March 17, 2022

Here's a Method That is Helping Women with ADHD to Find Their Brilliance with Tracy Otsuka


When I recorded this episode with my friend and special guest, Tracy Otsuka, I had a total blast. We spoke about a wide range of topics including how she learned her own ADHD diagnosis, how she has come to understand how every woman with ADHD has a zone of brilliance, whether she knows it or not. And the explanations for why many women with ADHD struggle with overwhelm, and self doubt. This episode is jam packed with Tracy's wisdom and great ideas for finding your own strengths in life.

Tracy Otsuka, is the host of the podcast, ADHD for Smart Ass Women. With over a million and a half downloads, it is ranked in the top one-half percent of all podcasts in the world on any subject. Her listeners are quick-witted, high-ability and like Tracy, see their ADHD traits as more positive than negative. 

Tracy is also a certified ADHD coach who masterminds Your ADHD Brain is A-OK which uses her patented Coretography system to help ADHD women discover their strengths, step into their purpose and live to their potential, as well as the creator of the A-OK! EVERY DAY planning system for the ADHD brain. 

Timestamps:
• [8:57] Tracy shares how her own son’s ADHD diagnosis started her own journey of learning about the ADHD brain.  
• [14:02] “What I realized is that every single ADHD woman, because that's who I typically work with, is brilliant at something.”
• [16:10] Tracy feels that societal expectations are what cause women to struggle with ADHD more than men…  
• [21:16] Tracy speaks of women internalizing their symptoms while men tend to externalize theirs… 

For more information on the Make Time for Success podcast, visit:
https://www.maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com

Connect with Us!

Dr. Christine Li -
Website: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/procrastinationcoach
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/procrastinationcoach/

To work with Dr. Li on a weekly basis in her coaching and accountability program, please register for The Success Lab here: https://www.procrastinationcoach.com/lab

Tracy Otsuka -
Website: https://www.tracyotsuka.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heytracyotsuka
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tracyotsuka/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracyotsuka/

Transcript

Christine Li  0:01  
Welcome back to the Make Time for Success podcast. This is episode 66. When I recorded this episode with my friend and special guests expert Tracy Otsuka, I had a total blast. We spoke about a wide range of topics including how she learned her own ADHD diagnosis, how she has come to understand how every woman with ADHD has a zone of brilliance, whether she knows it or not. And the explanations for why many women with ADHD struggle with overwhelm, and self doubt. This episode is jam packed with Tracy's wisdom and great ideas for finding your own strengths in life. I happen to think what she talks about and the content in this episode is valuable for anyone who might be listening man or woman, ADHD or non ADHD types. Before I talk about Tracy's credentials, I want to say a few words about what ADHD actually is, as Tracy pointed out to me after we recorded that we didn't really introduce the topic before we launched into our in depth conversation about the diagnosis. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And ADHD is one of the most common disorders affecting children, but it of course also affects many adults. Individuals with ADHD show patterns of elevated levels of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, or impulsivity or some combination of those types of symptoms. ADHD is considered a dysfunction of executive functioning. So it affects not only attention and focus, but also areas like decision making and emotional regulation. You will hear how Tracy has used her firsthand experience with ADHD and working with 1000s of women with ADHD to create a thoughtful and compassionate method of understanding the brilliance that every woman with ADHD has. Tracy is the host of the podcast ADHD for smart ass women. And this very podcast ADHD for smart ass women has over a million and a half downloads and is ranked in the top one half percent of all podcasts in the world on any subject. Tracy is a certified ADHD coach. And she created the your ADHD brain is a ok program, which uses her patented cartography system to help ADHD women discover their strengths, step into their purpose and live to their potential. She is also the creator of the AOK everyday planning system. For the ADHD brain. She is one of the most brilliant women I know. I'm honored to know her I'm honored to be able to present her to you. Now let's go listen to the episode together.

Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn a powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power. You're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the Make Time for Success Podcast. 

Hi my friends today I have an extra special treat. I have my good friend, my mentor, my woman partner in crime. Tracy Otsuka on the show. Tracy is one of the main reasons that this podcast exists. She was killing it with her podcast, ADHD for Smart Ass Women. And I have to tell you, I was envious. And I just really wanted to play along with her. And she supported me every step of the way. Tracy, welcome to the show.

Tracy Otsuka  4:12  
Well, thank you. I am delighted to be here. Yes, you are one of my favorite things of 2020 to 2021. But it will be 2022 as well.

Christine Li  4:22  
Yes, and I can absolutely say the same. Tracy is so much fun. And she is such a beautiful podcast host I want to encourage everyone who's listening to go to ADHD for Smart Ass Women. Even if you don't have ADHD, yourself. It's chock full of information, interesting guests. And Tracy is a hoot. So Tracy, could you please give us a general introduction to who you are and how you got to be in this position of being a leader in the space of women in ADHD.

Unknown Speaker  4:55  
I have no idea. You know, all I can tell you is that I am always the outsider. I am never an insider meaning I never do things the way a normal human would do them. So I think about all the things I've done career wise and I've always been on the outside. So I had a high end women's wear company. 60% of our business was Saks, Neiman's, and Nordstrom and I was a lawyer at the time, I had no business going into women's wear, right, especially high end women's wear. But I saw a need and I decided to fill it. And within eight months of starting my wholesale division, the company was called Otsuka, we were in Saks, Neiman's and Nordstrom. So I think it was the fact that I'm always doing things from the outside and I see something that I believe everybody needs. And that then leads to whatever it is that I'm creating. And I think ADHD for Smart Ass Women is probably no different. So I have a 12 year old I had. I have a 19 year old son, he's a sophomore at NYU right now in economics. And when he was 12 years old, he was diagnosed with ADHD. And you know, from the time he was nine, we were always asking what is going on, there's something wrong.

Tracy Otsuka  6:22  
It wasn't that he wasn't smart, or he wasn't doing well in school. It was this unexplained underachievement. So he could get an A and an F in the same subject in the same week. And I would constantly have teachers and they loved him because he's super funny. He's kind of the class clown. And he's very, so he went to a Catholic school. And he was very, what's the word called Christine. I'm like, doing ADHD brain, Fritz, and he was very respectful. And he was a rule follower. So he wasn't one of these kids that you know, when you think of ADHD, you think of kids who are jumping off the wall, they won't listen to the teacher, they're, you know, distracted, and they're causing all kinds of problems in the classroom. He wasn't at all like that. Yep, teachers would consistently come to me and say, and my husband and say, you know, he is so bright. We can't figure out why he so unmotivated. So, um, but then when he was really into something, he was absolutely brilliant at it. And he was leading the class. So anyway, starting at about nine, we would do all these different tests that the teachers were, you know, requested. And then at 12, we decided to get a general neuro psych test. And he was diagnosed with ADHD. And I was like, what, because I thought to have ADHD means you're slow, and you're stupid. And what I knew about my son was he was neither slow, nor was he stupid. He was really a smart kid. He was one of those second and third level thinkers were even at nine. I remember his first go at testing. The tester said, well, Marcus, I asked you, his milk pink? And you said yes. And that's not right. Milk is not pink milk is white. And Marcus looked at the tester and said, Are you kidding me? How did you ever had strawberry milk? So he was always that kind of a kid, right? So anyway, at 12, he was diagnosed, I didn't know anything about ADHD, we went to a psychologist who came highly referred was supposedly an expert in ADHD. or second time there, she sat my husband and me down. Yes, my husband and me down. Those are things that my brain I always have to kind of stop and think about. She sat my husband and me down. And she said, this is after she had interviewed him and said, your job is as parents is to reduce his expectations. Because if you do not do that, he is going to be disappointed in life. And I remember thinking, oh my gosh, who would tell any child that? And so of course, we never went back. And that was what started on my journey of learning. I realized that she had recommended a specific book, I went to that on ADHD, I went to that book, and it was just also negative. It was all about what these kids can't do. And so I just started learning. And I realized that in my learning, there were a group of medical experts in ADHD, who were very strength focused. And they actually also had ADHD. And they went to places like Harvard. You know, Dr. Ned Halliwell, Dr. John Ratey. Oh, gosh, I always forget this other gentleman's name. Anyway, there were several of them. He's on my bookshelf. And I realized that there were two real different thoughts on ADHD and what the ADHD brain is capable of. And so the more research I did, I realized that oh my gosh, my son got his ad. HD from me. So had he not been diagnosed, I would have never been diagnosed. And I went to college and I went to law school and I went to graduate law school. And so all I could think of is, what if my parents had listened to this psychologist, and had reduced my expectations. And so that's when I realized that forget this, this is ridiculous. I'm not even going to listen to it. And so as I was learning, I wanted to be around other women that were more like me. And so that is why I initially started our Facebook group ADHD for smartest women. And I don't know where we are now. But I think we're over 55,000 members. And within a couple months, this is a long story. I'm sorry, Christine. Within a couple months of starting the Facebook group, I decided I'm going to start a podcast now. Again, I'm the outsider, right? And I remember my mom saying to me, how are you going to do this, like you're not a medical doctor, you're actually a lawyer and an entrepreneur. And I was like, I don't know. But what I want is I want to learn, while I'm also teaching, and I want to meet more women that are just like me, because my big goal was to be able to travel anywhere in the world, and go to any city and be able to call someone up on the phone and say, Hey, do you want to get together for coffee, because I was kind of bored in the community that I was living in. So that's how it all started. And then from there, I needed to learn more. And so I signed up with AD CO, which is the Add Coaching Academy and I started to do, I just wanted to learn I had I didn't think I thought coaching was a boondoggle, because I had tried it. But ADHD coaching is very different. And I realized that I thought I was uncoachable No, I was just uncoachable by someone who didn't understand the ADHD brain. So before long, I'm taking all these classes. And I decided, You know what, I'm stuck. The only thing left is to go through their coaching training certification program. So that's what I did. And then I developed your ADHD brain is a Okay, and here we are. Beautiful.

Christine Li  12:00  
Now, those 55,000 Women have come to you in a very short space of time, probably around two years. Am I correct? About that?

Tracy Otsuka  12:10  
Um, three years,

Christine Li  12:12  
three years, okay. And how has that affected you? Because you now can call anybody in any country and have coffee with someone who really understands what ADHD and being a woman is, like, you've made a tremendous impact. I think in the world with your development of this podcast and putting out your thinking and your research on this topic and becoming a voice for people who needed someone to follow needed someone to feel inspired by.

Tracy Otsuka  12:47  
Um, so the number one thing that I have realized, and I checked in on this with Dr. Ned Halliwell, because I wanted to make sure you know, when his book so there's a fantastic book, if you're even thinking that maybe you might have ADHD, and I always feel like, you know, I'm like, you know, his marketing person, but it's because I believe in what he does so strongly. And he came out with a beginning of this year called ADHD 2.0. And so where was I going with this? I can't remember Christine. In terms of so you can see how the ADHD brain works, right. So the what, what I'm doing is I have so many thoughts going through my head all at one time, that sometimes I lose the train of where I started, which is a common ADHD quality. And unfortunately, as we age, especially for women, our estrogen levels affect our dopamine levels. And what's going on in the ADHD brain is we just don't make enough dopamine. So as we get older, this becomes more of a problem. But I can't remember where we were going.

Christine Li  13:50  
Okay, why don't we hop back to the ADHD 2.0 book, and what you got from it or why you're recommending it to our audience.

Tracy Otsuka  13:59  
Okay, so now I remember where I'm going. So what I realized is that every single ADHD woman, because that's who I you know, typically work with is brilliant at something. So this idea that an ADHD brain means you're slow and you're unfocused, and you can't get anything done and you're unsuccessful is completely untrue. The key is that our brains our brains have interest. So if we are interested in something we can pop into hyper focus, and we can do more in the shortest period of time than anyone else can do. And so the reason I brought up ADHD 2.0 is because I wanted to find out if Ned Halliwell felt the same way because you know, he is the premier expert in ADHD in the world. He's been doing this for four decades, at least. And so I asked him that question, is this what you found to that every single person you talk to with EDS? HD. Are they brilliant in something? And he said yes. And once I heard that, I just went all in because I kept thinking, well, maybe Tracee, you're different, right? There's something different about you, because I'm highly driven. And, you know, I'm always doing something and building something and growing something. And I think that a lot of women with ADHD, they don't feel successful. Well, if you don't feel successful, it's because you're not focused in on your area of interest. Instead, you're doing those things that you think you should be doing that other people have told you you should be doing, instead of that one thing that is in the sweet spot of where your values, your strengths, your passions, and your purpose collide.

Christine Li  15:46  
I love it. What do you find? are some typical self statements that women with ADHD are saying to themselves, when they haven't really found that sweet spot? Yet? How are they maybe causing extra pressure or stress on themselves?

Tracy Otsuka  16:06  
I think there's a lot of should statements, I should be doing this, I should be doing that. And I think the reason why ADHD women struggle so much more with ADHD than men do, is because of all of these societal expectations. So think about it, an ADHD man, he is allowed to go to school, figure out what it is that he wants to do, and move forward in that right versus an ADHD women not only has to worry about her own career, but if 75% of the care tasks. So you know, tasks around the home, and the children are basically being done by women. Not only do you have to worry about your career, but you have to worry about keeping the home making sure it's clean and neat, making sure there's dinner on the table, or at least you know, you know what you're going to be doing there, making sure the kids are you know, bathed and clothed and fed. And also, you know, all their administrative paperwork is signed, you know, is filled out, they're in school on time you go and pick the I mean, no wonder, right? Versus if you're the guy and you've got ADHD, and all you have to worry about is your career. And your career isn't an area of interest. You're just brilliant. Nobody expects you to do all those things. Yet women a lot of times when they decide that oh my god, I can't handle this all by myself. And they you know, get a housekeeper or they get a nanny or they get any other kind of support. It's kind of frowned upon upon right that we should be able to be doing all those things. Versus when a man goes and gets a housekeeper. nobody questions it. There's no moralizing about it. So I think that that's a big reason why ADHD women struggle so much more than men. The other thing is that when you think of ADHD, again, you think of that 12 year old boy climbing the walls being disruptive, causing all kinds of problems, well, double the amount and that's called your either combined type or your hyperactive type. As far as ADHD goes, and most people are combined type. But 10% of people are actually called they're inattentive. They have inattentive ADHD, and double the amount of women have inattentive ADHD versus the number of men. So those are the girls, if you think of school, they'll be sitting in the back of the classroom and kind of spacing out and they're creating all these fantasies in their brain, sometimes they come across as absent minded professors. So the area that they're really brilliant at, but all the other stuff like the basic, easy, mundane, boring, everyday tasks. Those are the tasks that they struggle with. So I see a lot of women that are doctors and lawyers and have PhDs and, you know, run, you know, major, you know, multimillion dollar companies, and they still don't see themselves as successful. Because what they're looking at is, oh, my God, my kids are a mess, or Oh, my God, my house is a mess, or I never have dinner on the table. So I think that as we have more responsibilities, then we struggle more with ADHD, if we just focus on that one thing that we really love, and we're really interested in. We're brilliant.

Christine Li  19:17  
Beautiful, and thank you for that explanation about the differences between men and women. I think that's very important to note, and I hadn't thought about it that way for the diagnosis. Could you tell us what you've learned from the women that you've connected with? What are some of the insights that have been surprising to you? Or have been life changing for you, too?

Tracy Otsuka  19:41  
Oh, my God, I love ADHD women for a number of reasons. So I always feel like I'm like, I shoot my mouth off. I'm always sticking my foot in my mouth. I just say what I think. And it might bother me a little bit initially. I mean, it certainly bothers me if I offended someone and that's not What My intention was because I just sort of shot my mouth off. But I think my favorite quote is by Winston Churchill, and it's something along the lines of, you've offended someone good, it means you stood up for something for once in your life. So you see a lot of ADHD women that are like that. And I just love that kind of human, whether it's a man or a woman, or you know, whatever they identify as, where they don't hold back, they don't worry about what other people are going to think. And I never have to worry that they're not being their authentic selves. So I find that most ADHD women are really authentic. They're super fun. They're the ones that okay, what is the quote? I just bought a matchbox, and it has a quote on it, and it says something like, that sounds like a really bad idea. And then period, what time and that's probably more your combined type or your hyperactive, right? Versus your inattentive is going to appear more, and I'm very extroverted, they're going to be more introverted, they're going to be shy, or they're going to be more inside themselves. And that is another big difference between men and women. Women internalize their symptoms. So they they have them inside and they beat themselves up, right, I'm stupid, I shouldn't have done that I'm, you know, a lot of the, you know, RSD rejection sensitive dysphoria, where they're just everything they're doing is wrong, because we're also highly intuitive. So they can kind of read what the room feels about what it is that they're doing, versus men tend to externalize their symptoms. So, you know, if you're looking at high school, the boys that are probably getting in fights and you know, they're Yellin And they're, you know, emotionally disruptive. Those are probably the combined type hyperactive, you know, ADHD types, and you can be inattentive and of course, be a man too. But again, you'd be in the back of the classroom, and you'd be quieter and not, you wouldn't be disruptive, you probably be more in your head beating yourself up.

Christine Li  22:08  
Okay, could you tell us some more about rejection sensitive dysphoria, because it's something that I hadn't heard of, even as a trained psychologist, until I had connection with your work and your group.

Tracy Otsuka  22:24  
So I'll be straight up, I don't suffer from rejection sensitive dysphoria, and the more research I do on it, and the more I speak to women who have it, I believe there's also a trauma component. And so rejection sensitive dysphoria is just this sense of, so we don't have more emotion than anybody else, but we feel more emotion. And not everybody's exactly like this. So for example, again, I don't have rejection sensitive dysphoria. But when it comes to emotion, I can never watch an Oscar winning movie, anything that you know, involves torture or cruelty, or, you know, a real severe loss I just really struggle with. And so that's where the emotional dysregulation comes up for me. But for a lot of women, it's an everyday life. And so they feel so much emotion and so much rejection when the littlest things happen. So we ruminate. And there's a whole reason for that, which is a whole explanation in our set in itself. But rumination is a common ADHD quality. And the thing is, when you ruminate too much when you're just constantly in your head thinking, thinking, thinking, beating yourself up everything you say, you're second guessing. And it feels painful, to the point where you won't even go out and put yourself out there anymore, because the rejection is so extreme. That's what they call rejection sensitive dysphoria.

Christine Li  24:01  
What I understand from reading an article, a quick article on it, that you had referenced was that it becomes this cycle, you know that the ADHD child may have received more negative comments, then the non ADHD child and therefore develops an early sensitivity, perhaps a greater sensitivity to negative feedback. And then this just cycles on and on and on maybe with the rumination and with other mistakes as adults that there isn't that feeling that they are well inside and therefore you get their rejection sensitivity.

Tracy Otsuka  24:44  
Yeah, so there's this thought that rejection sensitive dysphoria only comes from ADHD. But as I mentioned trauma before and this trauma component, by the time an ADHD child is 12 years old, they per 20,000 more negative have messages than a neurotypical child. So what do you think is going to happen to that child? If over those 12 years, all they've heard is negative feedback, everything they can't do, right? Everything, that you know how they're wrong, and how this person does it better? And why can't you be like that person? Yeah, over time, all of those little events equal trauma. And so I don't know, is it really something that's unique to ADHD? Or is it something that's related to trauma and ADHD? I guess we will see.

Christine Li  25:35  
But I think trauma, it sounds like in general causes an uptick in vigilance in sensitivity to what is happening, the feedback that is coming your way and the potential dangers that are around you with your interpersonal connection. So that would make sense that trauma has some role in terms of who has rejection sensitivity, dysphoria, and who doesn't.

Tracy Otsuka  26:01  
I think for women, especially too, it leads to other challenges that we've heard of that tend to be, you know, kind of uniquely female challenges like learned helplessness, imposter syndrome, perfectionism. And again, if you I mean, you can understand how if you keep trying, and you keep failing, because they're telling you, you're failing, and they want you to do it their way, but you can't do it their way. But you could do it your way, if you just knew what your way was, over time, why the hell would you try? I feel I'd learned helplessness too. It's like, Nope, I can't do a you do it for me. And so that's what happens to a lot of ADHD women versus and I think that this is also you see it more among women who struggled in school men too. But if you're constantly on the bottom rung, if you're always in the quote, unquote, stupid reading class, the stupid math class, you start to think you're stupid, when in fact, you're not stupid at all, that might just not be your thing. And unfortunately, education goes wide instead of deep, right. But if you could find your thing, you could be brilliant at it. But at this point, you now think you're not smart at anything, you don't understand that no, there is something you're really really brilliant at. It just might not be school. And, you know, I mean, I've done a lot of research lately, primarily because of my son. As far as comorbidities, and especially dyslexia, where there's, you know, I've seen anywhere from a 40 to 60% comorbidity between ADHD and dyslexia. And so if there's any struggle around reading, and it shows up so differently, not like we've been taught, you can also imagine how you just feel like, okay, I'm not cut out for school, I'm not smart. If you struggled to read somewhere along the lines, we've decided that if you can read it means you're smart. And that's not necessarily true. You know, it's all about curiosity and being able to learn. And just because we decided, I don't know, whenever the printing press came about that, that means that you have to learn how to read, it doesn't mean that that's how you would be able to acquire knowledge, necessarily.

Christine Li  28:17  
I love it, I love your general take on this entire conversation, which is that we have to look at a person's strengths that we can't come at it from the deficit first, from the areas of weakness, that's part of the picture. But it's certainly not the defining part of the human being. And I love you for that. And I love all of your work for that. I want to hop back a little bit about the topic about self acceptance. And you had mentioned that you don't tend to have rejection sensitive dysphoria, you tend to be very driven, you tend to be confident. And you said that you see people holding back you see people worrying. And I guess I just wanted your general advice on how you would coach a human being a fellow human being on how to not hold back how to not hold themselves down how to not worry about the flaws that they might have in their way of socializing or reading or whatever that how can we bring out our best selves, no matter what the circumstances are.

Tracy Otsuka  29:33  
So someone asked me about this. I think it was yesterday, and I cannot remember what the circumstances were. But she had asked me, how is it that you're so confident? And I laughed, and I said, Oh, it's all an act. And she's like, What do you mean? And I said every single time I do something that is out of my comfort zone, I get uncomfortable, but It really is about action. And what I have discovered is I can actually manage my ADHD brain by firing my own dopamine by doing that, which I'm uncomfortable with. But it doesn't mean that I am not questioning and ruminating to a certain extent, right of Oh god. I mean, what are people gonna think? And what am I going to do? And what if it doesn't work? I think about those things, but I do it anyway. Because I have learned that action is the only way for me to feel good. If I'm in my head, I will say get out of there. It's a bad neighborhood. If I'm in my head, I can't be happy there. And so I think that for the ADHD brain, but I don't think it's just for the ADHD brain. I think it's for all brains. In fact, I had someone tell me, the other day, we were talking about dog training, and she said, Oh, well, there's this whole new philosophy now that it's all about positive emotion. And, and I was talking about Cesar Milan, which I guess is a different strategy. And, you know, of course, I usually jump in and argue right back on how I feel. But the minute she said positive emotion, I'm like, I totally agree, actually, because that's what works for humans. Why wouldn't that work for dogs, but it especially works for an ADHD brain. So we thrive with positive emotion and positively whether under negative emotion, so you can see if you struggled in school as a child, and all you got was negative, negative, negative emotion, no wonder you can't get out of your own way. And so the way to even start, is to do something, and get into your body and ask yourself, pause long enough to ask yourself, How does this feel. And if it feels good, do more of that. If it feels bad, if you're getting negative emotion, don't do it anymore, go in another direction and test something else. But I really think for those of us with ADHD, it's got to be positive emotion. And they have to learn how to trust, we are our own best expert, it doesn't matter what your parents told you to do what your best friend told you to do, what your spouse tells you to do. If it doesn't feel good, we all have this rudder inside of ourselves, that will give us the right direction. So especially with an ADHD brain, or to learn what that letter feels like when it feels good, so that you can, you know, do more of those things that feel better and better and just like a little tiny bit at a time, and just try it like for a lot of my women, they're like, Well, I can't start because we procrastinate, right? Well, the easiest way that you can start is when you're sitting there saying I can't start while this is.

I love this thing. It's a date x cube. And I go through this to where so the reason we can't start can be twofold, right? We're either perfectionists, and we fear that, oh, it's not going to be perfect. But for those of us with ADHD, it's often we procrastinate, because we don't know when the perfect time is going to be. So we can't put it on our calendar and know that we're going to be good to actually show up and do it. Because we never know how we're going to feel, you know, with ADHD, it's so much about the emotion. And so for me, if I've got something that I put on my calendar that I need to get done, or my to do list, and I can't start, I have to get myself into action. And so what I do is I just take this date x q. And on the other side, because I know this is a podcast, when you flip it over on say the 25 minutes side, you'll see a timer literally on there that says 25 minutes, and it clocks down. And so it doesn't require me opening my phone, it doesn't require me looking at what time it is and writing it down. All I do is I get get out of my head. It's a bad neighborhood. And I right away, flip this on its end 25 minutes. I know I can do anything for 25 minutes. And the deal I strike with myself is after 25 minutes, you can quit. Do you know I've been doing this for about three years. And I have never quit once after 25 minutes. But I allow myself if I want to quit I can. And just the fact of I do the first 25 minutes and then I get into my body when the when the buzzer goes off, and I feel how I feel. I promise you, you're gonna feel positive emotion, you're gonna feel good. And I know you teach this too, right? And then drives you to do that next thing that's on your list that you're kind of you know, that you maybe don't want to do.

Christine Li  34:38  
I love it. Thank you for this stroll through your brain and through this very lovely neighborhood. I think I think your brain is fantastic. And I think you've created a great system for people to thrive. In that we have tools like a simple timer to help us get out of our own complicated thoughts about ourselves or thoughts about the future, that all we need to do is kind of simplify, have patience with ourselves and develop confidence as we can through action. I'm, as you know, a big believer in taking action over procrastination. And I just admire everything that you've done. So thank you for being courageous in your actions.

Tracy Otsuka  35:22  
Well, you're welcome. I don't know any other way. I think I would be miserable if I just sat there and, you know, stayed in my brain.

Christine Li  35:29  
Yes, yes. All right. So let's have anyone who feels like something's been awakened inside of them with this conversation, to be able to know how to reach you how to get in touch with you and how to work with you please let us know.

Tracy Otsuka  35:47  
Probably the easiest thing would be to just go to Tracy otsuka.com. Everything's there. I've got my your ADHD brain is a ok. program. I've got my podcast. We just released our downloadable digital planner. And it's for that human who no matter how hard they've tried, they cannot stick with the planner. I'm trying to think what else is there? That's enough, don't you think?

Christine Li  36:13  
Yeah, it's great. And Tracy is graphics, everything the way she writes? Everything is fantastic. So go to tracyotsuka.com. And stay in touch with her. I know. I will. Tracy, thank you so much for your friendship and for being on the show today.

Tracy Otsuka  36:29  
Absolutely. My sincerest pleasure. Doesn't even make sense.

Christine Li  36:33  
Yeah, totally. Always. You always do. So everyone. Thank you so much. If you enjoyed this episode, please do me a favor and subscribe to the show. And leave a rating and review and help other people to follow me and then Make Time for Success podcast. Thanks so much. We'll see you next week. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Make Time for Success podcast. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Tracy Otsuka Profile Photo

Tracy Otsuka

Certified ADHD Coach/Podcast Host

Tracy Otsuka, is the host of the podcast, ADHD for Smart Ass Women. With over a million and a half downloads, it is ranked in the top one-half percent of all podcasts in the world on any subject. Her listeners are quick-witted, high-ability and like Tracy, see their ADHD traits as more positive than negative.

Tracy is also a certified ADHD coach who masterminds Your ADHD Brain is A-OK which uses her patented Coretography system to help ADHD women discover their strengths, step into their purpose and live to their potential, as well as the creator of the A-OK! EVERY DAY planning system for the ADHD brain.

Tracy graduated from Georgetown Law School, investigated cases for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and built a high-end women’s wear company whose clients included Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom.