Do you ever wonder if you have Adult-Onset ADD or ADHD? Even if you show the symptoms, a world-renowned M.D. thinks that you DON’T.
Do these symptoms sound familiar?
- Hard work isn’t getting you where you want to be–in work or relationships
- Feeling overwhelmed–even when you are not
- Feeling powerless over your own life
- Nagging guilt about lack of family time and incomplete tasks
- Tendency to put off difficult conversations or tasks
- You overcommit/make yourself too available (and resent yourself for it)
- Difficulty relaxing; constantly checking your phone when not at work
- Bouncing from one incomplete task to the next
While these could be symptoms of ADD or ADHD, Dr. Ned Hallowell suspects that you suffer from ADT: Attention Deficit Trait. The condition develops, Hallowell suggests, from an effort to cope with the stress of modern electronic life. Gradually, like dementia, it takes over a person’s life without them being aware.
You know the problem— swarms of distractions, constant interruptions, various tones chiming all around, rampant “screen sucking,” texting under the table during meetings, the overloading of mental circuits, and frequent feelings of frustration at trying to get everything done well and on time. This is the modern context in which most of us work. Whether the workplace itself or the numerous demands on your time drive you to distraction, the end result is the same. You can’t focus on anything anymore at work, and it’s taking its toll on your performance and your sense of well-being.
~Driven to Distraction at Work by Dr. Ned Hallowell (pages 128-132).
How do you reclaim your mind and your time? Hallowell prescribes a number of practical steps including two things: Structure and Thinking Time.
My work with Executives has shown me “the best of times, the worst of times” in business structures. When I read Dr. Hallowell’s article, it didn’t shock me that he cited “structure” as a remedy for ADT. The business system I teach, The Entrepreneurial Operating System®(EOS)®, contains practical tools that create stronger structure, focus, and accountability within the organization. I’ve seen firsthand how structure—far from confining—gives immediate mental/emotional relief . . . and returns a derailed business back on its tracks. Immediately!
2. THINKING TIME
How did Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, turn around the company? First, he diagnosed “nano-thinking disease” at AOL (similar to ADT). Then, through Executive Order(not suggestion), he implemented the “10% Think Time” policy. Armstrong mandated that all Executives spend at least four hours every week—THINKING. What result did he see from hundreds of “unproductive” hours?
“It’s been a total game-changer for me and for AOL.”
In the EOS® world, we call this a Clarity Break™. If you’re ready to combat the effects of Attention Deficit Trait, here are a few guidelines:
- Sequester yourself for 1-4 hours in a distraction-free zone—NOT YOUR OFFICE!
- NO email, NO text messaging, NO phone, NO computer.
- Review your plans, goals, pipeline, obstacles, and people. Take a pen and notebook.
- Remember this is NOT a time to catch up on busy work.
In my experience, many people find this process difficult (indicating that ADT is much worse than they initially believed). Increase your odds for winning by starting small. Schedule yourself, your notepad & pen, and your schedule for only 1 hour of Thinking Time per week. You’ll be stunned at the brilliance that has been waiting to escape!
Read more from Dr. Ned Hallowell, Driven to Distraction at Work, by clicking here. He’ll help you understand ADT, and give techniques to combat the drain on your effectiveness.
And Congratulations! If you read this article in one sitting, without stopping, you’ve done your part to combat ADT in the workplace.