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ep.07: Make Your Life More Effortless

Get ready to revolutionize the way you handle daily tasks, especially if you are an adult with ADHD. We're bringing you insights from Greg McKeown's book, Effortless, which focuses on simplifying life and promoting progress over perfection.

From eliminating unnecessary steps in tasks to setting boundaries for work, we've got tips that can benefit anyone. Remember, the goal is consistent progress, not perfection.

Coming soon, I'm rolling out The ADHD Academy! Click here to learn more!

What you'll learn:

  • How to effectively rest, deal with negativity, and enjoy work

  • Strategies to eliminate unnecessary steps in tasks

  • Understanding the benefits of linear and residual results

  • Ways to ask oneself key questions to find straightforward solutions to tasks

"If you feel you're doing your best but life is hard, there has to be an easier way."

Useful links mentioned:

Listen to the Episode:

Click here to read the transcript:

Welcome to Learn to Thrive with ADHD. This is the podcast for adults with ADHD or ADHD-like symptoms. I'm your host, Coach Mande John. I'm here to make your life with ADHD easier. Let's get started.

I'm going to tell you about a book that I think you should read this year if you're an adult with ADHD. If you've already read it, I'll tell you why. I think it's amazing for the ADHD brain specifically and how to put it into action to make your life easier. The book is Effortless by Greg McKeown. He also wrote a really excellent book called Essentialism, and Effortless is the follow-up.

This book is for you if you feel you're doing your best, but life is hard. You're making progress in some areas but falling short in others. Or you just know there has to be an easier way. This book is not new. I believe it was published in 2021, but I'm just finding it and what I found really interesting is the way it pretty closely follows many of the ways I work with my ADHD coaching clients.

In this book, he talks about how we glorify hard work. I know for myself, I found through getting coached that I had an underlying belief that if things weren't hard, they weren't valuable. Working hard or being a hard worker sounds lovely, but there's no shame in doing things in a more effortless way if that's possible.

I love good questions, and he asked this, what if you could make the essential activities the easiest ones? Let's talk about the effortless state and how to get into that state. First, declutter your mind. Get rid of negative thoughts causing negative emotions, outdated beliefs and thought patterns that zap your energy and affect your performance.

Then we invert, which is to turn upside down the question, why is this so hard? And instead ask yourself, what if it could be easy? This is one of my favorite questions to ask my ADHD coaching clients. It opens you up to possible solutions that you wouldn't consider if you didn't ask the question. Next is enjoy.

Ask yourself, how can I make this fun? Too often we think fun comes after work, but what if we find ways to make work more fun? Think of fun as something you deserve, not something you have to work for. Then we have release where you're letting go of negativity, whether that's in your thoughts for other people or yourself or just negative thinking.

A tool the author offers is when you say or think something negative, you just add something you're grateful for to the end of it. An example would be, I hate traffic followed by, but I'm grateful I have time to myself to enjoy an audiobook. Next is rest. It is important to let your body and mind rest.

This can be really difficult for many of us with ADHD because we can get really uncomfortable when we try to rest. I've worked with many clients on this, and I'll share with you exactly what we do. I have them commit to resting at least two times before we meet again, and they can't use anything to distract themselves while they're resting.

I ask them to observe their thoughts and feelings that come up for them. One client realized that when she was a child, she wasn't allowed to rest. If she was caught resting, she was given something to do. Another realized that when he rested, he thought about the things that he could or should be doing so he didn't feel he deserved it.

If you struggle to rest, give this a try. Once you discover the problem, you can deal with it head on and finally be allowed to rest peacefully. Next is effortless action Number one. Know the goal. What does done look like? Know what is enough. He talks about his done for the day list, and with this list he puts just the essential things he needs to get done that day.

And once he's finished those things, he wins the day. You keep this list minimal and sensible. This way you're not working aimlessly or exhausting yourself. Number two, what is the next small step? He tells the story of the founder of Netflix. And the first step the founder of Netflix took for him to build this gigantic empire that Netflix now is, was simply to mail himself a disc in the mail to see if that was possible.

So, for you, what is the first small, simple step? Number three, eliminate steps altogether. Are you possibly taking steps that don't have to be taken? In order to get something done. I think about an example I heard on an ADHD group and where they skipped a step was, they simply loaded the dishes in the dishwasher.

They did not rinse them, and some people might think that that's terrible, but what it did for these people was help them to actually get the dishes in the dishwasher, where that step of simply rinsing the dishes was too much. So how can you eliminate steps? Number four, progress. Start with trash. We are just worried about progress, not perfection.

And he says rubbish in the book. So, I'm assuming that he's British. I'm not sure. In coaching, we call this B minus work. Just don't try to be perfect. Don't try to put out the most polished thing. Just get started. Get something going. And what this does is shut down the critical voice. Number five, pace.

It's better to be slow and consistent. What I really like about this concept is he talks about a minimum and a maximum of what you're doing, and he used the example of writing. Perhaps you're writing a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 2000, and that was something that was new to me. Having a maximum, when you're thinking of minimum and maximum, think of what you can do on your worst day.

That's going to be your minimum and your maximum is going to be just enough so that you're not exhausting yourself. Next is effortless results. Here he talks about linear results versus residual results, and linear results are. You show up to work for the number of hours that you show up and you get a paycheck.

If you don't show up, you don't get the paycheck, right? But residual results are something you do once, and you reap the rewards ongoing. So that might look like something like teaching a child to do something instead of doing that for them. Or it might be automating tasks whenever possible, establishing processes, employing checklists, and utilizing technological tools to save time and energy.

There is more to the book, but I'll let you check that out on your own. How can you put what you learned here into action in your life starting today? I would suggest the simplest way would be to start asking yourself my favorite question about things you find difficult. What if it were easy? Do you like what you're learning here?

Would you like help putting these concepts into action? Check out the checklist I made for you at While you're there, if you'd like to work with me one-on-one, you can book a consultation with me on the website. See you next week.

Thank you for your time, and especially for your attention today. If you haven't looked into the ADHD Academy, you'll want to do that. This is my membership, with binge-able courses, weekly life coaching, new courses every month, a community of like-minded people and more.

Be sure to head over to to get the details.

See you next week.

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