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ADD in Executives

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  • ADD in Executives

    I was labeled ADD about a year ago. It has never been as much of an issue as it is now, though I have discovered that I have had it all of my life. Does anyone know of a book/forum/blog, whatever for execs coping with ADD, and how they function day to day? I have read the posts here.

  • #2
    When you state that you were "Labeled" ADD does this mean that you had a formal assessment that identified your problem? Or did someone say you are ADD and you put the rest of the puzzle together (i.e. life long ADD)?

    If the answer is the latter you should have a formal diagnostic done, costs money, but will clearly identify the issue(s) and the areas were you need assistance. As well, the professional that gives the test should also have contacts and resources that you can draw upon.

    On the Internet there are numerous ADD/LD sites. A google search will turn them up. As a starting point you may wish to look at:

    The last link is also a ADD magazine (ADDItude - current edition is May 2006) which can be purchased at most larger book stores.

    Regarding major book retailers, they all have good ADD/LD sections. Spend a afternoon looking at the different titles -- widen you search to include ADD and LD as many of the strategies for LD can without any trouble be adopted.

    For a specific book (bio), take a look at "Copy This" by Paul Orfalea. His is the founder of Kinko's and has both ADD and dyslexia. Charles Schwab is another high profile executive with a LD issue (Dyslexia).

    The above just skims the surface of this subject. But be assured you are not alone. Many successful people have LD issues and through hard-work and use of various strategies have mastered their issues.


    • #3
      ADD can be an asset

      If you are not anti-social, are above average intellectually, are physically healthy, willing to work hard, generally have good judgement, and have other resources, such as job skills, $$, relationships, education and educational opportunities, you may find that the underlying factors that are giving rise to the so-called ADD symptoms are in fact an asset. ADD coaching can be useful and GTD has many applicable elements as well. Choice of job and role, in one who "has ADD", is worthy of careful analysis, if one has a choice.


      • #4
        ADD and time management

        Hi there

        With ADD, or ADHD as they now call it, you'll find that many things that work well for other people will not work for you, or at least not work for you in the same way.

        The neurochemicals, dopamine and seratonin, as well as several others play an important part in helping you focus, or letting you be distracted. They also play an important part in helping you stay focused on a project for an extended period of time.

        You can change your neurochemistry with various medicines, although that is certainly not the only way. Recently I did several teleseminars with ADDA, (Attention Deficit Disorder Association) on how we can change our own neurochemistry. If you'd like to know more about that, email me at and I'll share more on the topic.

        As for ADD and time management, it can be a challenge, but it's definitely doable. It becomes much easier when you can slow the ADD racing mind down, and think clearly.

        Best of luck to you,

        Rick Prevatt


        • #5
          ADD in Executives

          One thing I'm learning the hard way about ADHD is that moving up the ladder can accentuate the problems.

          I was diagnosed as a child and briefly treated on Ritalin. My mom took me off it because of side effects, I've been told. From that time until now, I've been untreated. And, in fact, I basically forgot that I had ADHD until the last year; greatly impaired in the last couple months, which is part of what brought me to the GTD site.

          ADHD folk like me, I'm told, recognizing that things are spinning out of control, sometimes turn attention (as I have) to a near-obsessive study of organizational skills. I hear it's a good thing, although so far I've not been very successful at implementing much of anything.

          In my case, going into private practice as an attorney is what's brought things to the fore. Private practice removed the last of the built-in structures that helped keep me somewhat on track in prior jobs. The good news is that although I thought I'd been cut adrift, I'm actually not. The bad news is the reason I'm not adrift is because there's a raging torrent of chaos and I'm kind of caught in the middle of it.

          Anyway, that's a whole lot of babbling about nothing (another problem, I guess, we have). What I meant to post here was that I recently found some books are geared towards helping ADHD people get organized. I'm looking at them to try to help supplement what I'm learning from GTD.

          The one I'm almost done reading -- 4 Weeks to an Organized Life with AD/HD by Freed and Shapiro -- talks about trying different techniques, mostly involving visualization because AD/HD people are supposed to be more "visual thinkers." (It does seem to be true for me.)

          Two others I haven't read yet, but have ordered, are:
          ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Kolberg and Nadeau
          Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder by Pinsky

          Lastly, a book which is helping me a quite a bit is called The Disorganized Mind: Coaching your ADHD Brain to Take Control of your Tasks, Time and Talents.

          Frankly, that was the book that reminded me that I had ADHD and it hadn't gone away by my becoming an adult. My wife and office partner have both also looked at the book now, too, and agree it's me. The ANSWER approach outlined in that book is helping me to start to build some structure.

          And the GTD program is helping me get some structure for my "stuff."

          Hope that helps someone.

          -- Rick

          P.S. I learned about the books I mentioned by googling "organizational skills for people ADHD" or something like that. I found there are also websites oriented towards the same idea, but haven't had time to look at them yet.