If your brain is always overactive during the day, it might be annoying sometimes when you really need to concentrate. Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind, written by Srini Pillay, gives you insights how ADHD works and how you can turn it into power. 

ADHD can significantly impair your abilities in life, but minds that wander are not all lost. Rigid people have to teach themselves to be creative and flexible by loosening up. People with ADHD can tinker with their own attention to find the optimal reining in that is required before distraction provides the benefits of a restless brain, in search of connections and new ideas that could potentially transform the world.

In order to focus more, you can add an activity to your concentration. From my own experience, when I was in school, I needed to focus on 2 things. I made notes during the lecture, or I wrote exactly what they were telling me about their expertise. I could later make my story and transfer this to others.

Dr. Srini Pillay created other strategies which also works best. Doodle, daydreaming and switching between subjects. We can choose 1 expertise, but everyone has more skills than just one. To stay focused and happy, we need to expand our knowledge and stay tuned about different subjects to keep it interesting for ourselves.


1. Doodle during class or conference calls:

If it is difficult to pay attention, the last thing you may think of is to doodle, yet a recent study by psychologist Jackie Andrade and her colleagues showed that doodling can improve your memory. In their study, they asked two groups (one that doodled and the other that did not doodle) to remember eight names and places after listening to a boring conversation. They found that people who doodle remembered 29% more than those who did not.

Doodling activates the brain’s unfocus circuit. As a result, your unconscious brain participates in memory formation, and your brain, rather than being like a stiff, focused sponge, becomes more absorbent of information.



2. Daydream effectively: 

If your mind has a tendency to wander, you probably want to rein it in. Yet, too much focus can actually be harmful to your brain.  It makes you more emotionally reactive because it sensitizes your amygdala (the emotion processor in your brain), and it makes it difficult for you to care about anyone and anything because your brain becomes depleted of energy.

To correct this situation, use your exceptional daydreaming ability to your advantage. Jerome Singer and his colleagues found that it is not helpful to slip into a daydream or to ruminate over worries. However, a certain type of daydreaming called positive constructive (yes, constructive!) daydreaming (PCD) may be just the thing you are looking for.

To get this started, plan it. Select a time in your day when you might be daydreaming anyway. Then, do something low-key like walking, knitting, or gardening. While you are doing this, turn your attention inward, and imagine something positive or wishful. Be creative about it. Perhaps you want to imagine playing a sport on a nice summer day and have your butler serving you drinks afterward.  Or you might want to imagine lying on a yacht. When you do this, your mind will follow this rewarding image and start to wander. Let it. If you find yourself overthinking this, start with the image again. With practice, this will get easier and easier.

When you engage in PCD, it also activates the unfocus circuits. This re-energizes your brain, and it will make you more creative too. But that’s not all it does.

People who regularly activate this network become better predictors of the future. To predict the future, your brain has to make connections across large distances and then put this information together into prediction circuits. This crystal ball capability has been demonstrated.


3. Dabble in a few different subjects:

People always feel under pressure to declare a major at college or to choose between art or science. yet, in an era when programmers are required to have some design sensibility, or artists may benefit from a sense of proportion, there is an opportunity for a new kind of Renaissance, one that people with ADHD are well suited to. In fact, one wonders if Da Vinci would have been medicated for his wide-ranging interests in a modern society.

Source: psychologytoday

If you want to learn more about an overactive mind and ADHD, Scattered Minds from Gabor Maté is a recommended read.

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