This is essay is part 3 of a 3 part examination of my personal struggles with ADHD and how I overcame them.
I’d like to thank you for making it this far and above all else for taking an active approach towards your ADHD.
The principles in question are deeply powerful and if applied will result in exponential gains in productivity and general happiness.
Below you will find the final 5 principles I created for my framework to manage my ADHD. Well done for making it this far.
5 Principles Discussed
1. The game is Rigged, rig it back..
3. Momentum is everything.
4. Tell the inside voice to write it down.
5. 1 thing at a time.
6. Always have too much to do.
Principle 11: The game is Rigged, rig it back
The modern world is a highly complex space and makes ridiculous requests of us everyday. We’re expected to be able to do everything, know everything and keep in the loop of the world’s greatest media feeds. You would be a fool to try to match the world’s expectations of you. The task is far too challenging and will require you to do everything except be happy and fulfilled.
So what’s a girl to do?
Simple Rig back. The game is rigged, so you need to rig it back.
Whatever rules the world gives you, learn to see past the rules and see the intended function of the action.
Example, Rule: You need to read the news to keep up with the world.
Rig: You don't need to know about the world to keep up with anything, what you need to do is be good at speaking to strangers so they can tell you what is bothering them and in turn the world.
Applying this rule will help you save thousands of hours every year as you wont get sucked into social games that don't benefit you at all.
Principle 12: 1 thing at a time
Single mothers throughout the 20th century are always depicted as these super organizers who manage to work a job, maintain a household, study after work and maintain a dating life. This is a lie. Multi-tasking is this fabled human process that does not exist and never will. In order to do anything in life. One has to focus on doing one thing at a time. Whether it be writing a letter, driving your car, working on a project or talking to your spouse. Doing one thing at a time beats multitasking every day of the week. A lot of you out there may claim that you’ve managed to learn how to multitask. Good for you and go fuck yourself.
You haven't figured out how to multitask, you’ve figured how to do a number of things poorly at the same time. Whether it’s wiping your ass or simply composing a symphony, keep it simple and just do 1 thing at a time.
As someone with ADHD I know how much you want to do multiple things at once, and I know you can. But don't. Do 1 thing really well and then move onto the next thing. Over time you will get so good at doing one thing at a time, that everything you do will be seen as amazing.
Principle 13: Tell the inside voice to write it down.
Hello Anxiety my old friend.
You know the feeling, you’re driving somewhere or walking somewhere and that shitty voice in your head, tells you, you’re not good enough or that you should be more worried about x or more worried about y. That you’re not working hard enough or that you’re insignificant in some way.
This is your amygdala, it’s an old piece of hardware we developed to survive in the African Savanna, today we use it to induce panic attacks and legislate discriminatory laws. This voice is not real and never will be.
The next time your inside voice does this, tell it to write it down.
Literally tell your internal monologue:
“Thank you for your insight and opinion, can I please get that summed up in an email.”
Then when you get an opportunity to sit down in front of a workstation, write down all the contents of your inner voices anxieties and then save them on in a document. The next time your anxiety flares up, open the document and question why you even think these things.
It will A) help you solve the problems you’re worried about
B) over time help you to learn to ignore that psychopathic lunatic stuck in your head telling you your 10th Grade Spanish Teacher is gonna tell everyone about that one time you got an erection and she saw you trying to hide it.
Over time you will become more aware of how to deal with this voice and even better you will learn how to weaponize it to help you become a better problem solver.
Principle 14: Momentum is everything.
Momentum is the ultimate elixir for the ADHD mind.
With Momentum the ADHD mind can achieve anything. Therefore, you must seek out momentum everywhere in your life. When working on a project, if you get stuck, move on to a different task. If you get stuck there, move onto another task. You may wonder what will happen to the previous task I just described. You’ll get to it, but it’s more important you keep moving than you deal with that specific task. If you’re doing anything remotely challenging, you should get stuck. But don’t stay there, move onto something else. Whilst you’re working on something new, your incredible supercomputer in your skull will work on the other problem in parallel. Once you’ve got the solution you can go back to the original problem you left. But you can’t allow yourself to get stuck. If you get stuck. You will allow your ADHD to override your critical faculties and even worse allow melancholy to seep in. If not managed this melancholy will evolve into self-doubt which will evolve into anxiety which will evolve into mild depression and withdrawal. Your ADHD mind is moving at a rapid rate. If you don’t give it problems to solve it will seek them out without your consent and these other problems will derail you from your initial goal. So stay focused on the task at hand and if you get stuck move onto something else.
Principle 15: Always have too much to do
The final principle is the most rewarding but also the most challenging.
Always have too much to do.
You’ve got your journal, you’ve got your notebook and you have the things you need to do. Now double it.
This may seem counter-intuitive, and it is.
You see because you’re exceptional and have an actual superpower, you must structure your life to feed this superpower.
This isn’t to say you must have split focus. No, you must do one thing at a time. But your list of things to do must be infinite. This list must also include the things you want to do, things that are leisurely and things that are deeply pleasurable.
On your to do list you can have:
- Review May’s Sales Reports
- Watch “Moon Knight”
- Call Pops to talk shit
- Write conclusion and introduction for monthly strategy session
- Send hubby a voice note saying, “He’s the Best”.
- Walk outside and Kick the soccer ball against the wall for 10 minutes
- Read “Power” for 30 minutes
- Calculate CLTV for 2021
Some of these things are practical and productive and some are fun, and some are simply good for the soul. But they’re all on my to do list.
Having such a massive to do list means that my ADHD can’t overrun my day as there’s always something to do. Including messing around. When you feel yourself getting distracted during the day, review your to do list and you’ll see something to accommodate your distraction: Walk outside and Kick the soccer ball against the wall for 10 minutes. This is 10x better than looking at Social Media or getting sucked down a rabbit hole on Reddit. This way you’re constantly stimulating the ADHD superpower and whenever you get tempted to do something with a short-term benefit but no intrinsic value – look at porn – you can opt for something as equally distracting but deeply rewarding: Call Pops to talk shit.
By always having too much to do, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve even scheduled in getting distracted. You will get distracted, no matter what, even if you don’t have ADHD. The difference here is that you’ve planned for the distraction, and you know what to fill that distracted time with.
Thank you for making it this far. I know how challenging ADHD can be to manage and I’m also aware of how exhausting it can be. These principles will help you understand how to overcome your rare and special condition. The goal here is not to achieve x or transform y. This is for you to establish, what you want and then this framework will help you achieve your goals by helping you stay focused and motivated. ADHD when not managed can be a super challenging condition but with management, it can be converted into a superpower that can help you achieve all your goals and so much more.