Our books






Become a Fan

« Universities treating students as customers | Main | NPM paperback edition & review »

06/30/2022

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Nicole Wyatt

The most important thing is to create (loose) routines, structure and systems. This is hard because most ADHD brains have an adversion to structure, but we usually need it to flourish. You need to figure out what kinds of structure and routines work for you, and unfortunately that is very individual.

Here are some specific things that work for me:
- co-writing (where you meet up, in person or on zoom and write, checking in with the other person at the beginning and end).
- meet or phone rather than email
- timers to get started on things (I commit to doing the thing I'm struggling to start for 15 minutes, promising myself I can stop after. Reader, I never stop.)
- paper planners for the current day/week, with electronic for further out. (the physicality helps -- but for some people everything on their phone in one place is better)
- working at the office in set times and not at home at all
- music and other background noise whenever I need to focus
- voice to text (back in the 1990s I dictated most of the first draft of my PhD dissertation to a microcassette recorder)
- automating everything I can

I've learned a great deal from https://www.youtube.com/c/howtoadhd.

If you can afford it, Casey Dixon's team at https://www.dixonlifecoaching.com/ specialize in Lawyers and Professors with ADHD and I cannot sing their praises enough. There are also some free resources on the site.

MindLang

This is a great question, and one I've been previously asked by neurodiverse grad students. I really hope people jump-in to share their perspectives so that I can refer back to this thread in the future.

Here's how I've navigated things, as someone who only very recently realized they were ADHD and works at an R1.

When it comes to writing, I distinguish between two writing experiences: writing-is-my-job and writing-is-my-obsession. As I see it, I can do writing-is-my-job just about any day. But I can only do writing-is-my-obsession when I'm hyperfocused. So If I'm hyperfocused on a paper, I try to ride that hyperfocus out to be maximally productive. That may mean one or more of the following: setting aside other writing projects I am "supposed" to work on, cancelling social plans, forgetting meals, and keeping later hours. However, I also give myself total grace about writing productivity when I'm not not hyperfocusing. I can have days where very little gets done because I know that I'm going to have days where I get a tremendous amount done.

When it comes to teaching, I'm in agreement with Nicole. it is all about routines, structures, and systems. A big one for me is expressing firm deadlines to my students about when they can expect to find a handout on the course website, have their assignment graded, or whatever. That creates accountability that motivates me considerably more than just having a vague sense that I should be more timely.

When it comes to distraction-management, I do a few things that are key for me. First, I'm not on Facebook or Twitter where I'm easily distracted by ideas. I am on Instagram, where I just avoid people's stories. Your kids or your sandwich won't steal my attention for the afternoon like your post about your new publication or the articles you're posting about SCOTUS. Second, I'm limited in what applications are on my devices. A big one: I don't have a browser on my phone. In the past, I haven't had email or even Google maps.

ellen

Coming to this late, as i've only recently realised i totally have ADHD. Some of these tips above are great. Here are two extra things that work well for me:
- having a reward system for completion of tasks i don't want to do. Like, if i mark x number of essays, i can treat myself to.......I need to do better at defining the rewards, as in the past they've often been unhealthy. but a goal for me is to identify lots of temptations/distractions, and use them as rewards - eg if i mark x essays i can tidy the cupboard. if i write x words i can surf facebook for ten minutes. that way its a double-whammy - i'm motivated to do the things i need to do, and i've cleared out distractions by giving them a proper role.

another, that i used when finishing my phd, was to be very careful about which time i ring fenced for work. for me, i wake up like a relatively normal person, with a calm, uncluttered mind. I need to be crazy strict about ring fencing that time immediately after waking for the most difficult tasks. that means taking my laptop out as soon as i wake up. Not going to the kitchen for coffee. not talking to anyone. not writing any lists or thinking about anything except what i needed to do. that's because all those other tempting activities are attention-stealers that fill my mind up with all sorts of distracting crud that gets in the way. i think of my brain as like a laptop that gets filled up with cookies and other ram stealing crap over time, and needs a regular system restart to clean the slate.

Nathan

"I need to be crazy strict about ring fencing that time immediately after waking for the most difficult tasks. that means taking my laptop out as soon as i wake up. Not going to the kitchen for coffee. not talking to anyone. not writing any lists or thinking about anything except what i needed to do. that's because all those other tempting activities are attention-stealers that fill my mind up with all sorts of distracting crud that gets in the way. i think of my brain as like a laptop that gets filled up with cookies and other ram stealing crap over time, and needs a regular system restart to clean the slate."

Oh my god did I write this? I've never felt so seen.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Subscribe to the Cocoon

Job-market reporting thread

Current Job-Market Discussion Thread

Philosophers in Industry Directory

Categories

Subscribe to the Cocoon