Noticing Your Brain At Work
Professionals with ADHD can be so busy that they don’t really know why they do certain things – evading emails from the boss, spending too much time on one project, hyper-focusing on a co-worker’s comment. In order to make lasting positive shifts in our daily experience we need to get a clear picture of our current work experience. A sensible place to begin is with our own brain. We’ll continue with the car race analogy from the How Do You Get Things Done post where the race car represents the ADHD brain.
Where does your hyper-focus come from?
At first glance, the Global Creative’s car looks no different than other race cars with the exception of one big difference, the hyper-drive unit sticking out the back end.
This is the unit that allows the ability to hyper-focus for long periods of a time. It can be a real attribute ,especially close to deadlines, but the HDU can also be a detriment to getting things done when there is no pressing due date.
Like Han Solo coaxing the Millennium Falcon to hyper-space, we can focus so much on activating our hyper-drive that we forget to look for other ways to get around the race course - get things done.
Coupled with a fallible working memory, we can forget key check-in spots along the way that help us make sure that we're driving the right course.
If you’re off setting speed records on the salt flats with your hyper-drive unit that’s great! But are you still driving the course you need to drive?
Fortunately for Han, he has other skills to get him out of a bind. Developing skills like a reliable ’2nd gear’ is available to the Global Creative who has become over reliant on their hyper-focus.
I am not suggesting that anyone trash their HDU. I am suggesting diversification.
ADHD, more than anything, is syndrome around doing. The race car has a gummy transmission. We are either stuck in neutral or stuck in 5th gear. We can see now why the fascination with the hyper-drive unit. Why mess around with a gear box when we can streak through tasks with clarity and speed?
Why? Because our modern professional lives demand the agility to navigate a race course of varied terrain, with numerous obligations and ever shifting priorities.
Start by taking a close look at your own race car.
- What attributes serve you well? - What gets in the way? - What do you need to add to your race car to get around your track?
Start with getting curious about your own 2nd gear.
A great resource is David Rock’s Your Brain At Work. There is very little about ADHD specifically, but it is rich in neuro-science.