Lost my brother, my confidant, to that cruel, indifferent disease. I will always honor my brother and the memories we shared thought our lives.
Is there such a thing as too much productivity?
What is productivity to an ADHDer? Efficiency with time-management. But the key to such efficiency is possessing functional “executive function.” Executive function, according to Merriam-Webster.com, is defined as the group of complex mental processes and cognitive abilities (such as working memory, impulse inhibition, and reasoning) that control the skills (such as organizing tasks, remembering details, managing time, and solving problems) required for goal-directed behavior. In the 2008 article, Assessment of executive functions: Review of instruments and identification of critical issues, the authors interpret ‘executive functions’ as, “an umbrella term comprising a wide range of cognitive processes and behavioral competencies which include verbal reasoning, problem-solving, planning, sequencing, the ability to sustain attention, resistance to interference, utilization of feedback, multitasking, cognitive flexibility, and the ability to deal with novelty” (Burgess, Veitch, de lacy Costello, & Shallice, 2000; Damasio, 1995; Grafman & Litvan, 1999; Shallice, 1988; Stuss & Benson, 1986; Stuss, Shallice, Alexander, & Picton, 1995). Wow! This definition is a beautiful scientific mouth-full! And finally, a more modern, general definition of executive function from ADDitudemag.com is, [broadly speaking], the cognitive and mental abilities that help people engage in goal-directed action: [ADHDers] direct actions, control behavior, and motivate [themselves] to achieve [their] goals and prepare for future events.
To me, productivity means rituals. I have daily rituals that I MUST follow in order to be productive. Implementing these systems helps my executive function deficits (see above if you skipped to this section). For example, I wake up, I splash water on my face, I get ready to go to the gym, I make my coffee, I set an intention for the day, I go to the gym, I go home, I take my meds, I shower, I get dressed (clothes, accessories, etc. chosen and laid out the night before), I remote start my car, I read the note I left on the kitchen table reminding me to take my lunch out of the fridge, and make sure I have everything to bring to work. If I deviate from this ritual in the slightest bit, I become derailed and that causes a domino effect. Yeah, I know, it sounds ridiculous because it’s robotic but, I MUST be robotic and follow these steps in order to be productive. As ADHDers, our brains function differently. To be productive, I try to focus on what works for me (rituals) and I keep a close eye on my objective (objective- singular: ONE at a time). I try to be mindful or, aware of the present moment. Being mindful is certainly difficult to do, I won’t sugar-coat it, especially when you are heated, distracted, emotional, or feeling invalidated. Being mindful can also help with over-productivity. When you try to do too much, the ADHD brain essentially shits down. Baby steps. Perform O N E T A S K A T A T I M E!! As ADHDers, we want to complete everything at the same time (btw, multi-tasking is an urban legend! ;)) but we don’t really have a grasp of what “time” means. I have been working on this blog post for hours! (ok, I started it 2 weeks ago). I could continue writing, editing, re-editing, adding additional content, deleting content – you get the picture. I am working on my time-management issues. It’s on my ADHD bucket list!!! Bottom line, DO ONE THING AT A TIME. Bottom, bottom line – DO ONE STEP AT A TIME. You know how it goes. We’ve all been there, and back, many many times. So embrace it. Trying to be over-productive usually leads to being zero-productive.
SO what’s the take-away?
Productivity = Task-management
Check your emotions.
Frame your mindset.
Be patient with yourself.
Manifest your groove.
Limit your perfectionism.
Think dialectically (look at both sides of the coin).
Eye on the prize (the objective).
Practice the pause.
Shut the negative voices down!
Control emotional dysregulation.
Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.Eckhart Tolle
Links to Productivity TIPS for ADHDers
What does productivity mean to you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or send me an e-mail to theADHDlawyer@gmail.com
And please remember, we’re all in this together! #adhdawareness #adhdsupport #adhdproductivity
Rejection is one of the most difficult emotions to handle. Rejection can be catastrophic for an ADHDer’s emotional health. Feeling dismissed or slighted affects self-esteem, and makes us feel alone and unwanted. I believe rejection and abandonment go hand in hand and, is a toxic formula for emotional chaos, unless it is dealt with compassionately and mindfully. As ADHDers, we allow the power of our emotions to control us and, the power of rejection can turn into an addiction. How? It turns into an addiction because we become fixated on the emotional effect of feeling unwanted, unworthy, and abandoned and become addicted to it. In essence, we hyperfocus on the negative feelings that rejection projects on us and blurs out any possibility of controlling our emotions. If we allow rejection to manifest into obsession, we cannot prevent self-sabotage.
When we become aware of the thoughts and emotions behind the rejection, we can manifest the power to accept rejection and use it to strengthen our sense of self. Feelings are not facts. We can turn that pain into power if we notice the pain, understand why we feel the pain, embrace it, then let it go, we can shift our perspective to feel more self-possessed by paying close attention to our inner critic.
Part II. What is a L A W Y E R?
A Lawyer is . . . a noun. To lawyer is . . . a verb! Ha! Seriously, a lawyer is one who is licensed to practice law. Black’s Law Dictionary 905 (8th ed. 2004). As an aside (ADHD, sorry), my Black’s is pristine (because I never use it). The updated definition on Westlaw is, a lawyer is someone who, having been licensed to practice law, is qualified to advise people about legal matters, prepare contracts and other legal instruments, and represent people in court. Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014), available at Westlaw.com. Interesting upgrade from 2004. I guess a lot happens in 10 years!
I am not sure if Merrium Webster consulted with BAG but their definition is a bit grammatically off. A lawyer is, one whose profession is to conduct lawsuits for clients or to advise as to legal rights and obligations in other matters. Conduct lawsuits? The conduct of a lawsuit is litigation, hence conduct litigation but, a lawyer conducts lawsuits? I guess MW views a lawyer akin to an opera conductor. Ironically, when I searched Google for the phrase, “conduct lawsuits for clients”, the results were ethics opinions and malpractice suits. #interstinglyodd At, my age, I really shouldn’t be using hashtags (or dude, for that matter). #generationX
And the verb, lawyer, per Black’s 10th Edition: 1. To practice as a lawyer <associates often spend their days and nights lawyering, with little time for recreation>. 2. To supply with lawyers <the large law-school class will certainly help lawyer the state>. See lawyer up. (love the slang, BAG!). Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014)
Part I. What is ADHD?
In order to explain what an ADHD lawyer is, one must define ADHD. My definition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or, ADHD, is a treatable condition, or affliction, or neurobehavioral disorder marked by persistent inattention and hyperactivity, and is usually hitched with impulsivity. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (herein, the “Institute’), ADHD is a brain disorder evidenced by an ongoing pattern of inattention/hyperactivity/impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. The Institute defines Inattention as, a person who wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized (and? hmmm) – such issues are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension (got that right!); Hyperactivity as, a person who seems to constantly move around (constantly?), including inappropriate situations; or excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. The Institute continues opining that in adults, hyperactivity may be exuded by extreme restlessness or “wearing others out with constant activity” (wt%?); and Impulsivity as a person who acts hastily in the moment without first thinking and, such actions may have high potential for harm; or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. The Institute defines an impulsive person as someone who may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences. Whew! Made it through the first opin……., I mean definition, sorry! That was close!
To continue defining ADHD, I turn to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (herein, “CDC”). The CDC defines ADHD in terms of children, not adults. According to the CDC website, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood which is categorized by the predominant symptoms. The three categories or, presentations, are: (1) Predominantly Inattentive; (2) Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive; and (3) Combined. Predominantly Inattentive ADHD: A [child] is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines causing difficulty with organizing or finishing a task, paying attention to details, or following instructions or conversations. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD: A [child] fidgets and talks a lot, has difficulty with sitting still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). The [child] feels restless and has impulsivity issues such as interrupting others, grabbing things from people, or speaking at inappropriate times. It is difficult for the [child] to wait their turn or listen to directions. Combined ADHD: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.
With regard to Adult ADHD, the CDC website refers its readers to the NIMH and the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or, CHADD. That’s it. They, the CDC, the federal agency indoctrinated for the promotion of the public health at large, and managed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, say nothing more about Adult ADHD. Rhetoric approaching . . . WHY!?!?! We will save that discussion for a future post.
More to come but . . . brb.
By the way, welcome to the lovely world of The ADHD Lawyer. And I mean that with the utmost sincerity. I embrace my ADHD because I am blessed to be embellished with such a condition – I wouldn’t be the person I am without it! So brace yourself and get ready for the ride of a lifetime! Let’s do this! But first, I need to recharge my focus (kind of like recharging your healing crystals). To follow: Additional definitions of ADHD and LAWYER. To. Be. Continued. Shortly. TTFN.