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ADHD Adults

Tools for highly functioning ADD senior professional

Hi.  I’m a highly functioning ADDer who is a partner in a consulting company.  It’s a company full of VERY efficient and productive people.  Here, my ADD sticks out like a sore thumb re: lack of timely productivity, inability to effectively prioritize, writing and speaking in a way that is VERY long-winded and often annoying to my colleagues because of my lack of ability to get to my point quickly.  (Could that have been said with less words? ; -)

I’m looking for productivity tools (probably some online software stuff) that has worked for others with these issues.

As this is my very first post to ADD Connect, would someone also tell me if there is a way to sign up for some sort of notification in my regular e-mail that there has been a response to my discussion?  It probably won’t surprise anyone here that I will likely forget to check this site.



I am looking for the same answers….I need tools other than slowing down and taking my time.
If you get any tips tricks or tools for this, let me know

Posted by ppar73 on Jul 09, 2013 at 9:26pm

I’m in a similar situation.  I don’t really have specific software recommendations, but I have a few thoughts that might be useful:
-I tend to be long-winded when speaking.  I have found that emails often work better for me.  Emails can take me a long time, because I have to write up all my thoughts and then I have to revise it down to the essential points, then make sure it all still read correctly after I’ve re-worked it a bit.  Also, when I need to have an important conversation I try to write down my key points and reference them as needed.
-Figure out what you can delegate.  I often do much better responding to someone else’s first draft than I do with getting myself to write the first draft myself.  I tend to get overwhelmed easily with managing content, grammar and formatting all at once. 
-Schedule time to create a plan and to articulate strategy for each project/issue.  If you can do that, it can make delegating more effective. 
-I find that I am more successful scheduling shorter blocks off time closer to the deadline to work on a deliverable.  If I try to schedule myself too early or too much time to work on something, I tend to have a lot of difficulty getting started.  The planning and strategizing I can typically do early, but the execution works better for me closer to the deadline. 
-Create interim deadlines and communicate them to create external accountability
-When I am really having trouble getting started or staying focused on a lengthy task I use the timer on my phone to go off every 30-45 minutes so I can check in with myself on my progress and create some urgency.
-Pay attention to the life management things that contribute to better productivity (for me that includes a protein breakfast, taking my medication, going to bed on-time, getting outside, etc.) and figure out how you can make those things more consistent in your life. 

I recently had an interesting conversation with my psychiatrist about the tricks I use to keep myself on track. She suggested that you have to continually monitor yourself to see how your tricks/tools are working for you, because once the ADHD brain becomes too accustomed to something it can lose its effectiveness (i.e.,  brightly colored sticky notes becoming invisible after a few weeks), then you have to change it up and do something a little different.

Posted by tgar on Jul 09, 2013 at 11:43pm

Oh, also, try the “Subscribe to Thread” button to see if that sends you emails when someone comments.

Posted by tgar on Jul 09, 2013 at 11:48pm

Haha, one more thing! 
Too many notifications really messes with my ability to prioritize.  For my brain the thing I’m looking at always seems like the priority even if it can really wait.  My iPhone is set so that very few things create notifications. I check my phone and the appropriate apps when I want to know if there is something new. I am sure I probably check more often than I need to, but when I am able to catch a wave of productivity on something, my phone can’t proactively distract me.  I also keep the cell phone ringer off most of the time.  When I am out and about and don’t mind being interrupted, I turn the ringer on.  I know that’s not feasible for everyone, but it really works for me.

Posted by tgar on Jul 09, 2013 at 11:55pm

Hi Nicky,

Your struggles sound very familiar, and you’re definitely alone!  The bulk of my clients are what most people would call “high functioning” individuals who know they have room for improvement, and want to further improve their functioning so that they can reach their potential.

The tricky part is that what works for each indvidual is very differant than what works for someone else.  Most of us who have ADD have shelves full of organizing books, and have bought more gadgets and gizmos than we care to think about!  Yet, we still struggle.

Finding your own unique strengths, talents, and skills, and learning to apply them to the areas where you’re having challenges is what we call the “strength-based approach” to managing ADD.  And what that means for each of us is a little bit different.

Just a couple quick thoughts.  Your mileage may vary!

Lynne Edris, ACG
Life & ADD Coach

Posted by ADD_Coach_Lynne on Jul 10, 2013 at 1:42am

I love Evernote and have been consistently saving all my info in it. For a very small fee you can upgrade to the premium version and pull in PDF files that can be searched with everything else. I have multiple ‘notebooks’ rather than lots of tags which is good for me. If I’m looking for something I can just go to my Evernote app and search. It really has been helping me keep my life a little more on track.

I also use my phone camera to ‘clip’ info I will need later. I will misplace a piece of paper but if I take a pic of a business card, sign, particular brand of something my husband wants, my printer cartridge that needs replacing…then I have that info in my phone. These can also be pulled into Evernote as a not if I want. Very handy!!

Posted by happyaddmom on Jul 10, 2013 at 6:27am

I use Evernote to clip things I want to read later, mint for finances, automatic bill pay—even though mint reminds me anyway, Remember the Milk website/app for to do list, Google tasks website/go tasks (synced app) for a decent grocery list (you can name a dish and then have items under it and check them completed as you go through the store. also could be good to do list but I’ve been using RTM for 4 years, before I was even diagnosed), google drive for all important docs—scan & upload at work, sleep cycle to track my sleep—ESP when starting/changing meds—I now know that Hydroxyzine will give me 10 solid hours and 4-7 REM cycles, whitenoise app to help me fall asleep—a 4 sound custom mix helps when I’m tense or coming off Adderall, google calendar for my day—some events i set notifications for, but most I don’t since I check it everyday. also made my bf, brother, sis, and most recently mom join google cal so I can know schedules without having to remember it in my head. ain’t nobody got time for that!

Posted by rekkster on Jul 10, 2013 at 11:52pm

I can identify.  I just found this today, so can’t vouch for the products, but some looked very promising - I especially was interested in the Power Planner (paper) tool. There were some web based - but I have a web problem - I end up surfing or going off in multiple directions and forget what I started out doing…  Any way, here is the article with the tips:

Posted by Juggler on Jul 15, 2013 at 7:12am

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