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Empowerment Insights

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Life Change Articles from Jenny Jarvis Coaching

My ADHD Brain

Something so simple can be so hard.

For the 3rd time in as many years I am once again painting my daughter’s bedroom. This time it is going to be just white. We are also laying a new laminate flooring so we can clean it easily as she has a tendency to spill stuff all over the carpet and not tell me.

My daughter has autism/ADHD and having her room organised is important but also very hard to achieve. She gets distracted easily, bored of any colours, she loves to draw on the walls (which I don’t mind) and when she doesn’t put things away, she hates it but also gets too overwhelmed to deal with it. On top of that, she absolutely hates me tidying it for her. It’s a real conundrum.

But for now, she’s happy I’m decorating it again.

Should I do it right, or just do it?

I noticed my own ADHD as I was psyching myself up to start. I have no diagnosis but with all the research I have done in the last year, I am positive I have it and it explains a lot about my life. When I started on the room, I knew that I should clear everything out, make sure there was space and do it properly. The minute I thought about that I felt overwhelmed. I knew this was make or break so I just got on and painted 1 wall. The bed was still in place, there was still stuff all over, it’s not how sensible people would do it, but a wall was done. As I moved to the next bit, I removed the stuff in that area and cleared as I went.

Then I noticed the skirting boards. Against the newly painted walls, they looked awful. I thought I better do them too. I absolutely hate sanding but know it has to be done. Once again, I just did one length. I managed that and while I was at it, I decided I better take off the carpet grippers. I really didn’t want to, but I knew it had to be done.

As this was going on yesterday, I also kept having the nagging feeling I should be content creating for my business. I also knew that if I was content creating, I would be thinking I should be doing the room. I had blocked the diary out to do it and if I didn’t get it done, next week doing the flooring would be even more difficult. My brain was in a constant tussle with itself.

As I worked I listened to a fantastic audible called “Dirty Laundry” about ADHD written by Richard Pink and Roxanne Emery. All day I was having lightbulb moments and it kept me moving forward.

I started again the following morning; shifting the bed a bit, I realised I needed to start getting rid of the carpet too. So, I cut off the section where I was working. I sanded, wiped and painted the rest of the skirtings, cutting carpet as I went, and realised the doors now had to be done because they looked dreadful. So, I did those. It wasn’t lost on me that I was painting the surround of the shelves with all the stuff still on it. That isn’t how it should be done but the thought of moving it didn’t fill me with joy.

After I finished the doors, I went back to the other wall that hadn’t been done yet. Then I looked at the adjacent wall I wasn’t planning on painting and realised I had to do that.

Finally, I noticed the window and thought, urgh, just one more thing, may as well.

It was at this point I finally took the curtains down, so they didn’t get paint on them.

I was disorganised.

By the end of the day, the whole room was sanded, wiped and painted. I know it wasn’t the best way to do it. It wasn’t organised or structured, but I knew if I just did bits in the way I did, it was like a giant puzzle, and I would get there eventually.

For me, recognising where I struggle and looking at how I’ve done things in the past helps me ignore all the “shoulds”. I used to get really annoyed with myself that I couldn’t do it properly, now I just know I need to get it done. And done is better than not done.

I wonder how many times you have put something off because it seemed too big to cope with.

How often have you looked at the whole project and just felt like it was impossible?

Do you think things need to be done a certain way for them to be done properly so you don’t bother?

I’m a big picture thinker. I can see the final result and work to it. But when I look at all the bits that need to be done and the right way to do it, I become so overwhelmed I stop myself.

I have learned that I need to focus on just one piece of the puzzle without worrying about the rest. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t laid the puzzle trays out and separated it into colours, which would be easier. Sometimes you need to do the longer, hard route to make it even possible.

It's results that matter.

So, whether you are the person who has to clear everything, get the dust sheets out, fully prep and organise, or whether you are a bit haphazard like me, it doesn’t really matter. As long as you get the result you are looking for, do it your way. And when someone else is doing it in a way that you just don’t understand (or like) and seems nonsensical, let them get on with it. We aren’t all the same and we can’t all have the same journey.

Being aware of how my brain works has helped me to find strategies for the challenges. I’m still working on it and suspect I always will, but it is so much better than getting frustrated with myself for not doing it “right”.

My daughter walked into the room tonight and said "whoah, it's so bright!". Hopefully some curtains and pictures and it will feel much better.

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Jenny Jarvis is a UK Life Change Coach and NLP Practitioner who has empowered her clients to live a life of their dreams, unleash their relationship with money and start and grow brands and businesses to great success. A truly inspirational individual, Jenny is also the mum to two amazing teens, a Reiki Master and motivational speaker.

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