My brain is a channel surfer.
It doesn’t stay on a subject for too long of a time. I might start something and then *click* my brain moves onto to something else. It is not that the topic goes off the radar it just really moves to the back of the line. I was never diagnosed with anything in particular but after my son was diagnosed with ADHD I started realizing some similarities and so did his doctors. Somewhere along the way my mom mentioned that when I was a kid she was told by some professional that I was probably ADD. My mother did not like the treatment of Ritalin so she did not directly address that suggestion. I was an underachiever in school. I would test well on intelligence test but never seemed to convert to grades in school. So when all else fails send the kid to counselors and motivational specialist, ugh. I laugh now remembering those days. From an academic standpoint I’ve succeeded:
- Graduate from high school with GPA >3.5
- Undergraduate degree with a GPA >3.6
- Graduate, Masters in Business Administrations with Marketing degree GPA >3.6.
So what do you do when it appears your mind doesn’t quite work? Well you improvise and go with flow, the brain flow that is.
Typical symptoms found in kids and adults with ADD:
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Inner Restlessness
- Hyperfocus(oddball of the group)
At this point most people tell me that, “Everyone in the modern world deals with these issues and it doesn’t make you special”. You’re right because there is 10% of the population like me and i’m not the worse case scenario. Until those people have spent a week with my brain they would have no clue what I deal with. Then again, I also know that there are plenty of people with tougher brain then mine to deal with so I do count myself lucky for having worked it out.
So along the way I’ve worked out some tricks
- I Let my mind work like a welder, in short bursts of energy. I may re-approach a topic in burst several times before my actual thoughts are organized.
- I stack my brain’s channel line-up with stuff I need to accomplish. Instead of thinking randomly I’m solving problems while doing other irrelevant projects
- Try to funnel information into a single event of focus. This doesn’t always work if I’m not interest in the topic. In school I wrote papers in a single sitting but usually after days or weeks of processing information in short bursts.
- For reading I also have my kindle read as I read. It traps my brains on two fronts with same information. I still have to reread for content I channel surfed during but it works a bit better. Oh and by the way TED with 20 minute presentations is the perfect fit for my brain. Uberlove to TED.com
- I haven’t figured out my restlessness yet ask anyone that has had dinner or meeting with me and my smartphone. I rarely watch movies.
- I organize with binders in smaller subjects. I’m still disorganized but it is within a subject. I am a mass of topics throughout my life. Social media manager? There’s a binder for that! Building a working pneumatic cannon or other tinkering projects? There’s a binder for that!
- I’m an advocate for Wikis. They are a great place to leaving information and add to it later especially for work knowledge. My brain digitally.(scary thought)
- Evernote and Google Docs are getting me out of Binders to a digital organization just don’t judge me by my desktop.
My tricks are not always a fast process and I hate to admit it but I have a lot of incomplete thoughts hanging out there. To date there are 16 blog articles not including this one waiting for my mind to either complete the thought or not.
Listen, I’m not the only person dealing with stuff there are a lot of people out there like me. My son is going to have a rougher time then I did as he grows up but I plan on trying to help him out where ever I can. The one thing I would like to point out is ADD and ADHD in kids and adults is not a joke. When you’re multi-tasking during a busy day it is not the “ADD” helping you. While I’m not one to lash out at those who throw the phrase around like it does irritate a bit. Until you have that channel surfing going on in your head non-stop you don’t really appreciate what a pain in the ass it is to deal with.
My brain and I have come to an understanding. I will surf it’s channels the best I can, falling sometimes and making it to the beach in others.
- ADHD: Thinning of Brain’s Cerebral Cortex? (psychologytoday.com)
- Spotlight on Meds for ADHD (brighthub.com)
- Easily distracted people may have too much brain (newscientist.com)
- The Facts about Attention Deficit Disorder in Children (brighthub.com)
- ADHD and Always on the Go | Psychology Today (pdresources.wordpress.com)
- Neurofeedback for ADHD Impulsivity (brighthub.com)