If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably have a million ideas running through your head at any given time. You might be excited by those ideas, or overwhelmed by the sheer number of them. It’s hard to execute on all your ideas when you’re just one person.
Of course, if you have ADHD, like I do, you add to that even more. You have a million ideas and, if your ADHD manifests like mine, you can only focus on one to two things — and they’re not always what you WANT to focus on.
This can be really frustrating, but as a pretty successful person who also has ADHD, I do know that you can work with what you’ve got. Here’s a bit of what I do to keep myself on track in this week’s video:
There are a number of things I’ve learned over the years that help me succeed. While I was only diagnosed a little over a year from the time I’m writing this, I had already found a few habits that helped me control what I thought were just “my quirks.”
🚨 Please note: Just because these work for me, doesn’t mean they work for everyone. Take what helps and leave the rest! 🚨
I block off times for certain work tasks, like batch recording videos and creating content for our new offers. I also have my Simple Sustained Shop Sales calls and other coaching calls batched by day, so that I know where I need to put my focus each day.
I know this might not be available to you right now, but one day it might be. I personally lean on team members who are super organized and who can help me keep big projects moving forward. Even if you hire a virtual assistant or someone to help with a specific need, it can be incredibly helpful to hire expert help to keep yourself accountable and to keep the business growing.
I have routines to start and end my day, as I shared in this video. For example, I know that I don’t really start my workday until about 10 am, and I usually work until about 8. Those are pretty much my working hours, and they’re different from other people’s.
The first thing here is: I have to be ok with that. I was struggling to do the whole morning routine at the 5 am thing, and I just realized, after looking at my RescueTime app, that I actually was most productive between the hours of 10 am and 8 pm. Now I lean in and I don’t fight myself to get things done nearly as much.
I highly encourage you to use a tool like RescueTime to track your most productive hours, and so you can see where you’re spending too much (*cough* Instagram *cough*).
When you’re starting to grow your digital product shop or any other sort of business, most of your attention is focused on your screens or on the work you need to do. Not so much on pesky things like healthy meals, groceries, or walking your dog.
I personally hired a “life helper” for a bit — a lovely woman who came to my house to help keep things clean, run to the grocery store, complete small errands for me, etc. I found that this was such a lifesaver because I was able to focus on work during my dedicated work time, rather than let my attention span bounce around to all the things I needed to do around the house
Even if you’re not able to hire a housekeeper or to have someone run errands for you, ask your partner, a friend, or a family member to help you out with things if they can. People are always more willing to help than you’d think.
Again, I know that this option might not be available to everyone. If you’re in the scrappy startup phase of your business, I get it. But when more resources become available to you, it’s worth hiring help for the things you know can help you do more.
For example, I hire someone to come do my hair and makeup on filming days so I get in front of the camera and don’t get derailed. I also don’t want to waste the money, so I actually sit down and record. For you, you might need to pay for a coach or for an assistant who keeps you accountable or maybe even ask a sibling to hit you every time you don’t do something. Whatever works for you. (Plus that last one is free.)
If you have ADHD or even other conditions like anxiety or depression, you really need to consider what you can realistically accomplish. I know that we can have a ton of ideas and want to do all the things, but it’s so important to take a breath, look at your calendar, and really outline what’s possible. If you get to more, great.
I didn’t know I had ADHD until I started therapy. I was 30! While therapy did help me find new techniques for managing my attention, I also needed a bit more support. For me, the medication did really help.
I was able to focus on things that needed my attention, and I felt more able to process information, communicate more clearly, etc. Of course, I’m not saying medication is right for everyone or you’ll have my experience. That’s why you should talk to your doctor about it if you really feel like your challenges are affecting you and your business. I also recommend therapy with someone who has experience with your particular needs.
I’ll be honest: Having people to bounce ideas or challenges off of has been a gamechanger in my business. One of the best things I’ve done for myself, as an entrepreneur and also as someone with ADHD, is to hire coaches and team members I really trust.
I didn’t have that when I first started, and I know that’s part of why I felt so overwhelmed back then. Once I started making friends and “biz besties,” I realized that I was more motivated, more focused, and more able to really get another person’s opinions before I did something that wouldn’t benefit my customers or my business.
I hope these tips give you an idea of where you can start in your own business, and managing your own brain. While you may not have ADHD, many of you digital product creators have neurodiverse conditions, like autism, anxiety, depression, and more. The key is always to find what works for you… and remember. What makes you different is a GOOD thing — and you can use that to create a business that works the way you want.
Stay tuned because I’ll be sharing more about my ADHD/business journey over on YouTube and here on the blog.