How the Right (or Wrong) Questions Can Unleash Your Brain’s Potential

With Avengers: Age of Ultron coming out this week, I want to talk about one of the coolest things that every human being has without even knowing it: their own personal JARVIS. For those of you who haven’t seen Iron Man or The Avengers, JARVIS is Iron Man’s computerized assistant. Whenever Iron Man needs a question answered or quick analysis completed while he’s fighting evil villains, Iron Man simply asks JARVIS, and every time JARVIS will reply with a quickly calculated response. By the end of this article, you’ll realize you have your own JARVIS between your ears, and how to hack it to get the best results.

It turns out that our brain is really good at coming up with answers to questions. Its so good at it, in fact, that its constantly making connections between different pieces of information. Our brain is designed to make sense of the world around us, and what most people don’t realize is that you can harness this incredible power for good, or for evil. (dun dun duuuuuhn) Continue reading “How the Right (or Wrong) Questions Can Unleash Your Brain’s Potential”

Did I Really Just Finish My Master’s Degree on Time?!

Around this time last year, I was neck deep in some serious confusion, fear, and self-doubt. I was one year into a MSc degree in Neuroscience, and had a ton of work left to do. I seriously doubted if I would ever finish what I started, and I was even less convinced that I would complete the program within the two years that was encouraged by the University. I was told that it was pretty common for students to extend an extra semester or two, just to give yourself enough room to do a good job. Of course, most of the students in question didn’t have kids to distract them at home, nor did they have ADHD. I had both, so I was convinced I was doomed.

Around the same time last year, an amazing and unexpected thing happened to me. I was the winner of a scholarship that provided me with a year of ADHD coaching. Working one-on-one with a coach was an incredible experience, and I learned how to prioritize and schedule tasks. More importantly, I learned how to take care of myself, how to be nice to myself, and how to be self-aware. I learned that my ADHD didn’t need to define me, and that a good timeline can be the most valuable weapon in the face of a graduate committee.

So here I am today, and I have finished my Master’s degree. Best of all, I finished the greatest accomplishment of my life ON TIME. People with ADHD probably don’t realize how amazing that really is, but for someone who has a perpetual problem with lateness and time management that is a miracle. Pardon me while I bask in the glory of my own punctuality.

…Ahh…it feels so good.

Over the next few weeks I plan on blogging about some of my biggest lessons that I learned over the course of my graduate work. They will most likely be focused on issues that people with ADHD struggle with. However, they will most likely apply to anyone in the University setting. It will most like apply to anyone who has ever tried to stay organized, and failed. It will probably help anyone who has to be productive in their life. Who know, it might even help you.

For now, I want to leave you with one thing: Believe in your goals. They are absolutely possible. You just need the right plan, the right people, and the right perspective. When (not if, WHEN) you stumble, crash and burn, remind yourself that it’s okay. EVERYONE fails sometimes. If you were successful right away, how would you ever grow? How would you learn from your mistakes? How would you gain the perspective you’ll need to get you through the times ahead? Keep your head up, pick yourself off the ground, and learn from your mistakes. Most of all, keep moving toward your goals. They’re closer than you think.

How to Become a Morning Person in 6 Easy Steps

I often feel like there are not enough hours in the day. Can you relate? Then I have some good news: you’re most likely sleeping away some of the most valuable time of your entire day.

Being a graduate student and a father of two kids (a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter) is really hard. Having ADHD really doesn’t help either. Finding time to do homework assignments, marking, research, writing, and attending meetings is a constant uphill battle.

Many of the most productive people I follow online all have one characteristic that I wish I had: they are morning people. I have been impressed by their ability to utilize the hours of the day when most of us are completely unconscious. For parents, the morning is even more precious because kids are asleep.

Last week, I made a commitment to myself that I would work toward becoming a morning person. I spent almost an hour doing some brainstorming and researching, and came up with a strategy on how to become a morning person.

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How I Used a Timer To Double My Productivity

This post is part of an ongoing series on issues relevant to individuals with ADHD. While it may be specifically directed ADHD issues, the topics discussed are applicable to everyone, including students, parents, writers, business people, and YOU!

A large part of my Neuroscience Masters thesis is based upon behavioural tests with rats. It might sound exciting, but in reality it represents watching rats doing the same task over and over again for days on end. It is, quite possibly, the most boring thing that I’ve ever had to do in my life. For someone with ADHD, that is an enormous roadblock on the path towards success. Someone without ADHD would probably be able to get through those clips in about a week of hard scoring (the term we use for collecting data from video footage), but it takes me much longer because I have a hard time sitting for a long period of time doing them. In fact, one of the worst parts of having ADHD is the procrastination. Doing important (even essential) things that you don’t want to do sucks.

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Staying Motivated: 2 Great Authors/Podcasters That Keep Me Going

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“When Plan A falls through, you really need to embrace Plan B and love life anyways.” – Me. Just now. Genius.

That’s the lesson I’m learning right now. Over the past couple of weeks, I found out that three of the four counselling psychology graduate programs I applied for did not accept my application for admission. The fourth program has placed me on a waiting list, but 6 of the 12 people who will receive admission before I do need to bow out in order for me to be accepted. TL;DR:  my Plan A for this fall has fallen through. Now that I have a bit of time between me and the disappointment of rejection , I’m seeing all of this as a pretty exciting opportunity. I have always felt like I needed to be developing a following online, establishing some authority in a given field, and looking for the kind of people I want to interact and do business with online. I’m still in the very early stages of figuring out where I really need to carve out my niche, but in the mean time I have a couple great people I have been following that I think people like me will appreciate.

Continue reading “Staying Motivated: 2 Great Authors/Podcasters That Keep Me Going”