On ADD, non-“disastrous”ly

From The Economist:

Attention-deficit disorder (ADD) is another entrepreneur-friendly affliction: people who cannot focus on one thing for long can be disastrous employees but founts of new ideas. Some studies suggest that people with ADD are six times more likely than average to end up running their own businesses. David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue, a budget airline, says: “My ADD brain naturally searches for better ways of doing things. With the disorganisation, procrastination, inability to focus and all the other bad things that come with ADD, there also come creativity and the ability to take risks.” Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko’s and a hotch-potch of businesses since, has both ADD and dyslexia. “I get bored easily; that is a great motivator,” he once said. “I think everybody should have dyslexia and ADD.”

Firstly, hotch-potch? Googled it. Turns out it’s English-English for hodgepodge. Relief! I had a moment of panic during which I thought I’d been using “hodgepodge” incorrectly for years. Blimey.

I swear, though, I’m not a disastrous employee, although I will admit to being awesome at disorganization (you should see my desk) and procrastination. I do my best thinking when I’m on my lunch break. I am lucky enough to work in an environment conducive to my needs and my abilities. Since I work in a non-traditional office setting, I find that I am able to adapt my work tasks to best meet my own needs. It doesn’t hurt that I have a managerial team that understands my strengths and weaknesses, and is always ready and available for help and guidance. In the year and a half (has it really been that long!?) that I’ve worked at my company, I’ve been able to add a variety of tasks to my job description. I never have to do one thing for too long, and consequently, am usually happily busy and engaged. I am also allowed quite a bit of creative input, which has led to some great things. I’m also accruing various responsibilities, which means that I can’t get too far off track (ever) or we will suffer disastrous consequences (probably).



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