You know when life is just life-ing a little too life-y?
And you feel like the only solution is to either a) create a machine that allows you to duplicate yourself, b) pause the world’s rotation so you can get off for a sec to breathe, or c) cry and leave the house with pimple patches on, hoping no one interacts with you or wonders why there’s a tiny little star on your face hiding the godforsaken stress-induced blemish?
I wanted to say that this has been of those weeks, but… this has been one of those years. Like, what the frick.
If you feel the same, this blog is for you, my lovely little squirrel.
Notice how I said how *I* manage running a business and a household with ADHD, and not how *to manage it?
That’s because I’m not here to preach to you.
Everyone deals with things differently; everyone’s brain works differently. I have no idea if what works for me will work for you.
And I definitely do not claim to be any sort of expert on this subject. I was just professionally diagnosed with ADHD a little less than 2 years ago, at age 26; I’m unqualified to give actual advice.
In fact, most days, especially the past few months, I’ve been finding it extremely difficult.
But when people are counting on you—family, friends, clients, coworkers, collaborators, students, mentees, employeers, whoever—you don’t have the luxury of giving into what I fondly refer to as “squirrel tendencies.”
Lately, with my particular brand of raging ADHD, I’ve been fighting every. single. day. to not go Full Squirrel.
And even though it’s a fight I’m still regularly engaging in (and sometimes losing?), it’s still something I wanted to share, because I know that even if how I manage it isn’t perfect, my tiny little tricks could potentially help you.
I wrote an entire blog post about my journey with managing ADHD as a business owner a few months back, but if long-form content isn’t jiving with your squirrel today, here’s a short list of what I’ve been doing lately to deal. 👇
SOLUTION — Choose another task that also has to be done, so you’re still being productive but shifting the focus to something else to give your brain a break from the thing you got stuck on.
If that doesn’t work: ditch those tasks altogether for a short, timed break, away from screens (I like to clean a surface/room, go for a walk, call a friend, work out, make a snack, or make a list of priorities to curb that anxiety).
SOLUTION — List. List. List.
And then another list, to really make sure all the things are out of your brain and onto paper. I go into more depths about the list types in the blog post!
SOLUTION #1 — Force yourself into accountability!
Tell your clients your due dates in writing, post your to-do list on your story, text a friend and tell them your 3 goals for the day & ask them to check in later that night, schedule a co-working call with another creative business owner… anything to force some responsibility onto that task
SOLUTION #2 — Remember that the sky will not fall if something has to be shifted.
For the amount of snow days, sick days, and tantrums I deal with as a single toddler mom, I deserve a medal. And so does anyone who has ever been SO gracious and accommodating when I have to push something back.
People are usually much nicer and more understanding than you think; save yourself the stress of all nighters & ask for an extension for a day or two if you have to. It’s gonna be fine.
SOLUTION PENDING — I’ll let you know what the hell I’m doing about this one because, as of now, it’s still TBD. 😂
I will say, though, trying my damndest to stick to a schedule is the only thing that helps me.
Everything feels like a priority, so it’s very difficult *not* to want to do all the things, all the time. By sticking to a routine (Monday is for BTL, Tuesday is for client work, Wednesdays are for calls…), I’m at least able to force myself into only working on the things I’m supposed to be working on, as opposed to getting distracted with the zillion other things I’ve committed to.
✅ Don’t just put it down, put it away.
✅ Schedule breaks on your calendar so you remember to take them.
✅ Stick to a rigid routine to limit distraction AND limit decision-making (because decision-making and prioritizing are often where the biggest hang-ups in your productivity come from).
✅ Plan ahead as much as humanly possible either at the beginning of the week or the night before.
✅ Keep your space as clean as you can OR leave your space and find another place you can work (library, office, coffee shop, coworking space, etc) so you don’t get distracted by household tasks.
✅ Throw your phone in a ditch during the work day (aka leave it in your car or somewhere far away lol).
✅ NOT EVERYTHING IS THE SAME LEVEL OF PRIORITY. Getting that through your squirrel skull is SO HARD but remind yourself on the daily. 😂
& for the rest of what this squirrel’s got for ya, read the full blog! 👇
(I love how I said I was gonna make that part short, then proceeded to make it long as hell. It’s simply not within my capabilities to *not* make a long story long.)
I love you, you little squirrel.
If you’re also a lovely little neurodivergent business owner like me, or a single mom like me, or a 28-year-old gal just trying to thrive on this floating rock like me, I hope you know that no one has their shit together as much as you think they do, or as much as their social media portrays they do.
People make comments to me all the damn time about how ~together~ I am, and how they have no idea how I can accomplish all the things that I do, and it makes me feel so awkward every time, because I just want to respond with:
“But my laundry room has had a stack of towels in front of the washer for a month!”
“But I haven’t unpacked form Arizona and that trip was in March!”
“But I gave my son a handful of carrots for breakfast!”
“But I still haven’t taken the tags off of my bathroom mirror I bought in November 2021!”
The reason y’all think I have my life together is because my inner squirrel is able to hyperfixate on work. You only see what BTL is up to. And BTL’s doing pretty good!
But ME?! The skid behind the screen typing this newsletter, with her hair in a rat’s nest bun and her dishes in the sink?
She forgot how to exist as a human like a year ago, doesn’t remember the last time she showered (yesterday? the day before? hopefully?), and has about 147 frogs to swallow the second she schedules this email.
She’s running a business by herself, raising a toddler by herself, and that’s about all she can handle. The other stuff? Squirrel said naur.
And, to be completely honest, I debated about whether or not I wanted to share ANY of this with you today.
I don’t have to bring up how difficult it is to deal with ADHD.
I don’t have to bring up being a single mom.
I don’t have to bring up the fact that it’s harder for me to accomplish basic things than it is for other people.
By doing all of that, I could potentially risk giving you the impression that I’m not a capable business owner, mom, or person. You could be completely turned off by this information.
But, you know what? Whoever reads all of this and feels that way isn’t someone I’d want to work with anyway.
I want to work with people who understand what it’s like to be a human, wants to support other humans, and has compassion for people like me—because that’s the way I show up in the world, and I get along best with people who care about PEOPLE. ❤️
I love you! I hope you have the best week! Take it one day at a time; the only way out is through! I’ll save you my typical blog post call to action and just say this: if you want to learn more about me, what I do, and how I can help you, click literally anywhere on this website.
It’s quite literally my job to make sure that info is easy as hell to find, no matter where you click. 😏 Just website copywriter thingz!
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