Adult ADHD and productivity

Does anyone here have adult ADHD? I’m in the beginning of the testing process (I’ve been screened, just have to wait for an in person appointment). My wife is the first one to point it out to me, and it’s been an interesting journey so far. I think it’s why I try and chase productivity and why new apps are cool to try. I always laugh when David says I can just sit down and do the work because that is so foreign to me. Even when other people say they can “shut off distractions” can be difficult for me to grasp. Everything is a distraction all of the time.

This show and community has been a nice backdrop to how most people work in the world over many different professions. So, is anyone else productive with a different brain?


I’m 80 % sure I’m a card carrying member along with my 6 year old.


Though I hesitate to label myself as anything like that, yeah, that’s me 100%.

I don’t shut off distractions, they shut me off :slight_smile:

My most valuable possessions are my Bose QC-35 noise cancelling headphones. I listen to I have white noise machines to sleep with, and in my office (my dog loves them too).

My previous post about neurodiversity:

Here’s a good book:
ADHD: A Hunter in a Farmers World

I think the most important thing is to accept yourself. You aren’t broken. Some things are more challenging for us than others. We can learn to work around or through them. When I see that I’m “on”, I work more because I know I’m not always “on”. When I’m not “on”, I give myself a break, and do what I can - which might be nothing. That’s okay too.


I have an ADHD diagnosis and an auditory processing disorder (all voices get equal attention, very basically.)

Not much else to say except that it has strengths as well as weaknesses. :slight_smile: And that it’s worth talking to a professional if it is causing you academic or professional trouble.


The dichotomy that is ADHD is that while distractions can shut us down as JohnAtl says I find that most of the adults that assume or have been diagnosed will say it really leads to hyper focus on subjects of interest. Hence the love of computing by many. So while it’s an academic struggle (for me this rings true I was always poor with homework but good with absorption in most subjects) it’s the ADHD guy or gal that will totally over index on a given subject and knock it out the park.

I think the worst thing is being forced into open door policies or wide open floor plans. I tried a coding bootcamp and that just failed…way over stimulated. I may have to get some of those Bose Quiet Comforts.


See if anything here rings a bell.

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If you try medications to help with any attention issues, please do it through a psychiatrist who has extensive experience and be persistent. There are many options.


Jepp, I‘m one as well and yes, it is partly why I‘m chasing the productivity dragon. I had problems in school but was always best in class in several subjects and yes open plan offices are hard to deal with (I am working in one).

Thanks for putting that out. I wonder if interest in productivity is a symtom of ADHD…?


Will anyone else here testify that they talk aloud when at home? I’m not talking about having a full blown conversation with yourself but rather vocalizing your thoughts as a process of understanding.


ADHD (or whatever label – I’ve never been tested and don’t care that I wasn’t) is fine. I love that I get distracted and thread off into other thoughts and activities. Over the decades I’ve learned to grab onto little handles that will take me back. It’s about remembering (or leaving a physical cue) abut what the intention was that was in place just before the fugue started.

I’m more than a little repulsed by the “productivity” thing as a fix for anything, because it feels like “I need to rein myself in because I’m not fitting in”. This is my personal experience – not a blanket statement – since lots of folks might have the opposite experience.

If the ADHD is painful or limiting, find help. If it’s not, then enjoy the trip. There’s a lot of interesting adventure that “normals” miss out on. :slight_smile:


I’ve seen this subreddit and the ADHD one and it feels comforting at the very least lol.

@JohnAtl I appreciate that original post, it helped a lot when I first read it.

Thanks everyone for sharing, I’m glad there are other different wired people. I’ve had two screenings where the first one said yes, definitely sounds like you have undiagnosed ADHD and put the order in for testing, and the second screening by a psychiatrist was a different story. He was more interested in some possible undiagnosed PTSD (I mentioned I was in the military) than listening otherwise. Now we wait for the in person testing when the office starts to slowly open back up.


This is me as well. I’ve learned a lot about ADHD since I started the journey of diagnosis.

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My mom had it - she was a physician and would be in the office writing charts until 8 when all her colleagues left at 5, until she was diagnosed and got on meds.

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Me! You aren’t alone


My youngest son who is 5 was high risk. My wife had a herniated umbilical cord and when he was born he had Ventriculo Megaly which is enlarged ventricles which can cause the really enlarged heads on children that you see sometimes. Luckily we didn’t have runaway growth there.

What’s interesting is that I have a 7 year old that clearly has ADHD and we have the 5 year old who is high functioning Autism. In our cases there are differences. Each boy understands the world in his own unique way. My 7 year old was in speech while my 5 year old has what’s called echolalia (repeating what he’s heard) and is so good he can watch a movie he likes and recall the dialogue almost verbatim.

Andrew I definitely think there’s correlation. I have 3 sons. 1 I suspect is Autististic but he’s 17 and wanted to stay back in Seattle when I moved to Arkansas. I tried to get him diagnosed and ran out of time but I’m sure he’s on the spectrum. Then I have clear ADHD and high functioning Autism the Children Hospital tells me may go way or lessen even more.

It was extremely difficult for me. I felt like I burdened this kids. Also I’m a Desert Storm vet and my wife was in field artillery in Iraq. This means we’ve both been shot up with God knows what like lab animals and deployed to the Middle East which who knows what we were exposed to. That being said I’m blessed that my kids have a fighting chance. We’re addressing these things early so that our boys know that there’s a reason why there may be some struggles but we’ll work through it in the education process.


Haha, me too! Especially when he says,“I get up at 6am and work for 3 hours before the family gets up.” I’m like, I procrastinate for 3 hours and then finally get working.

There’s no easy solutions, but I have found apps like Focused to be helpful to block off distractions and I like that I can schedule it. I find once I get going on something, I can keep going. It’s the starting that’s the hardest for me.

It’s also okay to accept some days will just be a wash, despite your best efforts. To-do lists for a specific day and routine scheduling also can help to narrow down your thinking. Though, it’s not a bulletproof solution either.

It takes a while to figure out a system that works best for you. :slight_smile: I suggest being somewhat systematic in trying specific strategies to see what works and what doesn’t. Otherwise, bouncing around apps and approaches can be frustrating and you still won’t know what really helps.


It’s fairly common for people to have traits from multiple conditions, but ultimately a diagnoses is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much variation in how it presents and you could be on the fringe of “qualifying” for ADHD.

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I’m very productive during those hours if I stay up all night and start work at 3am. :stuck_out_tongue:


The term “neurodiverse” is quite often used. I think it’s useful because, as others have said, there can be upsides. Obviously downsides, too.

Teams with different neural proclivities can be made to work, though I guess it can be frustrating at times. (As a self-confessed creative with a short attention span I can bemuse and annoy my neurologically different colleagues.) I guess we all need to moderate our behaviour a little to be able to rub along, but not too much.

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