Executive Stress or Adult ADHD? Alleviate It Now!
By Dr. Ronald Knaus
finally have it: the corner office, your own parking space, an expense
account, and a personal assistant. You’ve made it! Unfortunately,
for many executives, what should be a time for celebration quickly
turns into a time of frustration. Why? Because while they prepared
themselves for climbing the corporate ladder, they didn’t prepare
themselves for the stress that goes with it. As a result, many
business executives now display the signs and symptoms of not just
stress, but of adult attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder
American Psychiatric Association states that ADHD must be diagnosed in
people by age six or seven, and many of today’s stressed-out
executives have no history of ADHD, they are still displaying the
classic symptoms of the condition: lack of concentration, the
inability to pay attention, procrastinating on projects, feeling
anxious and fidgety, and simply not functioning well at work or at
home. Perhaps these executives have always had the underlying
symptoms, but the stress they’re now under brings it out full force.
is that many of today’s professionals feel as if they’re being
pulled from all directions. They’re working fifty to sixty hours per
week, don’t have the adequate personnel to help them, and because of
technology, feel that they’re always connected to work and never
able to have real down time. To make matters worse, their spouse may
be under similar pressures, making their home life just as stressful
as their work life.
out if stress is affecting you negatively, answer the following ten
questions. While these questions are not all-encompassing for
diagnosing stress or adult ADHD, they can give you an indication of
whether it’s time to seek out more thorough help.
Am I feeling anxiety about the things I need to do
in my work?
Do I make decisions or take actions more
impulsively that I used to?
Do I find myself arguing over unimportant issues?
Do I find myself worrying about the littlest
things, or letting worry get in the way of my taking action?
Am I having trouble getting projects done on time,
or at all?
Does my memory seem to be going? Do I forget
things more often?
Do I have trouble sleeping at night?
Am I continually exhausted?
Have I changed my eating habits lately (not
deliberately for a particular diet)?
Am I drinking alcohol or using other substances
more often than I used to?
answered “yes” to three or more questions, then stress, or even
adult ADHD, may be playing a big part in your life.
The Four-Step Solution: In order to alleviate the stress in your
life, you need to take action now. If your stress is severe, then
extreme action may be needed. This could include not accepting a
promotion at work, asking to switch to a lower level position, or even
leaving the company entirely. However, depending on your
circumstances, such measures may not be possible. In those cases,
prescription medications may be able to help alleviate the symptoms of
stress and adult ADHD.
people, though, the stress or symptoms are moderate. In that case, the
following stress reducing action steps are more reasonable and provide
major area of stress in your life. The biggest reason attempts to
reduce stress fail is because executives try to take on everything at
once. Most executives are “big” thinkers; they focus on the big
picture. However, if you try to take on several stresses at one time,
you will experience even more stress. Therefore, decide what one area
you want to take on first and then create the necessary action steps
to reduce that stress. For example, you may decide that your stressor
to alleviate right now is the fact that you don’t have enough time
to get everything done.
this one area of stress means to your state of well being. If you
don’t truly understand how this area of stress is affecting you and
those around you, then you will never find the commitment to do
something about it. Executives always have new challenges and new
tasks to tackle. So it’s very easy to give up. After all, there’s
so much other “stuff” to always do. When you truly understand and
believe that what you’re doing will significantly help you, you’ll
stick with it. For example, you may decide that as a result of not
having enough time to get everything done, you feel a lack of energy.
And by committing to remove this stress from you life, you’ll
reclaim the energy you once had and be able to enjoy family more.
Create an action
plan to fix what is affecting your stress. Once you identify what
to fix and why you need to fix it, you can analyze your day and create
an action plan. Sometimes the action steps are obvious, such as
delegating work to others; other times the steps require a bit of
creative thinking, such as restructuring your workday so you arrive by
7 a.m. to get more done in the early hours before the office opens and
then leaving work by 3 p.m. The
key here is to really think about the situation and allow yourself to
come up with creative solutions.
without excuses. Time is what you make of it, and this is your
life and your time. So once you have the action plan and decide to put
it into place, just do it. Be prepared to make adjustments as you go,
and carry out your plan. By going one step at a time, you’ll make
significant progress eliminating that stressor from your life.
Reclaim Your Future Today: This four-step approach is just one
aspect of stress reduction. Combine this with other physical and
emotional factors, such as getting proper rest and nutrition,
exercising regularly, and focusing on healthy and supportive
relationships, and you’ll soon see any symptoms of stress and/or
adult ADHD disappear. You’ll find pleasure in life again, and your
professional responsibilities won’t seem as daunting. Additionally,
when your work life is more pleasurable, your home life will be too.
no one will ever completely rid their life of stress, you can manage
your stress so it doesn’t negatively impact you. And when you do,
those moments in life that should be time for celebration will
actually feel that way, enabling you to finally produce and enjoy the
positive results you always knew were possible.
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