ADHD and Time Management: Talk Yourself to Better Productivity

Ditching personal put-downs in favor of positive conversations with themselves will help attention deficit adults build confidence -- and accomplish more tasks.

Positive, Productive Ways to Live with Adult ADHD. © istockphoto/maodesign The Power of Positive thinking for ADHD Adults

ADHD coaches and therapists tell ADDers to practice “self-talk.” There is great value in talking to ourselves, assuming that we speak as we would want others to speak to us. Unfortunately, that’s not what typically happens. In revisiting the various events of our lives, it is the 20 percent we did wrong -- not the 80 percent we did right -- that we remember and castigate ourselves about.

No Use Being Negative

The negative words we reserve only for ourselves are counterproductive. Did you know that the unconscious mind does not compute negation in language? That’s right -- the deepest recesses of the mind don’t process the word “no.” Therefore, when we say, “I will not fritter my time away on the computer today,” the words are read as, “I will fritter my time away on the computer.”

And we wonder how we manage to find ourselves, once more, firmly stuck in those black holes. We talk ourselves into them! No amount of “but I said...” changes the fact that we have commanded ourselves to do the very things we want to avoid. And we beat ourselves up over our transgression.

Next: Put-Downs Get You Down

This article comes from the Winter 2009 issue of ADDitude.

To read this issue of ADDitude in full, buy the back issue.

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TAGS: ADHD Time Management, Self Esteem, ADHD Coaching

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