ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning Coaching…Difference Between Working Hard and Well

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

Understanding the difference between working hard and working well is important for my clients with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns. Of course, this can also apply to other individuals as well. I usually have to explain to my clients that these two concepts aren’t the same thing. Just because one does something with extra effort doesn’t mean that it is being done properly. But when one does something well, it isn’t necessarily brought on through hard work.

OK, so you might be asking yourself, Jonathan are you suggesting that hard work isn’t important? Of course not…working hard is very important. But trying to solve a problem simply through hard work isn’t an effective strategy. Here’s an example…let’s say that a student is struggling with math. Instead of learning the steps to solving a problem, that particular learner continues to do problems in the same incorrect way. Hours are spent forming bad habits because instead of working well on the problems, the student is working hard. A simple fix for this would have been to seek out assistance, identify effective strategies for solving these particular problems and completing the work correctly. Potentially, what has taken the student hours upon hours to complete incorrectly with effort could have been done in a much more efficiently thus resulting in less time and energy.

During my sessions, I often correct my clients when he or she uses the I’ll just need to work harder answer by following up with this question..can you describe what harder work looks like? This usually stumps the individual. Working harder is simply a concept that needs practical applications. But I’ll follow up with…perhaps you want to work better. This elicits a much greater response from my client. Changing this mindset from hard to well helps the individual understand there’s a bigger picture that begins with becoming more efficient.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, please visit for more information. To learn more about my other services, please visit & I can be found on Twitter at ADHDGuru. You can also find me on Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr. Feel free to email me at [email protected] or call 877.398.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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