MANAGE CHAOS!

“It’s getting worse! Those are the words I am hearing more and more as clients come in for coaching. Since ADHD research is relatively in its infancy there hasn’t been enough data to prove that ADHD becomes worse with age; however in my experiences and readings there seems to be a growing number of those complaining about its increased effect on their lives. On that same note it doesn’t take a lot of research to know that not only are adults having more trouble, but more parents are acknowledging their children’s struggles are increasingly growing.

So whether it is age or if there is something in the water at the local school house, there is definitely something going on. The ability to stay focused; see task to completion, remembering homework and even anger issues is almost at a boiling point with many today. All of this begs the question, “What’s going on?”

Take a step back with me and let’s look at a few things. How many reading this blog has a Smartphone of some kind to their side? What about an iPad? Now, how many are also typing on a computer, texting on your phone, have the television going in the background and in between reading are catching up with Facebook? I see a lot of hands going up!

Today media, whether it is social or unsocial, is consuming our lives. It seems as though we have to have noise of some sort going day in and day out. Noise grabs our attention. Marketing experts realize this; that is why commercials and entertainment programming is constantly switching scenes and adjusting the volume. They want the noise to capture our thoughts so we will buy or watch whatever it is they are selling.

Noise also keeps us from facing reality. Disappear in a reality show or some movie and suddenly we are consumed with something other than our own problems. There are bills piling up, we want to exercise to get back in shape and the house is a disaster. But all of that seems as unreal as the show we are watching when our mind is captivated with media. Noise is to many of us as alcohol abuse or drugs are to others. It’s an escape from the hard things in life. We know our problems aren’t going away, we even know they will get worse the longer ignored, yet still we open up our bottle of Kardashian and slip into la-la-land.

For those with ADHD this Media Madness is your Evil Foe! Your mind is looking for stimulation and stimulation, you’ve got it! Tons and Tons and Tons of it! With all the technology the ADHD mind is like having the Grand Finale of the Fourth of July Fireworks in Vegas going off in your brain! Lights, sparkles, blast, and colors! Where do you look next? Which way to turn? It can be pure insanity!

So Robert, what do we do? Well thanks for asking.

True. We can’t turn off all media. Like it or not we are a technological generation. The news, paying bills, and careers are all technological. But…who said we needed it all at one time! Why does it need to be on 24/7? Why is it, that even with the proven likelihood of killing someone, most of us still pick up the phone while driving? Why when that little bleep telling us a text has hit our phone do we take our eyes off the road while doing 75 mph to see who it is? Some (and please don’t raise your hands) will reply to the text! Why is the television on while mom, dad, junior and sis sit in the living room on their individual social media machines texting and Facebooking?

Here is why. It’s addiction! Watch next time when you are in a social setting and there is one of those awkward silent moments. Just like someone addicted to cigarettes people grab their Smartphone as if something important is happening. How many times do you pick up your technology to see what has happened on Facebook, even though it was just seconds ago you had been scrolling through the post? It is an addictive habit!

What can we do? If you are tired of the craziness there is only one thing you and I can do to fight this madness and salvage our sanity. Manage the Chaos! That is right. You are in control! Not your Smartphone, not the media marketing experts and not even your boss sending you those emails of to-do’s over the weekend. Just because he doesn’t have a life does not mean you have to sacrifice yours!

If you are serious about Managing the Chaos and taking back the control of your life I have provided a few tips below.  Hopefully these will get your creative ideas rolling on things you can do to find the right balance of media in your life.

  • Cell Phones
    • Work: Put your phone in a drawer or somewhere out of reach. If you are expecting an important call place where you can hear it, but are not tempted to continuously pick it up.

 

  • Driving: Phones are for emergencies when driving! How many people do you see on the phone while driving who are talking life or death matters? Zero!
    • Put your phone close enough you can reach, but far enough that it is uncomfortable to reach.
    • Practice ignoring rings. Kick the habit.

 

  • Home: Put your phone on the charger when you get in from work. Leave it there; treat it like the old days when we had phones on the wall. Don’t tote it around with you all over the house or while doing yard work. Let it go! It’ll be okay.

 

  • Social Settings: Nothing is ruder than to be talking with someone and their head is down engrossed in their phone addiction. Turn your phone on vibrate and put it in your pocket or purse and leave it there unless the building catches on fire! But please…if the building is on fire, do start running before you start texting.

 

  • COMPUTERS & iPads
    • Home
      • Think First: Think before you get on the computer. What is it you REALLY have to do? Is there something important or are you just surfing out of boredom?

 

  • Preset Time: After you determine the “what” then set how much time you need or want. Set an alarm and only spend the amount of time you allotted. When the ringer rings…turn it off for the night! Again…it’ll be okay.

 

 

  • Work
    • Email: Email is a great tool, even a necessary tool, but it can be a negative contributor to your production.
      • Set times of the day to check email
      • Set times of the day to return calls
      • Set times of the day to reply to non-priority emails
      • In between your set scheduled times, turn off the email & focus

 

  • TELEVISION
    • Evaluate: Why is it on?
      • Pick & Choose: Only turn on the television for the shows you’re interested in

 

  • Not a drug: Don’t use the TV to put off what you should be doing. Get up and go to the gym! Go dig that checkbook out and pay some bills. Grab the kids and play cards or talk about their day. So much of our lives are wasted watching TV…valuable precious moments wasted. Grab hold of your life…every moment!

 

  • DVR: The DVR is great for saving time. Record your favorite show and zip right through those commercials!

 

  • Leverage Music
    • I understand that for some having something going in the background is a sort of security. This is often true for those who have to stay home by themselves. If this is you then leverage music. Turning music on can actually help you get the things done because you are not tied to a chair and your eyes aren’t taken hostage.

 

  • Music can set your mood; better yet, it can change your mood! Feeling lazy? Turn up some of your favorite toe-tapping tunes and watch your emotions go from sad to glad!

 

  • SOCIAL MEDIA
    • I am as guilty as the next person with Social Media, but when I am honest with myself I have to admit, nothing that exciting really happens that requires me to be on it 24/7.
    • Set a limit for your social media! You will be surprised at how freeing it is!

This past summer my wife and I went on a vacation out of the country and did not have ANY social media connections at all; not even a phone. It was the best 7 days in the world! It took a day or so for me to stop reaching for my iPhone, but I got over it. And you know what? So can you. Take a break and try some of today’s tips…it’ll set you free!

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