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June 6, 2022

10 Tuning up your ADHD Brain to Get The Most Out of It |Jesse J Anderson

10 Tuning up your ADHD Brain to Get The Most Out of It |Jesse J Anderson

Do you struggle with maintaining attention while performing tasks? You are not alone. Some studies suggest that at least 75% of adults with ADHD do not know that they have it.

Our attention is a currency these days and companies pay billions to steal it.

Jesse J. Anderson joins me in conversation this week. He is a podcaster and an ADHD creator who is currently writing a book to provide valuable tools to people with ADHD. In this episode, we chatted about the several challenges faced by people with ADHD, techniques to help overcome some of these challenges, and parenting kids with ADHD.

Chapters

(00:00) Intro

(03:43) Time blindness and Using Timers Effectively to Get Stuff done

(05:28) ADHD Train: Making it easy to get started to build up momentum

(07:22) Have a big task? Could you do it for 10 minutes to start?

(11:48) Tricking the brain and finding strategies that work

(15:04) Getting diagnosed later in life with ADHD

(18:21) The Role of Technology in ADHD. Are devices making it worse?

(23:55) ADHD and its overwhelming effect during adulthood

(26:39) 2 Techniques for Working with ADHD

(29:14) The Experience of Parenting a child with ADHD

(34:58) One small change to improve our lives

People Mentioned

Dr. Ned Hallowell

Resources

Jesse J Anderson [ Website Twitter Instagram TikTok ]

Refocus Book

ADHD Nerds Podcast

ADHD 2.0 - Edward Hallowell

Episode Show Notes

Heal with Sushil [ Website Newsletter ]

Zencastr Promo Code

I AM Creative Course and 1 month of Skillshare Free

Transcript

 

[00:00:00] Jesse: I think the best thing at least for my daughter that I've been able to see is being able to say like, Hey. I have this too. It's not just you her and I both have ADHD and so we can connect and that can relate to her in that way. I think it's really special having that connection between me and my daughter of we we really get each other because our brain works in this , weird, unique, different neurodiverse kind of way. 

[00:00:24] Sushil: You're listening to heal with Sushil with your host. Sushil Ganesh. Join me as I have insightful conversations each week and share techniques, that'll serve you as you venture on your hero's journey.  

I'm thrilled to announce that this episode is sponsored by Zencaster  

remote podcasting can be quite challenging when you have guests from all over the world. And that's why I love Zencastr because they're made podcasting. So hassle-free, I can easily share recording links with my guests and the experience is so seemless. 

The best part is that the software allows you to record separate tracks for each speaker. So let's say if I were to cough in the middle of a recording while my guest is talking, I could just easily edit that out. 

They also offer recording video. It is a nice option to have, if you are creating a video podcast and it supports up to 10 ADP, and I can't emphasize this enough. The support offered by Zencaster has just been amazing. Anytime I have had any issues, they have been quick to resolve these within 24 hours. 

For the most part,  

so, if you want to kickstart your podcasting journey then I would highly recommend going with Zen Costa. And if you follow this link, you will get 30% off the first three months go to zen.ai/healwithsushil We live in a world where attention has become a currency and conditions like ADHD have become more so rampant in today's world than they ever used to be. And our guest this week is a creator who is giving us useful tips and tricks to help us navigate ADHD and be our best selves. Please. 

Welcome to the studio this week. Jesse J. Anderson. Hey Jesse. It's great to have. 

[00:02:03] Jesse: Thanks. It is great to be here. Thanks for inviting me. 

[00:02:07] Sushil: I don't know if it is cruel irony or like the universe being funny, but right before this episode, The ADHD really started kicking in for me because I'll explain my afternoon. I started up by saying that, okay, today I have an interview with Jesse J. 

Anderson. I will research this person and you know, I I've seen him on Twitter, but I don't know exactly everything. So I'll research him and then I started researching you. And then I was like, oh, he has a tick-tock. So I went on the tick-tock and I saw a few videos and then I was like, oh, maybe I should do a tick-tock. 

Then I created a tick dog account recorded Mon tick-tock. And I feel like I lost my train of thought completely and the research went haywire. How do you deal with that? How do you work your way through having, uh, neurodiverse mind?  

[00:02:55] Jesse: Right, right. That's yeah. That's. Yeah. It's tricky that your story totally resonates with me. I think it's really common for people with ADHD, where you get excited about a thing, and then you jump into it and then something else grabs your attention. And suddenly that's the more interesting thing that's, what's grabbing your attention. So you jumped to that and jumped to that and yeah, it's definitely really common. 

I find. So I have a writing group that meets every other week and it's basically. What's called body doubling where we hop on a zoom call together. And then we sort of say, Hey I'm going to work on this for the next half an hour. And then we meet our microphones and then start writing. And I found it to be really effective in helping me to stay focused and like figure out what my intention is and stay on it for half an hour. 

And another thing I do a lot is people with ADHD. I have what's sometimes called time blindness or time distortion where you just really can't. See time. And so that's partly why we take these rabbit trails. Like we get interested in something else and we don't consider how long it's going to take to do this thing here and then this thing over there. 

So another thing I do a lot is I use visual timers because then I can see time. And so a visual timer, there's one called a time timer and there's a bunch of other ones and it just I basically have timers running all the time, so that. Even if I'm not like strictly doing like a Pomodoro or something like that, where I'm doing twenty-five minutes and five minute break, just having a 25 minute timer or a 20 minute or 30 minute or whatever it is, I can glance at it and see time passing. 

Or if I don't, when that timer. It keeps me like a, reminds me like, oh yeah. I said I was going to write for three hours today. And then that timer just reminded me that, oh, I'm on Twitter or something instead. So it helps get me back on track for what my intention was and reminds me of what my focus is meant to be, because I can get distracted on Wikipedia for three hours. 

So by having that time, At the very least, I know it's I'm only going to be able to get sucked into Wikipedia for 20 minutes because that timer is going to remind me to jump back to what my intention is. 

[00:05:07] Sushil: yeah, that's a good strategy. And I think getting started as a difficult part, because I feel like once you're in the rhythm it's it takes time to get started. And then it takes time to start because on the flip side, you might be working four hours, then, then you don't even take a break. 

And so I think having a timer and taking those fixed breaks at regular times was very important. 

[00:05:28] Jesse: Yeah, I think so much of just like dealing with ADHD has to do with trying to. Trying to make it easy to get started because yeah, it's, I, I liken it to a train that's immobile on the tracks. That's your motivation and you just need to get that momentum going before you can tackle those bigger tasks. 

Cause there's common productivity advice will tell you to eat the frog first, which means take like your. big Really difficult task and try to do it first thing in the day. So everything else will be easier, but that doesn't work with the ADHD because we can't, we'll just stare at that frog. 

We'll just stare at that big task all day long and not do anything. Cause we've got our, our train in mobile on the tracks. So instead we really have to break down. We need to find those easy things or those things we're interested in and focus on those because that can help build up our momentum. 

And once the train starts moving down the track, once you're taking, biting off those little tasks that are easy or fun or whatever it is that helps get you moving. And then when you're in like that hyper-focus or you're in flow. It's so much easier to tackle those difficult tasks. 

Cause then you just sorta drive the trains, racing down the tracks. So it was just going to slam through with those other tasks. And it's really easy to just follow that, like just hang on to that momentum and then drive it into progressive, getting more and more work done. 

[00:06:54] Sushil: From a personal experience, I've noticed that not eating the frog makes it difficult to finish. If I leave out like a lot of the boring or tasks, which are like, not as stimulating, like let's say editing an audio or video Is one of those tasks, which really I find difficult. And if I don't tackle it earlier than I feel like it builds up and then it becomes difficult or challenging to finish those. 

And what's your experience with that? 

[00:07:22] Jesse: Yeah. I think a lot of it is just trying to like figuring out how to reduce the friction on tasks like that, because It's easy to make it this big looming thing. And so one thing I try to do with stuff like that, where it's I need to get this done and the longer I go without doing it, the bigger and more daunting, it feels I think one thing that can help with that is not trying to say, okay, I'm going to, for your example, laying the podcast, like I'm not going to edit the podcast right now, or I'm not going to edit the whole episode, but I'm going to edit for 10 minutes and like biting off those kinds of little bits. 

 I'm going to set my timer and I'm just going to do 10 minutes before I go. I don't know, grab lunch or go do something else. Like just a little bit to kind of bite off little bits and sometimes you might do that 10 minutes and then you do hit the flow and keep going. 

In other words, other times you don't and maybe the 10 minutes feels I didn't really get much done there, but it's still. It's like moving the whatever the metaphor is, like moving the ball down the field a little bit. Like you're making that progress like mentally of whether you did it for 10 minutes or an hour that 10 minutes of maybe not getting a lot of progress is still required. 

Like mentally, you're getting that momentum building for the thing. And you have to bite off those little pieces. Another thing that a lot of people talk about. Breaking a project into all of its steps. And I just find that too daunting. Cause then I just stare at this giant list of tasks to do. 

And I'm like, this doesn't feel any easier than when it was just one big project. Now it's An overwhelming amount of little projects. So I usually just try to break off like a little bit what are the next three things that I could do in 20 minutes or something like that. 

And hopefully try to build up that momentum and that there's not anything too daunting. And I feel like even the biggest stuff that kind of, you mentioned, like that feels like it gets bigger as time goes by biting it off by time. I think really can be helpful because I think. Sometimes you don't want to do that because it feels like you're wasting that time or whatever. 

But when you have an HD it's so much more about managing your energy instead of your time. So I try not to worry about if I wasted time on something, because of what I'm really worried about is managing my own energy. Yeah. So for example, when I take out the trash, like when I'm doing like chores around the house, like taking the garbage out is a task that takes me like, I dunno a minute, maybe two minutes, like tops, but I always put on headphones in a podcast for that two minute task, because if I don't, then it's just like this miserable thing that I put off and I put off and postpone and don't want to do, but because I like associated with. 

Hey, when I do the trash, I get to listen to two minutes of a podcast that I want to do. It makes this little positive association with it and my mind. And so even though it takes me just as long as the tap, like it takes me two minutes still. Find my headphones and open the app and find what podcasts I won't want to listen to. 

But for me that two minutes of extra prep time, isn't wasted time because I'm worried about the energy that it takes to do that chore. And so I'm totally fine putting in double the amount of time, knowing that it's easier for me to wrap my head around Hey, I'm actually going to do this thing and get it done. 

[00:10:49] Sushil: , some of that resonated with me, the task of keeping track of time, Or you're not making them into smaller tasks, becomes a task in itself. 

And that is something which is why I didn't use notion for such a long time, because I felt like managing that notion became one of the pain points. But another interesting thing was that wouldn't, it become a learned habit that if you keep telling yourself I'm bored of this, then you're inherently more bored of it. 

As time was on like, let's say if. If you associate taking out the trash with the boredom and each time if you have to take your phones or distract yourself from it, then isn't that way telling your brain that I don't like this out of the. 

[00:11:29] Jesse: For me, I don't associate it with boredom. I associate it with, I get to listen to the podcast. So like, I know what you mean, but I think it's a subtle difference. Like for me, I don't think of the garbage as like boring tasks. I think of the garbage as I get to listen to my audio book or podcasts, whatever it is. 

So for me I try to, and a lot of it is tricking your brain. And since it's your brain coming up with the tricks obviously it doesn't always work. Like your brain knows. That, Hey, you're trying to hack the system here or whatever. So it's definitely not a foolproof system. 

And so I'm writing a book on ADHD and in the back, I have a bunch of different strategies that I've written up, but I lead off the strategies chapter with saying. None of these strategies are gonna work for everyone and you probably won't even find a strategy in here that's consistently always going to work for you. 

I feel like we were always having to adapt our strategies and find what works and maybe it works for a season. Maybe it works for a long time. Like for me, the podcast trash taking out the garbage thing has worked for several years for me. And so that's been a good system. Initially I couldn't like when I first got diagnosed with ADHD. 

I found out because I had poor memory. I had no idea that I wasn't taking out the trash every night. My wife was asking me to take out the trash. I just wasn't doing it. And I would say I'll do it later. And then later, you know, never came. And so I just never took the trash out, but I didn't know, like the next day would happen. 

And I would assume oh, maybe I missed a day or two. It was like no, I missed a year. And just had no idea that I wasn't doing it all the time. But at that point I saw a therapist that helped me with my diagnosis and we talked about other things and. We put a whiteboard in our kitchen. 

And so that every night my wife would write on the whiteboard, like a little check box and say, take out trash. And then me seeing that motivated me to get up and take out the trash and then check off the thing it would cause it would remind me that, oh yeah, I'm going to do this thing. And so we did that for, I don't know how long we did it, like six months or so every single night my wife would write the thing up there. 

And then I would see it, do the trash and then check it off. And so for that season of my life, that was necessary because I would forget otherwise, now it's been years now and we don't have to do that anymore because it's become a routine. But now I do the podcast thing because that is just sort of me being pro trying to proactively associate. 

 something pleasurable with this, otherwise what would be a mundane task? Yeah, I don't think there's any strategy. That's like the magic. This will work for everyone, or this will always work for you. You really kind of have to just adapt and make it work for your brain in that season and trying different stuff and seeing what sticks and what. 

[00:14:18] Sushil: Yeah. And it's a, it's always a work in progress. it's not a silver bullet that this will work or that's what I like about learning about yourself is that there's always room for improvement and you can always try different things.  

even if the tasks are like somewhat. Incorporating play in this is really important first advice I got from my therapist was don't go in with a mindset that is boring. Are you going to hate it? Just try to make it more playful, more enjoyable, actually incorporate or welcome that inner child part of you when you're doing the task and that'll make it more. Fun to do, or you might learn something new from it. 

And I think you're doing that with the podcasting, or I think you're doing that, like making it more fun for yourself, so that, yeah.  

So when did you get diagnosed? Because I know you were an eighties and a nineties kid like me. I grew up in the nineties. I think you mentioned that you got diagnosed later in life and I have not been formally diagnosed. 

I did a questionnaire and it was like, okay, I have all this.  

[00:15:21] Jesse: Yeah. I think 

when, yeah, I think when you have ADHD, it's, it can be really difficult to get an official diagnosis. But when you look at these like online surveys and stuff that's not the best way to test, but it's when you have it. It's just so obvious. Like you just look at all of these symptoms and it just like screams out. 

Oh, all of these, I have every one of these or almost all of them. And that was the same. Oh, with me. So you asked, when I got diagnosed, I was diagnosed. It was about five years ago, five or six years ago when I was 36 years old. So yeah, I grew up in the eighties and nineties. I knew kids ahead in HD and they were like the. 

Super hyperactive running in circles. And that wasn't me. So I was like, ah, I don't have that. That's all that I thought it HD was. It was like that boy that ran in circles in class. And since I didn't do that, I assumed I never had ADHD. But then in a sec I was 36 and my buddy got diagnosed cause he was in therapy for other reasons. 

And then got found out that he had ADHD. And his wife and my wife are friends. They talked, so they talked about it. And my wife was like this sounds really familiar. And she hinted strongly that I should look into it. And I, at the time, thinking, I knew what ADHD was, that hyperactive kid. 

I was like, no, that doesn't really make sense. I guess I'll look into it, but I don't think so. And then, like you said, like I looked at the online questionnaires and stuff and then. Everything started to click. And I was like, oh no, I don't, I totally have this. Like every one of these speaks to me and even stuff that it was like weird. 

I didn't think anyone was like this or just straight I know this isn't like necessarily an ADHD symptom, but there's a lot of sensory issues that come with it. And so I saw one. Thing that said I'm being really bothered by itchy t-shirt tags is like common for people they'd achieved. 

And that was like a light bulb for me. Cause I was like, I always, I rip the t-shirt tags out of every t-shirt I have, because the itchiness like drives me crazy. And then another thing was learning about hyper-focus because another thing I said, hearing about ADHD for the first time, I was like, ah, I can't have that because I have no problem focusing on. 

The things I'm interested in, the things I'm enjoying doing. And it's yeah, that's called hyperfocus. So when you're like doing something really interesting, like for me video games, that's a big one. Like I could stay hyper-focused on that for hours and hours. And forget to go to the bathroom, forget to eat or drink. 

And yeah, so those are all the alarm bells for me. So after that I found a therapist and eventually got my diagnosis. 

[00:18:07] Sushil: No. I understand that. I do believe that my line of questioning was more like do you think it's a possibility that because we didn't grow up with technology. Okay. There was not this constant. Machine and our hands that was taking focus or as you know, like  

attention is a currency now, and ADHD is good for business for corporations because the more they get your attention, the more money they make. 

So my question was that ma do you think it could be possible that it's become more rampant now? Since we didn't have technology earlier and then in our teens and in our twenties, we started getting these smartphones and we started like getting into into the. The cycle of constantly giving our attention to something else 

or maybe it activated it more. 

So in that. 

[00:18:50] Jesse: So I think it's I think it is possible. I know some people there's like studies that are being done on this and looking into it, but I do I think the cautionary tale for, or something that I worry about with focusing on that is that a lot of people that I think do have legitimate ADHD will hear that and think that, oh, I like for me, like I did a lot of video games and I still do. 

And I might, if I had heard that, I might've said oh, I don't have ADHD. I probably just have this attention things. I use a lot, I have a lot of screen time or whatever. And while that's something that's still developing. And like you said technology is changing so rapidly with the attention economy and all of that. 

But despite that studies have shown that 90% of adults that do have ADHD are undiagnosed. So there's this rampant, like so many people out there that have this disorder that. Are blaming themselves for like their difficulties. I know Dr. Ned Hallowell, he talks in his book ADHD 2.0, he mentioned something called vast which I believe stands for variable attention, stimulus trait, I think. 

And that is sort of what you're referring to. Like that idea of ADHD symptoms that aren't necessarily from the genetic disorder of ADHD. Yeah, so I think there's a little bit of blurry lines, but I worry some about the focus on vast or things like that, because I think there's a legitimate disorder that a lot of people that have aren't being diagnosed and I wouldn't want that them to Mo because. 

It's. So when you grow up with ADHD, there's a lot of self-esteem issues and excuse you feel like you're making excuses because you can't explain your own behavior. And so it's difficult. Like for me, it was really difficult to accept when I was diagnosed with ADHD and I've heard from other people that said something like, I don't deserve to have ADHD. 

And because they're there almost, just so beaten down from hearing this like negative feedback as a child and into adulthood, that they have a hard time accepting that, Hey, there's actually a legitimate reason. It's not just your fault, even though you've grown up thinking all these problems are your fault. 

[00:21:23] Sushil: Yeah. I agree on some fronts. Yes. A lot of people were undiagnosed. Shouldn't go undiagnosed and it is a legitimate disorder that a lot of people face. I just feel like If it is the case that, if it's already so rampant in 90% of the adults, it goes undiagnosed. 

Are we heading in the right direction, technology wise because if you see attention it's getting like even more compressed. If you see reels and tech talks, they're like two seconds, three seconds. And it's like the next thing and the next thing and the next thing, and the next thing I was just. 

Asking the, that line of questioning was around are we having more of a compounding effect of an already rampant disorder, which is going on diagnosed? That's why that line of  

[00:22:04] Jesse: Right,  

Yeah. It's tough. Tik TOK, I feel like Tik TOK is pulling in a lot of people with ADHD. Like they get sucked into that and then it's just. It's so easy to, we talked before earlier about being distracted and jumping from this thing to the next thing, but then you have something like Tik TOK and it moves so quickly. 

Through, like from one thing to the next that it's really you can lose hours in it because you don't realize how much time is passing while they're just like, oh entertainment. Oh, this is boring. Swipe up entertainment. It's just just, non-stop like drip feeds straight to, it's like dopamine straight to the brain or serotonin or whatever brain chemical you're getting from that. 

Yeah. I don't know what the future holds there, but it's. It is tricky. It's tricky to manage for sure. 

[00:22:55] Sushil: Yeah. And I don't know, I genuinely worry about if I don't have kids yet, but if I have kids generation, I feel like what is going to be their delight, what they have, like chips in their brains, which is constantly distracting them  

[00:23:07] Jesse: It's. As a parent, so I've got, I've got three kids and yeah, I kinda it's hard not to just worry about that stuff all the time. Cause I know already how like w what my childhood was like, and it was like, the internet barely was a thing. And so things are rapidly changing so much, like who knows what yeah. 

What my kids are going to have to deal with and how that technology evolves. 

[00:23:30] Sushil: another thing, which came up from my own personal experiences that, you know, I used to be always a procrastinate. And I would put off like all of my tasks to the last minute. And when I was a kid, there weren't too many tasks. Okay. Study for an exam. And I used to do well in school. 

So these kinds of things never came up. I would like literally study like hours before an exam or just a night before the exam and still get good grades or ACE the test. But  

as you become an adult, what happens is these tasks, they start building. And it's not just one exam that you can ACE, like with little preparation, it's like paying taxes. 

It's like the bills. It's like all of it that comes up. If you're a creator, then there's like a million things. I feel that also has a compounding effect. And some times when everything collapses that you realize that you have a problem and it happens much later in. 

[00:24:20] Jesse: Yeah. Yeah. I feel like I I call it, I basically feel like I'm juggling chainsaws all the time. I'm like that sort of, because I've got all these different activities going on and it just feels like I'm like putting on a show, keeping it all in the air and keeping it interesting. And When it starts to feel like, oh, this is going to collapse. This isn't sustainable. My counterintuitive strategy is like I better add another chainsaw. They keep it exciting. And I just build up to where I got even more things going on all the time. Yeah. One thing that I've found. 

I don't know if this is necessarily a solution or whatever. Like one thing that I'm doing, that's managing my content creation is I've liked my foundation of I do a week, my weekly newsletter. And if everything else fails, if I'm, hitting that burnout for real. I can stop everything and just do my newsletter. 

So I have that as like my baseline foundation of if I'm feeling like there's just too much I'm going to drop, I can drop everything else and just keep the newsletter going every single week and then rebuild on that foundation. Cause otherwise I'll just. I just keep adding new and new projects forever. 

And I, until it all collapses down and then I have nothing and I need to take a year off from everything and I don't want that to happen. So I'm trying to, honestly, it's something I'm trying to figure out right now. Like how to gracefully, keep, continue to build stuff and create stuff because I'm loving doing that, but keeping that burnout at bay so that I don't end up having to crash. 

[00:25:59] Sushil: And you're right. If you are like neurodiverse, you're also. Multitalented multifaceted. There are so many things and there's this need, I don't know, like a hobby collection and also the hobby graveyard keeps growing. I said, when you abandon those hobbies and it's important to strike about it. 

One thing that helps me is I think mindfulness really helps me earlier I used to like self medicate with marijuana, but it was not a very sustainable model. I used to live in Seattle and it was legal there. So at the time it just became like a crutch, but I noticed that it would really get me like hyper-focused or, get stuff done. 

But since I, I left substances, I think mindfulness. It's challenging. I've been admitted for two years now. It's still the thoughts are like all over the place, but it's about training yourself. Keep bringing yourself back again and again. So  

[00:26:51] Jesse: Yeah. Yeah.  

I find journaling is one thing I try to turn to sometimes I'm I don't have a good habit about it, but whenever I do it seems to help just like like morning pages, style journaling, where there's not really an agenda of just set a 20 minute timer and write whatever you're thinking. 

And I find that a lot of times. I worked stuff out through that. It's almost like self therapy of just forcing myself to spit words out onto the page. Eventually I work out some stuff that, oh, I didn't know that this was top of mind or, or hidden my subconscious word wherever it was clearly, this is, this thing that's come out that I started writing about is important. 

And I can kind of, kinda like how, like sometimes you'll have dreams and you'll dream about something and it's oh man, I must be really stressed at work because I keep having. Negative stressful dreams about work. I feel like that can happen with morning pages where like stuff will come stuff will kind of like bubble to the surface of like, oh, this is maybe a bigger deal than I thought, because it keeps showing up here and can help you hone in on where to focus your attention or, some things you maybe need to say no to and stop doing that. 

So you can focus on the things that you, that aren't bringing that stress to your life. 

[00:28:07] Sushil: On a previous episode there was this lucid dreamer author. He spoke about like how you can use your dream space to maybe talk to the ADHD and ask it like questions and, actually work on it because the self look and self-exploration that you do in dreams is like 10 X that you do in waking reality. 

But another thing you mentioned was morning pages. So I have you read the artist's way. 

[00:28:29] Jesse: I've read part of it. Not all of it, but like a lot of books I've read like 30% and it's in my book graveyard that, I want it to go back and finish, but I haven't touched that one a little bit. 

[00:28:42] Sushil: I'm laughing. Not at you. I'm laughing with you because that's Hey, that's me.  

[00:28:46] Jesse: Yup.  

[00:28:46] Sushil: so many unfinished books. I switched to a Blinkist because that's like a book in 15 minutes  

[00:28:52] Jesse: Yeah, Yeah. 

[00:28:54] Sushil: maybe I should ask them to pay me because ever since I started using Blinkist, I've been like blinkers. 

They can think of, 

[00:29:00] Jesse: Yeah. I mean, When you find a good tool, you just want to keep talking about it. That's yeah. That's all. 

[00:29:05] Sushil: Yeah, for sure. And I, our kids I, our kids also neurodiverse. I, how are you strategizing? They're childhood to cope with it better than you did. 

[00:29:14] Jesse: Yeah. Cause I had no idea and my parents had no idea either. So they were like trying to motivate me in ways that did not work with my brain. So yeah. So I have three kids. My oldest is my daughter and then we have two boys and my daughter is diagnosed with ADHD. And our relationship it's been like, it's hard. 

Like I'm not gonna lie. Like it's hard to raise a kid with ADHD, even though I have it and understand it. It's still, it's just. Hard cause you have things you want the kid to do to, for school and getting homework done and stuff like that. And it's just like really it, I know when I was a kid, I didn't do any homework. 

I just couldn't motivate myself to do anything at all. And so I don't have a magic bullet that suddenly makes that easier. But by identifying it, it helps, I think it helps her to know that it's not. It's not just her fault or it's not her fault at all. Like it's how her brain works and we're trying to figure out how to use, like we see the benefits and the positives, and we try to talk with her a lot about that, but we also see how can we work with your brain to take on the things, the pressures and requirements as society, places on you, which for her, you know, a school like trying to figure out how we can navigate school with the way that your brain works differently. And our boys are not diagnosed, but we were, we suspect that both of them probably. 

I also have ADHD, which when like my wife is not, she does not have ADHD, but when you have one parent with ADHD, there's basically like a 50, 50 chance for each kid of whether or not they're going to inherit it. And so I think we just, we rolled the three sixes or whatever, and we got all three of them. 

We're pretty sure that habit. Yeah. And it makes for it's fun. They're like, I think it really a neuro-diverse brain or ADHD brain really helps bring out like creativity and there's a lot of humor and stuff like that. But it does make things challenging and we're just navigating that. 

But I think the best thing for at least for my daughter that I've been able to see is like being able to say like, Hey. I have this too. It's not just you like her and I both have ADHD and so we can connect and that can kind of relate to her in that way. And obviously my wife's doing the best. 

She can like trying to learn all these things with ADHD, but I think it's really special having that connection between me and my daughter of we we really get each other because our brain works in this kind of, weird, unique, different neurodiverse kind of way. 

[00:31:44] Sushil: I love what you said that, and especially what you said about using this and how can we use this to maximize your potential? Because I just finished, like before the episode, I just finished hearing the talk with Elon Musk about everything that is talking about and With the Ted talk. And the interviewer asked him that, you know, you have Aspergers and was this like a superpower when you are growing up? 

Because most normal people, they're not able to zone out the rest of the world, but he asked him whether you're able to zone out the rest of the world and really get down to work. And it seems that because he had a tough childhood being a kid with Aspergers and everything, all the baggage that comes with it, he read a lot of books and he used to. 

Chord or a night and, and do computer programs and everything and innovate. That's how he became Elon Musk. And, so it's interesting that you say that and it's important. Everyone has that unique brain for a reason. It's just arbitrary that society says that. Okay. 

Neuro typical is normal. Neurodivergent is abnormal. It's all very subjective. So we need to find ways to really. Maximize the potential of a neurodiverse brain. 

So I love that you're doing that for kids. 

[00:32:58] Jesse: Yeah. Yeah. I think it's, I love this notion that's becoming more and more popular of embracing neurodiversity and and that's that includes neuro typical brains too. It's we want to have this wide range of kind of. Types of brains because obviously neuro-typical brains are helpful for getting a lot of things done. 

And obviously they bring a lot to the world too, but I particularly love what ADHD brains bring to the world. There's so much creativity that comes there and some of like just, and, art and just a lot of beautiful things that people with ADHD can create and just being like, Different approaches to things. 

I find a lot when I'm like in a business meeting and we're like maybe brainstorming something. I feel like a lot of the ideas I bring to the table are really different from what other people are suggesting. Like I it's just, my brain works differently and does I dunno, I wouldn't say better, but like it does a different way of connecting maybe to things that, that neuro-typical person might not think those would even go together, but my brain would say, Hey, maybe we can make these two things work together. 

And I think that embracing that kind of neurodiversity is really. Really great. It's really great for society and for the world. And I love that it's becoming more and more accepted and understood the importance of that. 

[00:34:22] Sushil: Completely agree with that, because if it weren't for this neurodiverse diverse brain, I wouldn't be able to make jokes because I feel like there's always this thread in my brain that is like breaking down words and putting the. Differently or, it makes me a poor listener sometimes, which is why you should, which is how you should start a podcast because then you have to pay attention  

and actually listened to listen to all the information that is presented. 

This has been a great chat. Before we go I'd like to ask you if you could suggest something that would help our listeners improve their lives just by a little bit. 

[00:34:58] Jesse: Yeah. So one good thing I think is journaling. I find it really beneficial to sometimes I'll just I use an app called thunk notes a lot, and I have a really basic template for just planning out my day. And it's very basic, but I find that whenever I do that, and I just write up a few things of what is my plan for the day? 

Or there's this book called make time. And I think it's called make time. And it, one of  

the things that suggests is to at the beginning of your day or maybe even the day before, but to select a daily highlight. And I find that. Always whenever I do that, I forget to do it a lot. But whenever I do that, I find that day feels like more of a success. 

Because when you don't have a daily highlight, you can go weeks and you lose track of the days. What did I even do? But by picking a day that highlight and that highlight can be. Task. It can be like a little project. You want to make sure you get done the day. So maybe it's like an hour long or it's just I want to make sure to, I don't know, play chess with my son tonight or something like that. 

That just makes it a little bit identifiable. It really, I think makes for a richer life. 

[00:36:10] Sushil: It definitely does. And I'm going to go play with my cat after this, 

[00:36:15] Jesse: Nice.  

That  

can be your highlight.  

[00:36:18] Sushil: Jesse, thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure. If you haven't done it already, you can follow Jesse on Twitter, Instagram and Tik TOK at Jesse J. Anderson. He also has a weekly newsletter called extra focus, which has amazing tips on how to live your best life when you have a newer diverse brain. 

And where else can people find you Jesse? 

[00:36:38] Jesse: Yeah. So like you said, Jesse J. Anderson everywhere, including Jesse J anderson.com. And I'm also, I'm writing the book on ADHD called refocus, and you can just go to refocus book dot. 

[00:36:50] Sushil: Awesome. It's been an absolute pleasure. I look forward to what you can do with your podcast, ADHD, nerds, and all the projects that you're working on. And I wish you the very best in all. 

[00:37:01] Jesse: Thank you so much. This was awesome. I really appreciate you having me on.  

 

Jesse J. Anderson Profile Photo

Jesse J. Anderson

ADHD Creative

Jesse J. Anderson is a writer, designer, developer, and maker of things. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 36, and has since made it his mission to help others better understand what ADHD really is. Now Jesse has a weekly newsletter called Extra Focus with over 16,000 subscribers, hosts the ADHD Nerds podcast, and is writing his first book, Refocus: A Practical Guide to Adult ADHD.