ADD/ADHD & Executive Functioning Coaching Moment…Procrastination

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

Mary is a bright young lady that attends one of the areas top private schools. She’s a middle school student with an ADD and Executive Functioning diagnosis that I’ve been working with for around a month.

Mary spends around five hours per night working on her homework. After conversations with her teachers, it turned out that the work wasn’t being very well done. So, where is the disconnect? Why is Mary not working up to her abilities? I dislike the word potential because everyone has potential. Ability is much more appropriate.

It turns out that Mary may “work” for five hours, but her definition of “work” and her parents’ definition of “work” don’t exactly click. I’m sure you’ve probably guessed by now that Mary spends her time distracted while she works. This would include a laptop computer, cell phone and iPod all within her grasp. Additionally, she will drift off and lose focus on the task at hand.

So how would you solve this? I decided the first intervention would be to have all distractions turned into her parents before starting work. If the laptop is needed for homework, it should only be available when needed. The other items just aren’t helping the situation.

The second intervention was to have Mary fill out a chart on how long she though an assignment would take and how long it actually takes. This helps put her in the mindset of budgeting time and learning from her mistakes. If too much or too little time is budgeted, this helps her see how long things should take.

The third intervention was to identify a good work area for Mary. She was working at the dining room table and too much was going on around her. While her folks wanted to monitor the amount of time she spent working, it was creating a larger distraction with the chaos of the family all around. We decided it would be best to let her work in her room with regular checks by her parents. I’m a little concerned about the drifting off, but she’ll be less distracted.

The fourth area has to do with diet and medication. Mary’s medication wears off by six. She’s hungry and can crash from the dosage wearing off. So, I want her to eat before doing any work and either work while the medication is still in her system or out of it. Being on the fence is very distracting. It is important that she isn’t hungry because that throws everyone’s motor off. One additional thing is that she feels more comfortable in sweats…so comfort is king.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit and I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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