Have you ever felt restless, stressed, exhausted, disengaged, distracted, frenzied, or, perhaps, sick? And you have ever thought that you might be incompetent, not growing, or are going crazy?

Don’t worry yet. You are definitely not alone. And, there might be an antidote to it.

In an article Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform for HBR, Edward Hallowell mentioned that Attention Deficit Trait (or ADT), a very real but unrecognized neurological phenomenon, has become epidemic in organizations (familiar with increased responsibility and added work load?) Its symptoms are similar to the negative ones of ADD (ADHD), but without being rooted in the genetics. ADT is a response to the hyperkinetic environment in which we live.

Take the example of David below:
David drums his fingers on his desk as he scans the e-mail on his computer screen. At the same time, he’s talking on the phone to an executive halfway around the world. His knee bounces up and down like a jackhammer. He intermittently bites his lip and reaches for his constant companion, the coffee cup. He’s so deeply involved in multitasking that he has forgotten the appointment his Outlook calendar reminded him of 15 minutes ago.

People with ADT have symptoms similar to the negative ones of ADD (ADHD), e.g.:

  1. They have a tendency to procrastinate and miss deadline.
  2. They struggle with disorganization and tardiness; they can be forgetful and drift away mentally in the midst of a conversation or while reading.
  3. Their performance can be inconsistent: brilliant one moment and unsatisfactory the next.
  4. They tend to demonstrate impatience and lose focus unless, oddly enough, they are under stress or handling multiple inputs. (This is because stress leads to the production of adrenaline, which is chemically similar to the medications used to treat ADD.)
  5. Finally, people with ADD sometimes also self- medicate with excessive alcohol or other substances.

However, since ADT is not genetically caused, we can do these actions below to help us control ADT:

In general: Listen to your body!

  1. Get adequate sleep!
    (adequate = you feel fresh waking up, and, hopefully, in time.)
  2. Eat what’s good for our body!
    (although I’ve read somewhere else that it’s ok to eat what pleases you once in a while.)
  3. Exercise regularly, 30 mins every other day!
    (Is deep breathing an exercise? Yes, but try to do something that involves more movements.)

At Work: Check on your emotions! and thoughts!

  1. Create a trusting, fear-free, connected work environment
    (Emotion is the switch for our brain’s Executive Functioning.)
  2. Have a friendly, face-to-face talk with a person you like every 4-6 hours
    (Like = as in you like to talk or discuss with them because they energize you.)
  3. Break large tasks into smaller ones
    (It’ll look more manageable.)
  4. Act on, file, or toss every document you touch!
    (No clutters on your desk!)
  5. Each day, reserve some “think-time” and “planning time”!
    (Don’t forget to short-listed tomorrow’s priorities. And only attend to emails after more important tasks.)
  6. Do whatever it takes to stay focused
    (You love music because it helps you focus, but you think it’s disturbing others? Get a nice headphone!)

Feeling overwhelmed? Stop the clock, and look around!

  1. Slow. it. down.
    (Yes. Read. slowly. Just. a. tad. faster. than. Sloth.)
  2. Do an easy rote task
    (Reset your watch? Do short crossword puzzle? Read an HBR article?)
  3. Move around!
    (every 60-90 mins – Ultradian Rhythm?)
  4. Finally, do not worry alone
    (Ask for help: delegate, discuss, brainstorm with a colleague)

Thanks for reading!

Check out some of my other posts at:
1. On Psychological Well-being
2. Ignorance (A Bliss or A Speech of Hollow Soul?)
3. Incivility in Life

And feel free to connect with my LinkedIn



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