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It’s the ones without ADHD that are barking mad!

Honestly! Some of the advice we get for dealing with ADHD comes from Professors of The Bleedin’ Obvious at Bloodyuseless College, Oxford!

‘Top’ ADHD coach that shall remain nameless (unless enough of you ask!) has just issued a list of top tips for overcoming ADHD. The first one made me want to gnaw my own leg off:

Keep the goal in mind.

One of the hardest struggles for my clients is keeping their goals in mind. If you can’t see your goals, you’ll be more likely to get off track. Devise methods to keep the goal in mind, and to see, and track, progress. Mark your goals with colored markers on a monthly calendar and post it where you will see it throughout the day, in the kitchen, perhaps, or over your workstation or desk.

Keep the goal in mind. Thanks! I hadn’t thought of that! Well done! If you give advice for overcoming depression do you say ‘cheer up, misery guts!’? Do you deal with schizophrenics by saying ‘Don’t be such a loony!’? Of course it is one of the hardest struggles for your clients, because that’s the essence of the problem in the first place.

“Devise methods to keep the goal in mind”. Brilliant advice! That what they’re paying you for! How successful would a tennis coach be if she gave the advice “Devise methods for scoring more points than your opponent.”? Answer: not very.

And then the ultimate: a monthly calendar. Well that’s new, I must say. No one with ADHD ever, ever thought of using a calendar. No, it is our appalling lack of knowledge of commonly used pieces of stationary that has been holding us all back all these years. Thank you so very much. Now I realise what all those funny bits of paper with the name of a month at the top and lines dividing the paper into boxes, with numbers are. Blimey, I’ve just got it. The numbers are consecutive, aren’t they? They’re days of the month! Hurrah! I’m cured!

Look, we may be disorganised but we’re not morons! We’ve not only heard of calendars but we’ve got them, usually several. I’ve got a stack of them, some of them are even this year’s! Actually, when I say stack, what I mean is that I have so many they would make a stack, if only I could find all of them at the same time.

I’ve got calendars, diaries and scrappy bits of paper. I have two online diaries, a mobile phone and tablet computer. I can’t consolidate them because I can’t find them all at the same time. I may have one somewhere obvious but I habituate to its presence and it disappears into the background, not that it makes a lot of difference because I often forget to put stuff in it in the first place. And if I move it so as to overcome the habituation I just forget where I put it. And who can keep a colour coded system running? You can remember where all your coloured pencils are? And which diary am I supposed to put what in? And, and, and… oh, please, someone try to see it from our side…

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