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The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get More Done

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Do you rule the realm of disorganization, clutter, and chaos? Are you constantly battling to get things done? Are you ready to give up and toss your day planner into the dungeon (otherwise known as your closet)? If so, you might just be The Queen of Distraction. And whether or not you’ve been formally diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you prob Do you rule the realm of disorganization, clutter, and chaos? Are you constantly battling to get things done? Are you ready to give up and toss your day planner into the dungeon (otherwise known as your closet)? If so, you might just be The Queen of Distraction. And whether or not you’ve been formally diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you probably already know that something’s got to give.   The Queen of Distraction presents practical skills to help women with ADHD achieve focus and balance in all areas of life, whether it’s at home, at work, or in relationships. Psychotherapist Terry Matlen delves into the feminine side of ADHD—the elements of this condition that are particular to women, such as: relationships, skin sensitivities, meal-planning, parenting, and dealing with out-of-control hormones. In addition, the book offers helpful tips and strategies to get your symptoms under control, and outlines a number of effective treatment options for you to pursue. From getting dressed in the morning, to making it to a job interview, to planning dinner—sometimes just getting through the day can be an ordeal for a woman with ADHD. If you’ve been accused of getting lost in your own world, maybe it’s time to make a change. If you’re ready to start getting organized and stop leaving your groceries in the car, this book can help. It’s more than just a survival guide; it’s an ADHD how-to to help you thrive! Feathered Quill Book Award for Self-Help (Second Place) (2016)


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Do you rule the realm of disorganization, clutter, and chaos? Are you constantly battling to get things done? Are you ready to give up and toss your day planner into the dungeon (otherwise known as your closet)? If so, you might just be The Queen of Distraction. And whether or not you’ve been formally diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you prob Do you rule the realm of disorganization, clutter, and chaos? Are you constantly battling to get things done? Are you ready to give up and toss your day planner into the dungeon (otherwise known as your closet)? If so, you might just be The Queen of Distraction. And whether or not you’ve been formally diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you probably already know that something’s got to give.   The Queen of Distraction presents practical skills to help women with ADHD achieve focus and balance in all areas of life, whether it’s at home, at work, or in relationships. Psychotherapist Terry Matlen delves into the feminine side of ADHD—the elements of this condition that are particular to women, such as: relationships, skin sensitivities, meal-planning, parenting, and dealing with out-of-control hormones. In addition, the book offers helpful tips and strategies to get your symptoms under control, and outlines a number of effective treatment options for you to pursue. From getting dressed in the morning, to making it to a job interview, to planning dinner—sometimes just getting through the day can be an ordeal for a woman with ADHD. If you’ve been accused of getting lost in your own world, maybe it’s time to make a change. If you’re ready to start getting organized and stop leaving your groceries in the car, this book can help. It’s more than just a survival guide; it’s an ADHD how-to to help you thrive! Feathered Quill Book Award for Self-Help (Second Place) (2016)

30 review for The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get More Done

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rianne Ranta

    This book was mostly terrible. I got one or two good meal planning tips out of it but most of it was annoying or useless. It's a book for women with ADD. Because it's a book for women, the emphasis is on childcare and housework. I was hoping for practical advice, instead I got 'PMS gives you mood swings! Let's talk about parenting! Give yourself a room full of pillows!' Any book that cites a WEbMD article loses any remaining respect I may have had for it. I technically finished this, but skimmed th This book was mostly terrible. I got one or two good meal planning tips out of it but most of it was annoying or useless. It's a book for women with ADD. Because it's a book for women, the emphasis is on childcare and housework. I was hoping for practical advice, instead I got 'PMS gives you mood swings! Let's talk about parenting! Give yourself a room full of pillows!' Any book that cites a WEbMD article loses any remaining respect I may have had for it. I technically finished this, but skimmed through probably 2/3rds for being completely irrelevant to me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jasmin

    This is one of a few books my doctor recommended me too read to help me with my understanding of ADHD and how it is effecting my life. It was strangely unreal to read many sections of this book which felt like someone was following me around most of my life and jotting down notes for later, a little unnerving to be honest. But it was so helpful, many tips and tricks to use. I also get the ability to understand that my ADHD is not just about my hyperactivity or my inability to pay attention but a This is one of a few books my doctor recommended me too read to help me with my understanding of ADHD and how it is effecting my life. It was strangely unreal to read many sections of this book which felt like someone was following me around most of my life and jotting down notes for later, a little unnerving to be honest. But it was so helpful, many tips and tricks to use. I also get the ability to understand that my ADHD is not just about my hyperactivity or my inability to pay attention but a lot of different things all mashed up into one. And it help me feel a little less scattered simply knowing that their are other women out there with similar situations and I am not alone with dealing with a lot of this. While I'm still figuring out how to deal with things, I am slowly working my way through the long list of books given to me. But it makes me hopeful that I can manage this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I loved this book and found it very helpful. The only part I didn't like was the section on marriage, which was written from the perspective that any problems in the marriage were the fault of the person with ADD. Having ADD does not make you responsible for everything that goes wrong. The way your spouse responds can make a big difference, for good or ill, even aside from any issues of their own that they bring to the table.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Morse

    The most you can take from my low rating is that this book did not help me. The author says she's an expert on women dealing with ADHD, and I'm certainly not, but I am an adult. I was seriously turned off by the cutesy puns, the use of headings like "Kitchen Klutter", and the author's insistence on cramming everyone into neat little compartments ("Morning Person or a Night Owl?" "Morning Person or Night Owl", she says, over and over, in a book that is supposed to help those whose brains resent r The most you can take from my low rating is that this book did not help me. The author says she's an expert on women dealing with ADHD, and I'm certainly not, but I am an adult. I was seriously turned off by the cutesy puns, the use of headings like "Kitchen Klutter", and the author's insistence on cramming everyone into neat little compartments ("Morning Person or a Night Owl?" "Morning Person or Night Owl", she says, over and over, in a book that is supposed to help those whose brains resent ruts and defy easy label). Way too much of it is dedicated to organization "tips" so simple and basic I can't imagine who isn't physically brain damaged getting to age 40 without figuring them out (put your keys in a dish by the door! file papers in a filing cabinet!), and all of it assumes that the reader has children and is employed full time, as well as being an active volunteer. Basically, it's not designed to help women with ADHD better understand their minds, but rather explains in what I felt were fairly insulting terms how to take the simplest steps toward appearing "normal". There isn't any room here for figuring out how you, personally, need to organize your life. Just lots and lots of descriptions of cubbies and launching pads and, um, filing cabinets. But, she remembers to tell us at the last moment, feel free to adapt her weirdly stringent cubbie system to your own needs (somehow) or it won't work. Inconsistency was also a problem. I kind of gave up and started skimming during the "make your own planner" section, where we learned that it can be literally anything, even just some old notebook, but make sure it's divided into quarter hour segments, and also make sure it's a smartphone app. That you will later stick post-its in, after gathering them up from every room of the house at the end of every day. Maybe if the title had made clear that "Women with ADHD" actually meant "Overworked Moms" I wouldn't be so disappointed. Okay, I definitely wouldn't be, because I wouldn't have read it in the first place.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Becky Voorheis

    I found this book incredibly patronizing and unhelpful. If middle aged women are like Atlas holding up the world, then us readers of this book are doing it with one hand tied behind our backs and the author is suggesting tactics like laminating recipe cards and gluing pictures of the contents of file folders on the outside. I felt like I had told her my house was on fire and she suggested I paint the garage door. Plus towards the end I started screaming inside every time she listed her website a I found this book incredibly patronizing and unhelpful. If middle aged women are like Atlas holding up the world, then us readers of this book are doing it with one hand tied behind our backs and the author is suggesting tactics like laminating recipe cards and gluing pictures of the contents of file folders on the outside. I felt like I had told her my house was on fire and she suggested I paint the garage door. Plus towards the end I started screaming inside every time she listed her website address - sometimes several times in one paragraph! What a waste of time.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eva Johnson

    Well, this explains a lot! ;)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty ❤️

    Synopsis: Do you rule the realm of disorganization, clutter, and chaos? Are you constantly battling to get things done? Are you ready to give up and toss your day planner into the dungeon (otherwise known as your closet)? If so, you might just be The Queen of Distraction. And whether or not you’ve been formally diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you probably already know that something’s got to give. . Me: Once upon a time someone suggested I may have ADHD. Discussion Synopsis: Do you rule the realm of disorganization, clutter, and chaos? Are you constantly battling to get things done? Are you ready to give up and toss your day planner into the dungeon (otherwise known as your closet)? If so, you might just be The Queen of Distraction. And whether or not you’ve been formally diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you probably already know that something’s got to give. . Me: Once upon a time someone suggested I may have ADHD. Discussions with my doctor resulted in me still not knowing as I decided against tests. What I do know is I have depression, anxiety and am often chaotic. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was that while it is aimed at women with ADHD the support, advice and many tips are useful for any woman with a stressful life or mental health problem. In fact in this age where we are expected to have everything, do everything and be a superwoman all whilst looking like a supermodel on the catwalk it's great to read a book that says it doesn't matter if you don't get everything done, if one day you decide to say 'sod it' and just feed the kids fish finger sandwiches for tea instead of some culinary masterpiece. I've done some reading up in ADHD in general and where this book differs is by being solely about women - why in some cases they have hypersensitivity to fabrics, why not every woman is addicted to going to the mall and how to get by at work. Not a reflection about Matlen's book but I found it sad that in some cases she recommends non-disclosure and not discussing with employers. Maybe I'm naive in my thinking as I have an excellently understanding set of bosses but it saddens me in this day and age that not every employer is supportive. Like many self help books written by Americans all the links are for America only so you may have to look up your own disability discrimination legislation to see where you stand in terms of employment support and again for education. There's a slight obsession with plugging her own website although at the end does also supply some further reading and links to follow. It's an accessible book, not heavy on jargon and quite easy to read. It helps that Matlen herself has ADHD so understands the audience she's writing for. Highly recommended and a must read for any woman with ADHD, stress & anxiety suffers or friends of sufferers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    There are a few helpful tips in here, but more often than not I found myself skipping sections. As I have no children, I skipped anything relating to organizing your children's lives (probably a good third of the book). Also, I don't meal plan, so there goes another quarter. Much of the rest is giving suggestions that really won't work when push comes to shove - "put it in your planner!" which is great, unless you forget that you even have a planner, in which case all the planning in the world i There are a few helpful tips in here, but more often than not I found myself skipping sections. As I have no children, I skipped anything relating to organizing your children's lives (probably a good third of the book). Also, I don't meal plan, so there goes another quarter. Much of the rest is giving suggestions that really won't work when push comes to shove - "put it in your planner!" which is great, unless you forget that you even have a planner, in which case all the planning in the world isn't going to help you out. Mostly this book is about how to organize your stuff and put stuff in your planner and leave yourself a thousand notes all over the place. There might be a couple of useful tidbits found inside, but all in all I found that I already implement most of them, and the rest just either aren't practical, or don't apply. Pass.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book has some good, practical advice for women with ADHD. I especially appreciated the sections about the effect of hormones on women with ADHD. Most of the book provides general overviews of topics without going into a lot of detail, however. Much of the advice can be found in greater detail in other books or was sadly outdated. (Meal planning on index cards in 2018? LOL. And instead of figuring out how to manage everything in your family's lives single-handedly, how about requiring your h This book has some good, practical advice for women with ADHD. I especially appreciated the sections about the effect of hormones on women with ADHD. Most of the book provides general overviews of topics without going into a lot of detail, however. Much of the advice can be found in greater detail in other books or was sadly outdated. (Meal planning on index cards in 2018? LOL. And instead of figuring out how to manage everything in your family's lives single-handedly, how about requiring your husband/wife/partner and/or older children to pull their weight?) It's a quick read finished in only a few hours, however, so it's worth reading for the bits of worthwhile wisdom.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Khulood

    As a person who has ADHD, I found this book great. Very helpful tips from someone who actually understands what ADHD is. *I got an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Fascinating I have had issues my entire life with oversensitivity, brain fog, and disorder. I never considered that my issues might stem from ADHD. It explains so much and helps me see how I can manage my environment so I can be happier.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Catricia

    Didn't actually finish it but it was kind of boring and filled with typical advice. Been there, read that.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Smith

    Super, actionable tips and also healing for the women out there who have long struggled but never knew why. Fantastic read and extremely helpful!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    While not all of the author’s advice will work for me (hire a professional organizer, write meal plans on index cards), there were definitely tips I could use. I love the idea of saying “I can” instead of “I have to.” For example, I am doing laundry because I can. I am fortunate enough to have a washing machine to wash my clothes. I also like her recommendation to actually time a task you had been dreading. In reality it rarely takes as long as you think it will, and you can quickly move on to s While not all of the author’s advice will work for me (hire a professional organizer, write meal plans on index cards), there were definitely tips I could use. I love the idea of saying “I can” instead of “I have to.” For example, I am doing laundry because I can. I am fortunate enough to have a washing machine to wash my clothes. I also like her recommendation to actually time a task you had been dreading. In reality it rarely takes as long as you think it will, and you can quickly move on to something else.

  15. 5 out of 5

    V2adams

    This is one book that I would certainly put on my list to purchase!! I have been told by several people over the years that I have ADHD, but I never really believed it. After reading this book, I now realize that there are actually 2 different forms of ADD. Even though I'm not the hyper-active type, I still do have LOTS, ok, almost all of the qualifications for the other type of ADHD!! The author, Terry Matlen, goes into loads of information telling what this disorder is, the types there is, how This is one book that I would certainly put on my list to purchase!! I have been told by several people over the years that I have ADHD, but I never really believed it. After reading this book, I now realize that there are actually 2 different forms of ADD. Even though I'm not the hyper-active type, I still do have LOTS, ok, almost all of the qualifications for the other type of ADHD!! The author, Terry Matlen, goes into loads of information telling what this disorder is, the types there is, how to handle it and loads of other great information. She also lets the reader know that even though she's a psychotherapist herself, she admits to having ADHD also. She tells about how this has effected her life and those around her. The book is written in a very funny format which makes you want to continue reading it. I have already put another one of her books on hold at the library also. I would recommend this book to everyone as it gives an insight to some of the things that other people have to deal with. This book is exceptionally well written. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Smalter Hall

    The Queen of Distraction is a solid read with short chapters and practical tips for women with ADHD. Not every single suggestion will be applicable for every single woman, but I think it does offer something for pretty much everyone who could use help managing their ADHD. Matlen's writing is warm and personable, and she peppers in anecdotes from her own life, making the book that much more relatable. It was also revealing / validating to read about some of the topics that I wouldn't have necessar The Queen of Distraction is a solid read with short chapters and practical tips for women with ADHD. Not every single suggestion will be applicable for every single woman, but I think it does offer something for pretty much everyone who could use help managing their ADHD. Matlen's writing is warm and personable, and she peppers in anecdotes from her own life, making the book that much more relatable. It was also revealing / validating to read about some of the topics that I wouldn't have necessarily thought were ADHD-related, but are in fact things that are hard for me, and now I know that it all ties back to ADHD and that there are practical solutions. The examples that comes to mind are sensitivity to touch, smells, and textures, and the nuisance of having to put together a complete outfit every day. tl;dr: This is a great supplementary read for women with ADHD who want to learn more about how to do grown-up life.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    What makes this book work is its simplicity. Matlen doesn’t suggest 10 different ways to organize your house – she gives you a few methods that can be adjusted to suit your lifestyle. This is definitely a book I would love to have on my e-reader, a place in my life that is surprisingly well organized. And while I’m not naïve enough to think this book can help me solve all my organization problems, it is a good starting point and even if it helps me get one area of my life more organized (I’m loo What makes this book work is its simplicity. Matlen doesn’t suggest 10 different ways to organize your house – she gives you a few methods that can be adjusted to suit your lifestyle. This is definitely a book I would love to have on my e-reader, a place in my life that is surprisingly well organized. And while I’m not naïve enough to think this book can help me solve all my organization problems, it is a good starting point and even if it helps me get one area of my life more organized (I’m looking at you, kitchen) then I might have the confidence to tackle other areas (that would be you, basement). To read the rest of this review check out my blog latte-books! **NetGalley provided me with an advanced reader copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.**

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pam Thomas

    Really enjoyed this book although I dont suffer from ADHD I have friends who do, so it makes a change to find a book that covers everything from diagnosis to help. I didnt realise that brain chemistry is different from the norm, that some people suffer from shame and guilt. Its about real stories from women with ADHD and how they feel, it also helps show how you can manage to declutter, has solutions for shopping, dressing and getting a sense of belonging and understanding . BRILLIANT READ - HIG Really enjoyed this book although I dont suffer from ADHD I have friends who do, so it makes a change to find a book that covers everything from diagnosis to help. I didnt realise that brain chemistry is different from the norm, that some people suffer from shame and guilt. Its about real stories from women with ADHD and how they feel, it also helps show how you can manage to declutter, has solutions for shopping, dressing and getting a sense of belonging and understanding . BRILLIANT READ - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  19. 4 out of 5

    Isabella

    This review was originally written for NetGalley.com - I started reading this book thinking I would become better organized and not knowing that it would actually change my life. With each page I thought, "This is me!" In the first chapter I had an epiphany - I have ADHD. I'd never thought about it before, but it explained so many things that were wrong in my life. This book is wonderfully written and funny and so easy to understand. The perfect book for any woman with ADHD. And also a good book This review was originally written for NetGalley.com - I started reading this book thinking I would become better organized and not knowing that it would actually change my life. With each page I thought, "This is me!" In the first chapter I had an epiphany - I have ADHD. I'd never thought about it before, but it explained so many things that were wrong in my life. This book is wonderfully written and funny and so easy to understand. The perfect book for any woman with ADHD. And also a good book for anyone wanting to be better organized. Highly recommended!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Debra Jeakins

    Great book if you are one of the many people who have ADHD. I am one of those. The book didn't bury me in technical doctor speak though it does give you information about ADHD. Its in English easy to understand. But, unlike most ADHD books I've read this one actually gives the reader some common sense ways to handle ADHD. If you know someone who is ADHD and want to give them a gift I recommend this book. Man, woman or child the book is a good common sense book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Bowling

    This had some useful recommendations, but a good chunk of the book seemed pretty useless for me as a (happily) childless, single 20-something without the physical space for my own home office, or the funds to hire a professional ADHD home organizer. So I skimmed probably half of the chapters in this book. It would have behooved the author to get some imput from younger women with ADHD too, because our experience of the condition is apparently very very different.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Reading this book has made my more aware of just how distracted my life is on a daily basis. There are specific steps shared to help you conquer the distractions. It is a process not a quick band-aid. Well written and encouraging! Enjoy! NetGalley and New Harbinger Publications provided an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Withem

    This is a really great book. I learned some things about ADHD that I was not aware of before reading this book. I can now see how having ADHD can be extremely frustrating as an adult as well as a child. There are some great tips to help someone with ADHD become more organized. Some of the tips are useful whether you have ADHD or not. Great read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    Have to read this again. Will probably buy it so I can do that and have it to refer to. Very emotional for me but useful. So much of my childhood in here too, too many people, too many loud noises. And the daily struggle of getting through the day at all let alone with kids. Still not much on meds though.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    This is a wonderful read by Terry Matlen. I will most likely purchase this book for my personal collection.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    just "okay" It was too general. I felt that there could've been more specific and creative ideas for tools to help with time management

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Kain

    I'd like to just dismiss most of the advice as common sense, but if it were, I would be doing these things already. Great, straightforward, actionable advice for the woman with ADHD.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I enjoyed this books, gives you some insight of how to deal with ADHD. Also gives you some other books to read. I would recommend this book and I do hope it helps anyone suffering from ADHD.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kricket

    Full of really great ideas and tips. Definitely will be reading again.

  30. 4 out of 5

    E J

    This book is for women as in Wimmin... it’s about housework and managing households and kids and husbands and shit. It had some interesting information but mostly just succeeded in making me feel sick and overwhelmed at all of the things that are going to be a constant struggle for the rest of my life. So that was great. I would be stunned if any techniques in this book haven’t been at least attempted by most people with ADHD, regardless of their stage in life. They are simple organisational skil This book is for women as in Wimmin... it’s about housework and managing households and kids and husbands and shit. It had some interesting information but mostly just succeeded in making me feel sick and overwhelmed at all of the things that are going to be a constant struggle for the rest of my life. So that was great. I would be stunned if any techniques in this book haven’t been at least attempted by most people with ADHD, regardless of their stage in life. They are simple organisational skills that anybody would use. There is nothing specific to ADHD. Like, it suggests designated spots for things. This is something people have suggested to me constantly my whole life. I have, for example, a designated spot for my keys, they go on the hook by my door. But I still lose them at least twice a week. I also found the section about work incredibly disheartening, and cried imagining trying to get special concessions to accomodate my auditory sensitivities. I am now more convinced than ever that I will struggle my entire life not to be distressed and upset in the workplace. Her solutions suggested a total lack of awareness of the rigidity of many workplaces, and the TOTAL lack of empathy many people have for non-specific issues (the book advises not to disclose that you have ADHD). If you do not: 1) have children 2) have a house in which multiple spaces are yours eg. If you are flatting 3) have any money 4)have a spouse I would suggest trying other books because this one dedicates large chunks to kids, hiring organisers or helpers, taking control of household space, and relationships (focusing on more serious relationships). Also given the focus on paper based paperwork and landline phones, I imagine this would be more helpful for people in their 50s and older.

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