As someone who has struggled with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or (ADHD), you may have felt anxious, fidgety, and unfocused at times. These are common issues people with ADHD face on a daily basis. You may have even had a bad experience in grade school with teachers who did not understand your learning style.
This confusion can lead not only to stress but low self-confidence and even depression. If you’ve experienced any of these, I want to tell you that your ADHD can actually help you, rather than hinder you — if you know how to use it.
Many entrepreneurs have ADHD, and it is one of the reasons why they are so successful. Now let’s be clear for one moment, success doesn’t have to mean money and riches, I want that to be clear. Success is everywhere, whatever you are experiencing you are successful in creating that. Getting into alignment with your souls purpose and expressing that is a massive success in itself. So remember, go easy on yourself when it comes to ‘chasing success.’
Read on to learn why your ADHD gives you an edge in business right now:
1. Master Time
Entrepreneurs who have ADHD often struggle with time management skills. That’s because they are processing so many great ideas and thoughts at one time, and it becomes difficult to focus. But when they are motivated to reign in that area, they really excel.
Many entrepreneurs who have ADHD have learned to become masters of time management apps to stay on the course — and many have even invented new variations of time management apps themselves. This is something that you can use to your advantage.
You’ll be way more organized than your counterpart who doesn’t struggle with time management.
2. Avoid Adderall and Other Stimulants
It can be tempting for young students and businesspeople to take prescription stimulants like Adderall or Vyvanse. These days, it seems like everyone’s tried the drug or knows someone who has. And with prescriptions continuing to rise, it looks like there’s no end in sight.
Although stimulants may help treat ADD symptoms in the short-term, they are just a temporary band-aid that prevents you from putting long-term solutions in place. There are plenty of natural, over-the-counter alternatives to Adderall, many of which I’ve used and have the same ADD-curbing benefits, without the unpleasant side effects (anxiety, jitters, and dependence).
3. Show Your Creative Value
What I’ve learned about people in my field with ADHD is that they have an uncanny ability to think outside the box. That’s an invaluable trait for a company that wants to excel in the startup or PR world.
As someone with ADD or ADHD, look for every opportunity to show your outside-the-box thinking in meetings and through team projects. Don’t go over the top, but insert and assert yourself when the moment presents itself.
4. Remove Distractions So You Can Focus
One of the beauties and the struggles of being a business person with ADHD is that you can go from hyper-focusing to not being able to focus at all. To avoid the pitfalls of not being able to focus, remove distractions that are competing with what you need to do.
Start your day with a to-do list of realistic and practical things that you can accomplish in your day. Try to set up specific times for answering emails, and then don’t return to it for several hours. Avoid meetings that you don’t really need to be at. Delegate. These all are simple ways to remove distractions so you can focus on the task at hand.
5. Adopt a Mindfulness Practice
Everyone — not just people with ADHD — could stand to have more peace in their lives. But it’s also true that you may have a lower tolerance for frustrations. To help give you the best chance for experiencing less stress and a more zen workplace, consider adopting a mindfulness practice.
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There are many apps out there that can help with this. (I prefer Headspace.) Throughout your day, take a moment to try a breathing exercise. If there are problems stacking up, step outside and just breathe. Being outdoors, even for a few moments, has been shown to reduce workplace-related anxiety and stress.
When you find yourself ruminating on a problem, shock yourself into thinking in a new direction by holding an ice cube to your forehead or pinching yourself. Figure out what works for you to give you peace throughout the day.
6. Create a Must-Haves Basket by Your Door
If you’re prone to losing things, make it a habit to collect all of the key things you’ll need for your next work day in a basket or box by your door. By doing this, you’ll be more likely to feel confident and at peace because you’ll have all the essential items you need for your business meetings or projects right at your fingertips.
You also can keep a “backup” box in your car that has duplicates of the things you are prone to losing —such as keys, a wallet with cash, sunglasses, and an extra phone charger.
7. Focus on one idea at a time
As someone with ADHD, you have a lot of incredible ideas swirling around in your head, but you can’t accomplish them all at one time. Instead, keep those big ideas in a running document that you can add to whenever genius strikes you.
Later, return to your project at hand and finish that first. Research shows that focusing on your most important tasks first makes the rest of your work seem easier in comparison. Apply your laser focus to one project and you’ll feel confident and empowered through the process.
I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs, and at the end of the day, it is the people who are full of energy and vision who make it in a cutthroat world of business deals. Because people with ADHD find it hard to sit still or to relax, they are often always on the go.
They want to see business happen — and succeed — on their watch, and they’ll compete until it happens. While someone who does not understand ADHD might think a person with this condition is at a loss or disadvantage, research shows that this just isn’t true.
Entrepreneurs with ADHD are motivated and excited. They want to see where their idea can go, and they’ll keep running on the smallest strain of energy to get the results they want. They are often extremely smart and driven and simply have to learn to sit down, focus on one business at a time, and then move on to their next big idea.
If you resonate with this feeling, then you can use your ADHD to kill it in business. Keep my guide of seven expert tips by your side as you learn to funnel all of that energy and vision into a single, dedicated project. You’ll have fun and get back some of that lost confidence.
Who said ADHD was going to set you back in achieving your goals?
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