Faster than normal.
Thoughts interrupting thoughts.
Irrelevant details fill up your brain.
ADHD feels like chaos.
Is Chaos a Weakness?
You can probably remember plenty of times the flurry of thoughts in your brain made life hard. Math class, perhaps?
What about the times it was better to have so many thoughts?
When my writing teacher asked everyone to list 10 different ideas for writing topics, that was EASY!
In college, when other students asked questions about the lecture, it was easy for me to pull all the nuggets of knowledge the teacher just shared, and answer their question.
Chaos has its downsides, but it can also be a strength!
Helping others helped me
Back to college life.
I made a friend who recorded all of the lectures.
His group of friends took turns transcribing the class, and meeting up to go over everything the instructor said.
He and I began to meet, and I would explain the notes he took. We began to have study sessions where all of his friends and I would meet in the library, and go over any questions they had about the lectures.
My best grades ever came from that class, and re-teaching what I had learned.
Lately, I have found a similar solution for my online work, called Body Doubling.
Body Doubling helps to tame the chaos
From my ADHD interviews with some of you, I heard some similar themes.
When we know that someone else is watching, or may hold us accountable for tasks, it is easier to get them done. This may be a zoom 'focus session', a text based chat check-in, or a quick video call at the beginning and end of 50 min work sessions.
All of these are forms of virtual Body Doubling.
Healthline describes Body Doubling as:
...a productivity strategy in which another person works alongside you as you complete a task you might otherwise find challenging. Having someone nearby may help you stay focused, engaged, or motivated to finish the job.
My preferred app for this type of accountability has been Groove.
It is a phone app that connects you up with other people ready to do 50 min of focused work. You join a session via video, and each share what you will work on. Then, put your tasks in the app, and a timer counts down to the end of a session.
At the end of 50 min, you all jump back on video for a quick recap of how it went.
At that point, you can go again for another focus session, or leave.
Can strangers actually help you stay focused?
Well, for me at least.
Now that I am 75 grooves in, those brief interactions with random strangers on the internet has turned into co-working pals. I barely know them, yet we encourage each other, and celebrate our wins.
The app is free, and this is not an advertisement (I was not compensated, nor do I get anything for you joining).
In the coming weeks and months, will be sharing my experiences of trying a whole host of other apps, solutions, and strategies that sometimes help.
I will always have ADHD.
Nothing will ever cure me.
But... I often have more focus than I ever thought possible. I sometimes get in the flow with work I used to dread.
Life is good, even great at times.
I want that for you! (as I continue to learn it for myself)
Hyperfocus of the week:
- Watching Maurice plan out his whole life in this beautiful notebook. I want one so bad... but don't think I can plan like he does.
Favorite Track of the week:
Picture of the week: