• The Work Mistress

    Last week I was at a local eatery visiting with some friends. One of the friends, a 3rd grade teacher, was discussing her student’s recent project researching the advantages and disadvantages of entrepreneurship. Her students listed the typical advantages of freedom of working for one self, doing what they wanted to do. They also listed the disadvantages of having to manage everything in the business and working long hours.

    Hearing this, one woman at our table commented, “I feel like my husband is married to his work… and I am his mistress”.

    Research has shown that a high percentage of adults with ADHD are self-employed, entrepreneurs. This status suits the ADHD desire for novelty (new projects and tasks), and the flexibility to switch from task or interests to the next vs a structured and rule governed work environment. Of course, the down side of flexibility and impulsivity is the ADHD entrepreneur works long hours just to keep up; to make up for the earlier misdirected focus on a squirrel moment. Then there is the mismanagement of time, initiating new and novel interests or projects which take time and focus away from the primary intended tasks. ADHD entrepreneurs are generally very busy but are frequently behind, overwhelmed, stressed/anxious and working long hours just trying to catch up or keep up. The ADHD entrepreneur is married to his/her work. Unfortunately, their significant others, wife or husband and family members

    Do you feel like you’re married to your work or business? Do you feel like you never have enough time in your work day? Do you feel like you can never get away from your work? Is your relationship and family suffering

    Here are a few recommendations:

    1. Develop a healthy Work/Life Balance – ADHD’rs frequently focus on one thing at the expense of other things.  Focus to work and career is not a bad thing until family and loved ones begin to feel left out.  Learn to MODULATE your focus like a zoom lens. Focus down into the detail but also focus out to insure that other matters, time and family are also being considered.
    2. Some individuals fine it difficult to leave their work behind. They arrive home but find themselves still thinking about or consumed by work issues. Try this… Pull up to your house but sit in the car before entering.Practice Active-Listening communication. This is a structured style of communication that can be tedious but it is a powerful way to communicate to insure clear communication and accurate listening. Listen like you care.
      1. Ask yourself the following question, “Who do I get to BE” (for my wife and children). Allow your Way of BEing to shift from your work mode to home/family mode.
      2. Repeat the question, shift your Way of BEing BEFORE you enter the house.
      3. As you touch your home door handle use this to anchor your Way of BEing
      4. Practice BEing 100% present to your family and loved ones. Be mindful of possible mental distractions and thinking about work matters.
    3. Learn to collaborate with each other regarding issues such as chores, finances and childcare. Make it a priority to increase your understanding ADHD together.
    4.  Of course, some couples need additional help. Don’t wait for a crisis to occue. Reach out NOW for couple therapy or ADHD Coaching.


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