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March 2009

Hi Everyone... 

Spring has definitely sprung here in California and in my gorgeous garden. The mocking birds are back from their summer holidays, squirrels are racing up and down the spruce trees, white blossoms are flowering like huge snow drifts, and shiny green buds and new plants are blooming everywhere! It's so life affirming to see nature regenerating herself with such abundance.

I'm still in the midst of selling my house here in the Bay Area. Living in a house that's 'staged to sell' is quite a juggling act. I can't count how many times I've stashed all our personal chotchkys so the house looks like a motel on steroids. But we have an offer coming in today - lovely keen buyers who adore the place as much as I do - so I think we are on our way to downsizing!

The issue of distraction has come up a lot with clients lately, so this month's feature article offers some strategies to manage this ADD issue.  Email me if you have any thoughts or comments. I'd be happy to publish your take in April's ezine if you'd like me to!

Also read about my limited offer to help you slay the Tax Monster. If you are waaaaay behind with your tax's and want to work with me to get caught up read below. 
Life is too short to spend time stressing over problems that can be solved. As with any coaching scenario - we'll work as a team to get you where you want to be.
Quote Quote:

"The most valuable skill that you could ever develop is the skill of directing your thoughts toward what you want."
- Abraham-Hicks

garageGoof-Proof Garage Door Closer

Ever wake up in the morning only to realize that you left the garage door open all night? smarthome.com offers an automatic garage door closer ($89.99).  It uses a timer to close the door automatically in case you get distracted and forget! (Make sure the closer works with your particular type of garage door.) 

changeAll Change Begins with Self Observation

The Monday coaching group "Share the Strengths" is a small but savvy session!! The topic of conversation lately has been around self observation. Typically, if you have ADD, you are not naturally inclined to self observe. Your brain has wiring that enables you to take in, only, so much data. Unless you consciously decide to spend some time in self observation, you may not even consider it.

If you don't you may miss vital information that your 'patterns of behavior' and 'body messages' could give you. Try asking some of these questions periodically to see if you get some useful clues.


Is this working?
Do I need help?
Am I progressing or spinning my wheels?
Should I stop?
How am I feeling?
Am I paying attention?
Am I angry?
Am I busy or productive?

If you would like to be part of a lively interactive discussion around ADD issues, solutions and strategies - come join the group! We meet over the phone every second and fourth Monday of the month at 12.00 midday PST. If you would like to discuss the group, give me a ring, 510 669 1152 or go to the website for more information and some comments from group members.
 This newsletter is a FREE service providing you with strategies and support to help you live a more organized stress-free life by managing your ADHD.
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forward this email to
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FeatureAre You Distracted?

Many people classify ADHD as a problem with distraction. However, it seems like it's more of an issue of not being able to filter out selective stimuli to allow you to pay attention and focus on one thing - rather than simply 'distraction'.
Think of it as the holes in a filter are too big and let too much stimuli through too quickly. Of course, there is an upside to this trait, but we'll discuss that in a different ezine.

Clients' talk about seeing 'it all'. An example: while listening to someone talk - they also observe a taxi pulling up through the window, notice a loose screw on the screen door, note the dog is hungry, and hear the heater thermostat malfunction and think about it needing attention.  Not in any particular order. The conversation that's going on could be very important but 'all' the things entering the field of attention seem of equal importance at the time. As each new thing is noticed it takes attention away from the original stimulus.

For someone with ADD it's very difficult to know you are not following the conversation. To suddenly realize you have missed 'a chunk' of what was said. Trying to piece together what the person has said from limited information is very stressful.

Being in group setting often exacerbates the problem - lots of outside stimuli and noise make staying focused on a single conversation almost impossible.  Unless, you have some strategies up your sleeve.
Unfortunately for the other people in the conversation, the distractibility can seem like lack of interest or indifference. Some people may become irritated or impatient having to repeat themselves, or hearing the same conversation over again. In turn, their irritation may cause anxiety to the person with ADD, who will now spend more energy trying to follow the conversation. They may focus so much on the act of following the conversation; they may not follow it at all. Irritation builds in the other party, anxiety builds in the person with ADD. Communication itself can break down.

Try these strategies:
  • For important conversations, make appointments to speak with someone privately. Find a time and place that will have the least amount of distractions so you can follow the conversation.
  • If you meet someone unexpectedly in a busy public place and want to have a focused chat - ask to move to the edge of room and position yourself so you face the person and the wall with as much distraction behind you as possible.  Explain if you feel the need to.
  • Take brief notes during the conversation. Sometimes just a word or two will be enough to remind you of the gist of each point you want to remember. Holding a pen or PDA will help ground you in the activity, and the writing will help you stay focused on the conversation.
  • Ask questions. Keeping the conversation interactive will help keep you involved and interested.
  • Ask the speaker to repeat what they said if it's a vital piece of the conversation - trying to second guess will only lose you more of the conversation.
  • Consider having the conversation during an activity, such as talking while taking a walk. The kinesthetic nature of moving often helps focus your thoughts and reduce stress which can 'freeze' your thoughts.
It's important to explain to those you are comfortable with, what this issue is like for you. Ask for their cooperation to utilize some of the strategies above or craft ones of your own to improve your communication skills. For example, you might ask your partner to gently touch you on the shoulder if you appear to be drifting away from the conversation.  It's a win win for everyone to have effective discussions.
Tax Time Stress Buster:   3 Steps to Success!

Are you stressed out by NOT having your taxes up to date? Is the situation costing you sleep and peace of mind? Are you more than a year behind? Would you like to catch up? We can work together to get you up to date and reduce tax-time stress.

This is a Limited offer - I only have room in my schedule to work with 10 clients - first come first served - phone now to discuss how we'll work on...

Step 1 Come up with a game plan. A step by step prioritized strategy to get the work done.

Step 2 Touch base weekly by phone for 30 minutes to monitor progress, tweak strategies and set goals.

Step 3 Email during the week in-between calls to check in and use me as your accountability partner.

Don't wait any longer - if stress were money, how much has it cost you so far? Contact me now to discuss how this limited offer works  

Phone: 510 669 1152 
Lindsay Hilsenbeck, ACG

Certified ADHD Coach
ADHD Coaching & Consulting
The nonjudgmental solution.

Organize.  Prioritize.  Optimize your life...
ph: 510 669 1152


Publication and Reprint Info
U.S. Library of Congress ISSN: 1530-311X 
Unless otherwise attributed, all material is written and edited by Lindsay Hilsenbeck, ACG ADHD Coaching & Consulting Copyright (c). All rights reserved.

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