The Un-Secret ADHD Support Group

1802 Unsecret ADHD Cover

I try to live by the adage that “where there are no secrets, evil has no power”. I find that the more you have out in the open, the more you aren’t wasting energy trying to hide stuff.

Since mentioning that I have adult ADHD, it’s been interesting to see how much other people are opening up about their own struggles. One person asked me yesterday at church when I was going to start a support group for those who have adult ADHD like himself (I had no idea he had it… but my honesty birthed his honesty). I told him “never”… because trying to get a group of people with ADHD together would be like trying to corral cats (and don’t even get me started on those who agree schedule to meet… but then forget about the meeting)!

But the question about having a “support group” got me thinking. I wonder how many people who struggle with ADHD struggle alone? If so many people have it, why are we all hiding?

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Even though I wasn’t officially diagnosed with ADHD until recently, I always knew that I had it (um… my wife has known for a long time too!) so I had already put strategies and structures in place to help me be more productive. But what about those who are lost wondering why they “aren’t reaching their potential” or “staying on task”? What about those who are the “daydreamers” when the reality is that the repetitive tasks that they are performing for their jobs are causing their minds to ‘check out’?

So, I am not saying that I am starting a support group (though I think if you are aware of it you should let me know so that I can include you in some of my thoughts / findings). But I am saying that I may talk more about this and see how it may benefit others. A conversation only continues as long as it is mutually beneficial. If all parties are not benefitting, it simply turns into a rant or a monologue… and I have no time for that.

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So leave me your thoughts and comment below. Leave me your struggles. Your strategies. Let’s get it out in the open. Perhaps the rest of us may find some solutions birthed from the struggles that you may have previously faced and overcome.

We have nothing to hide,





Being Productive with ADHD


I have ADHD. Ok… it’s out there.

If you know me, you are not shocked. It explains a lot of things that I do. It explains some of my patterns (or lack thereof actually). It explains why I do the things I do… and why I sometimes don’t do the things I should do.

If you have ADHD you will understand what I am about to say: being productive and effective when you have ADHD has very little to do with your lack of skill and a lot to do with your lack of structure.

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Structure is the foundation to effectively managing ADHD… but it is also the bane of our existence. We want structure… just so we know where we can colour outside the lines.

Anyway, I digress (ADHD shocker).

Last week I knew I needed to get away and think. Without the interruptions. Without the calls and the “squirrels” that would cause me to become ineffective (I have just spent the last minute thinking of Dug the dog in the movie Up just because I wrote “squirrels”).

So I got away for the day. My office knew they could contact me if they needed to but for most of the day, I was alone with my headphones listening to the Deep Focus playlist on Spotify).

If you struggle with ADHD, or have a hard time setting up a structure to get things done, I thought I would let you know what I did for the day. This may help you if you are needing some time alone to think, plan, and prepare for your upcoming week, month, projects, etc.

Here’s what I did:

1 – Got up early! I had my computer on and ready to go before most people hit the snooze button for the first time. Most days I am working by 5am and I plough through a lot of my tasks before the first person asks me a question and starts my cycle of pseudo-multitasking (I don’t believe men can multitask… and don’t even get me started on a man with ADHD!!!!).

2 – Reviewed Last Month’s Calendar (30 minutes). I looked at my Google Calendar (everything I do is on there) and went over the last month. I asked myself where I wasted time. I looked at where I may have started something but didn’t finish it and I made myself a note to make it a task in Asana later.  When it was all said and done, I probably had 15-20 new tasks to add to my list simply by looking at what I had done, and not done last month.

3 – Set “Personal” Goals (60 minutes). After reading it 25 years ago, I still use the “Sharpen the Saw” technique of  Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to help me make sure that I am making “me” a priority first to work on. I wrote down four categories in my journal with three lines under each: physical, spiritual, mental, and social. I gave myself goals that were attainable to reach by the end of the month. I continued on with writing my different “roles” down (7 Habits model) and gave myself a few things that I wanted to accomplish in each role over the next month.

4 – Populated my To Do list (30 minutes). I took all of the “to do” things and asked myself three questions:
What must I do?
What should I do?
What could I do?
Once I was done that process I took the “must do” list and broke it quickly down into three categories:
imperative, and
After finishing that process, I prioritized only the critical list. I knew that once I was done the critical list, I could move onto prioritizing the imperative list. If I took the time to prioritize anything else I knew I would start to “squirrel” off. Deal with only the critical… the imperative and important would eventually be dealt with.

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So now, after starting the morning feeling overwhelmed with all that I needed to do, I was ready to work on my tasks simply by spending two hours basically planning my whole month’s worth of focus.

So I got to work. And I only focused on the list… nothing else. No emails. No Facebook feeds. No Insta-stories.. Just… the list. And I was amazed as to how much I got accomplished. Yes, for many people you may be reading this and saying, “Welcome to my every day.” But to someone with ADHD it’s like hitting the “Productivity Lottery”… you know it is possible to win, but your chances are like 1:1,000,000,000,000. So… there’s that.

It’s now the beginning of the next week and I know that I have a LOT to do over the next few days, few weeks… even few months. But having taken the time to think, plan, and prepare my upcoming schedule, I know that I have set up my life so that by the end of the month, when I need to do this all over again, I will have accomplished and forged ahead much further than had I simply chased after the closest “squirrel”… (and… now I’m back to thinking about the movie Up again).

At least that’s how I see it,



The Power of The Selah

Power of the Selah pic

I’m on vacation.

A different vacation than most. Actually, a different vacation in that I can’t think of having done this for at least four years. A vacation where I wake up in the morning and wonder what I want to do that day. A vacation where I haven’t set lofty renovation schedules, massive travel plans, or extensive social schedules.

A vacation… to vacate.

And to be honest, going into this week I thought I would go stir crazy (and maybe my writing a blog is evidence that it may still be the case). You see, my daughter got married on Friday and Kerry and I took the week off to get ready for the wedding. A number of people took time to get things ready for the special day and I am truly indebted to them for their love and sacrifice.

I digress.

So when it came time for the dust to settle, the rental stuff to be returned, and the house to get a whole lot quieter, I wondered what I would do with all of this… time.

Well, it’s only day two so I cannot say I have a plethora of nuggets to reveal… but one thing struck me as interesting today.

I brought a book today to my local java hangout to sit and read… and it seemed that a number of people had the same idea, and unfortunately an earlier start time. So I thought I would go down by the river where there was this really calm, peaceful place to sit and think.

The time spent thinking, and not thinking. Reflecting, and dreaming. Reading, and pondering… was like droplets of water falling on a parched, desert land. It was like I was able to think without timelines, dream without deadlines, reflect without repercussions.

In Jewish poetry often times they would have music interludes interspersed within the prose in order to allow people to reflect on what they had heard – in the Bible it can be often found in the book of Psalms. This musical break was called “Selah”, meaning ‘pause’, ‘silence’, or ‘end’.

Any way you wish to interpret it, it was meant to take time to meditate on what you were taking in, and apply it to your context.

We don’t “selah” enough. We don’t stop, reflect, dream, contemplate, examine, or meditate on life, faith, family… you name it. We recognize without observing. We react without consideration. We respond without first taking interest.

We need to selah more. We desperately need to stop hearing things rattle in the trees and first hear the wind blow. We need to stop listening for traffic and first hear the kids laughing in the schoolyard. We need to stop responding to all of the “what to do’s” in our lives and first start asking the “why are we doing it’s” instead.

When we selah, the incessant noise quiets down and the Voice can finally be heard.

At least that’s how I see it,


New Levels Need A New You


I grabbed the flip chart during one of our staff meetings recently and started writing on the fresh canvas while the staff looked on.

Every next level of your life will demand a different you.

“Agree or disagree?” I asked.

One of the things I love about our staff is that we are not afraid to colour outside the lines and take things at face value.

Eventually we moved from “agreed” to “we need to modify it”.

We scribbled and moved arrows around and eventually came up with…

Every next level of your life will demand a different version of yourself.

We recognized that what got us here will not necessarily get us there. We agreed that in order to get to where we felt we needed to go we needed to change how we acted, interacted, led, and served in order to accomplish it.

Though we seemed to agree with the statement, we also noted that many people / organizations, though they would also agree, choose not to make the shift. So… we talked about why people (including ourselves) do not change. We came up with two main reasons:

Costs (tangibles)
◊ independence
◊ relationships
◊ time
◊ resources

Resistors (intangibles)
◊ fear
◊ pride
◊ vulnerability
◊ stubbornness
◊ sin
◊ self-deprication
◊ doubt

We concluded that “you don’t need to be a different you… for you already are you.” I am who I am; though it is therefore also true that I am responsible for the version of myself I choose to be.

So what version of yourself are you being today? Are you excited about what today’s version of you will accomplish or do you need to release a different version of yourself? Know today that tomorrow’s version of yourself will depend heavily on the version you choose to be today.

To unleashing greatness in yourself,