How do ADHDans enforce a sense of urgency and concentration in situations which do not possess inherent time and quality demands?
by Bill Mehlman
One thing about cooking professionally, which I imagine I've mentioned before, is that it's right up there with surgery and appellate pleadings as non-stop, alternative-free, piss-in-a-bottle, tie-your-nerves-up-in-sheepshanks activities. All three often involve confrontations between speed and accuracy, two masters which a man involved in those professions must serve simultaneously, adages to the contrary.
It may be counter-intuitive to outsiders, but we know that these are situations in which we can excel. It's the alternative-free part that makes it work. You must stay focused on the task at hand, or you'll fail entirely. Not "coulda' done better." Not "maybe next time." Burning food, botching surgery, having your client remanded are zero-sum games. You did it right or you didn't.
The situations where ADHDans come a cropper (whatever that really means) are those in which we have ample time to dawdle, consider possibilities, pursue origins and revamp the Yankee's starting rotation for '09. You know, and I know, that given this leisure we'll spend hours confirming C. Northcote Parkinson's Law, "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." C. Northcote clearly wasn't familiar with ADHDans, or he'd have amended his dictum to "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion unless you suffer from ADHD in which case increase the time actually consumed by a factor of three."
Clearly, the question resolves itself into the form, "How do we enforce the same sense of urgency and concentration in situations which do not possess such inherent time and quality demands?"
OK. I've defined the problem. That's my job.
Let me know when you've got some good answers for me.