May 29, 2008

“Finding Your Focus”

Posted in ADHD, Books, External Links, Organization, Posts by Renee, Self-Therapy, Tools, Women at 11:21 pm by bloggingawayadhd

I just finished reading Finding Your Focus by Judith Greenbaum and Geraldine Markel. The fact that it took me a month to read does say something about the book – if I’m really excited about a book, I’ll read it in 2 days, so that means this book didn’t excite me that much.

However, I think the non-excitement came from the fact that this book really tells you how you are – the way your mom does – by saying things that are sometimes hard to hear, like “People with ADD can talk constantly… not allowing anyone else to get a word in edgewise.” How many times have I heard that in my life? Though these criticisms are difficult to read sometimes, the book gives some valuable and simple advice.

At first glance, the book is super-simple and almost seems stupid in it’s short-chapter to-the-point writing style – but the genius of the book is in it’s simplicity. It’s easy to skim and get to the areas you personally need help with, it’s easy to refer back to a strategy you read and want to re-visit, and it’s easy to just get to the “meat” of the writing without sifting through a lot of filler. They just tell you “here’s your problem” and “here’s a solution”.

You really do have to read it over time (I plan to refer back to it) because, as the authors encourage, you can’t implement all of the coping strategies at once. You have to make each strategy a habit and improve in one area, making small accomplishments, like always putting your keys in the same place when you walk in the door, before you can move on and tackle your next problem.

This book does not have a lot of “fluff”. Each chapter pretty much follows this format: example of a real-life person that has a problem, defining their problem in ADD terms, what is stopping them from solving their problem, strategies for attacking the problem, and worksheets for making a plan to implement these strategies for you. I really liked that the authors mentioned some very specific problems (most that I have) and a method for solving them. Here are some of the topics that resonated with me:

  • Steps to De-Cluttering and Organizing (looks like I was on the right track with my method of attacking my piles of paper)
  • Overcoming Procrastination (including rewards!)
  • A Routine for Paying Your Bills on Time (I just might take a twice-monthly trip to the coffee shop to pay my bills)
  • Talk Less – Listen Better (Lord knows I need this advice)

I also liked that the book provides strategies that can help people deal with ADD without medication.

So, overall, I’d say this book isn’t super-exciting, but it’s a good book to have around, and to refer to when you are ready to attack a particular problem in your life. If I could summarize my opinion of “Finding Your Focus” in one word, it would be: practical.




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