A few months ago, Stephanie Scheller began to discuss the fact that she had ADHD more openly. She was suddenly inundated with communication from relatives, friends and acquaintances asking her, "seriously?" This took her aback, as it had taken her two years to accept that she had ADHD and accept what it meant for her. Other people saw her thriving in her business, and were curious as to how she could manage with the issues that people with ADHD generally experience. In this article, she tells us about three approaches that have been particularly useful for her in using her ADHD to her advantage rather than letting it be a hindrance as an entrepreneur.
To start with, she jots down all her tasks. If it is not added to her timetable, then it is not accomplished. She differentiates her calendar with multiple colors so she can distinguish between meetings and tasks. She also adds assignments that require continual effort so that she can reserve some time to finish them before the due date.
Stephanie is a huge proponent of E Ink writers. The excellent thing about these devices is that if you pick the right one you can use it just for writing. It allows you to work on your projects without being tempted by social media or web browsing. E Ink Writers are ideal for keeping your thoughts and ideas in order.
She has found it beneficial to have multiple notebooks for organizing her thoughts. She has a notebook for marketing, a notebook for business, and one for miscellaneous ideas. Additionally, she has one for journaling, allowing her to keep her mind clear. Her approach is to document everything in one place, to make it easier for her to quickly record the ideas that come to her head. If something needs to be put in her calendar, she'll mark it with a star. Writing her thoughts down and keeping track of them has been essential.
Stephanie can remember the many years she wasted trying to conform to the expectations of others. She would run through conversations in her head before speaking, making sure that whatever she said wouldn't be considered weird. Anything she said from her teenage years right up until she was 23 was heavily edited to fit what she felt was the accepted norm. However, she now knows that there isn't just one road to success, and that in order to make a real difference she must stay true to herself.
The third technique Stephanie wanted to talk about is mnemonic devices. You may have heard about this technique of forming acronyms or other systems to help remember things that are otherwise not easy to remember. In short, it is a way to aid the mind in recalling information. Stephanie has invested much time in figuring out how to strengthen and enhance her memory. She needs to be able to remember small tasks like adding stuff to the grocery list. So, she visualizes the next 30 minutes of her day to find something that will evoke that memory. This way, when she is cutting vegetables for dinner, she will think "oh, don't forget cucumbers!"
She uses mnemonic devices with her business as well. For example, when she checks YouTube analytics, she will make sure she also looks at website analytics. To ensure she remembers to do everything, she links these tasks to ones already in her calendar. It takes some effort to determine what are the best mnemonic techniques for you, but it is the most successful approach she has found to deal with ADHD related memory issues.
Managing ADHD as a business owner is an ongoing process and Stephanie is confident that she will have even more advice in the future. But for the moment, these are likely the three most effective things she has come to know that guarantee her ADHD helps her business and does not hold it back.