Strategies for Successfully Working From Home with ADHD

Strategies for Successfully Working From Home with ADHD

Being prepared and developing routines are key to staying organized and being productive if you have ADHD and are working from home. Our go-to productivity expert and ADHD coach, Kristin Seymour, offers a ton of simple life hacks you can utilize to help you stay on track in your job and increase your overall happiness.  

Kristin’s website is ADHDFogLifted.com. Get her book and her resource binder! 

Pre-order Ned’s new book, ADHD 2.0 on Amazon

Check out Dr. H on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark! 

What’s your opinion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

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Exercise and ADHD Are a Winning Pair

Exercise and ADHD Are a Winning Pair

Dr. John Ratey, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, bestselling author, and Ned’s writing partner of many years, joins our host to talk about all the positive effects exercise has on your brain, including helping you focus.

Learn more in Dr. Ratey’s book, SPARK: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, or on his website, JohnRatey.com.

Please reach out to us with your questions and episode ideas. Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

Thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners, you can SAVE 20% on your first order with the promo code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

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How to Stop Losing Your Stuff with How to ADHD and Landmark College

How to Stop Losing Your Stuff with How to ADHD and Landmark College

If you can’t ever remember where you put your keys, phone, wallet or whatever, help is on the way! Jessica McCabe of How to ADHD shares a bunch of useful tips and strategies to help you stop losing things in this special episode sponsored by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently!

Check out all of Jessica’s amazing ADHD content on her website at HowtoADHD.

Share your thoughts with us by writing an email, or recording a message using the voice memo app on your phone, and sending it to [email protected]

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin (@sarahguertin) and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Do you know a student with ADHD or other learning difference looking for a higher education experience? Tell them about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. Find out more HERE.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Hello, this is Dr Ned Hallowell and welcome to Distraction. I’m here with a special episode brought to you by our wonderful sponsor Landmark College in beautiful, beautiful Putney, Vermont. The college of choice for students who learn differently.

And to help with this special episode, I am joined by one of our all time favorites, Jessica McCabe, the host of How to ADHD, which now she told me has 360,000 followers. So you should join and be 360,001.

Not that many people follow something unless it’s really worthwhile. And Jessica, she’s just full of positive energy and wisdom and smarts and knowledge and for her tender young age, she sure does know an awful lot. Welcome to Distraction, Jessica.

Jessica McCabe:

Thank you. Gosh, you are just so good for my self esteem. Probably everybody should be on the show just to hear how you talk about them. Thank you. That was really kind of you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

It is all true. What was it you wanted to talk to us about in this special episode?

Jessica McCabe:

I do work really hard to create a good show. I also lose things a lot. And I finally tackled that on the channel and I wanted to talk about here too because while I was doing the research and writing that episode, I realized how much of a difference it made in my life that I lost everything. It was my first ADHD symptom that I remember. I would come home without my jacket almost every day. I spent way too much time looking through the lost and found box, and I used to feel really bad about it. It affected my life in a lot of ways because then I wouldn’t have my favorite whatever.

Or, I remember in fourth grade somebody gave me these really precious earrings and they were the first time that somebody gave me real gemstone earrings. It was a family friend and they were real Topaz, which is my birthstone. And it was like two days before I lost them and I felt so bad. And since then I’ve always told people, “Don’t give me anything nice because I will lose it.”

And I’ve also just carried around this sense of like incompetence and paid the ADHD tax of having to replace things so many times. And I used to just think this was this character defect. It was just something wrong with me that I keep, this is why I can’t have nice things. And then I realized doing this research, it really is our ADHD that makes it so difficult to hold onto things. We’re often distracted when we put stuff down or we impulsively set it down for just a second and then end up doing five other things. And then when we go looking for things to make things more challenging, our brains don’t filter out extraneous stimuli very well.

When we go looking for the thing, we see all these other things that need our attention. So we end up responding to these. And this, by the way, is also often why we’re late. And so it has this incredible ripple effect throughout our entire lives that we lose things so often. And I finally decided to tackle it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yes. And how did you do that?

Jessica McCabe:

Well, I took my mom’s advice. She always told us growing up, “Have a place for everything and everything in its place.” Have a dedicated place for everything so that you know when you are distracted you can still automatically put things where they go and you know where to look for it later so it’s easy to find it.

And for her, that’s the end of the story and that’s great. But the thing is, for those of us with ADHD brains, the very same parts of our brain that benefit from having a place for everything are also the ones that make it, those are the parts of our brain that make it really hard to have a place for everything.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

It is. Right.

Jessica McCabe:

Because, I don’t know about you, I walk into a room and I just explode. Whatever got with me is suddenly just all over the room. It’s really hard for me actually. I know there are some people with ADHD that can be extremely organized and that’s a coping mechanism for them.

I try. Every fall, going back to school, I would try and I’d have these elaborate systems that I would set up and I would just, they would fall apart within a week or two. So I think, from the research that I’ve done, I think the key to cutting back on losing things, and I don’t think it’s ever going to be perfect, but the key to reducing the amount of things that we lose is to make it more ADHD friendly to have a place for everything.

One of those strategies that I found is to do what’s called putting things at the point of performance. Where we use the thing, is where the thing should go. And for me, and for probably a lot of people with ADHD, that means having multiple copies of things. I used to think it was a waste of money to do that. But then I think about all the jobs I’ve lost from being late or the extra things that I’ve had to buy because I lost them. And it’s actually more cost effective probably to just have a charger at every station that you tend to charge your devices at so you don’t port it everywhere and lose it and then don’t have it. And then your phone dies and then you can’t call work to tell them you’re going to be late, or whatever it is.

Yeah. Have a charger at every place that you tend to charge your phone. I tend to train my dog in the kitchen, so that’s where I put her treats. I tend to need her to leave me alone when I’m in the office, so that’s where I put her bones. I started really being conscious about put things where I will use them.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Just such a good principle. Let me just quickly interrupt and say, Jessica is brought to us through the courtesy and good will of Landmark College, the school for students who learn differently. It is located in beautiful Putney, Vermont.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

So please go on Jessica, sorry to interrupt.

Jessica McCabe:

No, you can tell I’m really passionate about this. I’m like, I must share this with everybody. Because I wish, this is what I wish I’d known when I was in college. It would have made things a lot easier.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. I’m sure it would of.

Jessica McCabe:

That, yeah, put things where you’re going to use them and then also make it as easy as possible to put it back. Because it doesn’t matter if there’s a place for everything, if it doesn’t actually end up in that place. But I tend to be really impulsive, really impatient. And so things like I have a coat closet but it’s so much effort to open the door, get a hanger out, take my jacket off, put the jacket on the hanger, zip it up, stick it back in and close the door. So I just got a coat rack and I just throw my coat on that and now I’ll actually do it instead of it ending up on the couch or on the floor.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

You have to make the place user-friendly, too.

Jessica McCabe:

Yeah, exactly. And the cool thing is by making it user friendly for somebody with ADHD, it really makes it user friendly for everybody. There’s really no reason not to do this. Minimize the number of steps involved, make it mentally easy by making it clear where the thing goes. Label makers are really good for this. If you don’t have a label maker, a post it note or whatever. It seems so silly to have to do this, but it really does help our brains out so much if we don’t have to process, okay, I’m holding this thing, where does this thing go?

Jessica McCabe:

If there’s just a label that says “This is where it goes.” It’s like, okay, I don’t even have to think about it. It’s going to be so much more likely that I put it there. Clear containers, I never really understood why this was recommended for people with ADHD all the time and then I got some and I’m like, right. Because now my dog’s bones are in a clear container, so I don’t have to remember which container it’s in or even read a label. I can just see them, and it’s so much easier.

Jessica McCabe:

And then the other couple of tips, make it satisfying or enjoyable. If you get a mini reward for putting it there, there’s a key hook you really like, it makes you smile every time you look at it, you’re more likely to put your keys there. If you have a pretty comforter or a bedspread, if you like the way your bed looks when it’s made, maybe you’ll be a little more likely to make it. And again, these are things where it’s like, that shouldn’t matter. We get stuck in shoulds and shouldn’ts and I should just do the thing. I shouldn’t need this extra stuff.

Jessica McCabe:

But still, this is the way our brain works.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Absolutely.

Jessica McCabe:

And I think we should use whatever tools we have at our disposal.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Absolutely. No, and the fact that you feel good once you do it as a natural reinforcer.

Jessica McCabe:

Yeah, exactly. And we do, we need those little reinforcements. Because the whole well you know, it’ll be good for me to get into this habit. That’s just not motivating enough, to be honest. When you’ve got a million other things going on, you’ve got other things you’re thinking about. It’s just like, you’re not thinking when you throw your coat on the ground, you’re not thinking, God, then I’m going to have to go dry clean it and this and that.

It’s just in that moment it’s the easiest thing. If you make the easiest thing to throw it on a coat hook, well, now you don’t have to worry about it later. And then, and this I think is worth mentioning, a lot of times people see, walk into somebody’s house with ADHD and this has happened to me. Or somebody’s bedroom with ADHD, and they’re like, “God, this is a mess. Let me help you clean it up.” I’m actually really opposed to this because if somebody comes in and helps us clean up and we don’t know where things go, well now we really have no idea where anything is.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. That’s awful.

Jessica McCabe:

Right?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah.

Jessica McCabe:

And so sometimes we have organizational strategies that maybe don’t make sense to other people, but I’m a really big believer in we should be the ones to clean up. We can get support, having a body double there, having somebody in the room with us, encouraging us or whatever. But we should be the ones to do it so that we know where things go.

This was part of the problem. My mom used to clean up for me all the time and at the time it was like, that’s great. And then the next morning I’d go to look for my stuff and I’ve no idea where it is. And then I never learned how to clean up myself. And so now I’m an adult and I’ve no, my apartments are always a disaster because I’m like, wait, this apartment didn’t come with a mom.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Not many apartments do.

Jessica McCabe:

No, it’s really unfortunate. I keep looking for the apartment that comes with that as an amenity and I’ve yet to find it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Well, if you get really wealthy then you can just hire someone to do everything for you. But even then you want the feeling of I’m doing some of this by myself.

Jessica McCabe:

Yeah. And you want to be able to know where stuff goes. I’ve had a maid come and clean before and just I’m completely lost for like a week. I don’t know where they put anything.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. Right. Exactly.

Jessica McCabe:

So at the very least, we should be involved in the decision making process of where things should go, and then label them. And then a couple more things is, this I learned from waiting tables, which is scan for strays.

Before you leave a room or at the end of the day, you scan for things that aren’t where they belong and put them back as you go. Because that’s generally a lot more ADHD friendly than, especially if you’re a student, if you’re in college going “Saturdays I clean my room.” Probably not. It’s probably not going to happen. But if you get in the habit of scanning as you go and at least the things you know you’re going to need, like, “There’s a textbook on my bed. I should probably put that back on the bookshelf or back in my backpack or wherever I need it to be.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What’s the line from waiting tables. What did you say?

Jessica McCabe:

Scan for strays. Look for anything that’s not, as a server you’re looking for-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

What does that have to do with waiting tables?

Jessica McCabe:

As a server, you’re constantly looking for dirty dishes or constantly looking for the coffee pot isn’t where it’s supposed to go. The trays aren’t where they’re supposed to go. You’re constantly-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Scan for, I waited tables for a whole summer and I never learned about scan for strays, so. That’s a great principle, scan for strays.

Jessica McCabe:

Yeah. And that way you clean as you go, which is a lot, it’s just a lot more tolerable. It doesn’t feel as big a thing, but you’re constantly cleaning up just a little bit and then it doesn’t get as overwhelming I think.

And then the last thing is keeping consistent. It can be hard, when you’re moving, when you’re going to college, but if you try to have whatever spot you set up, have that stay consistent as possible, then it’s a lot easier because if a spot for something keeps changing, it disrupts our ability to put it there automatically and know where to look. So I would deal with this when I used to think that having lots of purses was a good idea, because I’d have, things could be in my backpack or in this purse or in this purse or in this purse.

Jessica McCabe:

Finally I’m like, I get one purse. And one backpack. That’s it. Because the fewer that something could be, the less time we’re going to spend on looking for it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yeah. That’s such a great principle.

Jessica McCabe:

Thanks.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

The fewer places to look, the more likely you’ll find it.

Jessica McCabe:

Yeah. And then the last thing is, get a tile. Seriously, do you use those Dr. Hall?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

Yes.

Jessica McCabe:

Do you use Tiles?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

I have it on my key chain, all the time.

Jessica McCabe:

Yeah. Anything that travels that’s important, like a remote or your key chain or I stick it in my bullet journal. Anything you do have to take from place to place, it’s such a good idea to have a tracking device on it.

Jessica McCabe:

Yeah, I use Tile. I’m sure there are other ones out there, but that’s the one I was introduced to and I like them a lot.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

As always, Jessica, you are a treasure trove of tips. Any of you listening, you can find many more by going to Jessica’s website, HowtoADHD.com. And your YouTube channel is what? Just, How to ADHD again?

Jessica McCabe:

Yeah. youtube.com/howtoADHD.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:

That’s wonderful. That’s wonderful. Well, thank you so much. And Landmark College, thanks you, the wonderful sponsor that we have. Learn more about how they help students with ADHD succeed in college at LCDistraction.org.

I kid about it, but this truly is the best in the world at what they do. And if you want to get ready for college or supplement college or have it be your college experience and you have one of these wonderful brains that Jessica and I share and talk about, go to LCDistraction.org.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. The podcast is recorded and edited by the amazingly talented Pat Keogh, and our producer is the unbelievably awesome star of stage and screen, Sarah Guertin. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, and thank you so much for listening.

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Tools to Help You Stay Calm

Tools to Help You Stay Calm

It’s more important than ever to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Dr. Carole Locke of OmegaBrite Wellness returns to Distraction to share the science behind how Omega-3s, melatonin, vitamin D, and CBD help to calm you at the cellular level, and why certain supplements strengthen your immune system and help you feel more in control.

To learn more about Omega-3s go to OmegaBrite.com.

To learn more about CBD, melatonin and vitamin D go to OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Reach out to us! Write an email, or record a message using the voice memo app on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin (@sarahguertin) and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Learn more about our newest sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Dr. Hallowell takes the supplement every day because it’s safe, 3rd party tested, and it works. Shop OmegaBrite CBD online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Do you know a high school or college student with ADHD or other learning difference? Tell them about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Find out more HERE.

Click HERE to read a transcript of this episode.

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The Highs and Lows of Hyperfocus with How to ADHD and Landmark College

The Highs and Lows of Hyperfocus with How to ADHD and Landmark College

Our favorite ADHDer, Jessica McCabe, joins our host for a conversation about the positives and negatives of hyperfocus in this special episode brought to you by Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently.

What are your thoughts on hyperfocus? Write an email, or record a message using the voice memo app on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin (@sarahguertin) and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Do you know a student with ADHD or other learning difference looking for a higher education experience? Tell them about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Find out more HERE.

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Improve Your Reading and Attention Skills by Strengthening Your Cerebellum

Improve Your Reading and Attention Skills by Strengthening Your Cerebellum

Wynford Dore of Zing Performance joins Ned for a follow up discussion about his breakthrough non-medication treatment for ADHD, dyslexia and other neurodiverse conditions. They discuss how and why strengthening your cerebellum creates lifelong and lasting improvements in a person’s focus, attention, reading and organizational skills, regardless of age.

To learn more about Zing Performance click HERE.

Click HERE to listen to the previous discussion with Wynford Dore: BREAKTHROUGH Non-Medication Treatment for ADHD and Dyslexia

Do you have a question or comment? We’d love to hear from you! Write us an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin (@sarahguertin) and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Learn about our sponsor, Landmark College, HERE.

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Meet the Doctor Using Hyperfocus to Find His Own Cure

Meet the Doctor Using Hyperfocus to Find His Own Cure

Dr. David Fajgenbaum was diagnosed with a deadly disorder called Castleman Disease when he was in medical school. But instead of giving up, he used his ADHD superpower of hyperfocus (and his own body) to seek out a cure for the rare and under-researched disease that he was battling. Now, a decade later, his breakthrough research has resulted in treatments that are keeping him and others alive. Dr. Fajgenbaum is still looking for a cure today, and joins Ned to talk about his new memoir, Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope into Action.

Learn more at Castleman Disease Collaborative Network: CDCN.org

Do you have a question or comment? Reach out to us with an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin (@sarahguertin) and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Do you know someone who learns differently? Our sponsor, Landmark College, might be the right place for them. Learn more HERE.

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Give Yourself Permission To Be Real

Give Yourself Permission To Be Real

If you’ve spent any time on social media in the past few years, you’ve likely seen posts tagged with #happiness and #blessed as users share their lives. But is it for real or for show? Today’s guest, Monica Sweeney, offers a refreshing look at the path to finding happiness. Her bold and irreverent guided journals allow people to work through life’s ups and downs in a way that feels authentic and genuine, with a healthy dose of curse words to help them along the way. WARNING: This episode contains strong language.

Monica Sweeney’s journals include: Zen as F*ck, Let That Sh*t Go, Find Your F*cking Happy, and her latest work, Zen As F*ck at Work.

Reach out to us at [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is @sarahguertin and our recording engineer/editor is Pat Keogh.

Do you know someone who learns differently? Our sponsor, Landmark College, might be the right place for them. Learn more HERE.

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Mini 35: 10 New Tips for Setting Smartphone Boundaries

As more and more “screens” compete for our attention, Dr. Hallowell believes it’s crucial to set boundaries and limits with them. In this mini, Dr. H offers suggestions to help you control when, where and how you use your phone, computer and other electronics.

This episode’s sponsor is OmegaBrite, the premier natural advanced omega-3 formula for mind, heart, and joint health.

Explore OmegaBrite products and benefits at www.omegabrite.com.
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Mini 34: 5 Tips for Clearing Out Your Mind

Our minds can easily be overrun these days with interruptions, obligations and general clutter. In this mini, Dr. Hallowell offers five quick tips for weeding out your mind and quieting all that noise. 

This episode’s sponsor is OmegaBrite, the premier natural advanced omega-3 formula for mind, heart, and joint health.

Explore OmegaBrite products and benefits at www.omegabrite.com

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Ep 31: Time to Change the Way We Teach Kids

“You can’t tell kids with learning differences to ‘try harder,’ ” says Dr. Hallowell, speaking live to educators at the New York State Association of Independent Schools’ conference as part of ADHD Awareness Month. Dr. Hallowell discusses the history of learning differences and treatments, and offers some new solutions.

This episode’s sponsor is OmegaBrite, the premier natural advanced omega-3 formula for mind, heart, and joint health.

Explore OmegaBrite products and benefits at www.omegabrite.com.
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Mini 30: Tips to Avoid Feeling Fearful, Frustrated & Frenetic


Modern life is crazy busy. It’s enough to make many of us feel like we have ADHD! In this episode, Dr. Hallowell talks about how our daily distractions can leave us feeling frantic, forgetful and frustrated and suggests simple things everyone can do to get back to a cool, calm and collected self.

This episode’s sponsor is OmegaBrite. The premier natural advanced omega-3 formula for mind, heart, and joint health.
Explore OmegaBrite products and benefits at www.omegabrite.com

Check out this episode!

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