There are four ways that having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been an incredible advantage for me as I have been building my own business. It took me a long time to recognize that this was a superpower and not a problem. I must emphasize that my personal experience with ADHD may not be the same as yours. Although the core element might be the same, the characteristics tend to appear slightly differently for each person. What works for me may not be suitable for you. If you think that you may have ADHD, I recommend that you consult a professional for a diagnosis to determine if you need any additional help. This doesn't mean anything is wrong with you...Sometimes we simply need a little support.
Four things have been especially influential for me, due to having ADHD. Firstly, it has taught me to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. I'm better at dealing with problems as my brain is programmed to recognize many potential outcomes. However, I do have to be mindful of not getting stuck in a rut of overthinking and falling into paralysis analysis. This is a trap I try my best to avoid.
I take pleasure in tackling a challenge or problem, investigating it from varied perspectives to find the ideal way forward. Having ADHD allows me to tap into the creativity that makes problem solving possible.
Additionally, having ADHD has required me to establish structure where I may not have done otherwise. As business owners, we tend to disregard self-care when things become hectic. What is the first thing to be excluded from the schedule when we get busy? Our own time. The time that was set aside for going to lunch, finishing work earlier, or spending time with family gets taken up with other activities. Having ADHD has helped me to learn how to recognize when I'm starting to go off track
At the end of each week, I take a few minutes to analyze my actual agenda against my success schedule, the schedule I had intended to follow. This lets me figure out if I accomplished what I had planned to do. With this structure I'm able to prioritize self-care and, consequently, be more productive with my business.
The third approach was based on the second. I created structure for my business that I might not have otherwise. I've become a pro at creating standard operating procedures for my company because I’m just not good at doing things the same way over and over. Whenever I encounter something that must be done the same way repeatedly, I know I need to hire someone else to do it. What I am great at is creating step-by-step SOPs with screenshots, headers, and all the details that make it easy for someone else to replicate a task. I love finding members of my team I can give the SOP to and let them take charge.
The fourth thing is hyperfocus. Living with ADHD means having the capacity for hyperfocus. It is amazing to be able to activate this state of intense focus. That said, Nonetheless, it has taken a lot of work to acquire the skills to trigger hyperfocus, that's ADHD, right? Sometimes the issue is not being able to focus and other times it's being unable to stop focusing. I have developed some methods that help me to bring on those hyperfocus moments, which usually involve patterns, routines, and sensory stimuli.
For example, I have a specific scent that I use only when I'm trying to get myself into hyperfocus. I have certain sounds, textures and tactile things that I only engage with when I'm attempting to enter that state. However, when I am in a period of intense focus, I can accomplish more in two hours than most people could in an entire day. I believe hyperfocus is the hidden superpower of ADHD.
It took me quite a while to figure out how to induce a period of hyperfocus, and even with all my experience, it's still not a sure thing. I had to take the time to recognize what triggers would activate that state and only then, when I was already in it, did I introduce things like candles, room spray, lotions, or my notebook. The process was lengthy but was well worth it. Hyperfocus has been my superpower while managing my business and also in marketing.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Hopefully it was helpful. I’m happy to answer questions in the comments or dig a little bit deeper if you're interested.