My Philosophy on ADD
By ADD Coach Jennifer Koretsky
© Copyright 2005
My ADD coaching philosophy is quite simple: When you learn how to
manage the challenges of Attention Deficit Disorder, you can move
forward in life and experience the (add)vantages.
So in accordance with this philosophy, here is a practical reminder
of the 8 Essential Skills for Managing ADD and the Top 10 (ADD)vantages
of Having ADD.
The 8 Essential Skills for Managing Adult ADD
1. Slow Down
ADDers seem to always be operating on over-drive...mentally,
physically, or both. In my opinion, slowing down when you feel
speedy, stressed, overwhelmed, etc. is the first and most necessary
skill for managing ADD.
2. Practice Excellent Self-Care
ADDers are prone to putting themselves last. Why is this? How will
you ever "get it together" if you don't dedicate time and energy to
3. Know Your Own ADD
ADD affects us all in different ways. You can't effectively manage
ADD without being aware of the specific ways in which it affects you,
and the specific ways in which your challenges are triggered.
4. Actively Use Your Learning and Processing Modalities
Identifying the natural modalities in which you are able to sustain
focus and process information and feelings will make your personal
and professional lives much easier.
5. Focus on Your Strengths
Everyone has strengths, skills, talents, and passions. Increasing the
time you spend on these good things will increase both your self-
esteem and your happiness.
6. Think Positively
Patterns of negative thinking can be reversed. Negative thinking will
hold you back. Positive thinking will propel you forward.
7. Plan the Time to Plan...Everything
Planning doesn't always come easily to ADDers. Developing tools and
systems for planning will streamline organization and time
management, but you have to take it one step further and plan the
time to use them.
8. Take Risks
This doesn't refer to speed racing or skydiving! It refers to
stepping outside your comfort zone and doing things that may be
uncomfortable, like asking for that raise, taking up that new hobby,
or pursuing that life-long passion. If you don't take the risk, you
won't get the reward.
The Top 10 ADDvantages of Having ADD
People with ADD have a tremendous power to connect with other
people. But it goes a step further than that. We also have an
advanced ability to empathize with others, and to see many different
I've never met an ADDer who wasn't creative! Writers, painters,
musicians, film makers, designers, sculptors, comedians - the list
goes on! Artistic talents are abundant. Composers Mozart and
Beethoven are believed to have had ADD.
When an ADDer is bored with a task, completing it can seem like
torture. But give an ADDer an interesting project to work on and
watch out! When we want to succeed, and we have the necessary tools
to do so, there is no stopping us!
4. Problem Solving Ability
ADDers thrive on solving problems and puzzles. Give us an
interesting problem to solve and we won't be able to drop it until
we've found the solution! Important historical inventors such as
Thomas Edison and Thomas Jefferson are believed to have had ADD.
The ability to hyper-focus is something that ADDers can use to our
advantage. When kept under control and directed towards productive
tasks, like accomplishing goals and living dreams, it can be an
incredible asset that allows us to get the job done, and done well!
6. Sense of Humor/Comedic Flair
Most ADDers love to laugh, and many also have a knack for making
others laugh! Famous comedians such as Whoopi Goldberg and Robin
Williams are rumored to have ADD.
There's no denying that even though there are many great qualities
that come along with ADD, there are also challenges. But ADDers have
an incredible ability to bounce back from those challenges, and
others' criticism of those challenges that we've endured.
ADDers have a sharp sense of intuition. This may be due to highly
tuned levels of perception, or great insight into the human mind, or
something else that we have yet to understand. Whatever the reason,
it's a very useful gift!
9. Idea Generating
ADDers are wonderful idea generators. We don't usually like to be
bothered with details, but we can come up with ideas at lightning
speed! We're a true asset in brainstorming meetings!
10. That "Special Something"
Many ADDers feel that they have a unique way of looking at the world,
a perspective that others just don't understand. That is, until the
ADDer meets other people with ADD! You might say that we're on our
Coaching Question: Where are you right now - managing your ADD or
experiencing the ADDvantages?
About the Author:
Jennifer Koretsky is a Professional ADD Management Coach who helps
adults manage their ADD and move forward in life. She encourages
clients to increase self-awareness, focus on strengths and talents,
and create realistic action plans. She offers a 90-day intensive
skill-building program, workshops, and private coaching. Her work has
been featured in numerous media, including The New York Times
Magazine and The Times (UK). To subscribe to Jennifer's free email
newsletter, The ADD Management Guide, please visit