Also, as a programmer, I’ve solved countless problems by stepping away from it and sleeping on it, or going for a bike ride, etc.graeme_0
I can’t explain how bad a consistent 40-work week is for neurodivergent people generally. My productivity has been magnitudes higher and better quality since I started working far less, and with breaks every day to do my own enjoyable stuff.
Nothing is worse than my job making me feel stressed and pressuring me or micromanaging me, or watching me or monitoring me, or just taking away autonomy and not being respectful enough to answer my 'stupid questions'. So many companies WASTED my talent.
I see it as a pressure and blow off valve thing – my mind works really well on tasks in short bursts with very high quality of work, the more I force myself past it either though medication or not realising just from hyperfocus – I end up with massive hyperfocus hangover.
It's brain fog unlike any other. In stress situations where people disrespect me – it's like someone has stuck a fork in a blender and then asked me to think. My sensory sensitivity is amplified and I end up getting Crohn's flares.
This absolutely makes sense too – so many of us are achievers with really bad procrastination issues. Draft copy ? I write a 1.5k opinion piece in 40 mins that is of high quality when I am not stressed. It needs minor edits by editors.
My biggest limiting factor in life has been how I learn, and how I was assessed about my knowledge. Not the extent of what I know, how you made me show you that.
The biggest limiting belief we have with procrastination is that we are taught it's a bad thing, and then because we don't get a perfect result (with usually bad parental reinforcement) this starts a cognitive pattern that we cant work in short bursts and be successful.
A tip I usually tell my clients is to stop focusing on the end result. Focus on a certain amount of time, and start small and build up, if you reach the limit and want to continue that's fine, record it though. If you are struggling to do it, just stop and come back later.
Procrastination TEACHES us that we can do high quality work in short time. Society TEACHES us that the end result is the only important thing – the amount of time was important too. That is vital information. Short bursts frequently = best results for me.
I never go in with a goal of having the task completed just the expectation that I will work for x amount of minutes – this is why the Pomodoro method works for us – the tangible goal is just a realistic amount of time worked.
"The journey is more important than the destination" is literally the main paradigm for my productivity. If I can make the journey important, I don't care about the destination, and consequently I get to the destination faster and with better results.
Which comes back to intrinsic motivation.
Autonomy – I am in control of how much time I spend on stuff
Competence – When I work on stuff consistently I feel better at it
Relatedness – As the work is higher quality, I am appreciated for it.
This one theory underpins so much success:
Autonomy – I chose to do this because I want to work for an amount of time
Competence – The person next to me just likes I'm working and doesn't care about the result
Relatedness – I am not doing this alone.
Self-Determination is INNATELY tied to dopamine release also.
That is the thing I've discovered.
Self-determination and dopamine are linked a lot to our intrinsically motivated – social selves.
Talking about our special interests and working on them makes sense to us – because we meet our self-determination needs.
Autonomy – I am discussing stuff I like talking about
Competence – I know a lot about it because I am interested in it
Relatedness – I am sharing it
I have been skirting around self-determination for a while but I have realised it's basically the precursor for us to succeed – that's why when we are EXTRINSICALLY motivated we tend to struggle as we cannot generate dopamine. We have to have meaning in what we do.
A lot of ADHD/Autistic people are anti-capitalists – because we innately are averse to it's goals. I've always disagreed with it on a core level – at 16 I thought it was consumerism when I saw fight club, but I discovered the far more insidious depth when at university.
Others get conditioned out of it – they become focused or get hollowly rewarded for success – they still have relatedness and competence, but their autonomy has been undermined for external reasons.
Stoicism helped me ween myself off having stuff or needing stuff beyond basic needs. Now I focus on intrinsic goals and my life is good and I am happy all the time. I did it in weird ways but all the good times in my life I have had self-determination.
I am averse to rewards because if I start living for that I will not be able to sustain it. I do need to know that I am valuable to people – and I want to know how I can improve but I don't live for external feedback all the time as I was told to.
This is the central theme of my book on my life using science. Because this is a self-determined project I have no problem working on it in small bursts. I am making good progress. The lack of self-determination is also physically and mentally painful.
It took me 8 weeks to come up with half an autobiography outline. It took less than 3 hours to realise what I wanted to do for an autoethnography. I was trying to write two separate books because I thought I “should” – one on mental health, one autobiography. Should have thought about combining them sooner – it’s exactly how I tweet about science. I NEED TO RELATE INFORMATION I CANT TALK ABOUT IT IN ISOLATION.
Expanded Part 1.
Expanded Part 2.
I said I was able to keep up teeth brushing more frequently a while back… guess what – it's about self determination:
Autonomy – I want to do it because my dental team is nice to me
Competence – slowly improving I am getting better at it
Relatedness – my dental team is nice
Most of my teeth brushing issues are a mental barrier – when I think about the fact I need to do the task – I used to go straight to all the pain that is associated with the dentist, the social pain of shame, and my own self-blame over having bad teeth. No one gave me autonomy.
Being negatively reinforced ends up making us quit. ADHD people ARE EXTREMELY SENSITIVE TO SOCIAL PAIN.
I can't express how much negative feedback creates the problem. We are masters at hating ourselves from social conditioning. My job as coach is restoring self-determination.
SOCIAL PAIN AND PHYSICAL PAIN LIGHT UP THE SAME RECEPTORS. PAIN THEORY UNDERLIES ADHD SEVERITY.
If we could have just done stuff in our own way… what could we have done?
I think about this all the time. ALL THE TIME.
It's natural to WANT to stop yourself being in pain.
Needed Ted Lasso in my life. Got Dr Cox instead.
THANKS FOR COMING TO MY TED TALK.