Tag Archives: self-awareness

ADHD Self-Awareness Challenge and Clutter Creation

One way that ADHD shows up is in deficits in self-awareness. In other words, people

Hanging up clothes at the end of every day prevents clutter.

Hanging up clothes at the end of every day prevents clutter.

with ADHD move through life, but can’t clearly see the effects of their behaviors and decisions.

I first became aware of this ADHD challenge when I was helping a client clear clutter in her classroom. As I worked my way around the room creating order, she was working her way around creating new clutter. When I paused and saw what was going on, I pointed it out to her. She looked around and was totally baffled to see what she’d done. She was totally unaware that as she worked she was creating more clutter. Very often when I ask ADHD clients how their space got to be so cluttered they honestly answer, “I don’t know.”

When a person has good self-awareness, they are able to observe their behavior as they move through life. People with ADHD have busy brains, so much going on in their heads that paying attention to their behavior and how it’s affecting their lives and the lives of others doesn’t make it onto their radar very well.

In ADHD coaching, I partner with clients to help them learn how to be more self-aware. Together we look at situations and challenge areas and create awareness of habits and behaviors that affect outcomes. With practice over time, made possible by weekly coaching sessions, clients become more adept at observing themselves and what they are doing so they can better avoid problems and make progress to achieve their goals.

Got ADHD? Got clutter? A good first step is to create awareness of what you are doing that creates clutter. Watch yourself as you move through your day. What are you doing that creates clutter? Not putting things away immediately? Not cleaning up after yourself? Not hanging up your clothes? What are you thinking when you decide not to put things away immediately?

What are you doing that prevents clutter?  Are you sorting mail every day over your recycling bin to get rid of as much unnecessary paper as possible? Are you taking a few extra seconds every evening to hang up clothes you wore that day? With awareness of how you create clutter you can then plan strategies to prevent clutter.

If you find you can’t create awareness on your own or make necessary changes to prevent and clear clutter, email me to schedule a free 30 minute consultation to learn more about how ADHD coaching can help you address your clutter challenges.

Time Management = Choices and Self-Awareness

Today I observed my mental processes while making decisions about how to use my

Keep an eye on what you want in the future when you make time management choices today.

Keep an eye on what you want in the future when you make time management choices today.

time today. I watched myself identify my options, evaluate my options, and then choose what I would do next. My self-observation helped me see that time management is not about the perfect calendar or some magic time saving strategy. It is about identifying choices, factoring in what you know about yourself and how you work best, and then making the best choice given what matters most.

Watch my video Time Management Is About Choices & Self-Awareness to hear my story and the choice that I made.

Postscript — This will make sense after you watch the video.

Success! When I returned to my office instead of running errands, I went right to work. I very quickly made two videos (no easy feat!), and finished the outline for my social media content for June. Had I run errands, as was my auto-pilot inclination, I doubt I would have gotten those difficult tasks done today!

ADD/ADHD and Self-Awareness Challenges

Great resource for learning to manage ADHD challenges by Ari Tuckman!

I’ve begun coaching clients with ADD/ADHD. ADD/ADHD is a chronic, neurobiological condition that create affects behavior and performance. One aspect of its challenge is that it affects a person’s ability to be self-aware–to watch what they do that causes them difficulties with time management, taking actions, completing actions, follow through, and consistently performing tasks, even very important tasks. In other words, their brains are wired in such a way that impairs self-awareness.

Why is self-awareness important? Until you are aware of what you are doing and how your behavior affects you and others, it’s impossible to change behaviors. Some people are very clear that they have problems with followthrough, are always late, can’t get going especially when faced with boring tasks to do, etc. But, their first tendency is to judge themselves harshly, effectively shutting down self-awareness. Why would anyone want to observe their behaviors if what they notice are multiple challenges?

If you have ADD/ADHD or suspect that you have that brain-based condition, a great way to practice self-awareness is to watch your behavior as an interested observer who is curious about how your ADD/ADHD shows up. But, be sure to suspend judgment as you observe. Just notice where you struggle and what causes the struggle. Also notice where you shine and excel. What makes that possible?

In effect when you watch yourself you’ll be stepping outside yourself to observe what you do. What do you notice? Are you always late because you have trouble transitioning from one activity to another? Or, is it because you underestimate how long it will take to do a task? Is followthrough difficult because you have no way to keep tasks top of mind? When are you most likely to be distracted from important tasks?

Deliberately practicing self-awareness with interest and compassion could be an important first step to finding ways of addressing problem behaviors associated with ADD/ADHD.