I guess before jumping in head first into this diatribe, we should understand the basics.
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder aka ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by significant difficulties either of inattention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness or a combination of the two. Some of the predominantly inattentive type symptoms, according to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health are;
Does this sound familiar or like someone you might know?
If it does, then you probably know someone with ADHD. I find myself, on occasion, with the inability to stay focused and maintain my course of action and direction with a single, specific task I am working on. This actually works to my benefit, believe it or not, because I find it very easy to work on many things all at once. I have no trouble multi-tasking and completing multiple projects or work related tasks all at one time. For most people this might sound like it is a far more difficult approach or even hard to conceive, but for me, it’s my normal daily routine. This is also probably the reason I have 4 monitors on my desk, instead of 1. I can multi-task on 4 monitors more easily and efficiently than 1 or 2 and have to continuously be changing or swapping what shows on my screens.
Let’s take this article as an example. This article took me about 2 hours to write, re-read, tweak, edit and post. During the time I was writing it, I had a conference call, took 4 calls from customers, returned a phone call from a voicemail that was left for me while I was on the phone, responded to 14 emails, wrote and sent 4 emails, answered 6 questions in the office, had a detailed technical server conversation with my system admin, walked my wife to her car, kicked the cleaning lady out of my office (she showed up 30 minutes early) and had 2 smoke breaks. Now this might sound like a crazy way to manage your day to day tasks, but for me, it’s the norm.
Frank Zappa may have said it best, “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
Let’s dive in and look at a “day in the life” of an ADHD online marketer and what it encompasses, or at least what my average day looks like.
My morning usually starts between 6:30 and 7:00 with a cup of coffee, a cigarette, taking the dog for a walk and then jumping right into my email. I usually spend about 15-20 minutes reviewing and responding to all of the emails I received overnight. I spend another 30-45 minutes doing my usual morning SEO review of our website and reviewing new inbound links, articles, comments and all the other baggage that goes along with my catching up before the day officially begins.
When I arrive at the office, I jump right in and review my voicemail messages that came in after I left, the previous day, and return any calls that need attention. I then jump into SEO, which consists of a morning review of Google Adwords, Analytics, review live website visitors and see where the majority of our current visitors are coming from and what they are reading or doing on our website. I then deal with reviewing the online email validation orders that were placed overnight and make sure I am up to speed with everything currently going on in the office. Mind you that this might sound somewhat normal but the way I manage the multiple tasks is not one at a time but rather all at once, at the same time.
The rest of my day involves writing, reviewing and/or editing blog articles written for our website, dealing with the 50+ different questions, that seem to arise on a daily basis, which encompass sales, support, advertising, marketing, infrastructure, technical issues and what’s for lunch questions and be the only person who can answer them. Beyond the multitude of customers I speak with on a daily basis, helping others best deal with customer inquiries and concerns and all the other “things” that come across my desk, I approve all executive decisions that go along with keeping this finely tuned machine, also known as Email Answers, running smoothly and efficiently.
Although our office may close at 5:00 and I leave by 6:00, my work continues when I get home. An hour or so break for dinner and I am back at it, in front of my 2 screens and trying to finish by 10:00, but some nights I am still sitting in front of my screens at midnight.
I take full responsibility for the online SEO and all online marketing that gets accomplished on a daily basis. Considering that 15 of my top 25 keywords holds a number 1 organic position in Google and 21 of my top 25 keyword phrases have a first page organic listing on Google, I think I am doing a pretty good, kick ass job at it, even though the way I deal with it is very unconventional.
Most onlookers would see this as some type of encrypted, insane, semi-structured chaos. Think about watching all eleven Star Trek movies, at the same time, be able to distinguish each movie on its own, the plot, characters, timeline and have full comprehension of each story line, all simultaneously. Got It? Now you have entered my world.
Most people think of ADHD as a handicap. ADHD often endows children and adults with gifts such as creativity, intuition, imagination, and a sense of adventure. Indeed, if you have ADHD, you are in very good company with the list of famous people below who either have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, or have many of the symptoms of this disorder that suggest they likely had it.
|Albert Einstein||Walt Disney||Nelson Rockefeller|
|Galileo||Charles Schwab||Thomas Edison|
|Mozart||Winston Churchill||John F. Kennedy|
|Leonardo da Vinci||Henry Ford||F. Scott Fitzgerald|
|Stephen Hawkings||Alexander Graham Bell||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
From the short list above, which has some of the most intelligent and remarkable ‘rainmakers’ this world has ever known, I feel like I am in some pretty good company. While most people would look at ADHD as a disability, I look at it as an advantage. Deep down inside, we’re all different. And because of that, we all have different talents, but when we recognize that our differences can be our strengths, it sheds a different light on things.
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” – Henry David Thoreau