Case Study: Creating a Positive Relationship with Time
*This case study is written with permission about a real Dixon Life Coaching client. Identifying information has been changed to respect the confidentiality of this client.
“Life felt a lot like guesswork and was hit or miss before Live Well ADHD. Sometimes it felt like a gamble if I was going to be able to get things done. Even when I did meet deadlines, it was at a huge cost to my well-being.”
Lisa is a successful academic researcher who struggled with Executive Functioning challenges her entire life, but wasn’t actually diagnosed with ADHD until she was an adult. Throughout her education and professional career, Lisa was able to achieve success but at a significant cost to her emotional and physical well-being. Since she was not diagnosed until adulthood, Lisa had to correct 30+ years of less-than-helpful strategies she learned to rely on to navigate around her ADHD. Live Well ADHD helped Lisa develop valuable skills and tactics to undo those less-than-helpful strategies and build a robust tool kit that decreased her anxiety, increased her trust in herself, and helped her create a healthier life overall.
A “Complex” Relationship with Time
According to Lisa, her life was a lot less structured before she went through ADHD coaching. The most significant challenge she struggled with was her complex relationship with time. Lisa would tend to lose track of time when working and struggled to accurately estimate the amount of time a task or project would take. These time-related challenges complicated Lisa’s work habits because they caused her to misjudge how she spent her day and would frequently be thrown off schedule when trying to meet deadlines. Though she would usually get everything done, and sometimes even met deadlines, Lisa’s complex relationship with time caused her unnecessary stress and anxiety, and came at a huge cost to her personal well-being.
My biggest challenge was the ability to sit down and actually do the things. And my complete inability to understand time. I knew I had to write the paper, but I would forget about the drafts and revisions, and all the time it takes to do the other pieces to make it a complete project.
Before participating in Live Well ADHD, Lisa relied on the less-helpful tactics she learned in childhood to cope with her ADHD-related challenges. Some of these less-helpful tactics were things like reinventing the wheel rather than relying on a system and depending on things like food (especially sugar) for the dopamine boosts that are so critical for people with ADHD. In fact, she created an ice cream reward system to help her get through her Master’s degree!
Top 3 ADHD-Related Challenges
When describing her life pre-ADHD coaching, Lisa said her biggest ADHD-related challenges were the lack of structure and her relationship with time that caused her the greatest stress. She felt like every day was “hit or miss” if she would complete her projects or get her work done on time.
Lisa identified these as her top 3 ADHD-related challenges before going through one of our ADHD coaching programs:
Difficulty starting tasks
Inability to accurately project how long a task would take
Working harder than she needed to
Why Lisa Reached Out for Help
Lisa came from a family of people with ADHD, though only one family member was officially diagnosed when she was a child. She picked up not-so-effective strategies throughout her childhood and as an adult, experienced first-hand the strain that untreated ADHD can have on relationships with loved ones. When one of her parents was diagnosed with ADHD, Lisa started really paying attention. As she learned some tools and tactics that could help her parent, she realized how much her own challenges mirrored her parent’s. That realization kick-started Lisa’s ADHD support journey... she got officially diagnosed herself with ADHD and threw herself into reading articles and books to learn all about ADHD and how her brain worked. A few years after being diagnosed, Lisa was looking for more personal and customized support than what books were offering. That’s when she found Dixon Life Coaching.
“I can read a book to learn what to do, but I’m far more likely to take action when someone I respect teaches me what to do.”
How Live Well ADHD Helped Lisa
The very first thing Lisa noticed when she began Live Well ADHD was how personal the program was and how “seen” she felt. Lisa had gone years trying to hide her ADHD from everyone and her experience with Live Well ADHD was one of the first times she connected with people who really “got” what it was like to be a high achiever with ADHD.
Lisa described how valuable it was to her learning that the Live Well ADHD curriculum was full of strategies that actually work for high achievers with ADHD, and that the coaching program offered so much more accountability and connection than just reading a book on her own.
When asked if Live Well ADHD had long-term benefits for Lisa, she said absolutely!
“Now, I’m able to identify the thing I’m going to struggle most with and pick out which exact tool I can use to use to help me push through that barrier to keep moving forward on a project.”
The concepts in Live Well ADHD were more high-level than most of the resources she read previously, and the course offered more strategic ways of working with (instead of against) her high-performing ADHD brain. Live Well ADHD emphasized to Lisa the very specific pillars of well-being that people with ADHD need to do to take care of themselves to replenish their energy and brain power. It also taught Lisa why her brain worked the way it did, which helped her know how to implement the strategies for long-lasting and sustainable behavior change.
Lisa’s Biggest Take-Aways from Live Well ADHD
Lisa’s biggest take-aways from the Live Well ADHD course had to do with the transformation of her relationship with time. Previously, Lisa would feel like giving up when things got out of control. Now, she said she knows why her schedule gets out of control and more importantly, she knows the exact tools she can use to get it back on track!
Lisa is two years out from completing Live Well ADHD and is still actively applying several of the strategies she learned in the course, including:
Mapping out tasks
Planning her day
Scheduling difficult tasks
Setting deadlines for herself to generate motivation
When Lisa talked with us about her life post-ADHD coaching, she said she has less anxiety now because she can actually get a handle on time. Lisa expressed that her work life is a lot more pleasant, and she doesn’t worry nearly as much about getting things done. Lisa also said she feels she can rely on herself and trusts herself more to work within a plan, because she has the right tools in her toolkit to navigate her ADHD. Lisa’s Advice to Fellow High Achievers With ADHD
We asked Lisa what advice she would like to share with other high achievers with ADHD who may be considering coaching, and her response was “this was the type of program I was waiting for.” Lisa knew she had the intelligence, determination, and work ethic to be successful — she just needed something to help her build a tool kit so she could better manage her time and be more in control of her work rather than have her work control her. Lisa said that two years later, she is still integrating tactics from Live Well ADHD into her work days and has been able to find a healthier balance in life.
“Live Well ADHD felt like exactly what I had been waiting for and needing to help me focus my laser beam in a way that helped turn my work into a healthier overall life.”
As a high achiever with ADHD, you know what it's like to hustle and struggle to work against your ADHD. If you struggle with a complex relationship with time or any other ADHD-related challenges, check out Live Well ADHD to learn the same tools that Lisa uses to manage her ADHD. This 6-module eCourse is designed to help high achievers like you move their ADHD out of the driver's seat and take control of their life. Click the button below to learn more about Live Well ADHD.