Here’s a story; stop me if you’ve heard it before. There’s a child, an energetic, enthusiastic child, perhaps hard to deal with in some ways, but all around just beautiful. And then they go to a parochial school – or perhaps they just have a rather strict public school teacher. In either case, the authority figure makes it their wicked mission to suppress all the beautiful children’s personalities into identical, well-behaved zombies in the interest of the idol of order.
I was reading my ADHD blog post today, considering whether to send it to a friend, and it was surprisingly hard for me to bring myself to. I realized I was embarrassed at the voice, the phrasing, the lack of beauty in the individual words, all of which is something I paid relatively little attention to before – and which my friend, who also writes, will definitely notice. It’s something I’ve paid less attention to than I should.
It is half past noon. I have done no work, not even from bed, where I somehow still am. My laptop is on, to-do list open. I’ve checked messages, even replied to one or two, but when I go to do something, I find myself several minutes later not having done it. I’d used the bathroom instead. Or something else? What was it? What was I going to do first, again?
I’d like to share with you how I use my computer, in a way that is (for me) ADHD friendly and well-suited for implementing my organization system. Tools are important to any organizational and productivity system, and optimizing your tools for your brain and your workflow are important. My computer is my most important productivity tool, where my work happens, and where my life/chore/errand/calendar organization happens, so it should be an interesting example of an optimized key tool.
ADHD is a controversial topic, and it’s never been more relevant. Diagnoses are soaring right now, driven up by a variety of interacting forces. Open discussion about ADHD – and the related general concept of “neurodiversity” – has been exploding on the Internet. And recently, there’s been a very unfortunate Adderall shortage. So I wanted to take an opportunity to share some thoughts about it. I would say that I was taking this opportunity to clear things up, but unfortunately, that might not be possible.
If you’re confused by how to use JIRA effectively, do not worry! If you learn this process, which is very simple not literally impossible, you too can become good at JIRA passingly competent at JIRA not liable to being fired for being bad at JIRA. Here are the steps: Create personal TODO item to write JIRA ticket Accumulate requirements for JIRA ticket in personal notes Often more complicated than the feature itself This is the System Working™ Write TODO items strategizing how to: Share the JIRA ticket with other people Connect it properly with other JIRA tickets Advanced: Also epics, projects, or other meta-JIRA constructs Write JIRA ticket Fail to understand what any of the fields are for Oh, they’re required?
As promised in my previous posts about organization, I will now go into some detail about my own organizational system. But before I start talking about it, and how I came to develop it, I’d like to emphasize a few points, or more specifically, three caveats, lest Zeus strike me down with a thunderbolt for my hubris: Caveat the First: My system is a work in progress. Even though it is overall very helpful, it’s always falling apart a little bit.
In my previous post on organization, I concluded with this statement: As everyone’s brain works differently (whether ADHD or not), people differ tremendously in what their ideal organizational systems are. For me, I am much less productive if I have a less than ideal system – the stakes are very high. But even for people who can be productive on any system, I think that tailoring their system to their brain, their lifestyle, their job and schedule and hobbies, can have amazing results.
Memory Leak I have an excellent memory. I have a terrible memory. Well, which one is it? This is a confusing state to be in. It can be frustrating to people around me. How is it – my father used to ask me when I was in high school – that I could remember all the lessons and readings for my tests in school, and get all the good grades, but couldn’t ever remember to do the simplest task or household chore, or to bring with me the simplest item?
For a time, I tried to cultivate an interest in Go. Not this Go, but this Go. The interest didn’t last long – like chess, I had a hard time getting up to even a fairly basic level of competence. And I quickly developed another enthusiastic interest to replace it – sometimes, an interest just doesn’t work out, and it’s nobody’s fault, and you have to just move on and not get too sad, because there’s plenty of fish in the sea.