I know I have mentioned this in the past, but I have ADHD. There are tons of stigmas around it and some people don’t believe it’s a real thing, but there are so many misconceptions. ADHD can present in many different ways. For example, I don’t have the hyperactivity part. For me it is just a matter of being inattentive and unable to focus. My brain doesn’t have the correct levels of dopamine so that “something shiny” everyone always thinks of is the way my brain tries to compensate.
This however is not a lesson in ADHD. If you would like to learn more about ADHD there are some great resources I can link below.
The point of this post is to explain how it complicates being a small business owner and blogger.
It’s the constantly hopping from one interest to the next for me!
So many things catch my attention and it is very hard for me to focus on only one. Sometimes it’s hard to incorporate my many loves so it looks like I’m hopping from one thing to the next constantly. My brain has a hard time blending and is constantly compartmentalizing and telling me I have to be one thing or the other. It’s usually whatever thing looks the most “shiny” in any given moment.
Constant organized chaos.
My personality likes extreme order but my brain is unable to attain it so I have moments where I am in a state of chaos before I pull it all back together. I looove organization. Labels, color coding, bins, planners. They are all things that give me joy and yet my life doesn’t reflect that. I forget to look at planners so I have tons that have a one month plan and have never been touched again. Same with project management apps.
I just can’t get started!!
It is very difficult for me to just get going. Once I start and I am in the throws of something, I am typically able to hyper-focus and not only get it done, but get it done well! But until that point I am procrastinating, self-doubting, and feeling lazy and unmotivated. This is also due to the lower levels of dopamine being produced. This makes it very difficult to set deadlines that I control or stick to regimens set forth by me. I know that I can just move the due date because I set it. There is no set punishment or reward making it difficult to self-motivate.
Anxiety and Overcompensation
I did get diagnosed until I was an adult but I have struggled my whole life. The doctor’s say that I was high-functioning and able to compensate for years. As an adult with many different balls to juggle though, that became a lot harder. Due to that my anxiety has exacerbated. A lot of the time with ADHD because your focus center is essentially broken, you have a million thoughts at once and it’s exhausting and stressful.
I have built up so many different habits to overcompensate. Something as simple as repeating things over and over again so I don’t forget because I will forget. Or dropping everything to do something else because 5 minutes from now there is no way I will remember and it’s important. This is a problem in starting a business because tasks get half done and forgotten or overwhelming to the point of anxiety so you don’t wanna start again.
So what now?
Do I just give up? Do I fail at business? Of course not! There are lots of different things I am implementing to make business run more smoothly. ADHD is a different way of thinking and working so I had to realize that the conventional things may not work for me. I might not be able to plan a whole months content and stick to that plan. I may need help from people who are strong where I am weak. A different kind of app that caters more to short term planning might be necessary and I may need a different way to be held accountable. In fact, I needed all of those things!
I have begun incorporating all of these things into my daily life and business to push me towards success.
The ADHD Assistance Plan
- I’m trying a new planning app. This one lets me wake up every morning and plan just that day. I can see how long it take me to do a task and fit only the amount of tasks in a day that I can complete. The app is called Sunmara and I just started using it and I am still on a free trial but so far it has been a life changer.
- I hired people whose strengths it was to keep me on track. The coaches I am working with help me with both my mindset and my organization. They help me outline my business goals and keep on track with my tasks.
- I scheduled calls and work hours with other business owners to hold me accountable. Weekly meetups with them help make sure that I am sticking with my goals and when I need to get an individual task done, I hop on a power hour call to co-work with other professionals.
- I started using Instagram stories to hold myself accountable daily. I’ve seen other business owners share their daily to do lists, or talk to their audience about their plans. Knowing someone else is seeing what I am doing does three things. It takes the plan out of my head, makes it more concrete, and holds me more accountable to complete the project.
When you are not neurotypical sometimes the “normal” things in the world don’t work the same for you. Just because they don’t work the same though doesn’t mean they don’t work! Being an amazing and successful business owner was never out of reach for me and as I continue to grown in business, I continue to find things that work well for me and help me to succeed. So if you find yourself struggling in business in some way, ADHD or not, step outside the box!
We are all unique and we all have the capacity to be great!
If you would like more resources on ADHD if you would like to better understand for yourself or someone you know with ADHD, here are some great resources to check out: