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Navigating Executive Function Challenges: A Mum’s Insight and Tips for ADHD Entrepreneurs

My journey as a mum to a brilliant daughter with suspected ADHD has offered me invaluable insights into executive function challenges.

A Mum’s Perspective

Julia Reedshaw, Access To Work Support Worker pictured with her daughter who has Executive Function challengesMy daughter’s experience with ADHD has been a profound learning curve for me as a neurotypical Mum. She’s not aware of the term ADHD as yet but it’s clear she realises by the things she says that things are different for her. Only yesterday she told me that people don’t understand her and think she’s weird.

Observing her daily battles and triumphs has given me a deeper understanding of executive function challenges. It’s one thing to manage your own schedule and tasks, but witnessing my daughter struggle with organisation, time management, and task completion has really brought home what living with ADHD is like.

Understanding Executive Function

In simple terms, executive function is your brain’s command centre for managing tasks, from planning your day to remembering to pay the bills. For those with ADHD, these seemingly straightforward tasks can become monumental challenges. It’s like trying to conduct an orchestra when the musicians have their own ideas about what to play!

Personal or Professional Struggles?

The lessons learned from my daughter’s experiences are directly applicable to the amazing female entrepreneurs I support. The same issues that crop up at home—like keeping track of homework or managing personal projects—also surface in the business world. Missed appointments, cluttered inboxes, and chaotic work schedules are just a few of the hurdles that ADHD entrepreneurs often face.

Straightforward Strategies for Better Management

I realise that all things don’t work for everyone and that it’s about finding what works best for you. Here’s a few things that may help:

  1. Break Tasks Down: Overwhelmed by a massive task? Break it down into smaller, more digestible pieces. It’s easier to tackle one small step at a time than to confront a mountain of work all at once. See each task as a mini project with lots of different steps to it. Talk it through with someone to help you do this or Magic ToDo is a great free tool to help
  2. Use Digital Tools: Take advantage of technology to keep on top of your tasks. I use Trello and find it really effective for task management amongst other things. It allows you to visualise your projects and break them down into bite-sized tasks. Evernote is another fantastic tool for keeping your notes and ideas organised and easily accessible
  3. Time Blocking: Allocate specific time slots to different tasks. This approach not only helps you maintain focus but also ensures that you’re making progress on various fronts without getting bogged down by any single task. This includes personal as well as business ‘jobs’. I like to colour code tasks too to make them easier to track
  4. Prioritise Self-Care: Never underestimate the impact of your physical well-being on your cognitive functions. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep are foundational to maintaining sharp executive functions
  5. Seek Support: Whether it’s connecting with a coach who specialises in ADHD, joining a support group, or tapping into online resources, getting the right support can be what turns it around for you. It’s not just about managing tasks; it’s about understanding your brain’s unique wiring and leveraging that knowledge to your advantage

 

The Challenges Are Real

For any of you amazing entrepreneurs out there wrestling with ADHD, you are not alone. The executive function challenges you face are real, but they’re not insurmountable. With the right strategies, tools, and support, you can turn these challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation.

If you’re on this journey, I’m here to help. Drawing from both personal experience and professional expertise, I aim to offer guidance that’s not just practical but also empathetic. After all, when we share our stories and solutions, we all move forward together.

Don’t forget to check out the Government’s Access To Work grant which can give you financial assistance in getting the support you need. You can find out more about it here.

You can also read more about overcoming overwhelm and unproductivity here.

Picture of Julia Reedshaw who works with Female entrepreneurs with ADHD as an Access To Work support worker

 

 

If you’re struggling to get stuff done get in touch. and find out how I can help as an Access To Work Support Worker or if you’d like some recommendations for an ADHD coach drop me a line. Email jules@purplevioletva.com

Purple Violet – “giving you time to focus on the important stuff”