Jun 23

Life/Work Planning – Revisited or How the Pieces of My Life Fit Together to Create An Awesome Career

Puzzle piecesWhen I first trained with Richard Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute, back in 1991, I was introduced to the concept of Life/Work Planning.  

I put the term to rest many years ago.  Now I want to pull it back out of my mind closet, and talk about the piece that has been missing in my conversations about what I really do for a living.

Bolles trained us, unrelentingly, that when you talk about career and love what you do, you are also talking about things like “mindset”, marriage, being single, your kids, where you live, who you hang out with, what you like to learn, what you enjoy doing for fun, even what movies you like to see or books you like to read.  You can only imagine how this list goes on.

There is never one-size-fits-all.  He introduced me to a system of powerfully creating the life we are meant to live that has withstood the harshest test of time.  

For the past 40+ years, others have tried to recreate his system, some with great success and others with the feel of second-hand clothing.  In my own work, because I am so powerfully aligned with his principles, I have rarely strayed, but only expanded my own philosophy of working with clients, particularly with the ADHD community.

Here is the basis of Bolle’s Life/Work Planning model –

“Life/Work Planning is based upon this truth. In seminars, workshops, and individual guidance, Life/Work Planning says to even the most hopeless client: give me the part of you that can be worked on, and can be changed, and working together we will change it.”

Life/Work Planning is what truly helps us shift from victimhood, confusion and chaos in our lives to knowing how truly powerful we are.  Bolles also tells those of us career professionals who claim to use this process, that before we teach it to others, we need to go through it ourselves.  

Although I have done this at least twice, I suggest that we all ponder the following questions and see what is on the other side:

  • “What are the experiences I have had thus far in life, which most turned me on, and which I felt I did well?”
  • “What are the skills that I most enjoyed using, in those experiences?”
  • “If I had to put those skills in an order of preference, which is the skill I most enjoy using? And is it with data, or people, or things?”
  • “What are the fields of interest I most enjoy exploring – in magazines, books, seminars, workshops, and life?”
  • “If I could not do my present job any more, but I received ten million dollars and never had to work again, what would I spend my volunteer time doing?”
  • “If I had to visit different work settings, in order to learn more about them, which ones would I most like to visit?”
  • “How could I plan to have more leisure time, more time with my loved ones and friends, now, in this present time, without waiting for retirement?”
  • “What do I want to achieve before I die?

We have all been asked these questions in one form or another, or at least many of us have.  I propose that we answer them every six months.  Like the Myers-Briggs assessment I’ve taken and give over the years, my “Type” changes twice a year.  Which is why, like Bolles, I have never put much stock in assessments, not for the “findings” to really stick. 

Any significant shift in your answers may be life-changing.

Blessings to you!

The key to a happy and fulfilling future is knowing yourself. This self-knowledge is the most important component of finding the right career.” Richard N. Bolles

Message Stones


May 08

Effortless Workplace Management with ADHD

easy keyboard image, Traditional office workplace environments can pose quite the challenge for those of us who deal with ADHD. There’s a ton of stimuli being thrown at you at any given time, and it’s your responsibility to prioritize and maximize your workload efficiency. Sounds like a nightmare for someone who has problems maintaining concentration, right? Well, there are ways to stay on-task, without having to double-down on medications. Good habits are hard to stick-to, but with these tips, you can manage chaos into an efficient game plan.

Get Distracted

Yes, you read that correctly. The problem with the way we look at ADHD is that any deviation from our work is seen as blasphemous, you must fight your mind’s need to waver and stick to your work for x-amount of time. Well, this is a losing battle, and if you don’t take breaks, you will be using half of your energy fighting your brain to stay focused. On the same note: do not split your day up into equal amounts of breaks, rather small chunks in-between sessions of focused work. If aspects of work requires following social media, news, research, or messaging colleagues, divide those tasks up, too. Those elements can knock you off-rhythm and cause you to lose track of time.

Avoid Multi-tasking

Sometimes multi-tasking is unavoidable at work, but you shouldn’t do it out of boredom or as a way to speed up your day. Although, ADHD can sometimes make multi-tasking feel natural, hopping from one thing to another, it still isn’t worth the risk of making more mistakes. The brain just isn’t made to do two, or three, things simultaneously. You know how popular white-noise or classical music is at work? Well, this is just one example of drowning outside distractions, so that you can focus on what’s in front of you.

Big Thinking

There’s a reason why many successful businessmen and creative geniuses also happen to be diagnosed with ADHD: their brains are constantly coming up with new ideas and they have mastered the ability to quickly record them and turn them into reality. The average Joe may not have the same level of discipline or they just can’t afford to put their life on pause and start working on those ideas. With so much information being thrown at us, it is inevitable for those dealing with ADHD to have multiple “ah-ha!” moments during their day. The best way to strike a balance between working on too many projects at once, finishing none of them, and simply tossing them into the vault of ideas never realized is to just prioritize your thoughts. Write down the ones that you remember and try to make time for yourself to brainstorm in a quiet and productive environment, i.e. before or after you’re on the clock at work, when the office is still empty.

These are just a few basic ways to coach yourself to comfortably work with an overactive mind in the workplace. Try to be open with your boss or supervisors about how you are coping with work and what your quirks are, no matter how indifferent they may appear to be. If they are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, it might go a long way to start a conversation with them to help you become a more productive employee.

Is workplace management becoming unmanageable? Let’s chat.  Schedule a 30-45 minute no cost strategy call to discuss a few specific strategies. Schedule your time using the pop-up on the Contact form on the right.

May 08

Excel In Career and Life with ADHD

A Few Career Fields of Fascination that Can Be Magical To Us

Excel in Career and life with ADHD imageSome of our peers in the workplace may view ADD/ADHD as a curse, placing us at a disadvantage because we may not always methodically perform otherwise menial tasks.  Depending on the career path, though, some may say the opposite: that ADHD can be an advantage, or simply compliment our brain’s activity better than others.  Here are some examples of how this statement may hold some truth, and maybe inspire you, if you or someone you know is struggling to find peace with ADD/ADHD in the workplace.

Thirst for Knowledge

People with ADHD need freedom.  We don’t always work well in confined spaces and take a linear path in life.  We might find something interesting, and a proverbial light turns on in our mind and we instantly get excited, wanting more stimuli and more information about the focus of our interest.

This makes careers that involve discovery and research, like journalism, science, technology, and history very easy, in most cases, and can turn an overactive mind into a giant sponge that can do a day’s worth of work in mere hours.         Continue reading

May 04

The Focus Blueprint – What’s Yours?

magnifying glass image, ADD and careerWhat is really important to Focus on these days?  Why is Focus critical to Our Purpose and Our Livelihoods?  Are we chasing so many shiny objects that we accomplish nothing or very little in the way of navigating new pathways, frontiers and connections that lead us to joyful, happy work that makes a real difference in the world?  Because, let’s face it.  If we haven’t reached that critical point in our personal development and spiritual evolution, there is really nowhere to go to but a J O B.  For many a J O B pays the bills and/or harbors the prospect of a raise of position and money, yet may have absolutely nothing to do with who we really are. Ultimately, our inner being is lost.

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Feb 25

Career Coaching for ADHDers v. Traditional Career Coaching

Why ADHD-Specific Career Coaching Is Vital 

career coachingWhile the value of career coaching is underestimated in our society, the need for it is vital to anyone who is not clearly focused on a direction that resonates with the heart.  That would be something like 70-80% of the world’s population, according to any statistic on the working population unhappy in their careers, businesses or jobs.

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Dec 16

Why ADHD Entrepreneurs Rock and Tips to Stay Focused

In a world of entrepreneurs launching products and services daily, there are certain characteristics that will separate those inspired to “take no prisoners,” and those who fall off the wagon before the wagon even begins to roll.

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Nov 20

Are You Procrastinating on Clarifying A Super-Fun Career or Business Idea?

How long did it really take me to get to this article, let me count the ways. I have finally settled into feeling confident in what I want and need to impart to you.

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Nov 07

Loosen Up and Create a Smile File


Here’s what a Smile File is in a nutshell:  a compilation of any and all things visual, in writing and pictorial, that speak to what you have done in your life that you feel delicious about.  Here are a few examples:

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Oct 27

Some Cool Internet Job Searching Features – Guest Blogger, Job Tonic

In today’s era of rapid development of computer technology and networks, only a small part of the job seekers are looking for job through the print media. Most use modern methods of obtaining accurate and timely information. We are talking about specialized sites as JobTonic with job postings on which there are many offers from employers. Such employment portals allow real-time tracking of new jobs, and you are able to learn about them as soon as possible (for example, by e-mail), sort jobs on various parameters (level of salary, keyword, region).
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Sep 25

DeCluttering with a Bigger Purpose

DeCluttering with a Big Purpose by Shell

disorganized desk photoYes, indeed, there are many many qualified ADHD experts out there who address cluttering with far more expertise and finesse than me. Dana Rayburn and Bonnie Mincu come to mind.Today, however, I want to explore with you how the act of decluttering literally opened up possibilities for an abundant livelihood for me. Here’s how it all began. 

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