ADHD E-Zine - June 2008
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  • Hi from Lindsay…
  • Mind Map to Prioritize Projects
  • Cool Project Management Software
  • Flash of Wisdom
  • New York Times Audio of 4 ADDers Experiences
  • New ADD Virtual Group – special ‘Introductory Offer’ $20 per session

This newsletter is a FREE service providing you with strategies and support to helpyou live a more organized stress-free life. Without spamming, please forward this onto anyone you think may benefit…


Hi everyone…

Been a predominantly sad month for me. A very close friends husband died suddenly and unexpededly while they were on holiday in Cambodia. In the prime of his life, with everything (and then some) to live for. My mantra “Plan for the future. Live in the day” is ringing loudly in my ears.

Been thinking about assessing and prioritizing life goals ‘in general’. So important to know what your values are; and double check your motivation for goals is grounded in your needs, wants and beliefs and not based on someone elses agenda or opinions!!

Being able to prioritize is one of those pre-frontal cortex activities that ADDers find hard to do when neurotransmitters aren’t co-operating. Many clients have told me they see all the ‘to do’s’ they have to do as ‘equally important’ – can’t easily differentiate between them; they all seem as urgent or important as the next. One solution is to use Mind Mapping to ‘lay out the whole case’ to make prioritizing simpler. As mentioned last month my search for a new ‘right hand woman’ to be my virtual assistant and website manager has bought me a fabulous person called Paige Wyatt. She is a great computer technician and a yoga teacher. What fabulous balance. She is in the process of re-vamping my website. Later we will work on some e-courses and teleclasses all around Living a Well Organized Life with Full Focus. And may put our joint talents together and hold a ‘Get Organized and De-Stress’ retreat or workshop. Figure we would have it in Hawaii…Stay tuned.And we had our R & D Team Conference Call this month…thank you to those that participated. Read on to see what we came up with…


Mind Mapping to Prioritize Projects…

If you find Prioritizing difficult it's often because you are thinking of all the components of a job in random sequence. It often becomes totally overwhelming as you think and rethink all the aspects. It's all up in your head swirling around like a fire storm – pretty but deadly. And when it gets toooo uncomfortable you may procrastinate and do nothing. Sound familiar?

Answer is to 'get it out of your head and down on paper' to begin the process.

As an example let's take a project like, 'Planning a family BBQ'. Take a large sheet of paper and a felt pen. In the center of the page draw a small circle and write the name of the project in it – in this case BBQ. Now proceed to draw spokes off the center circle with balloons on the end and fill each with one 'job'.


Give yourself some tiem to just sit for a while and imagine the day, and what you need to do to make it happen; do a brain-dump of all the jobs you can think of as they pop into your thoughts. Spending time on this will prevent details slipping through the cracks and a lot of wasted time later repeating activities because you forgot to do somehing. You may be used to 'rushing into' the doing of a project?? so give this method a chance to become a habit…it will serve you well.

So you may have;

invite the family

shop for food

mow the lawn

buy drinks

clean BBQ

marinate meat

shop for dry goods (paper plates napkins etc)

make a menu -

prep food

make salad etc on the day

So you have 9 balloons each with a job in it. Now look at each balloon job and think what you need to do to make that happen? e.g. - invite the family – for each person you need to invite put a spoke and balloon off the main balloon and put their name and how you will invite them…e.g. have a balloon 'phone tom' – another balloon 'email Susan'. You get the idea? Check all balloons and see if there are 'sub-jobs' involved in getting that job done? And if there are add them to the map. Another example might be off the 'mow lawn' you might have a balloon that says 'buy gas for mower'. Can you delegate any jobs?? How about off 'clean BBQ' you have a balloon – 'ask spouse'!!

Next step is to decide how long tasks will take and write it in a different colored pen in the balloon. For each balloon guestimate' how long – if your time sense is not honed well please double or triple the time you guess.

Now to prioritize. Look at one balloon and ask yourself "What do I need to do before this to get it done? For example before 'prep food' comes shopping – before shopping comes invite family (so you know how many you are cooking for) – and as you say "Invite Family to yourself scan the balloons and see if there are any jobs before this………no? OK so Invite family is No 1 – put a 1 next to this balloon. Pick your next best guess and do the test question again – "Do I need to do anything before this job can be done". Go through the whole bunch of balloons giving every one a number. (You may hiccup and miss one and have to backtrack and re-number them – this is a rough work sheet - eventually you will have them all numbered.

Now make a list of the jobs from 1 to 20 and put the guestimate' time by each. You have now prioritized your project. You can begin to work through the list form top to bottom. I suggest you put each job on your calendar so it becomes an appt to 'do it' and any large tasks break down into doable chunks. For example if "Mow Lawn" has a guestimated time of 3 hours – you have 1 acre and a push mower!! Then decide to do it in 3 X 1 hour sessions and put on calendar Wed, Thur, Fri, 4pm mow lawn for one hour.

For any 'project' be it large or small set up a folder for it. Now put your mind map in it plus any notes and info regarding the BBQ. Shopping lsit. REcipies. If you have a large family you could have a guests lsit page – tick them as you email or call them. Pot luck? Write down what each person is bringing next to their name so when you call guest No10 you know what to suggest they bring…..or no more potatoe salad pahleezzzz!!

I love mind mapping. It's simple and very effective. If you run a business you can buy software that will let you mind map large and complicated scenarios to distribute to the rest of the team. Here is one example


And along the same lines of project management here is some Cool software…
What is Wrike?

Wrike is an integrated online project management solution that helps you manage projects, teams and businesses. By turning email overload into well-organized plans on the Web, Wrike makes your organization more efficient, transparent and agile. Wrike is collaborative, web-based, easy to use and inexpensive, so you can roll it out company-wide.



A Flash of Wisdom…

Some people totally get me. And some people never will.

It's just chemistry. And not something personal. I simply accept it and move on…


The New York Times - Audio of four ADDers experiences living with ADHD…

Listen to four people with ADHD weighing the decision to take stimulant medication, facing those who doubt their disorder and adapting to their symptoms. Some daunting and deeply personal dialog.

Here, in their own words, are their stories…


Announcing the New ADHD Virtual Group…

"Share the Strengths"…Starting August 2008

The research and development meeting was small, but savvy. It was decided that we would begin with a group that focus's on supporting the members to find solutions, give support and celebrate strengths. There will not be a 'set agenda' each week but we'll have a free flow format; members' issues and ideas will be discussed; and strategies and suggestions brainstormed.

The group will be a 'work in progress'. We will tweak and adjust the format as we evolve and grow.

There'll be a minimum of 8 and a max of 12 members to allow time for everyone to participate. If I have enough interest I will begin a second group; possibly a third.

We'll meet via telephone, on a conference line, for one hour each week at 6pm PST. The day will depend on your response and preference. Right now Monday night is the favorite.

To join email me with your name, phone number and your preferred day for the class. Space is limited so email now. I will contact you for a chat prior to the meeting to ensure this group will work for you. And discuss the details and guidelines we have to ensure a pleasant and safe experience is had by all who participate.

$20 per session - Limited Introductory Offer…



How do you know for sure, this dining room set is being sold by a man...?
open this link and see if you can tell...

Quiz....sold by a man?



Lindsay Hilsenbeck, ACG
ADHD Coaching & Consulting
The nonjudgmental solution for
ADHD life management issues...
ph: 510 669-1152 fax: 510 669-9728