Wednesday, October 04, 2017

You can turn ADHD into a benefit

Peter Shankman is a successful entrepreneur, and he has attention deficit disorder. He has learned to manage it with several habits that all of us would do well to copy.

Here's what he does.

Eliminate choice as much as possible
Choice will kill you. I know I have to exercise each morning, or my brain won’t function as well as it could. (ADHD limits the amount of dopamine your body produces and dopamine helps you focus. Exercise boosts that dopamine back up again. Think “runner’s high.”) 
In order to ensure I make the right choice first thing in the morning and win the battle against the alarm clock, I go to sleep in my gym clothes and set my bedroom lights as a timer. It’s hard to hit snooze when you’re already in your gym clothes and the lights are bright. I know that once my workout is done, I’ll feel amazing, so I eliminate the possibility of not doing it.
Take pointless decisions — and distractions — out of your day
I have two sides to my closet. The left side is labeled “office/travel” and has t-shirts and jeans. The right side is labeled “speaking/TV” and has button-down shirts, blazers and jeans. That’s it. My suits, sweaters, vests, all sit in another closet in another room. I look at my calendar and either pick from the left or the right and I’m done with thinking about what to wear. The lack of decision prevents me from winding up sitting in my living room an hour later, still undressed, looking up an ex-girlfriend because I found a sweater she’d given me.
Embrace the early
I start my day at 3:45 am I’m not saying you have to do this, but getting up, exercising, checking email and having coffee long before the rest of the world has even woken up is, hands down, the No. 1 way to own my success. It means I go to bed early, sure, but in all the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve yet to see my professional life suffer from not going out late at night. Quite the opposite. The power players? The market makers? All at the gym at 5:15 am, waiting for the doors to open. At my gym, we call ourselves “the door club” and there’s always more than one powerful CEO waiting to get inside and get the job done.
People who make it make their does so that they can make it.

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