Are you ADD? Here’s The ABCs Of Productivity For A Busy Mind
I was tortured in elementary school.
Not with chains and whips but with buckets and chairs.
My teacher forced me to sit on a “special” chair that looked a T. She wanted me to fall when I was fidgety. She wanted me to STAY STILL.
Then they prescribed me Ritalin.
When I became a Zombie, my mom took me off.
Then, there was the time the teacher made me stand on a desk, extend my arms and hold buckets of water.
It’s safe to say, the “Christian” school got shut down shortly after.
I was a friendly kid. Polite, respectful, funny, but grown-ups thought I should be calm.
A young boy with energy, give me a damn break, but I’m ADD.
This became harder after I began my career. I hop down many, long and tedious rabbit holes.
Yet, it’s helped me get to where I am today. It’s my superpower.
But it’s not sustainable. I burn the wick at both ends…with a torch.
If you’re like me with ADD, these are the best ways to harness your attention and be productive.
Always have a purpose
If you don’t have a purpose then what’s the point of doing it?
My life purpose is to THRIVE, helping myself and others maximize life's potential and harness our Return On Time (ROT).
I’m the CEO of Skylink, and our purpose is to be our client's wings when they need them the most.
For JetFuel Coffee, our purpose is to help others fuel their day.
What is it for you?
If you’re in sales, your purpose could be to create immense value for your clients. Not just taking orders, but as Anthony Iannarino says, being a Trusted Adviser. You need both trust and advice to accomplish this.
Whatever it is for you, you need a purpose for your life.
Be clear on your values (these are non-negotiable).
Once you’re clear on your purpose, you must get clear on your values.
Your life should revolve around 5 - 15 core values.
If you’ve had a career for more than three months, I’m sure you’ve heard the business-speak of core values.
Often executives decide on what sounds good, and they use it as an inefficient marketing tactic.
This isn’t what I’m talking about.
Your values are your reasons for living. Your guiding light.
A few of mine are:
Health: Everything starts and ends with my health. It’s where I harness my energy, my passion and without me I have nothing.
Family: I am a devoted husband, father, son and my #1 priority is always supporting my family.
Peace: I don’t get angry, yell or scream. It’s not worth the mental energy. Everything has a solution, so I take a deep breath, give it time and think of the best solution. This is my life, and I’m responsible for what happens to me. I blame no one else but myself. These are the choices I’ve made and the life I’m living.
Live: I’ll keep the child in me alive. I’ll play, have fun outdoors, and keep the creature in me alive. I love being outdoors and I’ll spend as much time as I can outside.
Improve: Continual Self Improvement as I gain wisdom and knowledge every day and teach what I learn. I’m a life long learner. I read books daily and learn new skills every chance I get. I invest in myself.
Less: Do more with less. Don’t major in minor things. The most important thing is keeping the most important thing, the most important thing. What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
In/Out: Shit in equals shit out. It doesn’t matter where I am in life, whatever I put in will dictate what comes out.
ROT: Am I rotting away today? I live a life where I focus on my Return On Time and maximize every second on the things that fuel my passions and prolong my life and happiness.
Worry: Worrying now won’t do a damn thing. If I’ve planned, trained and have done everything necessary, worrying about an outcome won’t do a damn thing. Keep hustling.
What are your life values? Once you’ve decided, they’re your filter for everything.
Crush your one thing
As you embark on your ADD journey, you want to get really clear on your ONE thing.
You can have multiple ONE things in different domains of your life, but the key is to ask yourself this question:
”What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
This came from the incredible book, “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
Once you read that, I encourage you to read Essentialism by Greg Mckeown.
The key is to get clear on your one thing. Everything you do, everything you embark on will be to push this one thing forward.
Decide on your goals
Once you have your ONE thing, you need to get clear on your goals. What gets measured get’s done.
I’ve written about my VSPRE system on planning and executing goals before, but the critical thing is, set your Objectives and Key Results for the areas you’re pursuing.
Track them and push them forward each day.
Once you have your goals, it’s a great productivity hack to theme your days and time block essential activities on your calendar.
Execute in the morning
Do you wake up, jump out of bed and rush to work? To the rush of life?
You’re leaving a lot of energy on the table.
There’s no better time to focus on yourself and your goals than first thing in the morning.
But before you create the perfect morning routine, you first need a good night sleep. If you’re not sleeping well, many parts of your life will suffer.
Get your sleep under control, then create your perfect morning routine, so you can start your day with a bang.
Wake up. In bed, I breathe for a minute, and as I do, I smile.
Make me a cup of JetFuel Coffee and review my sleep results. Am I rested? Am I recovered?
Read a page in “The Daily Stoic” from Ryan Holiday.
Journal using Michael Hyatt's product.
Do a quick 10 - 15-minute exercise or mobility. Often this is a brisk walk and a quick stretch/foam roll/inversion.
Get some fresh air in the sun.
Play with my family and give as many hugs and kisses as they can take.
Start working on my ONE THING.
Forget the junk
I get caught in the struggle of filling my day with a lot of tasks. As I review the day, there’s only ever a few things I did that really pushed things forward.
The other stuff is just busy work. Things that if I didn’t do nothing would happen.
Often, they’re ideas I want to execute on, but none of them directly impact my ONE thing or my current goals.
Being ADD, I get caught in the cycle of just jumping on the next shiny object. Sure, this happens to people without ADD, and it’s often digital ADD. It’s difficult.
Your task list begins to look like a war zone riddled with little bullets that hit no target.
Forget the junk.
Ask yourself, will this help me get closer to my goals? Does this have meaning and purpose?
If it’s a no, move on.
These are some of the ways I’ve become productive with extreme ADD. Use them. Make them your own and stop using ADD as a crutch. It’s your superpower.