- Robert Merki
The Post That Blew Up
I posted something last week that blew up:
ADHDers feel like they have "unrealized potential" because they hyperfocused one weekend 4 years ago and are still chasing that feeling.— robmerki.eth (@robmerki) December 8, 2020
It was a thought that I posted into the void. Astonishingly, it gained 550,000 views across Twitter.
What did I say that hit a nerve with so many people?
It's that we're chronically unsatisfied with our productivity.
Productivity with ADHD is a funny beast. Sometimes it's amazing. Sometimes it's a combination of anxiety and brainfog. We are never consistent.
The only consistency is frustration.
We know we could be more productive, we just can't seem to unlock that potential.
Why was I able to focus for 16 hours that one weekend? Why can't I do that every day? Why can't I reach my potential?
At some point in the past, we had an incredibly productive day, likely due to our ADHD hyperfocus. Instead of being content with one great day, we punish ourselves by comparing each day to this one glorious achievement.
Roll With Average
Ask yourself this. Why did you have such a great day that one time? Did you plan on it? Or did it just happen randomly?
Everyone I've asked has responded the same way. Their hyperfocused day was either a happy accident, or right before a stressful deadline.
Some people can impose stressful deadlines on themselves. I can't.
That leaves the first option: happy accidents.
If incredible productivity only shows itself at random, then clearly it's not a reasonable goal to aim for.
A more efficient way to live is to aim for average days. Try to be as consistent as possible with "good" effort.
This feels like a cop-out, but it's not. If you're like me, your average is probably very good. It's what you should aim for. Every single day that you aim for good effort is another chance that you might strike incredible, hyperfocused productivity by accident.
It's far more efficient to do that than to try (and fail) to be incredible every single day.