?
      • Are you open to new experiences?
      • Are you continually learning new and better ways to live?
      • Are you putting those into practice?
      • Do you want to be more motivated and inspired?

      Hopefully this article has provided some insights and you can use some of these tactics to help you live every day with a clear intention to get closer to achieving your goals.

      Featured photo credit: Pete Bellis via unsplash.com

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