My son was diagnosed with ADHD in 2015 due to troubles with school work, and I was sort of back-handedly diagnosed, as well. It explained a few things, but mostly it left me confused, and I didn’t do much with the informal diagnosis except laugh off a few foibles at work. Fast-forward to last month, when I lost a job that I really liked but noticed wasn’t a great fit for me anymore, and read an article on adult ADHD, and I had an epiphany – I really need to get my ADHD under control and put it to good use.
Yes, you read that right – put it to good use.
I know plenty of people who dismiss ADHD as a silly diagnosis for kids who spend too much time on screens and don’t get enough exercise (ahem – me and my son). And I admit that I knew some things about it, but I mostly thought adults with it just have trouble focusing on our goals. I just needed to try harder! Or take medicine (which isn’t cheap). Heck, ADHD is supposed to make it easier for me to handle a lot of things at once, which is great for project management. But I keep feeling like I’m failing at that.
But that’s not all it is. It’s a problem focusing on the correct things. But more on that later.
I have read an enormous amount of self-help and business/leadership books, and I get really excited about making things better, but there’s still been a disconnect. I can create a vision and set goals, even figure out the next steps, but sometimes I just can’t execute. I get caught in a loop, worrying about something and unable to move forward. I do something else that rewards me with a “hit” of dopamine.
I have trouble with my executive functioning. I need to both take medicine to remove the barriers that impact my executive functions, and work my systems to create rewards for getting things done. And I don’t mean buying myself something – I mean rewards of dopamine in my brain. I finally figured out that the systems I create for myself and other people does that – it helps me move forward and rewards me with dopamine when I see that I have taken consistent action.
Let’s get back to my problem with focusing on the correct things. I can see where there’s an issue that needs to be addressed and I enjoy working on that by creating systems that overcome problems. And I get excited about that. So excited that I neglect other items on my list. Or that I hadn’t put on the list because I thought they were obvious. I’m getting that under control.
Why would I tell you my short-comings? Because my problem is really a solution for some people. Solving your problems by helping you create systems is rewarding for me. When we work the systems we put in place, you win, too.
I really like working with small contractors as a part-time or short-term project manager (sometimes even a superintendent), helping my clients set up systems, connect with my network, and accomplish something tangible on their projects. I enjoy variety and flexibility, I look for unique experiences, and I focus on adding value when working with my clients, helping them shine in front of their customers.
Let’s discuss whether you can put my “problem” to work for you.