ASK THE EXPERTS
STARTING AND NOT FINISHING
Q I am a 35-year-old woman diagnosed with ADHD. I start several things at he same time and don’t finish any of them. Can you help me be a finisher?
A woman’s work is never
done! That adage is especially true if the woman has
There are two ADHD
factors at play: 1) difficulty
with prioritization and 2)
distraction. Start by being
intentional about how you
want to spend your time.
What do you want to do
first? Second? Third? Make
a list and prioritize it. It’s
best if you can have a single
task management system
with “everything you want/
need to do” in it. That way,
you won’t be derailed by
the inevitable “Oh, crap, I
forgot to…” moment. I like
to-do list apps that let you
drag and drop tasks into
the order you want: GTasks
and Todoist are my faves.
The second issue is
distraction. How to stick
to your good intentions?
It starts with being a ware
that you’re no longer
following the plan. My col-
league, Alan Brown, has a
solution he calls “labeling.”
The idea is that you have
selected a task (“what
you’re doing now”), and
at periodic intervals you
check in with yourself to
see if you’re doing it. There
are three possibilities: 1)
You are doing “what you’re
doing now.” Keep at it.
2) You’re not doing what
you’re supposed to be
doing, but what you’re doing now is important. Put
it on your list and go back
to your designated task.
3) You’re not doing “what
you’re doing now,” and it’s
not important. Get back
to what you’re supposed
to be doing now. —Beth
Main, LPC, BCC, coach
at ADHD Solutions
TO M Y DOOR?
Q I have a friend who gets her ADHD stimulants from a mail-order
pharmacy. Should I do the same thing?
Over the past few years, mail-order
pharmacies have become able to
provide any medication that you can
get from a local pharmacy. As with
everything, there are advantages and
disadvantages, which depend on your
insurance plan coverage.
> ONLINE AND MAIL-ORDER PHARMACIES ARE CONVENIEN T. Your medication is delivered to your door without
having to visit the pharmacy twice—
once to drop off the prescription and
once to pick it up.
> SOME INSURANCE PLANS ALLOW
YOU TO ORDER A 60- OR 90-DAY SUPPLY FROM A MAIL-ORDER PHARMAC Y,
instead of getting only a month’s supply
at a local pharmacy. This will save you
money on copays (instead of paying 12
copays, you may be able to reduce that
to four or six copays).
> MAIL-ORDER PHARMACIES ARE SO
HOW TO SOFTEN
LARGE THAT THE Y HAVE MOST ADHD
MEDICATIONS IN STOCK;—or can get
them from a wholesaler in one day.
The downside is that ADHD stimu-
lants are controlled substances, and
must be signed for on delivery by an
adult. Also, you can’t use the money-
saving coupons found on some pharma-
ceutical companies’ websites. —William
Dodson, M.D., founder of the Dodson ADHD
Center, Greenwood Village, Colorado
You can be authentic without being
offensive. Sometimes the truth
does hurt, so if impulsivity is a
challenge, we have to pause and
consider our responses. The first
question to ask is: Does it need to
be said? If it does, the second
question is: Does it need to be said
by me? If we don’t know someone
well, or don’t have a good rapport
with him or her, it may be better if
someone else provides the sensi-
tive feedback. If something needs
to be said, and you are the right
person to say it, the third question
is: Does it need to be said now?
Saving your response for later
might be more appropriate.
Holding back a response is
difficult, but you will get better at it
with practice. Give yourself time to
respond politely by saying, “That’s
something I need time to think
about more.” Disagreement is not a
bad thing; it is how we disagree
that makes a situation contentious.
—Sandy Maynard, M.S., ADHD coach
based in Boston
QI am a 37-year-old who is trying to
stop being so
blunt with friends. I feel
like I need to to tell the
truth to everyone. Help!