6 thoughts on “The Disorganized Mind – Yours, Mine, Nancy’s: Meet Nancy A. Ratey

  • July 21, 2010 at 8:19 am

    I also loath too much scheduling/planning. But since I’ve started treatment, I’ve noticed I’m following a much more consistent routine – as this has been helpful. But my job and life still have enough variety and ‘spice’ to keep things from becoming boring. I insist on keeping some ‘unplanned’ things in my life each day.

    Learning to recognize unplanned moments of hyperfocus and being able to ‘go with them’ when possible has been wonderful. For example, music is a hobby for me. I’m not a real/serious musician – more of a wannabe – but dinking around has given me a lot of pleasure throughout my life. Even more so today. In the past 6 months, my musical proficiency has come up just a small notch because when I have a ‘musical moment’ (a flash of insight, a question, an idea, a hunch…) I’ll indulge it if it’s not interfering with something more important.

    I never know when these moments will strike. In the past, I’ve tended to ignore these moments and force myself to stay on task (even when that task could easily be delayed). I’d tell myself “I’ll try that next time I’m practicing”. But of course, by that time, the entire train of thought is gone…

    The other day, I was starting to put my guitar away. I was holding the neck and strings randomly and happened to brush against them. The sound it made was interesting. I’ve heard that before. Where? Where? Then I realized it was part of a song I had tried to learn but had never been able to figure out. Hold on! Stop the flippin’ presses! Eureka! Let’s see. If that is there, then this must be here and then the other part would naturally fall here and… oh yeah! Ten minutes of hyperfocus later, I had the whole thing figured out. Unplanned, but for me, one of the many rewards that help to make life worth living. Every day is a premium.

    Carpe distractio!

    • July 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

      Jerry, I absolutely LOVED reading your comment! So well-written, and what a wonderful story. Inspiring, wise. I felt like I was right there with you, making that musical discovery. Thanks so much for sharing this, it really puts things into perspective. And “carpe distractio” – priceless! Wish I’d thought of it… 🙂

  • July 21, 2010 at 10:55 am


    Thank you! You found someone who, like yourself, really speaks to us. She speaks from a different, yet similarly positive perspective as you (whine/deal slide over to the right). Your readers must be getting real value out of this, I know I am.

    You keep me going.

  • July 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I went ahead and ordered Nancy’s book – the Amazon reviews are very impressive. After 113 reviews, 77% give it 5 stars.

    But the tipping point was when I looked at “What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item?” – the 3 othebooks listed there are among my favorites so I’m certain I’ll find much to chew on here as well.

    The Kolberg/Nadeau book is great – the “Always Subtract Before Adding” rule is getting applied regularly now – particularly with respect to time management. I am forever overcommiting and simultaneously under-estimating the time required for each commitment.

    Thanks for writing about this.

  • March 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Is it helpful for a person to have ADHD and understand it to be an ADHD coach like Nancy?

    • March 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      Hey, Debbie, great question!
      I’m not quite sure how to answer it except to say that Nancy Ratey DOES have ADHD, as do many coaches who work with us ADHDers. On the other hand, there are many life coaches, and maybe some ADHD coaches who do NOT have ADHD. My sense is that if you yourself have ADHD, you have a very intimate and deep knowledge of the nuances because you’ve lived with it yourself. I guess it’s a matter of whether or not you can bring your personal experience to bear as an asset, rather than a detriment, in your coaching. I know that when Nancy gives me suggestions, she knows what has and hasn’t worked for her, but she also has the benefit of understanding that everyone with ADHD is unique and she is able to provide alternative suggestions.

      I would suggest that you check out her book, The Disorganized Mind, which is about self-coaching, to get a feel for where she’s coming from, and maybe go to some websites by other ADHD coaches and read their philosophies, approaches, etc.

      For me personally, I value the experience of someone who’s walked the path, worked through the challenges, and has gained insight from their journey. There’s a sense for me that certain things I don’t have to explain to them, whereas if you haven’t lived it, you don’t have that visceral experience that goes bone-deep. It’s a case of “textbook” rather than “lived” experience in a sense, but I could be wrong here. I am equally certain that there must be coaches w/o ADHD who are very capable and competent and have wonderful successes with their clients as well. I guess it’s like having a male obstetrician deliver your baby! (although, again, I prefer a woman for the same general reasons).

      Again, I think it depends on the person, but one would hope that if one is working as an ADHD coach, and has ADHD themselves, that they have worked through their own challenges to the point that they are actually capable of coaching another.

      Does that makes sense? (sorry, I’m very tired and drained at the moment. That’s my two cents’ worth, tarnished though the cents/sense may be at the moment…going to bed now!)

      Thanks for writing!
      P.S. I’ll send your question along to Nancy and see if we can get her to weigh in!


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