Episode #190. Do you ever struggle with finishing things? I will be the first to raise my hand high. In this episode, I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes look at how I finished the Inner Villain Voice Quiz while managing ADHD and pandemic energy lag. Joining me is Patricia Snug, host of Motherhood in ADHD! Listen now to hear our favorite strategies for getting things done, no matter the obstacle.
In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- How Patricia opened up online as a mom with ADHD
- Savvy strategies for when you’re struggling to finish something
- Why it’s ok to give yourself permission to start over
- How skipping to the editing phase can fix your blank page problem
- Finding the balance between setting deadlines and overworking
“One of the things I love about ADHD brains is that we can create these crazy connections that other people wouldn’t have thought of.”
“It’s okay to let go and start on something new. I see a lot of ADHD women, especially, who feel bad doing that. We’ve had this reinforcement in our lives where it’s not okay to switch things because maybe we switched ‘too frequently’. But it’s a valuable life skill to know when it’s time to let something go.”
“There’s a balance of wanting to set a deadline because then it will get done and people are relying on us. But also, we want to make sure we’ve created enough space that we can get it done without killing ourselves.”
Discussed on the Show:
More About Patricia:
Patricia Sung helps disorganized moms get their “it” together one step at a time and feel confident running their family life. After years of serial entrepreneurship and teaching middle school, she has a uniquely practical perspective on strategies for building a life that works when your brain is different.
If you’re looking for more than theoretical textbook advice, Patricia teaches from a unique viewpoint from her years of effective application in the classroom, as well as her own life. It is her hope that The Motherhood in ADHD Podcast is a lighthouse for mamas who have ADHD. An introverted midwesterner at heart, Patricia has adopted the word “y’all” and resides in Houston, TX along with her two young boys and extroverted non-ADHD husband.
Sign up for a class at Daily Planning for ADHD Moms and pick up free resources at her website.
Welcome to Go-to Gal episode number 190. As always, I’m your host, Jaclyn Mellone. And today’s episode is a little bit different. So today, we have a guest. Her name is Patricia Sung. But Patricia is really the guest host. The tables have turned and she is going to be interviewing me. Something a little bit different around here, and we’ll get into our conversation on how that all came to be and why Patricia specifically is the one interviewing me on this episode and all of that. But essentially, what I want to ask you is, do you struggle with finishing projects?
So if you’re like me in your personal life and your business life, you likely have a lot of unfinished projects. As I’m saying this, I’m laughing because I’m thinking about, oh gosh, I had this idea. So if you’ve seen me at all on Zoom or social since the pandemic started, I wear headbands every single day. So I know that my profile picture doesn’t have a headband, but I started wearing headbands in April of 2020 and basically I wear a headband everyday since. I have a lot, like over 50 headbands. And I started this project to make a headband holder because as you can imagine, having more than 50 headbands can get a little bit out of control.
And so I don’t know, I found something on Pinterest. It involved a paper towel roll and I got a chunky yarn, and I was trying to cover the paper towel roll. And then somehow, this device would be hung and I would need multiple of them, obviously. It would have to be hung up some way, but then the headbands could go around the paper towel roll. I think I actually had to make the paper towel roll a little bit smaller so it was the right size. And it’s literally half done. I would need at least two or three of these. But it’s a good idea, it’s a good idea.
So I know we all have these. Maybe some of us have more than others. And in our businesses, this is something that can happen too. So if you are someone that you’re like, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I start a project and I finish it. This probably isn’t the episode for you. But if you struggle with actually taking these projects across the finish line. If there’s something that you’ve been wanting to get out into the world and you just haven’t been able to do it, whether you’re still at that beginning stage of it or whether you’re anywhere in that messy middle before it is completed. Sometimes we get it really close to the end and just can’t get ourselves to cross those T’s and dot those I’s, if you will. So if you’re like me, if you struggle with that, then I literally made this episode for you.
I guess I’m going to dive into this a little bit, but I started having this conversation with Patricia because I have ADHD. This is something I really struggle with. This is something that most people with ADHD struggle with. But people that don’t have ADHD struggle with this too. And on IG and the DMS, Patricia was like, okay, so you did this quiz and you finished it. How did you do that? How did you get yourself to finish things? And I’m like, oh gosh, if you only knew how much I struggled with this. But you’re right, I did finish.
I actually was feeling a lot of guilt and shame about how long it took me to finish. So my conversation with her really put things in perspective for me to be like, you know what? It took longer than I thought it was going to take, but it also went way more all out. And when we’re proud of it, then I originally intended it to be. It’s way more of a thought leadership piece, if you will, than I originally intended when I first came up with the idea for this quiz. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, we’ve recently released a quiz called Which movie villain is sabotaging your success? And you can take it for free at jaclynmellone.com/quiz.
This is phase one of the quiz. We’ll get into that in this conversation too. But essentially, I wanted to unpack the process of, okay, there is an idea. This was not something that was planned months in advance. It was literally one of those like, ooh, I have this idea and that spark. And then everything then proceeded, and I dive into that with Patricia. We focus on the finishing of it but I walked through the different steps and the struggles and the pitfalls that I had along the way, as well as sharing the strategies and solutions that really helped me the most and how I was able to get out of my own way, keep the project moving and eventually across that finish line.
Although I will say that I mentioned it’s phase one, it’s not totally finished. But it is out into the world, and I think that past account is finished. So what did they say? Dumb is better than perfect. So this is phase one. Now, I’m really excited to share this conversation with you. I don’t think I have anything else to say. I do want to formally introduce you to Patricia just so you have some context around who is interviewing me and why, and all of that. So I will read you her bio. We’ll get into a little bit about her and her background in the beginning of the conversation. And then, she just dives in with asking me a bunch of questions and it goes in some directions that I didn’t expect. But I really felt that it was important to just be open and share it all with you, even the messy parts. So I want to give you those strategies to help you. But I also want to share how I struggle with this because honestly, I feel like, how can I just tell you very buttoned up like this is what I do, and not at all acknowledge how much I struggle with it.
So I’m excited to have this space to share the ups and the downs, and how we finally got across that finish line. And yet, if you haven’t taken the quiz already go to jaclynmellone.com/quiz, and we’ll put all those links in the show notes too. Okay, let me formally introduce you to Patricia.
Patricia Sung helps disorganized moms get their it together one step at a time and feel confident running their family life. After years of serial entrepreneurship and teaching middle school, she has a uniquely practical perspective on strategies for building a life that works when your brain is different. If you’re looking for more than theoretical textbook advice, Patricia teaches from a unique viewpoint from her years of effective application in the classroom, as well as her own life. It is her hope that the Motherhood in ADHD Podcast is a lighthouse for mamas who have ADHD. An introverted Midwesterner at heart, Patricia has adopted the word y’all and resides in Houston, Texas, along with her two young boys and extroverted non-ADHD husband. You can sign up for her classes at bit.ly/adhdplan. And you can pick up free resources from Patricia at motherhoodinadhd.com.
Okay, let’s get to it. As I’ve mentioned before, this episode is a little bit different. Patricia is really our guest host. The tables have turned and she is interviewing me. And I was really excited to have this conversation with her. So let’s dive in.
Patricia, I’m so excited to have you here today.
Thanks for inviting me. I can’t wait.
Okay, so before we dive in, take us back to when you’re growing up. What were you the go-to gal for back then?
It was definitely organizing. And not necessarily organizing things, but more abstract things like projects or events. I think back in high school, I was the officer of 55 things. And when I was in student council in Sophomore year, I organized the homecoming parade by myself. And I think back I’m like, what 14-year old does that? I had it mapped out. I had what do you call a visual aid of all the floats in order, and I’ve always enjoyed creating organization in projects and leading people.
Okay, this is amazing and I’m also like, okay, we have very different types of ADHD. Without getting totally off-topic, did someone teach you how to think like that, or that was just really intuitive to you?
I think it’s just the way that I am, like my personality. I recognize that in general, when I think about people with ADHD, I am a bit of an oddity. I’m an Enneagram 1 and I’ve just always been super organized. But I also think that part of that is the coping mechanism of feeling so out of control. And when your brain is going a hundred different ways when you’re a perfectionist, that’s a coping mechanism that’s kind of gone wrong, and you almost take it too far. So I think, on one hand, it’s a good thing because it is just who I am. It’s how I was born. It’s how I was created. That’s the way my brain functions. But also when you take perfectionism to an unhealthy level of coping, it becomes almost a detriment where in my head it was only okay if it was exactly the way it was supposed to be, and I would spend endless hours working on that last 1% when really it didn’t need to be that way. But in my head, because I had heard all my life, those are careless mistakes or you’re not paying attention, I almost felt like I couldn’t have truly an honest mistake. So it’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a gift and on the other hand, it definitely hurt me a lot. And it’s taken a lot of therapy and mindset change and growth to move where my perfectionism is more about doing a great job, but not to the point where it’s becoming a detriment to my life.
I really appreciate you pulling back the curtain and sharing all of that. Even though our brains are very different, I relate to that a lot, especially with the perfectionism piece. So I totally get that. Okay, so fast forward to today, tell us what do you do and who do you help?
So I am the host of the Motherhood in ADHD Podcast. And I help moms who are disorganized, usually have ADHD, get their life together and feel capable and confident in not only who they are, but how they run their day. So I teach classes on things like daily planning and figuring out your schedule, and how to use a calendar and to-do list and create a rhythm and routine to your day so that we can get all of the bazillion things that moms are responsible for to be done. But still, create space for having fun and not feeling that structure is suffocating us or ruining all the fun, but yet still feeling that we’re successful and we’re getting our stuff done. So it’s this really hard balance when you have ADHD or you’re just naturally a more go-with-the-flow person, but moms are responsible for so much. And if we don’t have a plan, we just feel like we’re drowning all the time. It’s a crazy path how I ended up here, but that’s what I get to do every day now. It’s absolutely amazing that I get to help women feel better about themselves every day.
Oh, I love that. How long have you been doing this for them?
Okay, let’s see. I started the podcast about two and a half years ago truly as a hobby. Literally, one day, the Lord was like, you need to start a podcast for moms with ADHD. And I was like, Lord, you have lost your mind because I am an introvert. I didn’t know how to podcast let alone. I wasn’t even a big podcast listener. I listened to a couple but it wasn’t my thing. And I had spent my whole life hiding my ADHD and fitting in with what I thought everyone was supposed to be doing, so I did it too. And like, and now you want me to put my problems on the internet for everybody? You’ve got to be kidding me. But after I had my boys, I couldn’t find any resources for moms.
So it was like, well, if not you then who? Who’s going to help these moms who are feeling crap every day and they can’t figure out what to do, and they don’t know where to start and everything is overwhelming? So I started the podcast literally just as a hobby in terms of, how do I help people? And then I started teaching classes just a few months ago, but I was actually a former teacher so it all comes together. So it’s been a hobby for the first two years, and then a business for the last six months.
Oh, I love that. And now the podcast is really taking off. I see that you’re on the top charts and I could see why. It’s one, it’s such a specific niche. It’s not just about motherhood but moms with ADHD, and there are so many unique challenges for us. So I love that you’ve got that calling and you actually did it. You listened, you implemented and now you’re able to be helping moms and turning it into an actual business. So I’m excited for you.
Thank you. Sometimes I just look around and like, this is crazy. I don’t know how I ended up here. But I think that we’re all given gifts to help others. And that’s why we’re here on this planet, is to help other people and make the world a better place. And when you’re doing that, you have this light that shines within you and brings light to other people. And when you’re not doing that, you feel miserable because you’re not doing and you’re not being who you’re meant to be. So I’m hoping that in this process when moms are working with me that they’ll not only get their life together but start to see that they do have space to be who they are and still be successful. That they don’t have to be like everyone else. And it’s not about doing what you think you’re supposed to do, “it’s about doing what your core human heart is driven to do.”
So well put. Okay, so we connected on Instagram and I’m like, I can tell the story but I’m also curious to have you tell it from your perspective. So we started talking recently. I released a quiz. We started talking about the quiz, and I’d love to hear your insight of, okay, you were asking me some questions about it. What was going through your head or what were you curious about?
Well, I’ve seen quizzes have been starting to rise in popularity and I’m like, okay, first of all, who doesn’t love doing quizzes? They’re just fine. And I wanted to do one for ADHD moms, but I’ve been debating on how do I get started? What is the point? Where am I going with this? Because I don’t want to be like an irresponsible person who’s like, I shall diagnose your ADHD with this online quiz. That’s not what I’m going for. Although I know a lot of people would be like, please give me an online quiz that tells me whether or not I have ADHD. It’s like this conundrum of how do I do this ethically and responsibly and still help people? Honestly, I’m still in my head spinning. I’m like, how do I make this purposeful and worthy for the people that are taking it, but also where do you even start? It feels like a really big project. So that’s why when I saw you just come out with this quiz, I’m like, I know that Jaclyn has ADHD. Let me just ask her, where did she start? What’s happening?
So I did, I just asked them like, how did you do this? Who made it for you? What were you doing? How did this go? And you were sending me this photo of you and of your workspace while you’re working on it. With the piles of notes in the computer and all the stuff, and I was like, well that’s just like Exhibit A ADHD research project. Spread out on, I’m assuming you were in some coffee house or a cafe with literally multiple tables full of notes, and how we just dive in when we’re in something. And then we started talking about, wow, I’m excited I finished. And I was like, but how? That is so hard for people with ADHD to finish. We’re great starters. We are fabulous idea people and we could come up with 75 ways to start, but then once we get into it, we tend to fall apart.
So then I was curious like, how is it? How did you actually finish? Because this feels really overwhelming, which is part of the reason that I haven’t started yet. So that’s where I wanted to get your insight of, it is hard for ADHD to finish so how did you do it? I guess this is the first question, I guess that’s a really big question so let me back it up a little. At any point, did you think like, okay, I just need to give up on this? This isn’t gonna work.
So I don’t know. So my number one strength with strength finders is positivity. And that’s not to say, and I’m like, here I am like my literal number one strength is positivity, and I still need to work on my mindset on a daily basis. So it wasn’t like everybody needs to do this. But I do think there are those times where maybe other people would think that this is never going to work or I can’t do it. And my brain it’s almost like ignorance is bliss and it’s like, of course, we could do it. I also think sometimes because I don’t think through all of the steps ahead of time, maybe I don’t realize how big of a daunting thing I’m taking on, which could go either way. So I don’t stop myself from starting with some of those things because I have this excitement of the new project. But then that can get me in a bind once I’ve started it and realize, especially because I do tend to really go all out with things like, oh wow. Now, what have I done? What have I created? There were a lot of factors involved in me finishing, and I do really struggle with finishing things. So us, talking about that was really interesting to me because I was going through I’m like, oh gosh, I have moved the deadline on this so many times. I was embarrassed with my team.
I was embarrassed about how many times I moved the deadline with my team. Guys, I am dropping the ball here. I kept moving the date and we’re on our own timeline. But it’s summer, there’s a lot of things going on and it was a much bigger project than I had realized. So the funny thing was this. I had created a quiz a couple of years ago, and the initial project was supposed to be me going back to this old quiz and just giving it a little refresh.
You were zhuzhing it up.
That was maybe a new name, and I was just going to tweak some of the questions a little bit. But I kept, every time I opened up the quiz, I just couldn’t get it to work. I couldn’t get it to be what I would want for now.
And so then I just kept, I don’t know. I kept looking, I kept thinking about it. I am an Enneagram 7 but I’m ahead type. So I tend to think a lot and analyze from different angles. I just had this spark where the idea came to me because the original quiz was completely different. The original quiz was, are you on your way to being booked out or burned out? But once I got into it, it was the burned-out stuff that really fascinated me. And I was really proud of the email sequence that I wrote for that quiz. It was really fun, and I wanted something fun like that. I feel like I was almost trying to make the quiz work because I’m like, these emails are so fun. Now, the emails were totally different than now, but that’s what got me going on. How do I create a quiz that’s fun? How do we talk about mindset?
Something heavy, something people are avoiding to be talking about but in a way that makes it approachable and fun. I’ve been talking about this stuff and teaching on this stuff and coaching on this stuff for years. But I had never done anything like this with it before. So I was trying to fit it in the old quiz, and then I just randomly got the idea for, what if I personified that inner voice? It has movie villains. And I thought that I could do this whole read-switch thing in a week. It ended up taking months, but I originally thought I could do it all in a week. So I think that’s important to note.
I would say, okay, there is a lot to unpack here. So one, I love that you just looked at it in a new way of, I think we’ve been hearing about mindset for probably the last solid year. There’s been a lot of mindset talk and it’s good. I think we do need to be talking about that in the way through that you’re like, okay, how do I make this fun? How do I make this enjoyable? And it’s not, let me look at all the ways that I don’t do well, or that I beat myself up. Instead, it’s, when you put that character in the void. For example, as Enneagram 1 perfectly suited, I turned out as a Miranda. So when I hear that voice and all of a sudden, I turn it into Miranda. Then she has so much less power when I picture Miranda over here, chirping at me because all of a sudden, it is. It’s funny. And it’s like, well okay, now it’s so much easier to change my mindset because one, I recognize it. Because I have connected that visual of her with the voice. And then two, now it’s funny because obviously there’s not a Miranda running around behind me, and it does break our pattern of thought.
So that’s one of the things that I love about ADHD brains is that we can create these crazy connections that other people wouldn’t have thought of. So that made me really happy. And I also love that you’re saying like, I realized that this quiz just wasn’t going to work. And it’s okay to let that go, and start on something new, which is scary to say, okay, well I’m just going to scrap all this work that I already did and jump into something new.
I also can see a lot of ADHD women, especially who feel bad doing that. They feel ashamed behind letting that thing go and starting something new. And we’ve had this reinforcement over our lives where it’s not okay to switch things because maybe we switched “too frequently” or whatever. But that’s a valuable life skill in knowing when is it time to let something go? And when is it that you need to lean in and dig in?
And clearly, the end result was worth the change there. But on that note of shame, I think it’s interesting how you’re like, I was really embarrassed with my team, even though it was your project and your team and your deadline. How did you reframe that to be like, okay with making the modifications, even though you were feeling like, oh man, I’m embarrassed about this?
Okay. So originally when I switched it, I remember going to them and being like, okay, so good news, bad news. And it was more like, at that point, I wasn’t too embarrassed about it. I was more embarrassed over the summer when I kept moving the finishing date, but it was more like, I’m slowing things down, guys. But trust me, this is going to be worth it. I will say, and I don’t know if this is broad advice that I would give out to everybody, but you have to know yourself here. And for me, when I have that gosh of creative spark when I have that energy behind something, that’s like sheer force can really help me get into action and get going, and just like things flow so much easier. Then when I just picture myself paddling and trying to create it. We’re even going against the current trying to make something happen and force it. It’s so much harder for me. And it doesn’t really happen most of the time when it’s like that. When things flow and work and when I get that creative spark for something, even if it doesn’t make total sense like I couldn’t logic this.
If I was going to step out and be the logical strategist, I’d be like, Jaclyn, what you have is good enough. Give it a new name, zhuzh it up a little bit. Speed is everything. You can get this done in a week and get going on things. I could totally have just done that. If I could have, then great. But this whole new thing wouldn’t have been born from it. And so there are times where maybe we have to do that thing, but I don’t know, I’m not good at forcing it. So when I have, especially something that comes on so strong, I was so inspired and so excited about this, it felt worth it.
Now, I got going on it. I went way deeper than I had ever imagined that I would go. And that ended up turning what I thought would be a one-week project into a two-month project. I’m horrible at estimating how much time things are going to take, and so I did not know that. It wasn’t like there was at some point where I was like, okay, I thought this was going to be a week and this is clearly going to be an eight-week thing. So we’ll just move. It was like every week I was like, oh I need another week. At some point I realized, oh this is really big. And so we’re going to move the date out a month or two that didn’t have it in, so I just had to keep moving that goalpost a little bit further until we finally launched it.
And I do remember telling you that this is phase one. I have a lot more ideas of what we can do with this quiz and the results sequence and ways to make it so much better. But I had to give myself that version one, or technically, this might even be version two past. And I can explain that too as we talk about like, how did I actually get myself to finish it if this is something I struggled with so much? But knowing that there are going to be phases, I think it really helps that inner perfectionist. And I say, okay, this is what phase one will look like, this is what phase two will look like. Because in terms of having result pages, on landing pages with graphics, or I want to have an audio, a private audio series that’s for each result where I’m able to record private podcast episodes to walk someone through all those things.
I would love to have all of that. But in phase one or technically phase two, we don’t have that yet. But I didn’t wait until all of that was done to release it.
I think that really one of the keys to finishing things is being okay with a rough draft if you will. A lot of us with ADHD is like, well it has to be exactly right for us to put it out there. Obviously, there’s a whole can of worms that we could open up in terms of feeling how we feel about putting something out there that’s maybe not like A+ work. But being okay with it at version one or two, and then knowing that I can always go back and add to it. I can always go back and make it bigger and better and all the other things. But getting it done in the first place is the ultimate first step of, there’s got to be some time where we just say, here we go world. It’s there. And that fascinated me because, with ADHD, we are such fabulous starters but we’re not so great at finishing.
When we get into that mucky middle, and we’re pushing through, what else did you do there to keep going when you’re like, wow, this is way more than I thought I had bitten off? What else helped you get through that middle section when you were hitting weeks 5 and 6 and 7? And we’re like, okay wow, this is a lot. What else did you do?
So I got stuck probably after week 2. Not looking at a calendar, but I got stuck pretty early. It was my first stumbling block. There were a lot of stumbling blocks. Now, I’m an Enneagram 7 and without going too deep into it, I think sevens are healthiest. They exhibit a lot of five traits, and so I love research and strategizing, and pulling apart information. And so I started the process with really thinking about people who I know. Clients, friends, people who I really have a pretty intimate relationship with behind the scenes. And I’ve seen them struggle, I’ve seen their sabotages come up. And I started grouping people into groups and going through that whole process. I won’t go too deep into it.
But the research phase, I just kept going. That part, I didn’t get stuck in that phase. The picture that I sent you was after weeks of doing research and just having ideas come to me. Sometimes I would wake up at 4:00 AM and just have to write out a couple of pages of notes of something that would come to me, and that happened a bunch of times. And so I had all these different notebooks with all these different notes in it and it just turned into a whole bunch of paper everywhere that I finally one day brought to the coffee shop. And that’s the photo I sent earlier. I was about type it all up. But where I got stuck was in turning it into emails, and turning it into, how am I going to synthesize this information? How am I going to share it? And I had it really well organized like, okay, these are the traits of this one and this is that. But there were some frameworks that I still had to figure out that were new.
With mindset, I’ve always worked with individuals with it. I’ve never lumped people into groups, or given that strategy of like, okay do this. And what I learned through this process was, okay, well depending on their different sabotage style, it’s a different thing they need to do. It’s a different action plan. And while working with an individual, that’s more intuitive to me to help them out of that. It’s more like, okay now, for this quiz, now we have to take that and put a bow around it. So that took some time to just keep revisiting the information.
But how did you know you wanted it to be the villain thing, or were the ideas still forming so that wasn’t clear yet?
I knew I wanted it to be the villain and I actually picked the villains pretty early on before I even did the research. And I think because I did so much of it, it was just intuitive to me because I had been doing this work for five years. And so I wanted to pick, I had maybe a list of six or seven villains and then I just broke them out by personality traits. And so I had a vague idea, the three villains that we ended up with that was within 24 hours. I feel like of me having the idea. We had pretty much decided that those were the villains. It wasn’t until I was a week or two into the research that I even discovered this whole parallel with Enneagram. Which I won’t get us too far into now, because I know we don’t have time to go into that. But that was just a happy accident that helped me to probably tighten up the responses a little bit. But I didn’t even realize that at first.
So I had all these notes. I have started writing. I knew the fun side of how we wanted to write the emails, but I was struggling with like, how much is too much to share? And how do I synthesize this and make it so it’s easy for people to understand? And how do I break it all down? And that was very overwhelming to me. And I had been reading and writing, but I hadn’t been talking about it and I’m a verbal processor. So the first thing that helped me really get unstuck, and this is something that I do quite a bit in my business, is I need to verbal process. I’m a podcaster. I need to talk about it. And so I had Rachel on my team who does writing. She writes our show notes for the podcast. She’ll write some social media posts. And also at times, if I’ve had to write a blog post or something, I’ll get on and I’ll talk with her. I’ll talk through something and then she’ll write and then I’ll edit. And we work really well together like that.
So I was like, you know what? I need to get on with Rachel and talk through this because if I give her all these notes and I talk through it, I know she can help me organize this information. I think about it and I’m like, it’s like Hamilton lyrics in my head now, like George Washington. I need someone to help me organize my information or rise to the occasion. Yes, that’s what I needed Rachel for. So I had all those papers. I typed set up and I walked and we talked for two hours through the three types and everything going on with each of them. She got the transcript of that, and then she took my first draft of the emails and expanded on it, because I didn’t really have the second part of it. So she took that and typed up really my first draft for me of that, or maybe the second draft because I had part of it written. But that was able to help me get moving.
I ended up editing a lot of that and changing a lot of it dramatically. But there’s something about having it, but then my brain can go into editing mode where when it was just a whole bunch of pieces of paper, it was just too overwhelming for me to even get started on that part.
Gotcha. So what I’m hearing is, you broke it down into chunks. You really leaned into your learning style and the way that you process, which is in part of that is asking for help and having someone to bounce ideas off of. And then when things feel really overwhelming, it’s usually because there’s so much opportunity. That’s like, where do I even start? Whereas, when you have Rachel pulling together everything that you verbalized into a set, pulling it into one place then you’re just editing and working with that. And it’s not like the world is my oyster. Now, we’re starting within this box and it takes that huge project down to now, I’m just working with this little bucket of information instead of the entire world.
Yes, that’s such a great way to put that. Absolutely. And being such a head type too, I tend to get stuck into my head. So verbally processing, getting out of my own head, talking through that, I really crystallize a lot of my own ideas even just talking about it out loud with Rachel too. And so that was really helpful. The one thing I didn’t mention though, or I mentioned it casually, but I think really had a very big profound effect on finishing this. The fact that I was so excited about it, that I posted about it. And so I made a post on Instagram very early on in the process when I had really first come up with the idea and was just starting to flush it out. It was in the first days of me having the idea. Maybe even the first day, I don’t totally remember. But I think it was maybe in the first 48 hours of having the idea, and I had posted about it.
Not realizing how big of a project it was going to be. But because I posted about it, I had basically announced to my community that it was coming. And I actually had people DM-ing me looking for it too in the following weeks, and so there was this external accountability. And external accountability is everything for me.
If I have to do something for someone else, I will always do it. If it’s my own timeline, I will move that date. I might change my mind. I may say, I was crazy to try to do this in the summer and put it off and then forget about it six months later. But because I had announced it, that was the first commitment of like, this is happening.
And then in the subsequent weeks, before the quiz was done, I had connected with past podcast guests at Dallas, Dallas Travers, and we were going to do an email. And so I told Dallas, oh great. I am working on this new quiz. She’s like, oh great. I have a quiz too. And we’re like, okay, great. We’ll do the email swap with the quiz. And so I committed to that and we had a date on the calendar where I was committed to, that Dallas was going to email her list with the link to the quiz.
So it had to be done. And where I say this is version two, is version one was the one that Dallas sent out. And I have made a lot of edits to it since then, but that forced me to get that very first version done because I knew that email was going out and it had to be ready to go.
So I think the hard deadline is both scary and motivating whereas long as we’ve picked a realistic deadline, it’s super helpful. Because we don’t want to let the people around us down, especially when you have ADHD. I think that it hits a little harder in your heart when you let someone down. So that’s a huge help. But it’s also interesting because we do so well with deadlines but to the point where we can almost work ourselves to death in trying to make them. Because we’re dead set on like, I want to make that sale. I want to hit that. hyper-focused and all that. But also there’s a little bit of trauma response in there.
I can not fail, I can not fail. I’ll be a horrible person. And so there’s this balance there of, yes, we want to set a deadline because then it will get done. People are relying on us and counting on us, but also we want to make sure that we’ve created enough space that we can get it done without killing ourselves. Because that was actually one of my other questions, is that when you had to take this project from one week and now we’re looking at eight weeks, clearly that impacted other things. So what else did you have to then adjust? Because you then had this other big project going on and there’s only so much time in the day. You had to let go of something else. How did you adjust, either personally or professionally so that you could then complete this project that turned out to be eight times the size you expected?
Okay, this is a great question. My answer is probably not at all what you expect it to be. So this is also probably entirely another podcast episode, but I think it’s important for me to talk about it in this context. So I feel that I just got burned out at the beginning of the summer, and not burned out from working so much. I think it was just like the pandemic caught up with me. My adrenaline ran out, and that’s what I feel like. I feel like my adrenaline just ran out and May came, and I was like, okay, we can see people again. We can do things. But I didn’t have this energy. I was really struggling with finishing things. I was struggling with starting things. I was missing that creative spark. Still showing up for my clients, that’s always easy for me when there are other people there. Coaching calls, group coaching calls, mastermind calls, my brain just turns on.
But for all those days where I had big content days blacked off, nothing was clicking and I had actually planned on launching something else and I decided not to launch it. I kept moving the date for it. And I was like, you know what? I felt like it was going against the current that I was telling you earlier. And I’m like, it’s not working. It’s not like not working, it’s like I couldn’t get myself to even pull it together to do. I just couldn’t do the things. My brain was just like, nope, we’re not here for this. This isn’t happening. And I was fighting it for a while, and I was feeling that shame of like, oh, why can’t I do this? Again, I think there are some people that maybe in their brain, they’re just like, oh, I don’t want to launch anything, or I don’t feel like launching anything. But it was this weird situation where my brain had these ideas and was like, oh let’s do this and we could do this and it could work like this. Then I’d be like, oh yes, that’s great. And then I couldn’t actually get myself to do it, which was very frustrating.
So I pulled back from it all and I was like, I think I really just need to focus on filling up my cup. I think that with this whole pandemic, I just had this adrenaline. We can do hard things like Glennon Doyle, and we got this. And got through it all, and then it was almost like, okay, we’re vaccinated or the town I live in is 90% vaccinated or more now. And so we could finally start going outside and do stuff. The weather was nice. Instead of feeling the joy and the spark of and the energy, it was almost like that’s when it all hit me and I just felt totally depleted.
So I pulled back from a lot. And so it took me that long, not because I was working on it for a million hours, but because I needed to really take that time to, I joined the gym. I was doing things for my health and connecting and taking trips to go visit my grandma and all these things. And just filling my cup back up and just enjoying the summer too with my family and friends and of that. Giving myself the space to get my brain to almost reset so it could turn on.
And so it’s not that I was working on this for hours and hours every single week for weeks on end. It was almost like I had to give my brain that rest and fill up the cup if you will. And then that allowed me to have, it was a bunch of spurts, but they weren’t always what I wanted them to be. But there’s those where I would just sit down and then I could just go for three hours and really make a dent in it. And so I had a bunch of those. I’m rambling now. But yes, I had to really put my mindset and myself first this summer. And that’s a big part of why it took a lot longer than I thought it would.
But I think that’s something that everyone needs to hear because one when we don’t give ourselves that white space, our brain doesn’t have room for that creativity. That’s something I’ve noticed very clearly in the last couple of months. That if I don’t create that space where I’m not pushing and doing and going, that my brain cannot process all of the things, do all the things and also run the creative gears.
There’s only so much that your brain can do at one time. So we need to give ourselves that white space for creativity and rest. Not only just from a health aspect, but as an entrepreneur, that’s the lifeblood of your business. If you’re not the one who’s creating this brilliance, no one else is going to do that for you. Your team can execute for you, but they can’t dream up ideas for you. They could help, but really you’re the driver of that.
You’re right. Absolutely. They couldn’t have created what I created. I was on a walk with a friend of mine and she was like, this is really a big leadership piece for you. I’m like, it is. I didn’t see that coming with it. But it is, and I think for me to take on such a big project, I did need that space. I think I needed that space anyway. But talking to you about it, it’s like, okay well giving myself that space that allowed for something like this to be created.
And it’s very common for people with ADHD to feel that way. What you were saying was, my brain had all these great ideas but I just couldn’t get myself to do that. That is extremely common. To me, that’s one of the red flags of ADHD. If I could wave one in the air, is that you know what you’re supposed to do. You might even know what you need to do next, but you’re not doing it. It won’t go opening that can of worms like there’s a lot of shame and mindset, all that’s wrapped up into that.
But to me, it’s not just a red flag of ADHD. But when you realize that you’re feeling that more and more and more, I want everyone listening to hear like, that’s also your body giving you a warning sign. That’s saying, hey, this is too much. We need a break. And I think, literally every human on the planet needs a break right now, based on where we’ve been walking through in the last year and a half. But we feel that all the time with things, when you start to feel that with the things that you love, then you know. Hey, I need to change something. I need to do something different because clearly, my body and my mind and my heart are telling me something’s not right and we need a rest.
Yes, so true. So true. And that’s a big part of where I kept moving the deadline. I was like, I need more time. And I knew I wanted it to be a certain way. We had phase one, which we got out for Dallas’ nice email swap. And then I went back and I ended up, we had one very long email. I’m like, this is too overwhelming so we turned it into two emails, or at that point, I turned it into two emails and then I re-did the framework for the second one. And where that all came to me was, we had flown to Florida. We had a family wedding this summer and I was like, all I had to do was proofread the email at that point. That was my job. Just proofread the email.
I’m just supposed to be proofreading. And then I’m just supposed to be changing the name of the quiz and giving them to zhuzh. I started a whole new quiz so that I’m just supposed to be proofreading, and I ended up coming up with a whole new framework. But I don’t know what it was. I think it was, I’m giving credit to Tetris. I downloaded Tetris on my phone and I played Tetris for three hours straight on the plane ride. And I swear, it just unlocked something in my brain. But there’s something with the puzzle pieces. I don’t even know. I have no idea what the science is behind that. But what should have been an exhausting day, being like this whole travel day with kids and masks and all this stuff, and finally getting to our hotel and everyone fell asleep. And I’m like, okay, I just got to go on and proofread. It was 10:30, 11 o’clock, and I ended up staying up until 2 o’clock in the morning writing. It was just that my brain unlocked and it just flowed.
And there were a couple of other times like that, but that was when a big piece of the framework came together that night at the end of July. Yes, I think it’s just giving myself that space. And then knowing once I lock into hyper-focus, letting myself just go because it’s so hard to get in that zone. And then when I get there, it just keeps going, because I’m so grateful for being there. And then we got to wrap up. Yes, I think it’s a little bit of all these things. Some of this might work for other people, but I think it’s just starting to look at how you do things and how do our brains work?
Other people, maybe they don’t need that external commitment as I do. Maybe they don’t need verbal processing. They need to just process it out on paper themselves, or maybe they don’t get stuck in the writing but they get stuck in the research, and they need support with that. So we’re all going to be different. But I think just talking about this, in general, is just so important. So I appreciate you asking me. I’m like, let’s bring this out. To have this conversation on the podcast, because it is, it’s a big thing. It’s something I still struggle with.
So putting these different processes in place, is how it was specifically for the quiz. But these types of things are ways that I finished all projects in my business.
I love interviewing other ADHD moms because when you feel like you’re not alone because someone else is like, yes, my brain does that too. But the more that we talk about it, the more that we can get ideas out there that could possibly work for us. Whereas, if we’re trying to do what other people do, there’s a less likely chance that it’ll work for us. So I so appreciate you letting me pick your brain and come up with some really great action steps for people to work through stuff that’s either long or overwhelming or just feels like, how am I going to do this? So much good information that you gave us today, so thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
Well, thank you so much. Okay, how can we stay in touch with you?
So the podcast is called Motherhood in ADHD, and my website is motherhoodinadhd.com. Same thing for all my social handles. So come on over, grab some free resources. Sign up for class, and I would love to meet your face.
Amazing. Alright. Thank you so, so much.
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