Identifying ADD, A Key to Self-Acceptance and Improving Productivity

Screen Shot 2012-01-25 at 12.20.50 PMSince I’ve begun coaching I’ve had the opportunity to help two of my clients identify that their long-term challenges with organization, productivity and managing time are the result of ADD (attention deficit disorder). ADD is a neurobiological disorder that affects a person’s ability to get and stay organized, get things done in a timely fashion, and accomplish their goals. Both women were so grateful to learn that there actually is an explanation for behaviors that have troubled them all their lives. After years of thinking that they were lazy, slackers, underperforming or somehow lacking in moral character, they now have an answer that explains decades of performance challenge. 

What was most exciting for me to observe in both clients is that following the tears and relief that came with knowing there’s a reason they can’t do some things well, were changes in behavior that are already bearing fruit. One client, armed with information about her diagnosis, immediately began seeking strategies to help manage her symptoms. She also began seeking support in areas where she now knows she will always struggle due to the reality of ADD. The other finds that it is easier to be gentle with herself when she is not performing to the level she thinks she should. Instead of beating herself up for not getting things done, she reminds herself of her diagnosis and turns to strategies and support that help her take action. 

Have you ever wondered if you have ADD? Following are the behaviors I noticed in the women mentioned above, symptoms of ADD:

  • have difficulty getting started on tasks, particularly ones that are complex, boring, or that seem overwhelming,
  • use urgency as a motivator to take action,
  • get distracted easily
  • get bored easily,
  • get overwhelmed easily and then paralyzed, unable to take action,
  • have difficulty sustaining action because they have difficulty staying focused,
  • have difficulty completing tasks,
  • have many balls in the air,
  • take on too many commitments because they aren’t aware of what they’ve committed to and the time it will take to do things,
  • have challenges managing time, usually having too much to do and too little time,
  • waste time being off course seeking stimulation or being frozen by feelings of overwhelm,
  • have great difficulty getting and staying organized, particularly with paper.

If you identify with many of these descriptors, you may have ADD. ADD is a disorder that can’t be cured, but it can be managed with the help of medication and effective strategies for handling problem behaviors and changing ineffective habits. Coaching is a process that works well for people with ADD because it provides support and the opportunity to build on strengths to identify strategies that work to address ADD challenges.

If you think you may have ADD, contact me at 804-730-4991 or at to set up free 30 minute phone consultation to talk about that possibility. Identifying the cause of your productivity and organizing challenges could be the first step to making sense of your life path and creating greater self-acceptance and productivity.