The Key to Follow-Through with ADHD: Intention vs. Attention
Handing Over Key

It’s a story I hear every single day, and it’s a story I could have written! It’s the story I used to live myself, day in and day out.

My clients come to me looking to improve their performance and their productivity. I often hear them say that they are. . .

Lazy

Undisciplined

Unmotivated

Underachieving

They tell themselves that they just need to try harder. But, that’s a lie!

The problem isn’t that they don’t work hard enough or try hard enough. The problem is that they are being driven by their Attention rather than by their Intention.

The key to being able to follow-through on the right things and do what we mean to do, when we mean to do it, is working from Intention rather than working from Attention. Here’s what I mean…

When our lives are driven by our Attention, we’re just keeping up, at best. We’re we’re taking care of what we notice. We’re Reactive, and taking care of what we see in the moment. We’re busy, we’re working hard and expending a lot of energy, but we’re not taking care of the things we really need and intend to do. We’re not doing the right things, the things that will move our lives forward (personally and professionally).

We Avoid,

We Procrastinate,

We React,

We Put out Fires,

And it’s exhausting. But we’re still not getting done what we want, need and Intend to do. 

We’re not Proactive. We’re Not Moving Ahead in the important ways.

Sound familiar? I sure know what it’s like to be driven by Attention rather than Intention. As a woman with ADD, I spent many years and an untold amount of energy that way. I often say it felt like. . .

I spent my days Spinning around with One Shoe Nailed to the Floor!

Every day ended in exhaustion and frustration. Every day ended with me knowing that, somehow, I could have done more. And I could have done better.

I was always hard-working and incredibly busy, but felt like I had very little to show for it!

But I found my way out, and so can you. It doesn’t have to be this way!

Here’s an important first step…

Learn to recognize whether you are being guided by your Attention rather than your Intention.

It might be easier than you think, and the impact can be tremendous!

Here are some questions to get your started:

What are your Intentions for this moment?

What is driving what you’re doing right now?

How are you determining how you spend your time?

Are you busy reacting and putting out fires, or are you busy preventing fires and being Proactive?

Are YOU moving forward and making progress, or are you spinning in place?

If you can’t answer those questions easily and with clarity, you most likely have not learned to plan your days in a way that you can effectively execute what you’ve planned, which is a very common challenge with my clients. 

The second step  is learning to Set Yourself Up© for Success with a Simple, Effective Plan

Before I lose you with the word “Plan”, hang in there with me! A plan is simply giving yourself direction. (When I teach planning in my Unleashed!©program, I actually don’t call it planning. I call it “Setting Yourself Up© for a successful day or week”.)

If you’re not planning effectively, or Setting Yourself Up© for a successful day or week, you’re in a reactive, Attention-driven mode. And that needs to change! 

Humor me for a second. . .

Imagine that your life is a bus. (I know. It sounds crazy, but hang in there with me!) On that bus is all that you are and all that you’re capable of being. On that bus is your Potential. That bus, filled with who you are and what you’re truly capable of achieving, is headed toward this very real place that is called Fulfillment. (Or at  least, it could be.)

That place called Fulfillment is where you do more than just what you need to do to get through the days. It’s where you do what brings you joy, satisfaction and contentment. That place called Fulfillment is where you go to bed feeling gratified, satisfied and actualized. It’s where you wake up excited at the possibilities of what the day can bring, rather than waking up feeling dread and weary before the day even begins.

Here’s the good news…

Fulfillment actually exists! It’s not an illusion or some sort of fantasy fairytale nirvana. It’s real. It’s tangible. And it’s achievable. Not just for those people who are left-brained, born organized, over-achievers, but for people like me and like you. 

Now, please don’t get me wrong! I’m not going to pretend for one second that every day of my life is nothing but sunshine and roses, because it’s not! I’m human, I’m far from perfect, and I live in a world that’s far from perfect full of other people who are also far from perfect. Stuff happens but, more often than not, my days end with a sense of satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment, and they begin knowing that I’m moving in the right direction. Because I’ve Set Myself  Up for Success each day.

And you can, too. But that bus needs you to guide it! That’s what you get when you learn how to plan effectively.

When you learn how to Set Yourself Up for Success with a simple, effective plan that you can actually execute, it gives you direction. You don’t spend your days simply reacting or burning yourself out making decision after decision after decision about what to do next, and which way to turn.

That simple, executable plan becomes your trusted GPS, guiding your own metaphorical bus to your fulfillment is. 

Like my clients, most days, I’m behind the wheel of that metaphorical bus, and I’m driving it in the right direction. Sure. There are speed-bumps and detours, and life makes my proverbial GPS have to “recalculate” from time to time but, overall, I’m moving in the right direction consistently. (And if you know me at all you’d know that I’m not telling you any of that because I want you to think that I have this life thing all figured out or that I’m perfect. Because I’m not even close. That’s not it at all.)

I want you to know that there is a better way to live. An easier way to live. I want you to know that there is hope!

It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s OK if sometimes it’s messy. It’s Ok if we find ourselves on the scenic route sometimes. What matters is that we’re Following our Intentions, not our Attention.

Think about it. And I’ll leave you with this…

Are you behind the wheel, Driving the proverbial bus that is your life’s potential, or are you running along behind it?

I promise that if you don’t change what you’re doing now, the distance between you and that bus will only grow wider.

Today’s the day you can start to close the gap between your actions and your intentions, and start moving toward your own potential! Just like I have, and just like my clients do every day.

What do you need to change for that to happen?

How can you Clarify your Intentions and keep them in front of you so that they guide your actions and direction throughout your days? 

I hope you’ll give it some thought!

And if you need help, I’m right here and ready to get to work when you are. Check out my 90-Day Time Management & Productivity Mentoring group to help you Unleash Your Potential and Achieve More in Less Time at http://www.unleashedpotential.group/

As always, thanks for reading!

Lynne Edris

Lynne Edris, ACG
Productivity Coach
www.CoachingADDvantages.com

 

 

 

 

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