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6 Steps to Survive ADHD Overwhelm - Learn to Plan Your Day

Like many people today, do you find life overwhelming? Is getting through one day an exhausting marathon? Does your day include kids to be picked up, doctor's appointments, bills to be paid, and dry cleaning to be retrieved?. Are you afraid to open envelopes for fear of seeing the negative bank balances and the unpaid bills? Are you afraid of wasting time and money on impulsive flings every time you go shopping? It all adds up to a paralyzing sense of doom called overwhelm.

Today's hectic world puts tremendous pressure to perform on everyone, but if you have ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) the pressure is magnified several times over.

Here are some ways ADHD contributes to that desperate feeling.

Number one is poor organization. ADHD is known as the disorder of disorganization. If you have ADHD, you have difficulty sequencing actions (or papers thus the unmanageable piles). Difficulty organizing the events of the day is just one example.

The second problem is an elastic sense of time. You have difficulty estimating how long tasks will take adding to the problem of planning the day.

Third is what I call the slipping clutch or the getting-started syndrome. When you do fix a time to do a task it still doesn't get done because you can not start. Instead you get sucked into the internet or the TV or another low priority activity.

Finally, the lack of boundaries makes it difficult for you to say "no", so you have too many things to do. Poor boundaries also mean that you absorb more than your share of emotional overload; other peoples problems swamp your brain and make it difficult to think coolly about what needs doing.

Take these 6 steps to plan your day and beat overwhelm.

  1. Stop. Recognize that overwhelm has captured your brain and is interfering with your ability to plan and get things done. Take a minute to observe how you are feeling. Take several deep breaths into the abdomen and exhale slowly.

  2. Listen to your self-talk. Change negatives to positives: tell yourself "you can do it". Talk out loud to yourself at each step as though you were explaining to a another person (your coach for example) what you need to do.

  3. Make a list of the tasks you need to do, estimate the time needed including travel or set up time. Then weigh the importance and urgency of each task. Could some items wait until tomorrow or next week?

  4. Consider what help you can get. Could a husband or a friend pick up the kids?

  5. Plan the day. Group tasks according to location. If you have to go out, consider the time of day, driving at commuting time could double the time it takes. If you must go at commuting time allow extra time.

  6. Write out the day's route map and put it in your purse or place it where you can't forget it. Now you are ready to go. Go!

Still having difficulty? A coach will help you stay on track.

For more about my coaching services. Contact me Sarah Jane

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