Author With ADHD Has Tips to Help Everyone ‘Gain Time’ in Their Day

Wish you had extra time in your day? Maybe you should treat yourself like someone who battles ADHD.

Peter Shankman has used his struggle with what he calls “Ferrari brain” to his advantage. The entrepreneur and author uses simple tricks during his day to avoid getting distracted and stay focused on his goals. We’re all busy, but if you want to be more productive, you need to examine your day and figure out where you get off track.

Shankman has heard a lot of excuses, but if he can find time when his ADHD brain is dying to follow a hundred rabbit trails, then you can find time.

“’I don’t have any time’ is kind of a lie. You know, we all have the same 24 hours,” he said.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

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With history as my guide -- by the way, we're going to move along. We'll get back to some of the information on what happened in Las Vegas in a couple of minutes. The president is due to speak soon. Likely some of our affiliates will break away and carry some of that. We're going to monitor and see if there's anything other than standard jargon. You know, it's still nice to hear from a president. But usually it's pretty standard speak in the aftermath of a tragedy.

If it's worthy, we'll carry some of it in a little while, as some of our affiliates tune away and carry some of that and then tune back in. If you missed this next segment, you're going to want to go to go to i Tunes and listen to this program, the Glenn Beck Program. Because this is a guest you definitely want to hear from. He's one of my favorite guests that we've had on The Morning Blaze. With history as my guide, I feel comfortable in saying that we're going to cram about three interviews' worth of interviews into one.

Peter Shankman, author of Faster Than Normal: Turbo Charge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success With the Secrets of the ADHD Brain.

Hey, Peter, how are you?

PETER: Good to talk to you today. How are you?

DOC: Doing well, sir.

Loved having you on our morning program because we spent a lot of time talking about entrepreneurs and ways people can better their life. And we're all looking for some advantage to say, what can I do to make life better for my family? And I think you have solved some of the problems with your book.

PETER: Well, thank you, I appreciate that.

Yeah, the problems that I've solved and the book that I wrote basically came from me having to figure out how to survive, with a different brain, as it were.

I've had ADHD all my life. And when I was growing up, it wasn't ADHD. It didn't exist like that. It was sit down, you're disrupting the class disease.

DOC: You were a bad kid.

PETER: Oh, God. I was terrible. Yeah. And, you know, I wasn't intentionally terrible. But I was just -- my brain was always looking for those chemicals. That dopamine, that serotonin, that adrenaline that normal people make plenty of, and that people with ADHD are constantly hunting for. To get sort of that same level of productivity that regular people have. Once I realized how to do it, you know, my productivity shot through the roof. And now -- yeah, I've started and sold three companies. I've written five books. Yeah, I do things pretty fast.

DOC: Runner, sky diver, podcaster, Ironman, triathlete. You know, you've been added to my list of people I hate because you're too successful. It's not even successful. You should. You're in good company. It's not just successful. It's people that have --

KRIS: I should have done something.

DOC: Exactly. And multiple things, despite odds. I mean, it's incredible what you've accomplished.

PETER: Thanks. The book comes out tomorrow. Faster Than Normal. And I wrote it basically because I started this podcast about two years ago, interviewing other people with ADHD, you know, who are successful. Celebrities, CEOs. We've had Tony Robbins. Seth Godin. People like that.

And what we found out is that, yeah, there's this sort of -- there's two types of people with ADHD. There are the people who look at it like a curse, and those who understand that it actually can be a gift. But to get there, you sort of have to set up these life rules for yourself. That I've had to deal with, when I realized, what made me write the book was I realized that the life rules I've set up are pretty much anyone can use them. You don't have to have ADHD. Anybody can use them and gain like a few hours of productivity or a few hours of extra time as it were in their day.

I love when people say, oh, I don't have enough time to do that. I'm like, well, I'm pretty sure part of the planet you're on revolves around the sun and the same speed of the planet that I'm on. Right? So I don't have any time is kind of a lie. You know, we all have the same 24 hours.

DOC: So one of the reasons I like the book is not just because you've come up with a good idea here and something that will help people. But you did it because you found a way to not only work around a problem, but use that problem to your strange. And this is something I tell some of my coworkers here, tell my wife, you got to find a system that will work for you.

For example, I have a little bit of the ADHD. And I know that I can't stay focused all day long. So I don't set a rigid schedule for myself, Peter. I leave myself some playtime. So if something is normally going to take a half an hour, you know, I schedule 45 minutes for it. Because I know there's going to be a transition.

PETER: Exactly. For me, the same thing happens. I'm on my computer all day. I'm creating content. I'm writing. I'm recording the podcast. And I know that when I need to get work done, I have to be in a certain zone. I call it the zone of focus. And the best way for me to be in the zone of focus, like to write my books, I get on the airplane.

DOC: I think this is hilarious. This story is so funny.

PETER: Faster Than Normal was written on a round trip to Asia and back. And -- or, two round trips to Asia and back. My previous book was actually written -- I had six months to write it. With two weeks left, the publisher called. Like, how's the book going? I was, oh, it's going great. Yeah, almost done.

I hadn't written a thing. And I had hung up the phone. Went to the United Airlines website. Booked a round trip, business class flight to Tokyo for the next day. Got on the plane with my laptop, my backpack, and a jacket and my headphones. And I wrote chapters one through five on the flight to Tokyo. Landed, went through immigration, came back through immigration. Went back to the lounge. Got back on the same plane. Same seat. Two hours later, wrote chapters six through ten on the flight home. Landed 31 hours later. Smelled a little bit. I had a book.

KRIS: Wow.

PETER: People say, oh, my God, you're crazy. You spent $5,000 to go nowhere. I'm like, no, I spent $5,000 to write a book in 31 hours. Because that's how I do it.

DOC: By the way, last minute scheduling a flight. No luggage. Just know you're on a list too.

PETER: I'm sure on a list. I'm definitely on a list. No question about it. But -- and it's funny, when I got back, I went through immigration. The guy says, hey, where are you coming from? And I have the global entry card, right? I use the machine. And then they take your -- that little receipt, and they look at it. And the guy goes, how long were you in Asia? A couple days. Just a little bit of time. He looked at me straight like, okay.

DOC: Forty-five minutes.

PETER: But, yeah, it was funny. That's what I have to do.

And the thing about it is, once you understand what works for you, right? Just do that. And who cares what anybody else says.

DOC: Right. It's finding the system that works for you because we all have different triggers and benefits and negatives. We all have different things in our lives. We have different schedules. So just find the system that works for you.

PETER: Exactly. There are people who -- you know, I can't drink. Right? I quit drinking a couple years ago because when you have ADHD, you pretty much have two speeds. You have namaste, and I'll kill you.

And there's really no middle ground there. So it's like leftover pizza. I don't have one drink. Right? Leftover pizza is not real either. People who order pizza. They have two slices. They put the rest in the fridge for like the next day. It's called leftover pizza. I've never experienced it. If I order a pizza, I eat the pizza. And so you have to learn what triggers affect you, how to avoid them, you know, what works for you and what doesn't.

I have -- my favorite thing I tell people, I have two sides to my closet, and they're labeled. One side says office and travel, and that's T-shirt and jeans. And the other side says speaking or TV. And that's a buttoned-down shirt, a jacket, and jeans. And that's it. Right? My suits, my vests, my sweaters, they're in another closet in another room. Because if I had to look at those every day to try to figure out what to wear -- oh, my God, that sweater. I remember that sweater. Laura gave me that sweater. I wonder how she's doing. I should look her up. It's three hours later. I'm naked in the living room on Facebook, and I haven't left the house.

DOC: But you've contacted Laura or at least tried to.

PETER: Exactly. Good old Laura.

It's funny. I asked people on my Twitter account. I'm at Peter Shankman. I go, tell me what you do to save time and this and that. And, you know, the number one answer is, hands down, is eliminate choice. Right?

The less you can focus on stupid things to think about, the more your brain has the ability to think about good things. The less you have to focus on what I have to wear or, you know, clothing or something like that -- I sleep in my gym clothes. Then the decision -- when I wake up in the morning, I'm in my gym clothes. The lights are on. The decision to go to the gym has pretty much been made for me.

DOC: See, and that's -- I mean, look at -- was it Einstein -- I don't know if it's true or not. They always said he wore the same thing every day. So he eliminated choice.

PETER: Yeah, Zuckerberg in his hoodies. Obama has three suits. They eliminate choice because there are other things more important to think about.

DOC: Okay. So let's look at this way, you know what, Peter, I have to wear a variety. For whatever the reason, my job requires -- I have to wear something different. And I have to have at least 30 outfits. Well, then hang 30 of them and just take the next one, right?

PETER: Either do that, or what I found fascinating was you can mix or match. The jeans might be the same. But I have a nice collection of high-quality T-shirts. My blazers are very nice. And I just know that I can grab -- it's like a Chinese restaurant menu, right? One from Column A, one from Column B, and I'm done.

DOC: But you set up that system. So the same thing is, even if you have to wear more things, you just set it up and say grab from this, grab to that, right?

PETER: Exactly.

You get stuff that is otherwise, you know, frustrating you or that's otherwise confusing you. You get that out of the way, right?

I know I'm not going to wear that vest. There's a very nice vest that my ex-mother-in-law gave me. Right? I'm never going to wear that vest. I'm not going to throw that out. One day she comes over, I'll have to show her I have the vest. So I keep it in the other closet, I won't think about it.

DOC: It's really good.

The book is Faster Than Normal. You can also follow Peter Shankman on Twitter. It's @PeterShankman. Did I get that right?

PETER: You did. Yeah.

DOC: All right. So I'm going to tweet out a link to the book or whatever. Peter, love having you on. I think you got a great message, and hopefully we'll have you back in the near future on TheBlaze as well.

PETER: Anytime. Thanks so much.

DOC: Thanks, buddy. Appreciate you joining us. I'm going to get a quick break. We're still awaiting words from President Trump about the shooting in Las Vegas. We'll cut in, at least cover some of that, when we come back, on this, the Glenn Beck Program.


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