Skip to main content Accessibility Feedback
  • Episode 5

Follow your ADHD flow

In today’s episode, I talk about working with your ADHD instead of against it.


Hello, hello, hello. This is the ADHD for the wind podcast. I’m Christopher Nandy. Thanks so much for joining me today. I’m talking about working with your ADHD. Instead of trying to fight against it. Let’s dig in. So one of the things that’s had the biggest impact on my ability to be happy and fulfilled has been working with my ADHD instead of trying to fight against it.

In a previous episode, we talked about the importance of your second brain and I’ll drop a link to that down in the show notes. But today, We’re going to talk about how you might use that second brain differently depending on what your current ADHD state is in. So, I’ve personally found that I have three states of being.

Hyper focus, where I’m deeply focused on one thing and phenomenally productive. Physical, where I have lots of energy, but little mental focus. And burnout, where both my mental and physical energy are low. Your states might be different, but these are the three that I tend to operate in most frequently.

I’m better suited for certain types of tasks depending on which state I’m in. Understanding what my current state of being is and choosing tasks for the day that align with it helps me live a more happy, healthy, and fulfilling life with less stress. So let’s break down these different states and what they look like.

Some of you may find that yours are similar. You may have different states. more or less or completely different states than me. And that’s fine too. The important thing is understanding which your states are and working within them. So hyper focus at its best hyper focus is a bit like being in the zone or feeling the flow.

You can tunnel vision in on specific tasks or collections of tasks and get a phenomenal amount of work done. This is the state in which I do my best deep work. Um, I was in hyper focus mode when I created All of my courses, Reef. js, my open source state based UI project, and various other projects. And my last job, I got three months of coding done in about three weeks, during an intense period of hyperfocus.

The challenge with hyperfocus is that sometimes it zeroes in on the wrong thing, as in not the task that you need to be doing, just the task your brain really wants to be doing. And I found though that trying to fight that is a bit of a fool’s errand. I get literally nothing done in those situations, so it’s best for me anyways to just give in and let it run its course.

On hyper focused days, I don’t really look at my second brain at all. I just start working and only open up my second brain to add things I don’t want to forget later. A little bit like a piece of digital scrap paper. My physical state. So, sometimes I have a lot of energy. But, my head is full of bees, scattered and unable to focus on any one thing for too long.

When I’m in this state, I can usually knock a ton of small to mid sized tasks off my to do list. These are the kinds of things that my brain would find really annoying and, like, super boring during a period of hyper focus, but that require little thought And let me go into a place of rote mental zen. It includes things like making phone calls, responding to emails, folding laundry, doing dishes, paying bills, vacuuming the house.

I’ll often throw a Bob Ross video on in the background or listen to a podcast while I’m doing these kinds of tasks, just to keep myself in the moment. entertained and kind of mellowed out a bit on physical days. I review all of the tasks in my second brain in the morning, and then flag any of the ones that I think I can do that day as stuff to do today, more on how I do that in another episode, then I get to it.

I do take frequent breaks throughout the day though. This is not like a just rise and grind all day kind of thing. You got to really work with, with your energy level, because for me, this working is dependent on me being in. A place of physical energy. And when I run out of that, it kind of stops working.

And then my third state is burnout. It is not uncommon for folks with ADHD to feel burnout after an extended period of hyper focus or having bees in my head, you feel kind of spent. You’re too fuzzy in the brain to hyper focus, but you’re too physically tired to do anything else. I don’t try to fight that anymore.

There was a period of time where I would just try to grind through. I think this is a very. A very common thing for ADHD folks, if you were raised, um, neurotypical, um, or you’ve spent a lot of time in neurotypical spaces, your natural inclination is going to be to just try to work through it, right?

Because that’s what neurotypical folks do and it seems to work fine for them, but it doesn’t work for us. So on these days, I take a leisurely walk with my dog. I go for a hike or swim or bike ride. I read a book or sometimes even just veg out. On a TV show or movie. Now, green time being out in nature is better than screen time.

Like literally for your ADHD brain, screen time can reinforce this kind of fuzzy burnout feeling, whereas green time can sometimes make it go away. Not always, but sometimes, but I don’t beat myself up about it. If I watch something instead of going outside, um, and just, you know, not all screen time is equal.

So, um, you know, binge watching a bunch of. Um, let’s say garbage. YouTube videos is very different than, I don’t know, watching, uh, watching something peaceful or educational. Um, so, you know, use your, use your screen time wisely, but, um, I’ll often use my burnout time to just kind of like relax and during that time I sometimes brainstorm or come up with ideas or clarify how I’m thinking about something.

I’m not doing deep work and I’m not doing. Physical energy work. I’m just kind of letting that stream of consciousness come to me. Um, and sometimes honestly doing that even shifts me, shifts me into hyper focus or a physical state, especially if I’m out in nature doing green time. So on my burnout days, I may check my second brain for really important.

This has to be done today, kind of tasks or to add things that come to mind, especially if I’m out in nature and I just have some cool random ideas pop into my head. I’m not in a place where I can do anything about them, but I don’t want to forget them. Um, but I’m really not looking to do all that much on these days.

But the most important thing to take away from this episode is to not try to fight your natural state. If I try to do mundane tasks when I’m in hyper focus mode, my brain keeps shifting back to whatever it’s hyper focused on. And I get nothing done. If I try to do deep work, when I’m in a physical state, I sit staring at my computer for hours and I get nothing done.

Working with your ADHD, instead of trying to fight it, just unlocks so much hidden potential inside of you. And I really encourage you to give this a try. If you haven’t done it before, if you like tips like this, or you feel like your ADHD is holding you back, give Head on over to, that’s ADHD for the win, to sign up for my newsletter where each weekday I send out a short email on how to unlock your neurodivergent superpowers.

Anyways, that’s it for today and I will see you next time. Cheers.