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Adults with ADD: Are You Overcomplicating Things?

By Jennifer Koretsky

doctor-billDo you ever get the feeling that you're overcomplicating things?

There are certainly many important decisions in life that need careful consideration. But people with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) tend to get stuck "carefully considering" even the smallest decisions, like where to keep a new item that you bought, how to spend your day off, or what to order in a restaurant. We can easily over think the simplest of tasks, making them more complicated and stressful than they need to be.

Here's a real-life example: Donna is a former client who used to refer to herself as "The Queen on Complicated." One day, when she was sorting through the mail, she discovered a bill for routine lab work that should have been covered by her insurance. Donna immediately became anxious. She was fairly certain that her insurance company was supposed to cover the lab work. But what if they didn't? She knew that the best thing to do would be to call the company that sent the bill. But Donna put off calling them because she was afraid that they would tell her the lab work wasn't covered and she owed $210……which would lead to an uncomfortable conversation with her husband about why she didn't make sure the tests were covered before she agreed to them……which would lead to a problem paying the bill on time, because her credit card bill was already a little too high this month……which would lead to cutting out some other things, like the benefit dinner for breast cancer research (a cause that is near and dear to Donna) that she was really looking forward to…

But–and here's the important part–the situations she was anticipating were really just nervous guesses and assumptions. Rather than looking at the task as simply one step (making a phone call) she saw it as an overwhelming process because she was afraid that the ultimate outcome would be less than desirable.

When Donna finally stopped agonizing and made the phone call, she found out that the lab was simply missing some of her insurance information and just needed her social security number to process the claim. All that stress for nothing!

Donna spent days over thinking and overcomplicating the situation. Can you relate? It doesn't have to be so hard! Solutions to problems like Donna's are really just a series of steps and decisions. Step one is to make the phone call and get the facts. Over thinking these types of situations always leads to overwhelm, procrastination, and stress. So don't do it! Simplify your thoughts to simplify your steps.

Posted September 1, 2009, filed in Organizing with ADD


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From Big housecleaning day « After the Ecstasy, the Laundry . . ., September 4 2009

[…] Adults with ADD: Are You Overcomplicating Things? ( […]

From Kay-c, September 10 2009

I can so relate….this is wonderful advice….thanks for posting!


From Rupert, September 23 2009

It is true that over 6% of adults suffer from some degree of ADD. And only a single percent ever get diagnosed. And i can so totally relate.
Now where is my blue bic?

From ADHD: Perspectives & Web Links- Onstage, Online, and in the News | Life's Just a Stage-So Dance!, October 30 2009

[…] Adults with ADD: Are You Overcomplicating Things? ( […]

From Jan, October 30 2009

This is exactly how my mind works-worries overtime! And you are exactly right-unfortunately I will probably have to velcro a copy of this blogpost to my clothing where I can see it and remind myself- all day, every day.

Jan's last blog post..We’re improving Edublogs!

From Eva Wallace, October 30 2009

Kay-c, Rupert, Jan - thanks so much for your comments! I sympathize, I'm guilty of this one myself! :)

From Steve Ballmer's Brain Goes Chop Chop Chop : HyperBored, December 7 2009

[…] Adults with ADD: Are You Overcomplicating Things? ( […]

From Focus on Effective Communication, January 31 2010

[…] Adults with ADD: Are You Overcomplicating Things? ( […]

From Are You a Procrastinator or is it Just Your ADHD? « Working Well Resources' Blog, February 5 2010

[…] Adults with ADD: Are You Overcomplicating Things? ( […]

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