I used to think I knew what ADHD was. Then I learned the truth, and it changed my life. Here are 4 of the Top ADHD Myths: ADHD Isn't Real, You Grow Out of ADHD, ADHD Always Causes Hyperactivity, People with ADHD Can't Focus On Anything
What went well this year? A lot went right for me this year. I've been learning about ADHD for the past 5-6 years since I was diagnosed, but I only realized this year how much my knowledge could help others. It's been incredibly fulfilling to help others better understand their ADHD and not feel so alone. Many have discovered they have ADHD for the first time through my content. My diagnosis was life-changing, so it's amazing to be able to be part of other people's story in that way.
The ultimate gift guide for the ADHDer in your life. Every ADHDer is different so these won't be a perfect match for everyone, but hopefully will help you find the right gift for that special ADHDer in your life.
I'm writing a book! It is tentatively titled "Refocus" and will be a practical guide to living with ADHD. I'll be writing in public so you can follow along and even contribute!
It can be fun to produce content, but also exhausting. Some days it feels like work even thinking of a topic to cover. You feel tired, disengaged. You start to resent your commitments. The last creation got low engagement and you're feeling burnt out.
"Can you come up to my office? We need to talk." Those dreaded words always spell trouble. It's usually code for "you've screwed something up, and now we need to address how our relationship is going to change from now on."
It seems like every day someone new announces they think they might have ADHD. Is this just some sort of weird trend? Are people just claiming neurodivergence to seem special or unique? Do social platforms like TikTok or Instagram push people into thinking they have something that they don't?
Your brain is always guessing. You collect all sorts of sensory information. You try to figure out what is happening and what is going to be happening in the near future. On guard for danger. Predicting the next change—learning from what happens.
There's a lot to consider when deciding on a note-taking system. Does it have good documentation? How easy is it to use? What are the search capabilities? Are there good mobile apps? Can you easily export your data? Do you enjoy the design? Is your data secure?
Weight loss can be difficult with ADHD for a variety of reasons. Impulsivity. You prefer a quick, immediate result over one that requires long-term thinking and foresight. This makes the bowl of ice cream more attractive than responsible diet choices.
Sometimes, creating content can be a slog. Don't get me wrong. Creation is often full of joy! When an idea comes easy, publishing can be incredibly fulfilling. But when you're on the wrong side of things, it feels like work.
You sit down at your desk after a meeting and suddenly realize... you have no idea what you’re supposed to do. Rather than clarifying, you feel guilty about not knowing what to do. You should know, right? You nodded along like everything made sense and thought it did make sense.
So many hours spent building the perfect task management system. A weekend dedicated to brain dumping, tagging, categorizing, and building for all scenarios. Set up for whatever comes next, ready to take on the world. The system that will finally get you on track.
Living with ADHD means you’re going to get knocked down. Dr. William Dodson estimates the average child with ADHD hears 20,000 more negative messages than neurotypical peers by age 10. That perpetual discouraging feedback is going to knock you down from time to time.
Popular productivity tips often don't work for those with ADHD. One offender is the advice to eat the frog first.
I recently fell off the wagon with my writing daily habit. I had a legitimate excuse (DisneyLand!), but missing a single day led to 3 more missed days.
Does chasing ambition fire you up? It fires me up. Something about the chance to create something new, to do something original, to leave an impact where previously there was none. There's excitement there.
Oh no, you can feel it. It's happened again. You weren't ready, but somehow this activity you previously loved to do has become dull, lifeless, boring. The steps that used to bring joy have become an exercise in agony.
Too many of us spend our whole lives just trying to be like everyone else. You want to belong, to fit in, and spend so much of your energy trying to do so. Following the trends. Discarding what makes you someone unique, in a desperate plea for acceptance. A spot on the team.
I am fully, undeniably, and hopelessly addicted to sugar. Even writing that down feels silly. Addictions are serious business. I've seen "real" addictions like drugs, alcohol, and more destroy people, irreparably damage relationships, and cut lives far too short.
One of the defining characteristics of ADHD is a limitless potential to do anything you desire, if you can find a way to build and maintain interest in that area. This is called "omnipotential".
People with ADHD are often highly creative. We have a different way of viewing the world. Our attention filter is broken—everything gets through. This gives us a wider lens to observe our environments.
According to the DSM-V,¹ ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has three possible presentation types: Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation, Combined Presentation
I want to build community for like-minded ADHD creatives. But what does that mean? What does it look like and what is the purpose? Do I create a Slack group and call it good? No, I want something more than that.
We often talk about overcoming the fear of failure, but what about the fear of success? Sometimes, that can be even more terrifying.
The busy bandwagon tells us that we've always got to be working creating, delivering, publishing. Eventually, this leads to burnout as content creation takes hours instead of minutes. We can't even imagine where the time would come from to let this content creation continue.
People with ADHD struggle with memory. Things get "lost" in your brain. Appointments, commitments, and intentions disappear. Often you feel like you are in clean-up mode, trying to atone for missed deadlines and broken promises.
We have access to so much data. For example: I can see my last atomic essay had 3,443 impressions, 137 media engagements, 70 likes, 35 profile views, 17 replies, and 9 retweets. Wow, that's a lot of data. Pretty good data.
Having a niche is overrated. Almost every creator I know talks about the stress of trying to find their niche.
It's easy to be resistant to change. I used to get really frustrated whenever my social media platform of choice made some change that I didn't like. It can be especially frustrating when those changes affect you directly.
When we were kids, our minds were free. No rules or patterns to stifle our creativity. Every drawing was different. Every piece of paper a new opportunity for exploration. We had no idea what we were supposed to do, so we did whatever felt right.
This album floored me. An instant favorite I will return to time and time again. It's a love letter to the traditional concept album. The kind where you grab your favorite slow drink, dim the lights, and absorb it from start to finish.
Language is always evolving. When I was growing up, kids often used "retarded" as a casual negative word. Today, we know how hurtful that was and it would be appalling to hear it used that way.
So you want to be a web developer? There are two things you need to do: 1. learn things 2. build things. The best part is, you can do both at the same time!
People with ADHD struggle with perceiving time. Often, we are only aware of two different times: "now" and "not now." This causes us to be late to meetings, miss appointments, and neglect work until it's almost too late.
Whenever I join a Zoom call with new people, I get asked about my camera setup. It becomes a free ice-breaker for new conversations.
Becoming great is hardly appealing. Want a comfortable life? Low expectations and easy goals to achieve? This is all possible with one easy step: make mediocrity the goal.
Drink more water and get more sleep.
ADHD has a PR problem. Many people with ADHD have no idea they have it. Experts estimate a staggering 75-90% of adults with ADHD are undiagnosed. What is going on, why is the problem so bad?
For the past 6 years, I've been building products as a front-end designer/developer at Planning Center. I collaborated with product managers and developers to develop products to meet the needs of our customers.
Distractions are everywhere in the modern age. In the book Make Time, authors Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky name the two primary forces of modern distraction: the Busy Bandwagon and Infinity Pools.
Having ADHD sucks. It's my constant enemy, thwarting my best intentions. It makes me fail, time and time again. It always makes me late. It makes mountains out of molehills. It sends me into shame spirals and destroys my self-esteem.
I've had the pedal to the metal for months. I knew it wasn't sustainable but was having so much fun. Everything was working. My views about myself as a creator began to change. I had evolving visions about my long-term future. I was loving life, even as I added more chainsaws to my juggling act.
Do you collect hobbies? Last year, I found myself obsessed with learning how to make synth music. I've always been a fan of that 80s electronic sound and I'm a decent musician so it seemed like a natural fit.
Apple was a mess before Steve Jobs returned in 1997. Steve had "one neat trick" to right the ship. I call it absolute focus. He started saying no. A lot.
You can experience a strange comfort when you find yourself at the edge of chaos. I thrive in that chaos.
This week, I made a big mistake. Someone reached out to me about something I'd shared and let me know of an error. At first I didn't want to believe them. I justified my actions to myself. I felt like I was in the right—they didn't understand. They were at fault, not me.
I've been feeling like a fraud lately. This year I started really putting myself out there, creating content and sharing with the world. And I've had some amazing success!
Do you know why babies love to play peek-a-boo? For the first few months of a baby's life, they lackobject permanence. If something disappears from their sight, it's gone forever.
I've always hated deadlines. In school, deadlines were ever looming—projects that were supposed to take weeks. The kind of deadline that becomes meaningless until suddenly your project is due tomorrow. The project you forgot about. The project you haven't even started on.
You are wasting 80% of your time. The 80/20 rule shows that 80% of the value you create comes from just 20% of the work you put in. Where does the rest of that time and effort go? To that measly final 20%. Not exactly efficient.
People are motivated by importance. When your boss asks you to get started on a big project, or your teacher tells you your final paper is due, knowing that it's important to them is enough to get the work done.
I did it. For 30 days, I wrote and shipped a new essay every single day. I will long cherish this accomplishment. It's a turning point, the start of something new. So how did I do it?
You wish you were a more consistent writer. Others have seen success, and you wonder if you can do the same. The answer is simple. Join a community of writers who ship new content every day and together, we can all grow our audience.
Being lazy is a choice, not a trait. It's easy to think lazy means a lack of motivation or strong willpower. The truth is, willpower has nothing to do with it.
Our emotions can get the best of us. Flippant responses can hurt your relationships and get in your own way. Burying your feelings is not the answer. But there are easy strategies you can follow to keep them in check.
One tiny mistake is all it takes to set off a chain reaction of shame. For people with ADHD, there is learned behavior of assuming everything is your fault.
In a world with full of distraction, attention has become one of your most important assets. To find daily focus, you must be deliberate with your practices. If life just happens to you, your destination is left up to chance. Be proactive in your life and bring focus to your daily routines.
It's easy to get lost in the world of content creation. You need a system to help you prioritize your values and make sure you aren't wasting energy on the wrong thing.
Before getting started, ask yourself a few questions to establish where you stand. What do you need to complete this? Do you have everything ready to go?
It can be scary to build in public. You are afraid your ideas will be stolen. You are afraid that you will look foolish. You don't realize it, but have let fear take control of the steering wheel. Don't be driven by your fear.
Everyone wants new habits, but few know where to start. Most people fail before they get started by not being specific. To create a habit you can follow, identify three key elements.
Time is our most important asset. It's the great equalizer, the ticking clock that none of us can escape. As Alice Walker said, "Time moves slowly, but passes quickly." We must do what we can to preserve what we have available.
John Corcoran was a man with an extraordinary secret. Everything seemed fine from the outside. John was been popular in high school, did well in sports and dated the Valedictorian. A basketball scholarship sent him off to college and he became a well-liked social studies teacher of 17 years.
"Can you take out the trash?" "Sure, babe." This simple question and answer happened every night. She asked me to take out the trash, I promised to do so. But I never did.
Why would you do it like that? Are you stupid? What is wrong with you? These phrases are all-too-familiar to the ADHD brain. Most have been hearing variations their entire life.
Don't read books if you want to learn. Well, don't _just_ read books, like we did in school. Underlining, highlighting, and just hoping to keep the knowledge long enough to pass the test. And then forgetting everything once we finished the class.
1. Create reverse to-do lists. Write down everything you've already done today. Check them off. This list helps you feel accomplished, and becomes a great place to add new tasks that won't feel intimidating.
Why do we place so much importance on the idea of feeling motivated? When it's time to start some important routine—workout, meditation, finances, etc—we often feel the desire to first check in with ourselves. We ask, "do I feel motivated enough to do this task?" rather than just doing it.
One of the best investments you can make in yourself is taking a personal retreat. You must be able to fully engage in the retreat, I recommend 2-3 days at a location outside of your home with minimal distractions. Aim for secluded with inspiring views.
Color blindness is the decreased ability to see color or differences in color. Color is visual, making it easy for anyone to understand the concept of color blindness. We can illustrate the difference simply by adjusting hues and saturation. Time blindness is much more difficult to visualize.
(Content warning: suicide, depression: If you are in crisis, call 800-273-8255) Time stopped with the sharp sound of a rapid inhale. My mom was holding the phone receiver to her ear, her free hand now covering her mouth. I could sense that death was on the line. Her eyes avoided mine. She started to cry.
Why can't I complete tasks that I know are important? My brain does not process importance the same way as a neurotypical brain. Neurotypical people use importance to determine their focus and motivation.
Have you ever known of oncoming tragedy, and been powerless to stop it? The lyrics of Jimmy Eat World hit me today. I was reminded of that slow-but-fast transition between the innocence of a child and the reality of becoming an adult.
Have you ever been so enraged that you couldn't contain yourself? Fury and anger hit a boiling point and your volcanic eruption really let someone know how betrayed and hurt you felt. To someone with ADHD, this type of extreme reaction can occur in response to even the slightest criticism or rejection.
I had zero followers. Seven days later, I had 20,000. I didn't cross promote through other channels. I didn't buy advertising, spam an email list, or beg via social media. Honestly, I didn't even tell anyone I had a TikTok account. So how did I do it?
Stop setting goals that don't produce lasting change. If you want to change your life, you need to become the type of person that does what you want to do.
Don't make the same mistake I did. Don't write off TikTok as "just for kids". TikTok is the perfect platform to generate new ideas for content creation.
I was 36 years old when someone first suggested I might have ADHD. "No way—I can spend hours focused on something if I'm interested in it," I said. Turns out that's called hyperfocus**, a symptom of ADHD. After reading about more all-too-familiar symptoms, I decided to get an official diagnosis.
Content is infinite, but the time of man is not. As access to limitless content increases, our attention span decreases. Twitter, TikTok, and other social media prove this trend.
Ever wanted to speak at a conference, but didn't know what to talk about? The answer is simple, teach what you don't know. Find a topic that interests you but doesn't make sense. Even better if you can't find any good tutorials—this means you've found an opportunity.
I have a superpower, a spidey sense. An innate ability to sense things that others cannot. Where did I get this superpower? It's a side effect of my neurological disorder, ADHD.
This is a work-in-progress (and likely always will be!) but this is how I am currently using the beautiful Craft app to manage my Zettelkasten, Personal Knowledgement, Evergreen Notes, Smart Notes, etc. Craft has native apps for iOS and Mac, meaning I can easily access it from my iPhone, iPad, and Mac and they share the same feature set. These apps are slick too - a lot of care went into the design and it shows. It is simply a joy to use.