Feel good first!

ADHD Business Tips - Feel good first!

Last year one of our amazing Execute participants posted a list of her tasks for the day on a daily check-in post, and alongside her classes and office work for the day she had listed an item, second on the list “Bottomless brunch and endless espresso martinis with a friend”. It sounded like a brilliant way to spend the day and frankly, with endless martinis one could reasonably expect the afternoon might be a write-off when it came to work tasks! As a social commitment, it’s also the kind of thing we will often consider cancelling or blowing off when we’re feeling under the pump at work.

But I’m glad that wasn’t the plan here because later in the afternoon she posted an update:

“I’m on fire today! Fuelled by espresso martinis!” 🔥

She’d gotten through all the things on her original list PLUS a bunch of other tasks that she hadn’t anticipated having time for that day. It wasn’t just the caffeine (although that probably didn’t hurt!), it was the fact that she’d taken the time to fill her cup, connecting with a friend, being in the moment and enjoying some good food at the same time.

I especially loved it because I bang on about looking after our overall wellbeing all the time and this provided the perfect example of how much more effective we can be when we take the time to feel good first.

The fact is that how we feel has a significant impact on our work performance and productivity, and when we feel good, we do good. Whether that feeling comes from listening to our favourite playlist, walking the dog, taking time to clean a messy desk, or espresso martinis with a mate – positive emotions equal enhanced work effectiveness. Here are a few of the key benefits:

✅ Increased motivation

When we feel good, we experience a boost in motivation. Positive emotions create an inner drive and enthusiasm that propel us to take action and engage more fully in our work tasks. This heightened motivation helps us overcome obstacles that pop up, to stay focused, and to persist in the face of challenges.

✅ Enhanced focus & concentration

Positive emotions have been scientifically linked to improved cognitive functioning, including enhanced focus and concentration. When we feel good, our minds are clearer, and we can direct our attention more effectively toward the task at hand. This heightened focus enables us to work more efficiently and make fewer errors.

✅ Broadened perspective & creativity

Positive emotions broaden our thinking and expand our perspective. When we feel good, we are more open-minded, flexible, and creative in problem-solving. This broader outlook allows us to generate innovative ideas, think outside the box, and approach challenges from different angles, leading to improved work outcomes.

✅ Resilience & adaptability

Positive emotions foster resilience and adaptability, enabling us to navigate setbacks and recover more quickly from failures or setbacks. When we feel good, we are better equipped to cope with stress, handle difficult situations, and maintain a positive outlook. This resilience can help us stay on track and maintain a healthy mindset even during challenging times.

✅ Positive interactions & collaboration

As I’m sure you’ve experienced before, feeling good positively impacts our relationships and interactions with others. When we are in a positive emotional state, we are more likely to engage in supportive and collaborative behaviours, communicate effectively, and build positive connections with colleagues and clients.

So, we know it works, but how do we actually do it?

If you think about some of things you do each day in the pursuit of feeling good, you might get confused by the stuff you get sucked into that can provide little hits of dopamine but that doesn’t actually leave you feeling good at all. I’m talking about the kinds of things we do almost mindlessly, like binge-watching Netflix or doom scrolling on social media. They feel good in the moment because they give us a little of what we need and at the same time require very little effort or energy on our part. These are the kinds of things that leave us feeling worse the more time we devote to them.

They aren’t the kinds of activities I’m advocating for here. Rather, I want you to think about those activities that serve as a gateway to a better mental, physical or emotional state. Some examples could include washing dishes that have been left in the sink far too long, watching an inspiring video, having a conversation (or hug!) with a loved one, listening to your favourite power ballad, eating a nourishing meal or snack, taking a walk in nature – anything that will have you smiling and feeling good (or closer to it) by the time you’re done. Sometimes the gateway will be something that’s already on our list that will make getting other things done easier – like having a clean desk or a less cluttered inbox.

These are the things that will let us experience those benefits I listed above. Make a list of them somewhere that you can call on when you can’t get motivated or need to outsmart executive dysfunction!


I love this list of 26 Ways to Instantly Feel Better from LifeHack. 💯 Sure, some of the ideas might make you roll your eyes, or might not resonate with you at all, but its likely there are a few you can make note of to remember the next time you’ve got a stack to get through and no idea how to start! ⚡️

What’s on your feel-good list? Espresso martinis or exercise? Maybe both?

I’ll see you back here next week,

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