I'm Gillian Hayes, PhD, a qualified ADHD coach who coaches professionals, academics, students, researchers and other adults, with or without ADHD.
My background is techy. I spent a couple of decades doing artificial intelligence, looking at biologically-inspired robots and how to make them do some of the amazing things humans and other animals do. And I have a PhD in physics.
And when I finally figured out that I have ADHD – in spite of the PhD! – it suddenly made sense of all the contradictory experiences I'd had.
A wealth of contradictions
Finding it hard to concentrate well on tasks in regular working hours – and then being able to hyperfocus beautifully after 7pm and get tons of stuff done by midnight.
Having piles of paper in my office in which I could find anything (my geological filing system) – until I came to move office, and then I had to relearn from scratch where everything was.
Having 5 different careers so far – and counting. But I can see the connections between them!
But I did feel as though I wasn't living up to my potential. To be high-falutin' about it, a racing car brain connected to super-wide radials via a totally clapped-out clutch plate!
ADHD and a PhD? Really???
One day, in the self-help section of a bookshop, I was browsing books about Asperger’s, trying to figure out yet again what was "wrong" with me. A gaudy-looking book caught my eye from the next section – on ADHD (alphabetical order by condition!). I turned to the lists of symptoms and behaviours.
And in that moment, it's fair to say, my life changed. The author was describing me! I felt like jumping up and down and jabbing my finger into the page and saying “that's me, that is”.
Well, obviously the path from there wasn't smooth and easy – this is ADHD after all!
But I found a coach who was tremendously helpful and understood what I was dealing with.
And I determined to become a coach myself to help people in the same situation I'd been in – bright, but somehow not expressing it.
Here's what I learned about ADHD
You can see connections between things that other people can’t. You can have a very fast brain. And you have the ability to hyperfocus. Once you have the seed of an idea, you can pull at it, and you have the whole picture in front of you. The trick is, you’ve got to acknowledge that the way your brain works is actually an asset. And then, you need a certain amount of structure to take that skill and focus it on your tasks, plans, stuff, business, research ideas, and whatever else you’re set on accomplishing.
And how I can help you
I trained with the ADD Coach Academy in New York and graduated as an ADHD Coach. And I got certified with the Professional Association of ADHD Coaches as a CACP – a Certified ADHD Coach Practitioner. And now I help people – with or without ADHD (because it's often very hard to get a diagnosis when you're an adult) – who have piles of stuff in their office, masses of open tabs and windows slowing down their machines, who turn up for exams on the right day but the wrong week, who find it hard to concentrate in meetings for long enough to take notice of what tasks they've been allocated, with big imaginations but difficulty expressing them succinctly – to excavate their strengths and values and put them into use – get into gear and move – in a straight line! – towards goals that they themselves have identified and set and actually want to reach.
So how does coaching work, exactly?
Coaching takes place by phone or Skype – so it doesn't matter where you live. I'm based in Edinburgh, but if you're within 8 time zones either way, that's just fine. Sessions last around 50 minutes to an hour, and you have 3 or 4 a month, depending on what you decide you need at the moment.
We work towards giving you the support and structure you need to identify your goals and start getting into action towards them. We also figure out how to give you the accountability you need to actually get things done! Often it’s MUCH easier to get something started – or finished – when you know that someone else is waiting to hear how you did. And you will get lots of praise and encouragement along the way.
And you’ll start to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t – to know what goes into your own personal “operating manual” so that you’ll know how you work best in the future. Then you’ll be able to start shaping your environment so that it suits your talents and capabilities.
What's your next step?
Click/tap >>HERE<< to schedule a 30-minute info session with Gillian to discuss your coaching requirements.