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I have diagnosed ADD. Mild but enough to affect my work:

  • Easily distracted
  • Can't concentrate on one project at a time
  • Addicted to the web
  • Procrastination
  • etc.

What strategies do you use to compensate?


One clarification

I have real ADD. I was diagnosed with it when I was a child and have wrestled with it all my life. I am not talking about artificial ADD, which is induced by media overload.


Update

I just read this description ADD/ADHD. It's a great description, especially for us programming ADDers:

I am like a toolbox,
with all the tools I will ever need
lain gently and neatly in the box,
ready for me to use them.
The toolbox is translucent
so I can see them there.

The key to the toolbox is locked inside of it.

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locked by Yannis Rizos Aug 2 '13 at 5:16

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Yannis Rizos Aug 2 '13 at 5:15

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Please don't patronize the OP. –  bzlm Sep 26 '08 at 11:17
9  
You've just diagnosed me with ADD! –  Ates Goral Oct 5 '08 at 12:25
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Thanks for this post. It's good to see others open with their issues, which I share with you in this case. –  Chris Serra Oct 16 '08 at 14:26
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"SHUT UP AND STUDY!!!" –  vitule Dec 12 '08 at 20:10
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Google the personality type INTJ –  TheSoftwareJedi Dec 13 '08 at 5:56

36 Answers 36

up vote 133 down vote accepted

I've had similar problems as you do. The two main strategies that have helped me are

  • Only one project at any time: I've suffered from following more projects than I can count on my fingers, each "clamouring" for attention. Now I've radically cut down on projects either by finishing them "once and for all" or by simply dropping them altogether. Earlier this year I've founded a company and now I'm down to three projects: Health, Family and Company.

  • Separation of concerns: When doing everything on one desk, the risk is high to "drift" from one thing to another. I've removed all procrastination stuff from my work PC and use my Laptop only for "play" and other private internet usage (mails, userfriendly, slashdot). The PC is on my desk, the Laptop in the Living Room. This keeps a healthy distance between Company and private stuff.

Of course these two things are quite general stuff. Some of the smaller, but also helpful things:

  • No Lurking on IRC/other chat channels. Either I need or give support/community in the project I'm working on or I'm not in that channel.
  • Close The Mailer. Checking mails because the project just compiles is just stupid, since waiting for a compile is just enough time to see whether or not there is mail. If there wasn't any mail, I've interrupted my flow for nothing and if there was mail, I'd either have to interrupt my flow even more to handle it or punt it anyways. So now, I'm checking my mails three times a day and have reduced my interruption count significantly.
  • Exercise. Often while programming I feel the urge to jump up and run around in my room. Especially when sitting before the tougher design decisions. Going biking every other day has significantly improved my ability to concentrate on stuff as well as the added benefit of improving overall stamina and well being.
  • Spent Time Bookkeeping. I've got a simple spreadsheet where I enter my Company time and some private stuff. I keep it to 15 minute chunks, which makes data entry much easier and any smaller units just cause more overhead. If I'm not doing something I can "bill" on the Company and it's between 8:00 and 18:00 I know I'm doing something wrong.
    Also, at the end of the week I get a nice report how I spent my time. One big caveat here though. When I started this after finishing university it was a hard blow for me how little time I was spending "productively." It took me quite a while to recognize, that I need to record everything I don't do for Family. Specifically:
    1. I need to record times spent exercising as productive. See above.
    2. I need to record times lost due to external factors: I'm travelling a lot lately and when I've only recorded 25 hours of work in a week, I suck. But if I add the two days I spent on the road that week, I see that I did more than 40 hours. Suddenly "I suck" changes into "the external-factors-that-cause-my-travels suck," which is a much healthier thing to say.
  • Eat and Sleep Regularly. Stand up at 07:00, Breakfast, Lunch at 12:00, Dinner at 18:00, Sleep from between 22:00 and 23:00.
  • Appreciate the Small Successes. Even if I'm not yet there, today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better than today.
  • Adjust you Environment. That's quite a broad topic. As a home worker, I got myself a nice new desk and chair which I now use exclusively for work.
    Also I really like listening to music, but vocals -- especially in my mother tongue -- distract me incredibly. I've tried instrumental music, which worked for a while until the trance beats got to my nerves. Now I'm going for the complete silence. It might be different for you, but there's only one way to find out for real: experiment and watch yourself while working.
  • Become Accountable. Get a Conscience. I founded my Company together with an old friend, whom I deeply respect. By his presence and by knowing that our success is now is interlocked, I feel compelled to give my best.

  • And finally Constant Vigilance! Distractions tend to creep up from every nook and cranny of your life (stackoverflow anybody? ;). Keeping them at bay and managing them will stay a constant struggle. Having said this, I have to close my stackoverflow tabs and get back to programming!


PS: I've talked with someone from my family who is working with ADHD kids. She told me that ADHD is a kind of catch-all/fallback diagnostic (see the ADHD Wikipedia entry for corrobation: DSM-IV V.) and is hard to diagnose "scientifically" since the patient has to be monitored in different settings over a longer period of time AND other causes for the symptoms have to be excluded. Practically ADHD is handled as "the condition helped by the prescribed medicines", since there currently are no globally accepted non-psychiatric assesment test procedures and not enough knowledge about the underlying biochemical functions. Again, quoting Wikipedia: "There are several effective and clinically proven options to treat people with ADHD. Combined medical management and behavioral treatment is the most effective ADHD management strategy, followed by medication alone, and then behavioral treatment."

From what I gathered from the discussion with her, the problem is that doctors often choose (cheap, symptom-oriented) medication over (expensive, cause-oriented) therapy with little regard to the long-term effects on the patient.

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"Separation of Concerns..." I've even switched to "one PC for development another for internet, mail, etc." It works wonders. –  Steve Duitsman Sep 26 '08 at 14:32
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Excellent suggestions, thanks! –  MichaelGG Oct 19 '08 at 18:02
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The one that is personally most important to me is having someone I trust to whom I am accountable. Thanks for the list. –  le dorfier Dec 12 '08 at 20:10
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Honestly, your list sucks. That's nearly completely the opposite of what I do. +1, I guess. Meh. Time to change my life. –  Konrad Rudolph Jan 14 '09 at 21:22
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I bump this in the headphones. simplynoise.com . Choose from white, pink, and red/brown noise. –  ThomasGHenry Feb 14 '09 at 16:55

I really don't think you can be a programmer if you suffer from ADHD - sorry.... Considering the necessary high-concentration levels.

I've been accused of hating or being negative.

This is nonsense, I feel great sympathy with anyone suffering from such problems.

I am just pointing out that programming requires higher concentration levels than the norm, yet ADHD means you have lower concentration levels than the norm.

So programming will be a problem. I'm being honest. There are many other good careers in IT, such as design work, that wouldn't require high concentration levels.

If you can solve the ADHD then programming would always be an opition again.

UPDATE: Now I'm accused of saying high concentration levels means you are smarter!!!

Again, that is nonsense. I don't see that correlation necessarily.

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Although it can be a challenge to be a programmer with ADHD there can also be advantages. Many people with ADHD can sometimes experience moments of hyperconentration where they're super-focused while in the zone. Having a disability shouldn't discourage someone from doing what they enjoy. –  Mark Cidade Oct 1 '08 at 19:05
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I think you'll find several references in this list (and I'll add my experience) to the fact that ADHD lets you hyperconcentrate on the right types of tasks, and programming is one of them. (Two others are video games and music.) Would that affect your point of view? –  le dorfier Dec 12 '08 at 20:13
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@Oak: Actually, programming is what I can concentrate most in. Everything else (documenting, meetings, time-managing, etc.) is what I stumble on. –  lamcro Sep 25 '12 at 14:32

Turn off your web browser so you cannot access StackOverflow during work hours.

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Try organizing your time into small and simple tasks

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You probably know your condition best, but here are some suggestions.

Take regular breaks. This applies to everyone, but even more so, I'd think, for someone with ADD.

Get enough sleep and eat well. If you don't, your attention span will be even worse, and you don't need that.

As for procrastination, read up on some blogs about procrastination, there are a bunch of good things written about it, find out what works for you.

Web addiction is a tricky one. I had a friend with ADD that used dual monitors, one for "fun" and one for work. That way he'd be able to tell when he spent too much time on the funitor ;) Your mileage may vary on this though.

Are you on some medication? Is there any or is your disorder too mild? Ask your doctor for advice, perhaps he can recommend some good meds :)

All in all, take care of yourself. Being well fed and alert is never a bad idea.

/Ace

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Are you SURE you're doctor is a good one ? I mean .. from what you say I have ADD too :| .

But I still get my job done even if after an hour I have to stop and look at stackoverflow or dotnetkicks ... or walk around in the room , or talk to one of my team mates .

So .. don't worry ,you can be a programmer just fine.

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I wasn't diagnosed ADD as a children but was close to it. Apparently I'm OK now as an adult, even though i still can become easily distracted. A few hints:

-Stay off the stimulants: coffee, coke, chocolate, etc.

-Don't listen to music. I've found music screws my focus A LOT (it seems to help others, but doesn't work for me).

-Stay off the web. Don't keep tabs open on slashdot, digg, every man and his dog's blog or whatever. Just keep an eye on your important email inboxes and google for stuff you need for your work. Delay idle browsing til after work or lunch time.

-Use the 'one step at a time' approach to procrastination. In short, instead of facing a big task, break it down into smaller parts and say to yourself 'i'm going to do this mini-task and then i'll take a break'. You'll see it's easier to do it this way. Same technique as 'i'll just wash a couple of dishes from the stack', and then once you're doing it you just go ahead and do the whole stack. Works for me all the time.

-Take a break every now and then, but not every 20 minutes. A break every 1,5hours works for me (relaxes your eyes and lets you relax for 5 minutes).

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Stimulants like caffeine and amphetamines are actually beneficial for ADHD as they increase levels of dopamine which helps with concentration. –  Mark Cidade Oct 1 '08 at 19:09

I agree with the comments made.

I am a real believer in the non-existance of ADHD.

This is normal behaviour. We ALL get distracted (just some easier than others - it's not a freaking DISORDER), one problem is that we have easy access to one of the most distracting things ever created, the Internet. We can get almost anything we want within seconds!

The best thing you can do is get back to baby steps. Create a list of real small tasks, work down the list. The second you realise you are doing something else that is not on the list STOP. If you struggle to get back to what you were doing, move to another task. If the tasks are small enough, it shouldn't create an issue (unless of course there are dependencies).

Dude, ignore the god damn doctor. You have already taken the first step saying "I want to be a programmer and stay focused on my job." Start small, stay on task, if you come off, don't beat yourself up, just get back on to it.

If it gets real bad, take drastic measures, disable websites that you dont need to do your job. (like YouTube, but not MSDN if you are a MS dev).

TBH, there are people in my workplace without "ADHD" that need to take a leaf from your book.


Update Following Comments

There have been several comments made stating something similar to, or along the lines of the following:

  • I don't know what I am talking about.
  • My aforementioned friend is wrong/unqualified to make such comments.
  • I am just simly wrong.

My responses to those would be:

  • My friend has the right to say what they like, it's their opinion, much like it is your right to comment arguing against it.
  • If you want to start debating against my comments, you have missed the point.

Like I stated, I personally do not think ADD/ADHD exists. However, even if it does, it does not stop us from BEING IN CONTROL OF OUR OWN LIVES.

The original poster has made the first step in becoming a great developer, I know lots of developers, but the ones I hold in high regard all share one thing in common: they are looking to remove their weaknesses.

The original poster is doing this, and certainly get's my respect for that, I simply tried to offer some advice to them. Getting stuck in the trap in accepting "there is not a lot you can do about it, just take your pills" is a fundamental weakness of attitude.

Hats off lamcro, and I wish him the best of luck, and if you ever need any more advice mate, feel free to ask. I'll support you much more than I would support the Doc.

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ADHD doesn't just mean you're "easily distracted". It is a chemical imbalance in the brain that makes it much more difficult to concentrate, make good decisions, and so on. Your answer boils down to "suck it up and just try real hard" which is not in any way helpful.... –  Graeme Perrow Sep 26 '08 at 11:55
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ADHD is over diagnosed, but it is real, there are studies showing differences in brain MRI and even in EEG readings. Like many conditions some suffer more then others. You can have a sever case of a mild one. Self discipline helps, but it is still going to make it more difficult for a ADHD sufferer. –  Jim C Oct 28 '08 at 15:02
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Guys it's his opinion. I even upvoted it, and I'm the OP. –  lamcro Oct 29 '08 at 15:17
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secrtean: There are no blood tests for epilepsy, manic depression, autism, or multiple sclerosis either. Doesn't mean those conditions don't exist. –  Graeme Perrow Oct 29 '08 at 15:17
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Assume that in the spectrum of mental behaviors, there is a set outlying on the normal distribution that obstructs some people's ability to deal with normal activities and these behaviors aren't solvable by willpower. Label that set ADD/ADHD and treat it. –  CMPalmer Nov 18 '08 at 17:05

I probably don't have as ADD as bad as you, but I've found that the 48/12 rules works quite well in general. So work for 48 minutes and then take 12 minutes off, then start again.

I also tend to have several projects ongoing so I work on the one my thoughts have turned to for the day. In general, I find that if I have enough things open in my dev environment, I end up being distracted from one project by another, rather than a browser.

Sometimes that may not work however, so I've found that identifying (and writing down if necessary) several different ways to get yourself started and away from the browser\tv etc is handy. I think they'll be quite specific to you. For example, perhaps taking up a GTD approach so you always have a list of things to do will help.

One last thought - you might want to repurpose your browser's parental control settings so that you can only browser, say, your mail and a couple of programming sites during workign hours and remove that temptation.

Best of luck, Dan

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I too have trouble concentrating and getting things done. What i do is i listen to very busy and active music. Like Drum and Bass or Rock, my brain is listening to all the small nuances of the song and it acts like a calming effect for me.

With the music on i feel relaxed and focused. But of course this could be the opposite for you :S

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Listening to music helps me too to concentrate on one thing. I usually listen to music with complex rhythms, like progressive rock with weird time signatures or maybe some IDM. I know I have some musical skill too. It seems that whenever I hear music I can't ignore it. And if it's boring (e.g. radio) it annoys and distracts me. –  Purple Tentacle Jun 10 '09 at 21:06

Use the development methodology named eXtreme Programming (XP). It's a lightweight, low-ceremony, high-discipline methodology. Specifically, use pair programming, which will help you focus and let you drift away for periods if you have to, without hurting the progress of what you're doing. But don't partner up with someone with ADD. ;]

Also, everyone who belittles the condition should help themselves to a nice cup of STFU.

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"help themselves to a nice cup of STFU" -- love it. +1 –  Graeme Perrow Sep 26 '08 at 12:00

Get prescription drugs like Adderall or Ritalin. Careful though because they're highly addictive.

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Maybe his doctor should prescribe that? Those drugs are no joke. –  axel_c Sep 26 '08 at 11:30
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Yeah, that's why they're prescription drugs :) –  Roel Sep 26 '08 at 12:21

I knew someone who claimed that doing several things at once (or at least receiving several inputs such as music and TV) while working was actually helpful. He was qualified in physics but worked as a programmer.

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I used and still use Ritalin, but really just a minimum daily dose. I am 33 now, my condition was only diagnosed in adulthood.

The problem is not so much the ADD, but the side effects, especially depression and anxiety, and that can have a very bad impact on productivity.

My suggestion is: Go see a doctor/shrink, and if he prescribes you Ritalin (or something similar), try it. Ritalin has a very short half-life and normally is out of your body within 12 hours. I do not believe it has any long term side effects, unless you abuse (overuse) it.

Alternatively, you can try some calming medicine (or other calming herbs).

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I might add that I've taken flying lessons and found out that many pilots are ADD. The reason is that flying requires not focussing too long on any one thing, but monitoring several things at once. –  Mike Dunlavey Dec 30 '08 at 23:25
  • Get a big white board and position it where you can easily see and access it.
  • Make sure that you have SEVERAL things to do.
  • Write each one on the board, leaving room for notes underneath.
  • Pick one and start working on it.
  • If your mind wanders - jot down any ideas under the topic you're leaving.
  • Pick another topic.
  • If any ideas about other topics come to mind, record them immediately and try to get back to what you were doing.
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One clarification

I have real ADD. I was diagnosed with it when I was a child and have wrestled with it all my life. I am not talking about artificial ADD, which is induced by media overload.

Currently I am seeing a psych and using Strattera. Also, I exercise a lot.

I used to do Martial Arts, which also helped, and would like to do it again.

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I like Strattera. None of the ups and downs of stimulant-based medications. –  Scottie T Sep 30 '08 at 10:48
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I agree, I take it as well. ADHD has been a struggle but like everything else you have to make it work for you. –  Sara Chipps Oct 10 '08 at 18:23

I dont suffer from ADD myself but I am very easily distracted while working so I can sympathize with the OP.

However I have found a very novel solution to the distraction problem while researching another problem that I do suffer from (RSI, aggravated by badly set bone breakages in both arms)

The solution I found was http://www.workrave.com/welcome/ which is a program you can program to alert you to take mini breaks at user specified intervals. I found that setting it to give me a 30 second break every 15 minutes means that I can concentrate for the full 15 minutes and then when the alert pops up I can take a break and allow my distractions to take over.

There is a countdown for the minibreaks so as it approaches 0 I can force myself back into the mindset I need to concentrate for another 15 minutes.

and of course it has the added benefit of forcing me to take breaks to prevent my RSI from flaring up.

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My 2c

First off, being in the same boat, and being a successful developer of projects both in a professional and private environments I can tell you that there is nothing stopping you from ADD / ADHD need not be an obstacle for your development. In fact, it can often be a bit of bonus as ADD people tend to create different relational links in their heads (this can be a good thing for inspiration / innovation, but a bad thing when trying to maintain the same view points as others).

Something that might help is to look more at ideas like Agile programming (particularly XP) and also using TDD, as the short turnover time can give you the inspiration to keep focussed. You are always working at something and if you want you can choose different parts of the system to work on at different times. The continues refactoring and improvement of the code will give you a sense of accomplishement that you might otherwise not get when taking a traditional waterfall approach.

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Within the methodologies of eXtreme Programming, there is a technique called Pomodoro Technique which is "a timeboxing strategy originally meant for optimizing personal work and study". The technique "is a time boxing strategy people can apply in any situation, e.g., homework, study, cleaning house, and indeed software development". I think this may help you focus your efforts.

Within Agile software development methodologies, the Pomodoro technique is usually held in high regard.

In essence, the technique was invented by someone who suffered from the alt-tab syndrome you describe, and it successfully helped them counter this.

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I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 10 or so. For the past 16 years I have been on a myriad of medications and therapies to deal with it.

I have had many problems with trying to work when there are even slight distractions. I used to rely on Adderall to stay focused, but would find myself getting too involved in projects at times. I have stopped taking any medication (a little over a year now) and it has been hard to deal with, but very rewarding.

I find it easier to keep myself focused when I have a good nights rest and have a scheduled routine. I wake up at the same time every day (weekends included) and use my breaks to the fullest. Playing footbag during breaks is a great way to distract yourself and get exercise at the same time. I do find myself straying from time to time, but everyone gets distracted sometimes.

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I am a programmer and have been for the last 8 years and I was recently diagnosed with ADHD! Also, I am a REAL programmer, in that I can program in Assembly Language, as well as these OOP's that call themselves programming languages. Even taught myself, Java and Perl last summer. You probably don't have a clue, what Assembly Language is, right? Well, I am able to program down to the bit! Granted it is an old ancient language, there is not one language that is more powerful out there (my opinion)!

Unfortunately sometimes, we feel that our opinions are correct when in fact they are very far from the truth! People with ADHD are able to focus and concentrate on levels that far exceed the "normal" brain; it is called hyperfocusing. Knowledge is power, so educate yourself before giving awful advice and opinions that have no merit.

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Today I decided to give up being a programmer :( I am technically very able and academically very intelligent (according to my previous work colleagues and bosses). However my focus issues and disorganisation is so severe that I rarely finish a project.

It really sucks. It has always felt like I have a brand new Ferrari... but I've lost the keys, so I have to drive an old banger. That is how frustrating it is having some great skills at something but being too disorganised to utilise those skills :(

Good luck to you though... I wish I had the focus and organisational skills required to be successful in life. It pretty much ruins my whole life. It's even hard keeping a social life in tact. I will quite often forget friends birthdays and such even though I'm really caring as a person... if you have memory issues though people think you don't care :(

I know someone with a photographic memory for dates who ALWAYS remembers everyone's birthdays or anniversaries or whatever... and of course he LOOKS more caring. Life is so f£$%ing sh!t if you have severe ADHD. It f£$%s up your whole life :( It's worse than being physically disabled!

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Three interesting facts:

There is a statistically demonstrated high correlation between productive (especially outside-the-box) software development skills, and diagnosis for ADHD.

To OP: I think the best thing on your list is having someone you trust, to whom you are accountable.

ummm ... I can't remember the third ...

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While I'm not qualified to offer any medical advice, as a perpetual graduate student I can say that a lot of time it's about playing a game of control with yourself.

If your problem is that you go online every minute just to look at some random site because you have a real urge to, it is sometimes effective ot make the cost of "instant gratification" higher: For example, I try to completely turn off my network when I can (not all workplaces allow this). I only go on between tasks and for a few minutes. Usually connecting to a network takes 30-40 seconds, so it often battles the urge.

Another way is to promise yourself a "gift" after you're done with a task: a break, a cigarette, a snack, a game of Halo, whatever... And you know that you're not getting to that unless you finish that unit of work, that helps reduce time spent online once you do go online.

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I shut mail down periodically during the day.

I have my shooting hearing protectors with me at work. When I am wearing them, I can't hear the 4-8 conversations going on around me.

I have a a sign on a strip of duct tape that I can use to block the entrance to my cube.

The sign is a parody of our not-at-work sign that says "I'M OUT OF MY MIND, PLEASE COME BACK LATER"

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Get professional help. and I'm not being cynical. I know people who's life turned upside-down since they started using Ritalin.

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Anonymous said: "No, the answer is that they conviced you that you have ADHD/ADD and you bought it because you trust the doctor. Giving a name to a set of symptoms, does not mean that the "illness" really exists"

What a fool! ALL illnesses and conditions are a set of symptoms that a name tag is attributed to.

Let's give an example... cancer is a name given to a set of symptoms, but it doesn't mean that this "illness" really exists. Dur!

Whether you call a set of symptoms ADHD or X does not matter.

Example:

Say there are 3 symptoms, A, B and C.

One could describe an illness as follows:

Illness X = {A B} Illness Y = {C}

Or

Illness P = {B C} Illness Q = {A}

As a doctor I could treat illness P by helping symptoms B and C, or I could treat illness X by treating symptoms A and B. So it doesn't always matter what labels we use.

The REAL issue in how to label conditions is how symptoms statistically occur together in the general populace. e.g. does symptom B often occur with symptom A? If so it would be sensible to designate it as illness X = {A B}... BUT if symptom A rarely occurred alongside symptom B then that designation would be foolish. Anyone can see this surely!?

So the real questions to work out if an illness "exists" are as follows:

1) Do the symptoms themselves exist? 2) Do enough of the symptoms statistically occur together more than say 60% of the time (or whatever) in the general populace?

In ADHD's case 1) and 2) seem to be true. Therefore it exists! Simple as!

If you're going down your route of reasoning then we get in to foolish philosophy. Does a chair exist? It's just an arbitrary name for a set of "symptoms", e.g. 4 legs, and a back... but would then a table with a piece of wood nailed to one side to be a "back" then be a chair and if not why not!? You get my point, it's easier to get along in the world if we have some understanding of what a chair actually is.

It's the same with illnesses... especially neurological ones, as we currently understand the human brain less than 1%... so it's our best shot!

Another one might be PTSD, you might say it doesn't exist, but as a label it is useful in treating people with a particular subset of symptoms. If you don't understand what I'm trying to say then forget it.

You can't disagree that the symptoms of ADHD exist, and statistically it has been agreed that the symptoms of ADHD occur together enough to be useful in diagnosis. Once someone is labelled as having such a condition they can then use that SHORTHAND to be treated by professionals that specialise in that particular label.

To highlight this there are subset of illnesses within higher level illnesses. e.g. cancer usually designates some form of tumour(s), but there are so many different types of cancer... but why? Because they need to be treated differently.

The problem with MOST human beings is that we often don't believe someone's difficulties until WE experience them directly! I am evolved enough to give people who seem to be genuine the benefit of the doubt... but hey I work at empathy, as it's certainly not a natural state of most people.

Heart disease is a set of symptoms too! Maybe that doesn't exist either lol.

As a human race in general we need to improve our empathy skills.

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One way to increase the difficulty of distraction is to map offending sites (like this one ;) to 0.0.0.0 in your HOSTS file, effectively blacklisting them.

I've done this at times, it helps raise the mental barrier between me & distraction.

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Anyone who gives "advice" on how to overcome a REAL subset of conditions is a fool AND unsympathetically cruel.

It's like saying to someone Multiple Sclerosis doesn't exist, and just saying to someone just walk! It's easy, just put one leg in front of the other, and JUST walk. Forget what the doctor says, you can do it if you think positively... utter rubbish!

Example: some people are naturally more thick skinned than others, and yet they DARE "teach" others how to be laid back... lol how delusional. Someone's psychological traits are NO different than their sporting abilities, e.g. coordination and balance. If Tiger Woods came to someone with poor coordination and just "taught" him how to be a great golfer it wouldn't happen, even if taught from a young age... sure the person would be better if taught... but you are fighting against someone's natural abilities.

A better example might be mathematical ability... I find maths quite easy but some people don't. I find drawing REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hard! I enjoy it but it's just unbelievably hard... I've had artist friends try and teach me and sure I've improve BUT I'm still really lame! Some people have the same teachers and yet produce VERY VERY different results... this is because everyone has different natural affinities... anyone who doesn't agree with this is delusional.

The problem with modern society (particularly America) is that so many people believe that if you try hard enough you WILL succeed in anything you try... here's the latest newsflash... absolute BS. A lot of people can't admit this. The REAL key to success is finding something that fits your NATURAL abilities, and then doing that as a career... if you work hard at that you have a good chance of being moderately successful, but some people will not do well even if they play to their natural skills, as their best skills might not be that good.

My message is that if you're good at something (and that includes neurological skills that most people take for granted like "focus" and "organisational skills") then don't think that just because it comes naturally to you that someone's difficulty doesn't exist. Only an utter fool would act that way!

Sure SOME people DO make excuses, but the majority of people I meet are doing their best. Indeed I would argue that EVERYONE is doing their best given their nature / nurture, e.g. their gene's, their upbringing and environment. It takes both intelligence and empathy to understand this... if you don't then one of those is missing... harsh of me to say but it's true.

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I also have ADHD served with depression (cold) .. I was diagnosed early age, Ritalin kinda stuff also existed back then but my real problem was the notoriious Tourette's syndrome. So the doc (several docs) did not want to prescribe me with ritalin. So I graduated "as is" from the high school. Then later, somehow I lost that great respect to doctors, thank God and started taking Ritalin. But that happened after I was introduced to marijuana :) Sad story goes on like that ... People always used to tell me I was smart but I was kinda scared to take the IQ test. .. maybe I was afraid of seeing the potential i have and looking back to my life, what I have done with it and suicide. The parmanent solution to a temporary problem some may say but pain hurts. The score was about 140 and I said to myself I will start programming, the advanced LEGO as I see, the only thing I really loved as a child. Object Oriented satisfies this enthusiasm I have and I learn new stuff when I can + feel like to ... I use Ritalin, when ritalin (aka the Kid coke) kicks the depression in I give a call to mary jane .. Thats how I am living ... My point is I think we need our own developer froum as we do need "our own approach" for everything in life .. That includes women :) peace!

PS: A programmer might need high concentration levels, as you need high speed for inter planetary travel but the speed is never enough huh :) Maybe our weird ways of connection making may help bending the space for you guys ...

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