January 1st is meant to encourage thoughts of possibilities but it can also be a reminder of the previous year’s disappointments. For 2024, let’s make a deal, there’s enough negativity in the world, let’s focus on the positive this year. Are you in?
It’s time to embrace our neurodiversity and use our strengths to get things done. Every January there are numerous resolution strategies offered to make this your “best year ever”. Strategies such as having a word, theme, or intention for the year are plentiful. Setting SMART goals and breaking them down into small action steps may work for some, but the statistics say differently. Many people give up within two weeks of the new year. Here’s a clip from npr.org for reasons why.
This year though, let’s try to make small improvements using our ADHD Super Powers such as: being creative and thinking outside the box, being a problem solver, having high energy and being able to pivot when necessary. Also, let’s not forget the ability to hyperfocus.
If the goal is to “get the right things done,” then let’s see how the ADHD Super Powers can help.
Super Power: You are creative:
Your ideas are innovative, often more involved than they need to be, but still creative and you often come up with non-traditional solutions that can solve problems. Watch for places where a creative solution could save you time and energy and fix it when you can. For example:
- If you have been procrastinating on a task, add some creativity to it, gamify it, break it down into teeny, tiny doable steps to easily cross off or work on it with a friend.
- Make it a game with the family to race around and put things away so you start each day fresh
- Dislike using a traditional planner, then create your own system by making it work for you and the way you think.
Super Power: You have high energy:
Your energy level is often directly related to your level of motivation and of course the basics like sleep and self-care. If you find yourself with lots of energy to spare:
- Knocking off several mini tasks will keep the dopamine level up and that makes everything easier.
- Be sure to have a list to look at filled with those mini tasks so you don’t have to try and think of them in the moment.
- Keep track of all you do accomplish – it’s much better to focus on what did get done rather than what didn’t.
Super Power: You can pivot quickly and change course or task:
If something more urgent comes up you are able to change gears and quickly dive into it. You are often multi-tasking and that means you are only using 50% of your brain (because you are actually switching from one task to the other and back) but you can assess what is needed and get on it. If you do have to pivot:
- Be sure to leave yourself a note of where to pick up on the current project, before you jump to the urgent one.
- You are able to find ways to make things easier and are open to unexpected solutions
- Life happens – when the unexpected happens, being able to easily pivot can provide other options and solutions minimizing the disruptions.
Super Power: You can Hyperfocus:
Hyperfocus is the ability to sustain attention and focus on the task at hand until it is complete. This often entails either high interest on your part, a looming deadline, or urgency from someone else. It does use up a lot of brain power so be careful how often you use it.
- You have the ability to deep dive into a project or area of interest so set a timer or reminder notification before beginning so you don’t miss something else.
- Use hyperfocus to develop the skills needed for a new hobby or a side hustle.
- The increase in focus can lead to more creative solutions and an increase in attention to details that may not happen with frequent interruptions. Let others around you know that you don’t want to be interrupted.
A change in perspective is needed if you feel that your ADHD is the reason you “can’t” get things done, are always late or forget things. Use your ADHD superpowers to come up with creative strategies and solutions for those challenges and add some fun into each day. What do you want to remember 2024 for? What do you need to do to make that a reality? Use your super powers:-)