How to Prioritize

Embrace Yourself (aka My Secret to Living Well & Productively with ADHD)

Never apologize for your ADHD. Once you learn to work with your diagnosis, not against it, your life will improve — and you’ll accomplish more important things with more clarity and joy.

I don’t pretend I don’t have ADHD. I don’t apologize for it. I embrace it. That is my favorite and most recommended strategy for living well: Work with your ADHD, not against it.

I never did well in repetitive, tedious jobs — I got distracted and messed up a lot. Then I landed a job doing project-based work with lots of variety. I excelled. But as the company grew from 35 employees to 4,500, the meetings about meetings about meetings became intolerable. I left the job.

That’s when I considered the traits that needed to be part of any job I pursued: It had to be meaningful, interesting, and varied. The career I’m in now, as an ADHD coach and professional counselor, checks all the boxes.

[Need Help Finding Your Passion? Use This ADHD “Brain Blueprint”]

In my personal life, I divorced the man who put me down because he saw me as flawed. My second husband admires the spontaneity and other qualities that ADHD brings to our life. I feel cherished and understood.

I often use an Attention/Important Matrix to guide my everyday activities. I place my day’s to-dos into a quadrant: things that grab my attention, things that don’t grab my attention, things that are important, and things that aren’t important. I do one thing every day that’s important but doesn’t grab my attention. I minimize the things that grab my attention but aren’t important. I don’t worry about things that are not important and don’t grab my attention.

The last section of the matrix — things that are important and grab my attention — is ADHD rocket fuel! So even if the activity or item is not next on my list, I usually run with it. As I discovered, there are few things in the world more powerful than a person working with his or her ADHD, not against it.

Embrace Yourself with ADHD: Next Steps

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