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It was a week before my 2002 Digital Multimedia Arts final that it became clear:
It takes me twice as long to do anything.

Indifferent to my intention, my attention waxes and wanes. A can’t force it into submission. I can only show up, sit down, and hover the “buy” button — as the product of my focus goes in and out of stock.

That 20 year old moment flew back at me like a boomerang as I watched Dr. Russel Barkley 38 minute talk: The Neuroanatomy of ADHD and thus how to treat ADHD

He describes the ADHD brain as having an “intention disorder.” The link between the knowing brain and the doing brain is severed. And the result is “an inability to plan across time.”

But his suggestion is not what I expected. Instead of removing consequence, he suggests the opposite: Arrive at consequence faster and increase their frequency

Stream before recording the course. Speak at a meetup before the conference. Cook for family before hosting the block party.

For any goal, break the project into small parts with a pass-fail criteria. Then pass… or fail.

It’s sounds easy. But it’s not. I hate fake deadlines and can’t stand doubling back. I just have to remind myself: It’ll take me twice as long either way.


P.S. What are you tactics for hacking your variable focus? I’d love to learn!