I have places to be, places to get to, and things that need doing that require my attention.
And I am fast at doing things. Like lightning fast, I tell you.
But you’ll never know that.
Why? Because it doesn’t show.
You see what you look for
You look to see what I got done of the things you know I need to get done.
But I work independently. I’m a freelance contractor. I get through my work and hand it over.
And I work for more than one entity. You get the stuff I do for you. Others get their stuff when it’s finished.
And I am fast …
I’m fast in the moment. When I do something I do it quickly and decisively.
And yet the net production of my day is not significantly greater than that of others who work at the things I do.
Why is that?
I can’t do the real math for you, but I can estimate what happens.
I am easily distracted.
I work at a speed that is maybe four times faster than the norm, but I spend about 75% of my time roaming aimlessly and not accomplishing anything.
What if we could fix that?
It has been my experience that, on medication. I focus much better, but work much slower, the tortoise’s “slow and steady” thing.
If I could work at 400% of the norm for 100% of the time I suspect I would burn out long before my day was even well begun.
So in the end
I feel that two things are true of the way I work. The first is that I get done an adequate amount of work. I mean, yes the speed at which I work would lead one to believe that I ought to be more productive, but I am adequately productive so that should be okay.
And from that observation that “I ought to be more productive” comes the second thing, I often spend great swathes of time reprimanding myself for the time wasted.
This has a negative effect
This makes me critical of myself and of my work, and when I step back I can see that I shouldn’t be critical. I need the distraction time to let my mind … cool off?
So I’m blatantly stealing Dr. Hallowell’s description of ADHD being a Ferrari brain with bicycle brakes, but I’m wanting to take that analogy a little farther.
Consider the idea that our brains race like that Ferrari engine and then overheat, but we can’t stop them. The only way we can cool them back down is to let them coast.
And how do we do that?
I’m suggesting that distraction is actually a safety valve that lets us not explode our minds. I’m suggesting that it might well be a coping mechanism.
It’s a thing we curse. certainly, but it is not a thing we can cure, it seems.
There is no evidence that it is a coping mechanism. But there is no evidence that it isn’t. And there’s no known reason for it.
So maybe, just maybe … there’s a reason that I’m a wanderer.