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Autodidactism for the chronically lazy and hyperactive (somebeautifulplace.tumblr.com)
101 points by lhnz on June 1, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments

Chronically lazy and hyperactive

If you have those two traits I suggest you also research ADHD/ADD/Adult ADD. There are tactics and strategies out there specifically designed to help those who struggle maintaining focus for extended periods of time. There are also medical options which can greatly improve your ability to focus, process thoughts, live a more manageable, productive existence and have better relationships with those around you. I share this because I know and have experienced this myself.

There is a difference between not being able to maintain focus and getting bored easily (or when not challenged). I can only speak for myself but I consider myself a motivated self teacher...I can focus for as long as I need but if I do the same thing with no challenges I become very bored/depressed and I start thinking of all the things I should be doing with my life instead of whatever it is I am doing...if I have multiple projects going on at once I feel better...I prefer the traditionally uncomfortable feeling of not understanding something...once I figure it out I have to move on or further development. I prefer technical reading to fiction and would rather spend my idle youtube time watching MIT lectures as opposed to general youtube footage. It is just my way...I would never consider seeking help or medicating myself over this...many of the true innovators in history have been dubbed insane or eccentric...if the average person has no idea what I am talking about or working with then I am on the right track.

Some people are just not meant to be robots...I use depression/boredom as a symptom that something is wrong and find the cure...but I can only speak for myself.

It is not that I am lazy...things just have to be done according to a different timeline...I will work 12 hrs a day but it has to be 12 hrs of my choosing. I saw no point in spending hours a night doing homework if I could learn something by reading the chapter. School and jobs have been difficult for this reason...I work for myself now...its better to go broke giving it a shot then it is to wonder what could have been and feeling trapped.

On Roger Federer (http://www.worldtennismagazine.com/archives/2004):

Every day brought fresh challenges for Paganini to keep the young firebrand’s morale high. “Roger is not a workaholic that you can hit 3,000 backhands to and he hits them and feels good doing it. Training has to be fun for Roger,” said Lundgren.

“He wants to work hard but he needs a lot of variety,” Paganini said. “He has to see that an exercise is useful to him. He is an artist. If you motivate him, then he turns into a training animal.”

You're right, there is a difference between not being able to maintain focus and getting bored easily. Though that is often difficult to discern when you're in the middle of dealing with it. I'm also a motivated self-teacher, but ADD gets in the way of my motivation and focus, and at times makes it difficult for me to finish or work on the things that I want to get done.

I don't know if you're arguing with what I said, or if you thought I was criticizing the author, which I'm not. I saw two keywords and for me they line up with a list of symptoms which I know can be quite troubling if you think you are to blame for being lazy or not able to accomplish the things you want in life because you keep getting in your own way. It's a difficult nut to crack, but if you think you might also suffer from ADD, it's wise to research it and speak to someone who can offer a diagnosis and help you find a solution that works for you.

Sometimes I think ADD/ADHD is overdiagnosed on a massive scale...I can get a bit touchy about it sometimes...the author was explaining ways to cope without medication.

I worry for the young geniuses who are currently being dumbed down to the national standard with medication in order to stop them reading ahead in class...I am fortunate to be old enough to have missed it.

Edit: I am not trying to knock anyone that medication has worked for, or saying you are stupid for taking it...just pointing out (my opinion of) what happens when you give it to someone who does not need it.

I've never experienced or read about ADD/ADHD medication having the effect of dumbing down anyone. Normally the medications for ADD fall into the stimulant categories which on the ADD mind have the effect of slowing down thought to allow it to be processed more efficiently rather than having to sort through a mind of racing thoughts. But I do agree that misdiagnosis is easier with ADD because it can be an easy way out.

I have a problem with the word cope, which is often used in these scenarios. I don't want to cope - I want to live, flourish and think. Everyone is different and there is no answer that will cover all situations. But I encourage everyone to explore all the options and make the decision after some trial, before ruling anything out. Especially when we're talking about adults.

I know quite a few people like yourself who march to the beat of their own drum. Often tremendously creative & sometimes super-productive. Both a blessing and a curse. Most of them do seem to wind up taking the path of entrepreneurship or doing something a bit further off the beaten path.

Link to anything specific as far as the tactics and strategies are concerned?

Two suggestions I've found helpful:

You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! http://www.amazon.com/You-Mean-Lazy-Stupid-Crazy/dp/07432644...

Delivered From Distraction http://www.amazon.com/Delivered-Distraction-Getting-Attentio...

One book along those specific lines is The Disorganized Mind by Nancy Ratey


Spark by her husband John Ratey might also be of interest.

Amazing advice, building in teaching mechanisms into every day action is a really great one. I try and live by all of these...

This seems like pretty good advice for anyone who wants to do better at learning-on-your own, lazy and hyperactive or not. I especially like the idea of writing down non-obvious things, as I've found that helpful in the past but have never really gotten into the habit.

These are nice advice and all....but do they work? Anybody done any studies on them?

I wrote them and can only speak for myself since I'm a developer not a researcher. Though, I do spend a lot of time trying to learn new things, and in an unstructured settings this is not that easy to do effectively. The points I make I have either read elsewhere [1] [2] [3] or common sense and experience have lead me to believe them -- main idea is just to stay occupied and engaged by difficult tasks: I think being overly structured or 'pushing through' isn't necessarily a good idea if it stops the former. That's just my opinion though. I love to hear what others do themselves. :)

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2562632

[2] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1754281

[3] http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2009/02/goals-into-habits/

I'd love to hear about specifically what habits you find useful.

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