Parents, this is for students. Learning how to make hard things easy is ESSENTIAL if you want to learn to get through procrastination and get into action so you can build towards a great future. This video explains how if you struggle with Executive Function, you can use this tip to help you do the things that need to get done for your own well-being.
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Video Transcript: Click here to download the transcript PDF.
Hey students, what’s up? It’s me, Seth, and welcome to my backyard. Not literally my backyard, but this is the town that I live in and this is my happy place. And what I want to talk about in this video is one little trick that I do for myself to do things. So there is this thing that goes, “Make what’s easy, hard. Make what’s hard, easy.” And basically, what was hard for me today was to get up and go out for a hike. Now I knew that if I went for a hike, I’d be taking care of my health, investing in Seth, I would feel good in my body, I would feel awake, alert, strong, that I would enjoy it. And I love being out here. But when I was at home, before I came out here, I did not want to get up off the couch. And come here, I wanted to sit there and watch my Netflix movie and play around on the computer, make some food, whatever, call some people, whatever. And I knew that it was important to me to get out in nature today. And for me, for my mental health, I’ve got to move my body I’ve got to exercise somehow. I don’t like gyms, I like being in nature in some way, shape, or form. Whether it’s mountain biking, climbing, hiking, whatever, I like to be out in nature. And I like to experience this. This is just one of the things that is one of my favorite things in my whole entire life, it has always been getting outside.
Here’s the trick. The trick is for me to not think of myself as going on a two hour hike. The trick is to just tell myself to get to the trailhead. Just drive to the trailhead. I know many of you are not driving, but you get the point, and I do work out of the gym sometimes. But I don’t think “Oh, I’m gonna go do a big workout.” I think, “Seth just get to the door of the gym. If I want to go on a run, Seth, don’t go on a run, just get your running shoes on and stand outside.” And then I will run. For you, think “Okay, I got to do homework. And I don’t do homework because I’m not in school right now. But if I have to do work…” and trust me, I do a lot of work that I don’t like, just like you might not like some of your homework. If I got to do this work, then it’s not, “How do I do all this work? It’s how do I just start? How do I just make a plan? And then I can start the work? How do I just pull out the papers?” I open up the tabs I need or find the phone number of the person I need to call. So it’s how can we just take a baby step to do the thing that we need to do? Instead of imagining, “Oh, my gosh, I have all of these big things, all these big things to do. It’s overwhelming. Where do I even start?” The question is what do I have to do to get started? That’s all that I want to do. I want to make it seem small, not overwhelming, manageable, doable. And that’s what it has been one of my biggest keys to success, trust me students, and most of your middle, high school, or college. Look, I am legit ADD, or I have ADHD, or I have symptoms of ADHD that impact my life negatively. It holds me back in my life. I struggle with these things I always have, I always will. But I’m okay with that because I have learned workarounds. I’ve learned tools and tips and tricks and ways to work with this stuff so that I can take action that’s going to help me invest in my life, rather than staying and procrastinating or doing actions that hold me back, like gaming all day long or doing things that are distracting that get me nowhere in life. So that’s the tip for today.
But again, when I was at home, I didn’t feel like leaving today. And I often feel that resistance. And if you’ve been watching my stuff for a while, you know that the number one problem that I talk about for people who struggle with executive function is resistance. We are resistant, we have excuses. We don’t want to do things, we don’t want to take action. And we have so many mechanisms to keep us from doing the thing that would actually be good for us. In this case, it’s going on the hike or whatever, so here is the trick. What I do for to trick myself, so that I can take action on the things I really want to do is what I tend to do. And what many of us tend to do is what’s called ‘catastrophize.’ Catastrophize means we make mountains out of molehills, we make things seem bigger and worse than they are. So like I’m at home and I’m thinking “Oh hike, I gotta get over to the trail. I’m gonna be out there for two hours. What if I have other things I need to be doing,” blah, blah. So we tend to make it seem very big. And then we stay in procrastination, we stay unmotivated. It just seems too big. We do this with homework, we do this with our chores, we do this with our responsibilities. We do this in all sorts of ways. In our lives, we do this, and it holds us back in life. If you become an adult who never figures it out, you’re going to be an adult who is very stuck, and who cannot achieve their goals and dreams in life.
I hope you’re well, I hope you’re safe, I hope you’re happy. Have some peace in your heart today. And I hope that you can try to apply this. Don’t think about the big overwhelming thing, think about one little thing that’s going to get you to do that thing. Make what’s hard, easy. Make what’s easy, hard. What was hard today was to get to the trail. I made what’s hard, easy by not thinking, I’m going to do a two-hour hike. But by thinking “I just need to get to the trail and make what’s easy, hard.” So if sitting by the TV and watching something is easy, or gaming is easy, make it hard for yourself to find your passwords to the gaming or to find the links to the gaming or to whatever the thing is, whether it’s gaming or whatever, it is that you don’t want to be doing as much. Make it harder to get to those things. Be well take care. I will see you soon. Take care.