Externalize Your Brain

Hey friends,

Lately, I've been thinking about the importance of externalizing things from my brain.

Ideas, tasks, and commitments get lost—leading to missed deadlines and broken promises. The fallout leads to overcommitment and eventual overwhelm.

One of the best ways to beat this is externalizing those ideas, tasks, and commitments.

Many of the best ADHD "hacks" can be boiled down to:

  1. take a thing you're thinking about
  2. move it into the real world where you will see it (sticky notes, timers, whiteboards)
  3. see it later and take action

This simple act of externalizing things played a pivotal role in helping my marriage recover after years of undiagnosed ADHD (see How A Whiteboard Saved My Marriage).

Not only do physical reminders help you remember—it can prove to others the reality of ADHD. Acts that appear selfish can be validated when you don't try to rely on memory and willpower alone.

Stay focused,

Jesse J. Anderson

Don't forget...

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to treat your ADHD symptoms.

Even if it's just walking for fifteen minutes, exercise every day. Exercise stimulates the production of epinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, which is exactly what the medications we treat ADD with do.

— Dr. Ned Hallowell

📝🏆 ADHD and Perfectionism. Do you consider yourself a perfectionist? Prior to her research, Rach (from the fantastic Adulting with ADHD newsletter) never really did. But she found that many signs can be masked by overlapping traits between ADHD and perfectionism, including procrastination, obsession with lists/work, fear of disapproval, and being self-critical.

🎥🙌 Viktor Frankl - Why To Believe In Others. "If we take man as he really is, we make him worse, but if we overestimate him … We promote him to what he really can be." Viktor Frankl speaks to the heart of what many with ADHD already know: with the right encouragement, there is no mountain we cannot climb. ADHD 2.0 (book) calls this recognition-sensitive euphoria, the "enhanced ability to make constructive use of praise, affirmation, and encouragement."

📝✨ How to Thrive in a Neurotypical World: Find the Fascinating. Tasks being "important" isn't enough to motivate us to get it done. This week, I wrote about how to capture and manufacture interest to help us find motivation to complete the tasks that we don't want to do.

Quote of the week

The events of your past are fixed. The meaning of your past is not.

— James Clear (author of Atomic Habits)