Those scattered thoughts of yours aren't going to line up single file and get organized on their own. You need a system, my friend.
by Bill Mehlman
There's a camera/optics/consumer electronics store over on the west side. At midmorning on a Tuesday in July, it's very busy. On a Sunday in December, they have guys at the door regulating the number of customers who can enter the store at any given time. Inside, it's like — scratch that, it looks like a huge model of Brownian motion, hundreds of people milling about in constant, random collision. But it's not. The system is the slickest thing I've ever seen in retail.
When you get a salesman, and make your purchase, he gives you an invoice and directs you to the cashiers. The long line of buyers moves smoothly and quickly, directed by flashing lights and some urging from a manager on a small raised platform. You get to one of the fifteen registers, pay your bill, get a ticket and move around the cashiers' enclosure to a long counter where a dozen milling men off-load purchases from an overhead rail system. It's worth going there just to see this thing in action. Hand over your ticket, get your purchase, and you're out the door. From the time you get on line to pay until you're looking for a cab on Ninth Avenue probably doesn't take more than ten minutes. Honest.
The point here is not to shill for B&H Photo, which hardly needs my help. I'm trying to illustrate that just because activity seems random and frantic doesn't mean there's not a perfectly functioning system underlying it. If you're trying to regulate your thoughts, which seem to look like a powerful break in 9-ball, you need a system.
This is all about prior preparation. The overhead delivery system at B&H didn't just happen. Management evaluated the situation and thought, way outside the box, about solutions.
Meds, martial arts, meditation, I believe in them all for us ADHDans. But life presents problems to us all, and my experience, hard-won and frequently bitter, shows that even if you've utilized the chemical and spiritual aids to help you with your ADHD, you still need to learn to create systems if you want to function at a level you find gratifying and productive.
One last thing: don't head over to B&H after sundown on Friday, or on Saturday, or during the Jewish holidays. Management is extremely observant and will not transact any business during Shabbas. Some systems, after all, outrank others.