Often running late? Having trouble shifting from one thing you need to to to the next?
Because transitions require the brain to shift focus from one activity to another, transitions can be tough for many individuals with AD/HD. Self- monitoring is another challenge that can interfere with the transition process. A number of members of the AD/HD Coaches Organization recently shared brainpower to come up with some suggestions for easing transitions. These strategies, and a few others, are shared below:
1. Plan ahead: look over your schedule and plan for what’s next – e.g. lay out items the day before so you are ready or gather in advance what you need for your next project before you start something else. Then when you turn to something else you are doing it in “real time.”
2. Rehearse transitions: set an intention and practice rehearsing it when an alarm rings – you can start out practicing an easy transition 2-3 times a day and increasing difficulty from there.
3. Experiment with varied types of alarms: a song may be harder to ignore than a buzzer. Change alarms from time to time. Try a visual timer: http://www.timetimer.com/products.php
4. Try an alarm for a two or five minute warning, then have it ring again when the time has elapsed. In between, tie up loose ends of what you’re doing.
5. Post a note to remind yourself WHY an alarm is ringing.
6. Consider arranging for a caring friend to call to get you moving.
7. Plan ahead for how you will “exit” one activity before starting another. Afraid you’ll forget where you are in a project ? Leave a short note to yourself, and schedule a time to resume if need be.
8. Recall a time you were on time. What was that like? What enabled you to be on time then? How can you use those strengths or strategies now?
9. Explore questions such as: How might ignoring reminders and being late be serving you? What does being late say about you? About the people waiting? What does being on time say? What changes if you are on time? Who are you if you’re late? On time?
10. Use the bulls-eye exercise to raise awareness: Draw a target with a bull’s eye and concentric circles. On the outer-most ring, write The Problem: Often Late.” On the next ring in, write the cause for that problem, e.g., trouble with transitions, and keep going toward the center bull’s eye, breaking each ring down by asking “What’s the problem here?” This might help to find out why transitions don’t work, why alarms and reminders don’t work, etc. The goal:to find out what DOES work that may never have been tried.
11. Engage your creative side to visualize success with transitions and being on time.
12. Reward yourself for progress on this challenge!
13. Explore resources: 1) Nancy Ratey’s book The Disorganized Mind has a chapter on strategies for transitions. 2) Thom Hartman’s Healing ADD includes an exercise on re-envisioning one’s internal timeline. 3) NLP practitioners can work with timelines in depth.
Working with an AD/HD coach can help you address transitions and other challenges. Contact me today to learn more!
Liz Ahmann, ScD, RN, ACC