We’re excited to have Ian Anderson Gray with us to discuss “Ideas in Overdrive: Smart Creating with ADHD.”

Join us as we discuss Ian’s insights on why so many entrepreneurs and creatives are powered by ADHD, debunk myths surrounding the condition, and uncover the unique challenges and strengths it brings to business and creativity. We’ll also explore practical advice for implementing routines and maintaining motivation, alongside the personal journey that led Ian to start the Smart ADHD Podcast.

Don’t miss Ian’s essential tips for anyone looking to harness their ADHD for creative and business success! 🚀


Navigating ADHD in Entrepreneurship and Creativity: Insights from Ian Anderson Gray

Hey there, friends! Jeff Sieh here, and today we’re venturing into a topic that resonates deeply with many of us: ADHD, especially within the fast-paced realms of entrepreneurship and creativity. In this episode, we’re joined by a dear friend and fellow creator, Ian Anderson Gray. Ian, who navigates the waters of ADHD himself, shares his personal journey and the unique insights he’s gleaned from both the challenges and the advantages ADHD has presented in his creative and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Our conversation doesn’t aim to romanticize ADHD as a wellspring of creativity, but rather, to open a dialogue about the real experiences of those with ADHD—highlighting the nuanced ways it influences thought processes, productivity, and innovation. Our aim? To offer insights and strategies that help individuals with ADHD navigate their paths, ensuring they thrive in their creative and entrepreneurial endeavors while embracing their authentic selves. Join us as we explore the impact of ADHD in creativity and business, highlighting the importance of understanding, support, and adaptive strategies in unleashing potential.

Decoding ADHD: More Than Just a Label

In our conversation with Ian, we dove into the essence of ADHD. Together, we unpacked ADHD beyond the stereotypes, exploring its core aspects and the profound impact it has on those who experience it. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is often misunderstood, and Ian’s insights shed light on the reality behind the label.

ADHD is more than just about having trouble paying attention or being overly active; it’s a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects attention variability, hyperactivity, and emotional regulation. Ian eloquently described ADHD not as an attention deficit, but rather an attention dysregulation, where focusing intensely on passions is possible, yet directing attention to less stimulating tasks feels nearly impossible. This nuanced understanding challenges the common misconception that ADHD is simply about lacking focus or discipline.

Hyperactivity, another pillar of ADHD, extends beyond physical restlessness. Ian shared how for many, including himself, hyperactivity manifests in the mind—constant thoughts, ideas, and internal conversations creating a whirlwind that’s both a source of creativity and exhaustion. This inner hyperactivity is often invisible to the outside world, contributing to the misunderstandings surrounding ADHD.

The challenge of emotional regulation emerges as a particularly significant aspect of ADHD. Ian opened up about the intensity of emotions that come with ADHD—feeling everything deeply, from the highs of joy to the lows of frustration. This emotional depth, while a strength in empathy and connection, can also lead to overwhelm and burnout if not navigated carefully.

By sharing his journey, Ian not only provided a clearer picture of what ADHD entails but also challenged the common stereotypes and misconceptions. ADHD is not a barrier to creativity or success; instead, it’s a different way of interacting with the world. Understanding, empathy, and tailored strategies are key to harnessing the unique strengths it offers, turning potential challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation.

The Prevalence of ADHD Among Entrepreneurs and Creatives

In our in-depth conversation with Ian Anderson Gray, we honed in on some intriguing aspects of ADHD, particularly its prevalence among entrepreneurs and creatives, the distinction between mere distractibility and ADHD, and its influence on the creative process. Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty, let me toss out a quick reminder: we’re about to unpack some pretty insightful stuff on ADHD, but remember, this isn’t medical advice. Always reach out to a medical professional for diagnoses and personalized guidance. Alright, with that said, let’s get to it!

Ian illuminated an intriguing connection between ADHD and the thriving culture of creativity and entrepreneurship, suggesting that the entrepreneurial and creative spheres naturally attract individuals with ADHD. This attraction is deeply rooted in characteristics like divergent thinking, a fancy term for the ability to connect the dots in unique and innovative ways. He also points out that entrepreneurs often have the autonomy to craft their own schedules, which is like gold for the ADHD brain, allowing them to capitalize on those bursts of hyper-focus when they’re really feeling the flow.

The Influence of ADHD on the Creative Process:

Ian opened up about how, despite its hurdles, ADHD has this incredible way of fueling creativity and innovation. When it comes to brainstorming and ideation, that’s where the ADHD brain can shine, often seeing solutions and possibilities that others might miss. This unique cognitive wiring, Ian suggests, fuels his ability to think outside the box and pursue ideas with a distinct curiosity, leading to his most impactful work. Whether it’s speaking at Social Media Marketing World or exploring innovative blogging topics, Ian attributes these creative ventures to the ADHD-driven desire to do things differently. His journey underscores the significant role ADHD plays in fostering a creative and innovative mindset, particularly when he allows himself to follow his curiosity, even if it means occasionally veering off the conventional path.

More Than Just a Wandering Mind: ADHD vs. Being Easily Distracted

Diving into the heart of ADHD, Ian Anderson Gray shared a revelation that hit close to home for many of us. Getting diagnosed was a game-changer for him, a huge sigh of relief that washed away loads of guilt. When he opened up about it, though, he found a common thread in the reactions: “But don’t we all procrastinate? Aren’t we all a bit scatterbrained at times?” That’s when it clicked for Ian—the idea that ADHD, much like height, varies from person to person. Everyone’s got their struggles, sure, but ADHD layers on its unique set of challenges. He brought up Rick Green, a comedian with ADHD, who compared it to everyone having height—some are just taller than others. 

Ian’s take on getting the ADHD label really struck a chord. His analogy: Realizing you’re short-sighted opens the door to getting glasses, and suddenly, the world comes into focus. For Ian, being diagnosed with ADHD was a lot like that. It wasn’t about slapping on a label for the sake of it, but about gaining clarity. That moment of realization—that there’s a reason things feel harder, that you’re not lazy or forgetful but navigating the world with a unique set of challenges—it’s liberating. Suddenly, there’s a path forward. Whether that path involves medication, therapy, or just strategies to play to your strengths, it’s about leveraging that label not as a limit but as a lens. A lens that brings the world into focus, allowing you to move through it with a bit more understanding and a lot less guilt.

Navigating the Hurdles: Strategies for Success

Living with ADHD can feel a bit like trying to steer a sailboat under constantly shifting winds. Just when you think you’ve mastered the direction, a new gust comes along, challenging your course and demanding adaptability. It’s in these moments that having insights from folks like Ian Anderson Gray becomes invaluable. Together, Ian and I unpacked some common challenges that folks with ADHD face, like maintaining sharp focus, boosting that sometimes shaky self-esteem, and crossing the finish line on projects. But don’t fret; we also shared some top-notch strategies that Ian has personally found effective. 

Improving Self-Esteem with ADHD: Strategies and Insights

First up, let’s chat about self-esteem. Ever feel like your inner critic grabbed a megaphone, relentlessly highlighting every slip-up? We all know staying self-aware is crucial for taming that inner dialogue, though, let’s be real, it’s often easier said than done. Ian shared a brilliant tip from his ADHD coach that really stands out: why not give that internal voice a name? Picture this—it’s not just any voice; Ian describes his as a well-meaning librarian. This librarian is loaded with books, eager to prepare and protect, but sometimes overthinks to the point of imagining dire outcomes for relatively safe situations. By personifying this voice—the librarian in Ian’s case—you shift from battling an abstract sense of anxiety to dealing with a character whose intentions are good but who perhaps lacks a bit of perspective. 

This isn’t just a quirky trick; it’s a powerful way to gain insight and control. By personifying that nagging voice, you can engage with it more objectively, imagining this internal critic not as an enemy but as an overzealous guardian you can reason with, negotiate with, and even humor. This approach transforms an inner hurdle into something you can manage, maybe even laugh at.

Ian also recommends chatting with folks in your life to see yourself more clearly. Drawing on perspectives from those around you can help identify and list your true strengths (try actually writing them down), countering the often critical internal narrative. He also highlights how crucial managing sleep and fatigue is, especially given the non-stop nature of an ADHD brain. Adding to this, the benefits of regular exercise, noting how it helps manage ADHD symptoms by boosting your mood and focus, thanks to those feel-good endorphins. These combined efforts—embracing community insights, prioritizing rest, and staying active—lay the groundwork for improved self-esteem and overall well-being, all while navigating life with ADHD.

Smart ADHD Tips for Maintaining Focus

We also tackled the common struggle of maintaining focus. It’s not just about willpower; it’s about knowing what makes your brain tick. Ian emphasized the power of knowing yourself—your peaks and valleys of focus, what lights up your creativity, and recognizing those moments when you’re in the zone. It’s about creating an environment where those peaks are maximized. It’s like catching the perfect wave for surfing; you’ve got to know when to paddle out.

Ian brought up this fascinating concept from Dr. Tamara Rosier’s book, “Your Brain’s Not Broken,” where she talks about how our activities fall into four quadrants. Picture this: at the top, you’ve got the stuff that pumps you up—things that are both high stimulation and fun, like the thrill of riding roller coasters. But then, there’s the high-stimulation stuff that’s not so fun, like redoing a presentation because your dog decided it looked tasty the night before a big conference.

On the flip side, you’ve got your chill activities. Think low stimulation and fun, like kicking back and binge-watching Netflix. And then there are those tasks that are low stimulation and definitely not fun—bookkeeping and taxes, anyone? Ian pointed out how we tend to procrastinate on these less exciting tasks until they become urgent, forcing our brains into high gear to get them done.

Understanding these quadrants can be a game-changer. It’s a smart way to hack your ADHD brain into doing stuff without turning everything into a last-minute panic.

Crossing Project Finish Lines with ADHD

While the word ‘routine’ might make you think of a straitjacket, Ian’s approach is all about flexibility. It’s setting up structures that give you freedom within boundaries. Maybe it’s dedicating mornings to creative brainstorming because that’s when your brain is most alive, or blocking out quiet time in the evening for tasks that require more focus.

Ian also highlighted the importance of routine or rituals in creating a stable foundation. Establishing consistent habits, especially around transition times (like starting the workday or winding down for bed), can help signal to your brain what’s expected, reducing the cognitive load and easing those transitions.

Then, there’s the strategy of task breakdown and prioritization: Breaking down overwhelming projects into bite-sized, manageable tasks was another gem. It’s about not looking at the mountain as a whole but focusing on the first few steps. Prioritizing these mini-tasks based on urgency and energy levels helps in tackling them without getting overwhelmed.

Time Mastery: Tips for Effective Time Management and Goal Setting

Ian shared valuable insights into the unique challenges of managing time and setting goals with ADHD, emphasizing the importance of flexibility and realistic planning. He highlighted the struggle with dopamine—the reward chemical that’s harder to come by for those with ADHD—making it challenging to tackle a list of tasks that often turns out to be more complex than anticipated. Ian’s solution? Break down big projects into manageable tasks, use to-do apps for organization, and consider support from a virtual assistant familiar with ADHD. He advised tackling daunting tasks in short bursts and rewarding yourself afterward, turning a potentially overwhelming day into a series of achievable steps.

A cheerful young woman in a blue top is holding up several small hourglass timers with different colored sands. She has a joyful expression, and her hair is styled in braids. These timers are often used as a visual aid for time management, which can be particularly helpful for individuals with ADHD.

Extra Tip: My daughter (and employee) also diagnosed with ADHD, does all her work and school from home. She’s found these cool timers on Amazon that really help her stay focused and keep track of time.

Moreover, Ian encouraged dreaming big despite the hurdles. He reminded us that, with the right strategies, even those lofty goals are attainable. Reflecting on progress rather than getting caught up in comparison offers a healthier perspective on growth and achievement. This approach not only helps in managing day-to-day responsibilities but also in realizing long-term ambitions, underscoring the power of acknowledging how far you’ve come instead of where you think you should be.

Tech to the Rescue: Digital Tools for ADHD Management 

In our enlightening chat with Ian, the conversation took a tech-savvy turn as we explored how digital tools and technology can be transformative for those managing ADHD, Here were some specific tools mentioned: 

  • AI and ChatGPT: Ian uses AI tools like ChatGPT for brainstorming and organizing his thoughts, helping move from a blank page to a structured outline that he can then personalize and expand upon.

  • Notion: Ian’s approach to using Notion is all about starting simple and building complexity over time. Like many of us, he initially felt overwhelmed by Notion’s capabilities. To conquer this, Ian focused on creating a straightforward CRM system through creating simple databases and linking them, keeping track of contacts and the events where he’s met them, effectively serving as his second brain. Ian’s top tip: don’t get overwhelmed by trying to make notion aesthetically pleasing (at least at first:)

  • Google Calendar: While not AI-powered, Google Calendar is essential for Ian in organizing his week, although he expresses caution about letting AI take over scheduling tasks completely.

  • Apple AirTags: These help Ian keep track of important items like keys, ensuring he doesn’t waste time looking for them.

  • BrainFM: Used in combination with noise-cancelling headphones, BrainFM helps Ian focus by playing sounds and music designed to minimize distractions or aid in relaxation and sleep.

  • Reminders: Whether it’s Apple Reminders or another app, these tools are crucial for managing everyday tasks and shopping lists, simplifying daily responsibilities.

  • ReadWise: This app keeps track of all the books Ian is reading, allowing for easy reference and organization of his reading materials.

  • FocusToDo: I shared in our conversation that I love to use the Pomodoro technique with this app. It lets me set up my task list and work through each one with dedicated time blocks. For instance, setting aside 20 or 25 minutes to tackle my taxes makes the task feel less daunting. Having that timer counting down really helps me zero in and get things done.

Embracing the Journey: Conclusion

Wrapping up our chat with Ian Anderson Gray on ADHD, creativity, and entrepreneurship, it’s pretty clear we’re just scratching the surface. The journey of navigating ADHD, especially when you’re juggling creativity and running a business, is always moving forward. It’s all about reaching out, sharing what works, and sometimes, just knowing you’re not alone in this.

Ian’s stepping up with something pretty cool – his new podcast, “Smart ADHD.” It’s not just for the brainiacs; it’s for everyone looking for practical, real-world tactics to handle ADHD, whether you think you’re smart or not. Ian’s pulling from his own life and smart folks like Tamara Rosier PhD, to highlight the good, the bad, and the smarter ways to deal with ADHD symptoms. “Smart ADHD” is all about swapping out those not-so-great coping strategies with something a bit more positive.

So, here’s where you come in. Got a story to share? An epic win or a facepalm moment while navigating ADHD in your creative or entrepreneurial life? Drop it in the comments. Let’s make this a space where we can all learn from each other. And definitely, give “Smart ADHD” a listen. Ian’s cooking up something special, and it might just be the thing you need to hear today.


This transcript is automatically generated by Descript.  Any errors or omissions are unintentional.

[00:00:00] Jeff Sieh: Hello folks, welcome to another edition of Social Media News Live. So glad that you’re here and this is going to be a fun show. Uh, we’re talking about something that, you know, I don’t think a lot of, you know, channels talk about very much. So this is going to be really interesting and I think it affects more of us than we know.

[00:00:18] I think we all know somebody. Who, uh, has ADHD and, you know, maybe you have it as well. It’s, but this is going to be an interesting show. So if you know somebody who you think this would be really, really valuable for, feel free to at mention them wherever you’re watching it from, mention them in the comments, call them into the conversation, even if they can’t watch it live, I, I know this is going to be valuable for them because this is really an, an interesting topic.

[00:00:41] Um, and I can’t wait to get into it with my friend, Ian Anderson Gray is back on the show. So Ian, how are you doing today, my friend?

[00:00:48] Ian Anderson Gray: I’m doing well. Yes. Good to be here. Good to chat with you guys. Um, I’m a big fan of the show, so

[00:00:53] Jeff Sieh: I know. Thank you so much for tuning in all the time. And we’ve got the amazing Connor Brown. Connor Brown, what’s been going on in your world? Are you, uh, I mean, you’re, you’re booking, you know, travel. What’s your next big trip? Like, where are you going?

[00:01:06] Conor Brown: My next big trip is actually, it isn’t until June, but I’ll be on, um, a Disney cruise and it’ll be the first Disney cruise going to Disney’s newest private destination in the Caribbean. So they have

[00:01:20] Jeff Sieh: Is it lighthouse point? Is that what it is?

[00:01:22] Conor Brown: a lighthouse point at lookout K,

[00:01:25] Jeff Sieh: Oh, okay. Okay. Whatever. So are you, have you been on the new ship yet? The treasure? Is that out yet? It’s not here, is it?

[00:01:34] Conor Brown: Treasure’s not out yet, nope, Treasure, uh, debuts basically over Christmas time of, of

[00:01:39] Jeff Sieh: yeah, that’ll be, that’ll be not packed at all. So, anyway, uh, enough about travel and what’s going on with Connor. By the way, if you do need travel, uh, help, he is an amazing planner. He’ll get you set up wherever you want to go, but especially his, especially his, like, Disney Universal, uh, and it’s just, he does a great job.

[00:01:56] He knows all the insider info, the hacks. He got, um, I think Ian and I, when we went there last time, I was like, Hey, how can we get breakfast and get into the parks really easily? And I texted Connor and he gave us a secret hack to get in and it was amazing. So if you need that stuff, you need to talk to Connor Brown.

[00:02:11] Yeah. Yeah. We had a good time. So, all right. So we’ve got some people already tuning in saying, I need this info. So this is going to be a great show. Uh, feel free to, why is that so small? We’ll fix that right now. But this is going to be a great, that’s why I love Ecamm folks. Cause I can do it on the fly.

[00:02:26] Um, it’s going to be a great show. So I’m going to go ahead and hit go on the podcast machine and we will get started. Hello folks. Welcome to social media news live. I’m Jeff Sieh. Have

[00:02:41] Conor Brown: I’m Connor Brown, and this is the show that keeps you up to date on what’s happening in the world of social media and more.

[00:02:49] Jeff Sieh: you ever wondered how ADHD might be a powerful tool in entrepreneurship and creativity? Maybe you’re intrigued by the ways it can fuel innovation and lead to unique business successes. Or maybe you’re on a journey to harness your ADHD In a way that amplifies your creative and entrepreneurial spirit.

[00:03:08] If those thoughts have crossed your mind, well, today’s episode is tailor made just for you. We’re excited to have Ian Anderson Gray with us, a creator who has navigated the waters of ADHD to uncover strategies that leverage his strengths in the business and creative worlds. Ian’s going to be sharing his personal journey, insights, and actionable advice for turning ADHD into an outcome.

[00:03:31] So sit back, clear your schedule, clear your mind, and get ready for this week’s episode of Social Media News Live. Ian, how are you doing today, my friend?

[00:03:39] Ian Anderson Gray: I’m doing well. It’s great to be here. I love this show as I said before, it’s great.

[00:03:44] Jeff Sieh: Good to have you.

[00:03:45] Conor Brown: Love it. I’m so excited for this talk and for Ian too, because if you don’t know Ian, you should. Ian is the founder of the Confident Live Marketing Academy and is the host of the Confident Live Marketing Podcast, as well as his new SmartADHD podcast. He helps entrepreneurs to level up their impact, authority, and profits by using live video content.

[00:04:11] Confidently. As well as being a geek, husband and dad to two kids, Ian is also a professional singer and lives near Manchester in the UK. Thanks again, Ian, for being here today.

[00:04:25] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah, it’s great to be here. I love the way you, you just, you just stopped at the word geek there,

[00:04:29] Jeff Sieh: That’s right,

[00:04:30] Ian Anderson Gray: to really,

[00:04:31] Conor Brown: You

[00:04:31] Jeff Sieh: we, yes,

[00:04:32] Conor Brown: emphasis on the right words, you know, it’s, it’s all about

[00:04:36] Ian Anderson Gray: yeah, yeah.

[00:04:37] Jeff Sieh: exactly, well, but before we get diving into the topic of ADHD, I want to, uh, as a creator, I want to give a shout out to our, uh, sponsor of the show, the amazing people at Ecamm. You can find out more about them at ecamm. com forward slash jeff. If you use code jeff15, you’re going to save 15 percent on On your first purchase, that’s ecamm.

[00:04:55] com forward slash Jeff. Make sure to take a check them out. They’re an amazing, amazing group of people over there. And I also want to do a big shout out real quick to the new thing they got going on. It’s their Leap Into Tools and Tactics. So if creating content feels like an impossible task, task, some days, you need to come to this free virtual event.

[00:05:14] Leap Into Tools and Tactics is all about streaming your content workflows by implementing content efficiency. Efficiency through different tools and tricks. You can join me April 12th through the 26th and learn some of my favorite tips for content creation. There’s so many great speakers. I have been asked to be one of them.

[00:05:30] You can find out more at leap. ecamm. com. That’s leap. ecamm. com. Come check us out. It’s going to be an amazing All right, so let’s jump right into this, Ian, because I, you know, you and I have been friends, what was it, we talked about it this morning, because I was like, when did we first meet, and what did you say, it was like 2015, is that when

[00:05:53] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. Yeah. 2015. So social media marketing world, 2015. I think we, we didn’t know each other before that, but like meeting in person was at social media marketing world, 2015.

[00:06:01] Jeff Sieh: yeah, and we’ve done stuff, you know, met in real life, and been parts of Masterminds, and all sorts of things, so I’ve known Ian for a while, but I remember when he, He actually went and got diagnosed and as an, uh, you know, ADHD as an adult and then your paths kind of, you know, diving into that and learning more about it.

[00:06:18] So I’m really excited about this because we’re going to be talking about what like understanding ADHD is. Um, so Ian, can you kind of kick us off? Like, why do you think ADHD is kind of prevalent among like entrepreneurs and creatives. Cause I just,

[00:06:33] I think more people have it than not. So,

[00:06:36] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. And I mean, this is, this is maybe kind of one of the, the, the myths or stigmas. Like some people are saying, well, everyone has ADHD, but we’ll maybe get onto that in a bit. I mean, I think a lot more people are getting diagnosed because we understand it a lot more, but also I think the modern world that we’re living in, it’s great.

[00:06:57] There’s so many cool things for us to play with, but that can actually. I think in a sense, like make it more difficult for people with ADHD. So like my, you know, our grandparents, like they may have had ADHD, but they could kind of, the world was like a, maybe an easier place for to, to, to be ADHD. So that’s the first thing, but also like ADHD, people with ADHD tend to gravitate towards entrepreneurship because generally speaking, we have more divergent thinking.

[00:07:28] We think out of the box and. Also, it fosters creativity and we can carve out our own timetable as well, which works really, really well. And I’ve, I’ve found that I tend to work really well. I will work like really, really hard for like two or three days. I get hyper focused, I focus. And then Friday I find I need to take that time off.

[00:07:50] And I’m, I, so I take I have a kind of a much more flexible schedule, I think, uh, and also we don’t have to have a boss who doesn’t understand us. I have spoken to some people who have had bosses who have really not understood the way their brain works. And so instead of focusing on their strengths, and there are strengths with ADHD, they’ve focused on the challenges that people with ADHD have.

[00:08:16] So I think, That, those are all the reasons. Creativity, divergent thinking, flexibility, freedom, all those kind of things. There are some negatives too, but those are the positives. Yeah.

[00:08:44] Conor Brown: your best foot forward with, with all that stuff.

[00:08:46] But I think for a lot of people, they don’t really understand what ADHD is, right? Or they’re just familiar with the stereotypes and they kind of say, no, that’s not me. I don’t have that. Um, but what does

[00:08:57] it entail? And like, if you could just narrow it down and kind of give a, a super, you know, quick summary of what does it entail and, and what is it like, I guess, living with it?

[00:09:08] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah, and this was, this was my problem. This is why I denied that it was gonna, that I was ADHD. In fact, I remember I, I used to teach singing and I had a student who was, he said he had ADHD and I was thinking all these, Oh, you know, it’s just an excuse. It’s just, he’s, he’s just giving this label. He’s lazy, you know, and I was thinking all these things.

[00:09:28] Uh, and then I’ve, I’ve seen people who are very hyperactive, um, people, uh, or they always forgetful and. I thought that’s, that’s not really me. So ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is not very helpful because it isn’t really attention deficit. I have no problem focusing, hyper focusing on stuff that I’m really interested in.

[00:09:53] It’s just that I struggle with stuff that I’m not interested in. So you could call it attention, uh, what would you call it? Attention.

[00:10:03] Conor Brown: Boring,

[00:10:04] Ian Anderson Gray: suppose, or dysregulation. Yeah. Um, and then the hyperactivity is a funny one because I was pretty hyperactive as a kid, but I have no problem staying still. Now, what I didn’t realize is that hyperactivity can also mean like in the, in the brain.

[00:10:20] And then I started to realize how much was going on in my head. And I was thinking, no, no wonder I need afternoon naps. Um, so like, so I think. You know, and there was many different types of ADHD, as there are people with ADHD. I think that’s really important. So it’s really helpful to think of ADHD as a neurological difference, that there is a difference in the way the brain works.

[00:10:44] And with ADHD tend to have an unreliable access to what we call the prefrontal cortex. So this is the front of the brain. And this, and this is really important because this, the area of the brain, That helps with things like planning, emotional regulation, executive functions. So for example, you know, storing information, remind, remembering short term memory, things like that.

[00:11:09] And what I didn’t realize is that one of the top traits for people that people have with ADHD is emotional dysregulation. We.

[00:11:17] Conor Brown: that was something we wanted to do. And

[00:11:20] Ian Anderson Gray: And I’ve had over the years, I’ve had some people say to me, Ian, you’re like, you’re so sensitive. Like, don’t be so sensitive. Um, uh, so we tend to like have emotions either number one or possibly two or 10.

[00:11:32] It’s like not in the middle, big emotions. Uh, and that can be a really good thing. But not always. So the sensitivity, the sensitivity sometimes to noise and stimulation. So like at parties, if there’s lots of loud music and somebody wants to talk to me, it’s not going to happen. I really, um, and so like things like noise cancelling headphones can really help, uh, executive functioning.

[00:11:55] So this is organization tasks, maintaining focus, uh, and things like that. So we can come on to some of the misconceptions, but that’s basically what ADHD is.

[00:12:06] Jeff Sieh: So I wanted to kind of, you know, and we had a great comment. It says, uh, this was written for me. It didn’t know that’s what I had until my daughter’s doctor told her that’s where she got it. So, you know, a lot of people are finding out as they get older that, you know, they may have ADHD. Sieh, ADHD, or struggle because of that.

[00:12:24] Uh, I know also, when I was researching for this show, I kind of dove in some articles, and there’s a difference between being easily distracted, and having ADHD. And I know a lot happened during the pandemic, um, in fact, there’s people in my family who we can’t get the medicine that they need, because, It’s been kind of over diagnosed, and people are getting on this, and it’s hard to find the drug that kind of helps people cope with ADHD, at least here in the States.

[00:12:50] So, I guess, as we move on to these myths and, um, you know, misperceptions about ADHD, like, what’s

[00:12:57] the difference between being easily distracted and having ADHD? Like, when people say, because I mean, I can, I’m, I know I’m easily distracted, but I don’t, I’ve never been, you know, clinically diagnosed to have a

[00:13:09] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. Yeah, and I suppose I need to kind of get the, uh, the warning out of the way, the medical warning. Like none of us are experts here in this. And so like, if you, if you’re concerned about any of these things, then do see a medical professional. Um, but like, if you’re identifying with any of these things, it’s good to, good to look into it.

[00:13:27] And so, yeah, one of the, one of the things that I heard, heard a lot. So when, when I got diagnosed, it was a massive Relief for me. Uh, a lot of guilt went, but then when people, I started talking to people, people said, well, like, well, what, what is ADHD? And I said, well, you know, procrastination, these kinds of things.

[00:13:46] And, uh, and then people said to me, well, but I struggle with it. Everyone struggles with that. And that’s the thing. It’s a spectrum in, in some senses, like everyone struggles with these things. Everyone struggles with anxiety. Um, uh, sorry, everyone struggles with procrastination or, um, getting distracted. Um, I love this, a guy called Rick Green, who’s a comedian, and he has ADHD, and he, he wrote, um, he, he actually wrote the, or he put together this big, um, very popular documentary called ADD and Loving It, and he, he says, he makes this analogy, Yeah, everyone has ADHD.

[00:14:23] Well, everyone has height, you know, some people are taller than others. And I think that’s a really important thing. Like, I, I realized, or my parents realized, when I was about 12 or 13, that I’m short sighted, that I needed glasses. So yeah, that’s a label. But it was a really helpful label because then I could do something about it.

[00:14:43] And I think that’s the same with ADHD. Like, the problem is it’s, it’s in the mental health kind of category. And, and so yeah, that’s a tricky one. But when you know that you have something that is different or something that impairs you in some way, such as short sightedness, you can go and get some glasses.

[00:15:03] And so I think that’s, That’s really important, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go down the medication route. Medication can really help a lot of people. For me at the moment, I’ve not gone down that route yet. I’m looking at a more holistic, um, approach to it. Who knows? I might, you know, I might look at medication at some point.

[00:15:23] So that’s, I think the label issue is one thing. Um, then there’s the whole thing. People with ADHD are always late or disorganized. You know what? When I want to be. I can be more organized than most people. Uh, I was, uh, live, I was producing an event for this wildlife tracking, um, um, company or organization.

[00:15:44] And there’s so many moving parts with that. There were speakers from all around the world. Um, I was, I, I was thinking about so all the kind of functionality, all the things that could go wrong. I was so hyper organized. When it comes to my. Taxes and my finances. This is where I need some help, you know, because I find that boring.

[00:16:06] And then things like being late, uh, if it’s important, like for example, if I need to get to the airport, I get there ultra early because I know that if I don’t, I’m going to be late. So I, I overcompensate. And then there’s the other thing about impulsivity. Yes, people with ADHD tend to be, can be quite impulsive.

[00:16:26] And I have been over the years. Like if I’ve seen like the latest smartphone, I might, I used to like, would I just go and buy it? But sometimes like people who have ADHD often have other, other, I don’t know what, I don’t want to call it issues, but other things, so it could be anxiety. It could be other things.

[00:16:43] And so for me, Anxiety tends to counteract my impulsivity. So, uh, I won’t always go out and buy something new because I’m worried about the money or worried about the fact that this might not be the right thing for me. And I tend to overthink it. So it’s a lot of things that go into it. There’s, there’s, it’s not, there’s not one size fits all, um, but those are maybe some of the misconceptions.

[00:17:07] Jeff Sieh: awesome. Yeah, that’s, that’s really helpful because I, I, I know we all one, I think what you said earlier, like if you, if these things are resonating with you. Go get tested or go talk to your health professional about it. And, uh, I ha I, when I was reading these articles about this, when we preparing for the show, it, what you said about, you know, the glasses thing, and like, if you would have short sighted kids, you’d have them get glasses.

[00:17:31] They, they really did like, When they get that diagnosis, they’ve said it’s, it’s like you got glasses for the first time. You felt that relief. You were able to see and understand your brain a little bit better. So I think that’s a really important. So thanks for, once again, and thanks for transparency about this.

[00:17:45] I know it’s, it’s kind of, this is kind of a, it seems like almost a taboo subject sometimes, but it’s not, it shouldn’t be. And I think I’m glad for you coming on and

[00:17:53] Ian Anderson Gray: Well, and it is in a sense, and I, I have to say, like, I have felt quite nervous about, because in a sense I’m, I’m kind of outing myself, aren’t I? Like coming onto the show and talking about ADHD and, and it’s not the done thing, you know, I need to keep quiet and get on with my life. Thank you very much.

[00:18:10] And, uh, but

[00:18:12] Jeff Sieh: a lot to do with it too. Yeah.

[00:18:14] Ian Anderson Gray: is very true.

[00:18:14] Jeff Sieh: Yeah.

[00:18:16] Conor Brown: But no, that’s, that’s very helpful for me to understand it as well. And I know Ian, you kind of talked about how. You know, ADHD and, and being entrepreneurial or being a creative, it, it, it’s very prevalent in, in that community. But from your

[00:18:30] experience, how has ADHD not only, I guess, uh, uh, interfered, but also like influenced the creative process, um, amongst particularly business owners and entrepreneurs and yourself included, of course.

[00:18:45] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah, it’s a great, it’s a great question. So first of all, I want to say, like, I think it’s, it’s too trivial to say that ADHD is a superpower, because I think that’s kind goes over the fact that there are many, many challenges. And so I don’t want to sugarcoat things. However, there are positives, definite positives.

[00:19:08] And I think that’s what I’ve realized when I look back at my career, it’s when I’ve leaned into these elements that I’ve done my best work. And I look at the, you know, getting to speak at Social Media Marketing World and some of the, uh, the, uh, The, uh, the blog posts that I’ve created and I’ve gone down these rabbit holes.

[00:19:28] It’s all

[00:19:29] Conor Brown: we

[00:19:32] Ian Anderson Gray: by the way my brain works. So I think some of these things are quick decisions. I’ve heard people say that an ADHD brain is kind of like, it’s like a supercomputer in our heads, but unfortunately there’s no cooling system. Or another way is like having a Ferrari engine. But with, I’m not very good with cars, like a really bad car’s brakes.

[00:19:56] Can you help me

[00:19:57] Jeff Sieh: Do a Pinto. Do a Pinto.

[00:19:58] Ian Anderson Gray: And so those brakes, you know, so it’s the, and, and so the, the quick decisions are great. There are some ramifications of that. They’re also the out of the box thinking. So like, I love to do things a little bit more, a bit differently and creatively to what other people are doing.

[00:20:16] That just floats my boat. Uh, and being different as sometimes that. Sometimes we, we, that, that can be a problem, but I think often we want to do things differently. And also following my curiosity, I’ve realized that whenever I try and do what people say I should be doing, which is like, I need to have a proper strategy and I need to do things the way People say I should be doing it.

[00:20:42] That’s when I’ve, I’ve made my biggest mistakes. And it’s also when I’ve got really bored and frankly depressed when I’ve gone down the rabbit hole and followed my curiosity, I’m not saying that it’s always served me well, there have been some, you know, disasters along the way, but I’ve had fun and I’ve created some amazing things like the first course that I did when Facebook live came out back in 2016 and I was dabbling with OBS studio.

[00:21:08] Oh my goodness. OBS studio. Those were the days. Thank goodness for Ecamm Live, that’s all I can say. But back in those days, um, I’ve went down the rabbit hole and I created this really fun thing and this, and I was able to produce this course. Um, but when I followed sometimes what people said I should be doing, uh, I’ve just not been able to, to make it work.

[00:21:28] So I, I, yeah, I think hopefully that answers your question. It’s like creativity and innovation.

[00:21:35] Conor Brown: Yeah, it’s almost like it gives you permission to explore that as well. I guess when, once you understand. What you have, you know, it’s, it’s, it becomes less of why am I going down this rabbit trail of, of, no, this is my, this is my creativity. This is who I am and allow me to explore that and, and learn from that.

[00:21:52] all for

[00:21:55] Jeff Sieh: go on to this next section where we’re talking about kind of some strategies maybe for entrepreneurs and creators who may struggle with this, may have been diagnosed, may have not. In fact, I would love for you, wherever you guys are watching from, to is if you have been diagnosed or struggle or are dealing with ADHD and you know that, like what are some of your, your challenges and how you’ve overcome them?

[00:22:16] I would love to know in the comments. I’m sure Ian would as well, but that’s the question I want to have for Ian right now is like, what are some of these, you know, significant challenges? You kind of mentioned some of them kind of being late. So you’ve made some hacks that you, you know, you show up early to the airport, but like when running your business with ADHD, you know, what are some other ways that you have like.

[00:22:34] You have acknowledged those facts, especially since you’ve been diagnosed. Like now, you know why, and now you can kind of make a plan,

[00:22:41] you know, what are some of those that you have overcome and how you’ve kind of overcome them in now with this new knowledge that you have,

[00:22:49] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. And not knowledge is just so, so important. I remember like just when we first. I knew each other, Jeff, like, but, you know, nearly, nearly 10 years ago, like, I, I was beating myself up inside about how, like, I was not good at certain things or how I thought I wasn’t good. And, uh, and so one of the big challenges, a lot of people with ADHD, not all, many have pretty low self esteem and they have this negative inner dialogue.

[00:23:16] Now I know, like, a lot of people do, but this is really heightened with people with ADHD. So I think, yeah. First of all, be aware of that and be aware of that inner dialogue and that it can be a challenge. That’s taking me a long time to, and I’m not there yet with this, but just, Oh, my, my, my inner voice is saying that I’m no good at speaking.

[00:23:41] Uh, so that, that’s the first thing, be aware it’s telling you something. And actually in some ways you can, you can almost give this person a name. This, this was something that our ADHD coach, Tamara, Razzia was talking about actually personifying your that inner voice. You can call it, uh, so mine’s kind of like a this, he’s trying to be a helpful librarian.

[00:24:02] He’s got all these books and he wants to be really well prepared, but he tends to overthink things. And he says he wants to Save me from, from something that’s scary. And this is, again, something that people with ADHD think it, it, um, struggle with, sorry. It’s, it’s not being able to differentiate between something like speaking at an event and certain death.

[00:24:28] Jeff Sieh: right? Right.

[00:24:29] Ian Anderson Gray: so the brain goes like, ah, warning, warning, you know, alert, alert, alert. So it’s, I think the first thing is, is it’s that being self aware, being aware of that inner dialogue, talk to other people and start to make a list of truths about yourself. And this has been a real struggle for me, but actually speaking with others who have a much better idea of my strengths.

[00:24:54] Uh, and making a list of those and being aware of, of my strengths is really important. The other thing I’ve found is, uh, is sleep and, and, and being constantly tired, uh, because our brains are working kind of like so, so hard. Things that really help with this, um, are things like your diet, exercise, um, and what I would call really, uh, it’s kind of, um,

[00:25:21] Conor Brown: joined the

[00:25:23] Ian Anderson Gray: your nervous system.

[00:25:24] So things like, uh, just knowing things that are actually going to calm you down. Uh, so exercise definitely helps me. Um, and you could also

[00:25:34] Conor Brown: for

[00:25:35] Ian Anderson Gray: the different tasks that you do into different zones. So this is the book, this is from the book by Tamara Razzier, uh, Your Brain’s Not Broken. And she has this kind of four quadrants, which I suppose is.

[00:25:46] Yeah, quadrant means four. So I suppose it was gonna be four. But anyway, you’ve got at the top, you’ve got your, um, your high stimulation activities. So on one side, you’ve got the green, which is high stimulation and fun. It could be like, maybe you’re into roller coasters. That’s high stimulation and fun.

[00:26:03] But on the other side, you’ve got high stimulation and not fun. That might be. You’ve got, you’ve got a, uh, you’re speaking at a conference tomorrow and the dog has eaten your presentation and you’re going to have to start again. That’s not good. And then at the bottom, you’ve got low stimulation tasks. So the blue zone is on the right, that’s low stimulation and fun.

[00:26:23] It could be like watching Netflix. Uh, and then the other low stimulation, not fun for me. That’s bookkeeping anything to do with that taxes. Uh, what we tend to do and it’s a genius trick. We tend to put it off and put it off those yellow zone tasks until they They’re they tomorrow you need to do it tomorrow and it becomes a red zone task.

[00:26:42] So we’re stimulating our brains in order to to actually do this stuff. So knowing The, the different zones that these tasks are in is really important because you can then try to, throughout the week, um, put these different tasks in at different times and be aware of where your brain, how your brain works at different times of the day.

[00:27:05] Um, other thing is like struggling, finishing off tasks. Well, I think following my curiosity really helps, but also collaboration and delegation as well. Uh, another thing I struggled with is burnout. And this is when I’m not listening to my body and my mind, and I’ve just kept on going on and on and on.

[00:27:23] Maybe I’m comparing myself to others. So some time off. And I know Jeff, you, you always tease me about, you know, how many holidays and vacations I have, but it’s actually, there’s a reason for it. I, I, I personally. Need that, that time now, people, everyone with ADHD is different. So some people will find different types of ways of relaxing, but, uh, so, but yeah, delegation’s important, uh, forgetting things.

[00:27:49] So my way of with that is to use technology and we can maybe come onto that in a bit, but that’s tools, uh, and things to help me with that as well.

[00:27:59] Jeff Sieh: So I want to bring up real quick, Connor, before we go on, the next question is, this is a good point by Gary. He goes, someone I work with is usually late to meetings and I didn’t realize it might be related to something that he deals with. So this is a, this is especially in a workplace. This can be a sensitive topics because it has to do a lot.

[00:28:17] This is kind of a mental health kind of, I guess it would fit into there. So how do you deal with that in the

[00:28:23] workplace? Now that person could be like just easily distracted or they could be dealing with ADHD. So how would you suggest you manage something like that in the workplace? Do you take them aside and say, listen, have you been da, da, da, da, or I mean, what, what would you do in Gary’s situation?

[00:28:41] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah, no, it’s, it’s a really, it’s a really difficult one. Uh, because again, we’re all different. So for me, I tend to overcompensate. I’ve actually found, and this is not necessarily a good tool. So we tend to learn these bad tools. For example, we utilize anger, anxiety, or even things like low self loathing and shame to get us to.

[00:29:03] Do things because we’ve been late before we don’t want to be late. I want to let people down And so we overcompensate but some people Don’t do that. And it’s not that they’re not late because they want to be It’s actually one uh symptom that people with adhd have is is time blindness And this is not like with time lords in the doctor who universe or anything, but actually time kind of Runs in a slightly different way in our heads.

[00:29:31] And so like You For example, to get ready for this show, like I’ve got it in my calendar, but there were things that I needed to do to, in order to get ready for this. So for example, switching off, switching on my computer, making sure I’ve got notes so I know what, vaguely what I’m talking about. Uh, there’s quite, and it could be like getting to work.

[00:29:52] Well, like for some people you just put, Getting to work in the calendar. But if you have ADHD, there are so many other things that you might not have thought about, like getting in the car. Have you got enough fuel in your car to get there? Uh, where are your keys? Um, you know, making sure that you’ve got them in a place.

[00:30:10] So I think what I would say is if somebody is struggling, uh, getting to work on time, um, I suppose this is understanding maybe why they are struggling with that. And is there anything that you can do to help that? You know, there could be some tips and hacks to help with that. And I’ve, I’ve learned some of those tips and hacks myself, but maybe some people are struggling with, to find some of those things.

[00:30:36] Um, so yeah, you, I think it’s important to be flexible to a point, but at the end of the day, you know, if you’re, if you’re working, Uh, in a, in a business, in a company, you need, you do need to get there on time, but there might be ways that you can do that you, you know, talking to them to, to help them maybe understand time better.

[00:30:56] Uh, and for me, I’ve found, like working with VAs, that is brilliant because at the end of the day, I, you know, I, I’ve come to realize that my prefrontal cortex, uh, I don’t really ha have as much access to that as I would like. Our prefrontal cortex is kind of like our butler, you know? Uh, so if you are more of a neurotypical brain, you can say to your prefrontal cortex, you can say, uh, okay, can you tell me what my, what I’m doing today?

[00:31:22] And can you tell me where my keys are? And it’s kind of replies to you in a Jeeves like voice. Oh, well, certainly as your keys are in the, in the hallway, top, top cabinets, and you have a meeting at 9am and you’ll need to, you need to leave because there’s a lot of traffic on a Wednesday morning. You need to leave a little bit earlier.

[00:31:38] Uh, with the. With the, uh, ADHD brain, it doesn’t work quite like that. You know, the, the, the brain doesn’t work quite, and, and it’s almost like this kind of angry neighbor saying, where are you? You’re always losing your keys. Where are they? And so I think it’s finding ways to help that person because their brain’s wired differently.

[00:31:56] It’s not that they don’t care. It’s just, um, finding that out. And of course this is assuming the person has ADHD. Uh, they might not, they might actually just be, um, they can’t be bothered and they just don’t, they want to be like, I don’t know.

[00:32:09] Jeff Sieh: So I guess what I hear you say is like, don’t come at them as an, you know, accusing them of something. Come as like, how can I help? Like, and then, you know, maybe they don’t even know that this is, you know, bringing the rest of the team down and it’s, you know, you can say like, hey, I’ve noticed this. Maybe, you know, maybe you need to talk to this person, but here’s some maybe tech that’ll help.

[00:32:28] Here’s something that I found that helps me and, and not, you know, like you’re late again, kind of a thing.

[00:32:35] Ian Anderson Gray: well, it’s, it’s, it’s dialogue, it’s conversation, because at the end of the day, you don’t know, uh, and quite often what happens is the people with ADHD who are late, uh, they probably are aware, and they have this inner dialogue, you know, I remember I was telling you about that, that The Angry Neighbour, who’s saying, You’re always late.

[00:32:53] You’re always late. You just, you, you’re just pathetic. You know, you may as well give up. You’re going to get sacked. Sometimes those, that inner voice can play, and that actually exacerbates the situation. So actually it’s important to kind of understand what’s happening and to, To find ways to help. And there are, there are definite strategies.

[00:33:13] I mean, it can be, you can go down, if it is ADHD, you can go down the medication route and that can really help, but there are holistic approaches as well. And there’s tech and there’s other ways as well.

[00:33:24] Jeff Sieh: Awesome. Thanks for that. Good question, Gary. Thank you.

[00:33:27] Conor Brown: Yeah, that was an awesome question. It’s, it’s kind of about having a conversation, talking, having empathy, those sorts of things. Ian, I loved when you talked about the quadrants as well, because for me, that sounded like understanding what the task is and what it takes from you will help you set up and say, this is when I need to do that.

[00:33:46] And it sets you up for future success, right? You’re setting up future Ian for success by saying, these are the tasks, these how are, are, are how we have to get them done. Especially nowadays when every other YouTube video you see is you need this routine to 10x your lifestyle, right? And that’s of course a little crazy, but routines are good.

[00:34:08] And I have to imagine that when you’re living with ADHD, routines and, and processes are, are probably especially useful, um, to kind of help you stay productive in, in those. You’ve talked a little bit about it, but could you share some other effective systems and, and

[00:34:24] routines that help you? all

[00:34:27] Ian Anderson Gray: back to the, quickly back onto the quadrant thing. I think that we, we all have energy tanks, you know, it doesn’t matter what kind of brain you have, you have an energy tank and, but understanding that if you spent like any time in the red zone, you’re going to drain your tank and you could get leading to burnout.

[00:34:43] If you spend too much time in the blue zone, you. Yeah, it kind of might be fun watching Netflix, but if you do that all the time, you’re going to get drained. So it’s just balancing that and this is yet where routine comes in. The problem I think with ADHD is that it’s a balancing act because if you have too much routine, it gets boring, like, and But if you don’t have any routine, that’s not exactly going to help you get stuff done.

[00:35:09] So it’s finding the right balance for you and we’re all different. So time blocking, I have a kind of a flexible approach to time blocking because I, I find it does help, but again, if it becomes too rigid, I ignore it. It’s just kind of the way my brain works. Google Calendar for me, I mean, Oh my goodness.

[00:35:32] It’s the most amazing thing ever. It’s, it’s, it’s helped us as a family. We have shared calendars. We know what we’re doing. If it’s not in the calendar, it’s not going to happen. But I’m, you know, and I’ve got really good at making appointments. It’s incredibly rare that I miss an appointment because it’s in the calendar.

[00:35:53] Uh, and I’ve just got my brain focused on that. So. Um, so yeah, not being too rigid, but you do need to, you do need to have, um, you do need to have some, uh, you know, routines, absolutely. Uh, I’ve mentioned having a virtual assistant or somebody to help, um, accountability as well. So actually sometimes, uh, I’ve spent time with my VA and actually she’s just been there saying, okay, you’ve got these five emails and I’m just like, oh, oh, oh.

[00:36:21] Can I just reply to them now? And she’s waiting there while I reply to these emails. But the fact that she is there is helping me to do it. Uh, I find, how would I call this? Like artificial deadlines can help. So, uh, my kids are at the time when I’m, I’m basically dad’s taxi. So like I’m taking my daughter to swimming or to music practice and I’m in the car park, like for 45 minutes, an hour.

[00:36:47] I get some of my best work done because I’ve only got 50 minutes to do stuff. And, and I’m kind of almost artificially firing up my, I think it’s called my limbic system in my brain. I’m getting all technical now, but this is the stuff that I’ve been learning. And so like artificial, um, Time limits can help.

[00:37:06] Uh, and then things like getting out of the house. So changing the environment. So sometimes that could be working. So it could be like working in a different room of the house, going to a coffee shop, don’t forget your noise cancelling headphones, uh, and play some, you know, white noise or brown noise through that.

[00:37:22] We can talk about that in a bit. Um, I use timers as well because of this kind of weird perception of time that ADHD people tend to have. Having like, um, you know, you could call this a Pomodoro technique. I’m not entirely convinced Pomodoro works in the sense that I think you need to be flexible with ADHD because sometimes you’re just so in the zone, you’re so hyper focused that there’s no way you’re going to stop.

[00:37:46] In fact, if you stop, you’re going to find it very difficult to get back into it. But, but this is particularly for stuff that you don’t want to do, your yellow zone tasks. Uh, timers are great. Uh, and then there’s, of course, there’s technology as well as, I mean, I use things like Notion, we’ve mentioned Google Calendars, there’s all this kind of stuff, which you can maybe talk about in a bit.

[00:38:07] Jeff Sieh: Yeah, I think that’s all, all, um, really good. One of the, and this is a question somebody sent me, um, when they knew that we’re going to be talking about this topic. So I’m really interested in your thoughts on this. So. It’s creating, uh, consistently. So creating consistently can really be challenging. We as creators, entrepreneurs, we know all about that.

[00:38:25] So how do you maintain motivation and continue to produce new content or ideas, particularly during, you know, you mentioned before, like sometimes just with the, you know, the ups and downs, those unmotivated phases. Like when you’re unmotivated, how do you continue to produce this new content and ideas that you have to do as a creator or entrepreneur?

[00:38:47] Ian Anderson Gray: this, and this is a tough one, I think, because, so that, you know, this is why people do go down, Uh, the medic medication route, I, I believe that can sometimes help. Um, but you know, holistically I’ve mentioned a few of those things, you know, getting exercise. Um, but putting all those to one side, like I, again, following my curiosity, making sure that the tasks that I’m doing are stuff that I enjoy.

[00:39:12] Um, and I found this with my show that I needed to be flexible enough in order to be able to keep my Curiosity going, and actually I found with my Confident Live show, and we can maybe talk about this in a bit, that

[00:39:25] Conor Brown: 21 school

[00:39:26] Ian Anderson Gray: there were things that I really wanted to talk about that weren’t Really kind of appropriate, they weren’t really part of like, uh, about live video and, and which is my, what my podcast and show is about.

[00:39:38] So I, I ended up realizing, well, I need to create a new show. And so I can talk about that, but also like, I think you need to give yourself permission. And this is a really hard one for me. You need to give yourself permission to, that it’s okay to stop. And it’s okay not to be consistent. Like, Next week, I’m going to be totally honest with you.

[00:39:58] I don’t have an episode ready for the Confident Line Marketing Show. I’ve got, I’ve got, I’ve had three out and next week I don’t. So, like, I could really stress about that or I could say, well, okay, I’m going to do a little bonus episode. I’m going to record five, 10 minutes. And that’s okay. The world is still going to be here.

[00:40:16] Uh, and so you think it’s just like understanding that it’s okay. However, really helped me at the start when I, you know, when I’m thinking about how I was consistent with my The Confident Live Marketing Show from May 2019 until last year, I did it every single week or the podcast was every single week.

[00:40:34] And the only way I did that was I had a solid plan and a process. And so I knew why I was doing it. I knew how I was going to do it. I had a good process and I had people helping me. Uh, and so although you might want to be alone, yes, you can be alone in the, in terms of the creativity, but you kind of need help from other people as well, I think.

[00:40:54] And you also need to give yourself permission to change and stop along the way.

[00:40:59] Jeff Sieh: Great advice. Um,

[00:41:01] Conor Brown: you’ve kind of hinted a little bit at tech helping you. And I love this question from Dustin, who

[00:41:06] says, you know, I’m curious if you’ve been able to utilize AI in any way to help with your ADHD. So Ian, let’s kind of take that and, and combine it with just tech or digital tools in general.

[00:41:19] What have you found useful to help, um, when it comes to managing your ADHD scheduling, you know, time management, productivity, all that stuff.

[00:41:30] Ian Anderson Gray: Well, so I, I want to preface this in saying that for some people like AI is, Like the new technology can be overwhelming and will explode people’s brains. And so, but you kind of like, if you can get over that, for me, I’m immensely excited about using AI to help me. It’s like in, In preparation of coming onto the show, for example, I had so many things that I wanted to talk about.

[00:41:56] I was thinking, Oh my goodness, like, like I’m going to be asked this, like, I knew that you were probably going to ask me, how would you explain what ADHD is? You know, what is it? And so I had, so I actually used AI to kind of go back through some of the stuff that I’d talked about and not, not to tell me what I was going to say, but to give me an idea to move me from a blank piece of paper to To something which I can then tweak and put my own creativity in.

[00:42:26] So like tools like chat GPT or whatever, um, have been so helpful to getting me off the blank page, uh, into kind of creating stuff, uh, some summaries of meetings, um, and like, I remember Jeff, when we went to creator camp. I actually kept this audio note that was converted into chat GPT summaries of, uh, what was happening every day.

[00:42:52] Um, I use Notion to, I’ve built my own kind of CRM. So I basically put all, everyone I know it, well, most people I know, uh, into there. And then I’ve linked them up with which events I’ve met them at. So I can go in there and I can see. Every event that I’ve seen you, Jeff, in it, and that is bright, brilliant, because it’s basically like my second brain or it is my brain, basically.

[00:43:17] Um, I’ve become like a cybernetic organism. Uh, and then there’s obviously there’s, I mean, Google Calendar at the moment, I mean, and maybe someone can correct me on this, doesn’t have AI. I’m a little bit nervous about putting AI into organizing my week. I don’t think we’re there yet, or I’m not there yet because I want to have some control over that, but I think with some of the processes, it can be really helpful.

[00:43:47] Um, so things like that, um, but there were other, some kind of non AI tools. Uh, so I do want to big shout out to, um, things like Apple AirTags. I no longer forget my keys. I know where they are. Uh, there’s tools like BrainFM. I use that. All the time with my noise cancelling headphones because it just gets rid of any distractions.

[00:44:09] It helps me go to sleep. So BrainFM basically, it plays sounds and music to kind of either Uh, get rid of distractions or it helps you actually focus on what you’re doing. Uh, and I use that all the time. Um, things like reminders, whether it’s Apple reminders or whatever it is to, to help you like with shopping lists, uh, read wise, I use that to keep a track of all my, all my books, uh, and things like that.

[00:44:33] I could go on, but there’s a

[00:44:35] Jeff Sieh: yeah, so I think that’s, I mean, ReadWise is great. You have a follow up you were going to

[00:44:40] Conor Brown: I have a follow up to that because this is just me personally, getting started with Notion I find

[00:44:45] so daunting because I get overwhelmed and my brain starts going a hundred miles an hour when I just see the blank page and, and that I can set it up anyway almost fills me with more anxiety versus someone just saying, this is how you should do it.

[00:45:01] So Ian, I’m curious when you started with that, was it. Buying templates, was it you knew exactly what you wanted or did you just kind of go in and go crazy?

[00:45:11] Ian Anderson Gray: Yeah. Yeah. So like it was, so hopefully this is encouraging. I think I was overwhelmed. I watched all these YouTube videos and I probably got hyper fixated or hyper whatever it is. I was thinking, Oh my goodness, there’s all these amazing opportunities and all these amazing YouTubers talking about it. But I realized that a lot of them was spending all this time making it look beautiful.

[00:45:34] And I’m not against, like, I, I think that’s all great. Uh, but what I thought was, and I bought lots of templates. And so, do you know what, what’s always helped is start simply and build. So I knew that I wanted to create a way to help me remember the people, like friends, contacts, and where I met them. So all I did, I didn’t worry about the way it looked.

[00:45:58] I just created a really simple database in Notion with people’s names. Um, and. Links to places. And then I created another database of events that I’d been to. And then I linked the two together. So you can have database of contacts, database of places. So it could be places like, you know, Ecamm, Creator Camp, social media, market world, uh, whatever.

[00:46:21] And so I can link. Two together. And I think that’s what I love about Notion, you can create databases and then link them together. Um, and so I just create, made it really simple. And then now I’ve got a, a travel database and I’ve got, uh, my stuff database. So I’ve got all, all my like cables and all that kind of stuff and, and tech, and I’ve got that in there.

[00:46:42] But I didn’t start off with that. Oh my goodness, no way. I just started simply and built it over time. So I would say just, just start like that. Don’t worry about making it beautiful. Mine’s still not beautiful. Um, maybe I will make it beautiful at some point, but it just works. And at the end of the day, you know, the, these tools are to help us,

[00:46:59] Conor Brown: see you

[00:47:03] Ian Anderson Gray: I’m not against spending time making them look beautiful, but that, that’s kind of more, that’s actually not going to help you. It might give you fun along the way. And that’s, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but a lot of these YouTubers, they’re just kind of like having fun building the system as opposed to thinking about what it actually, what problem it actually solves at the end of the day.

[00:47:25] And I think that’s what you need to focus on.

[00:47:27] Jeff Sieh: So what I’ve did, because I, now my life is in Notion. As I bought template and the one I use is Tomix, uh, cause I wanted to do second brain. I wanted to do something that would have my content because as I got more and more clients and doing more and more shows, I could easily miss things. Like I, so I have checklists for each one of those things and I am very disciplined now that I can go checklist.

[00:47:48] And so I can know where, who has what, where are things at, what content I put out on the different platforms. And it sounds like a lot, but the peace of mind that I have that I can look at that and go. Oh, that is done. Okay. I can move on to the other thing. So I bought a template and then don’t do the, I mean, there’s some things that I don’t even use on it, but it got me set up to start.

[00:48:08] But like Dustin says, like, he is like, he, he’s like Huey and he goes, he’s the same way, start simple and build from there. Perhaps take bits of inspiration from the templates I find. And even when we had Kat, uh, Milliville on our show, she was talking about, You know, just do it like that, you know, make it your own or buy one.

[00:48:24] And don’t worry about the stuff you’re not going to use. Don’t stress about it. I think either way, as long as you get it and you are disciplined enough to do that, I think it was important. Another thing from Dustin I want to pull up is Pomodoro definitely helps me so much that I built an app for it specifically for Outbest works with my flows.

[00:48:41] So Dustin is a little bit of a genius and kind of makes me mad that he can do that. But, um, I use a Pomodoro technique called Focus To Do, which puts actually my. Task lists. And I can go through each one and have that time. It’s really good. Like you said, Ian, for stuff that you don’t want to do, like, okay, I’m going to work 20 minutes on my, or 25 minutes on my taxes, which I just, but I have to have that timer to make me get focused.

[00:49:05] And, but if I’m working on something like preparing for a podcast or in it, I need to go over that. It’s fine. Like you said, have flexibility. So, um, back to ADHD and kind of this, this time management thing. Is there anything else, any advice you have for

[00:49:21] entrepreneurs, uh, that have or struggle with ADHD in terms of managing time and setting, Realistic goals, because I know you and I have talked before, it’s like, we, we say like, I’m going to do all of this, and I’m going to do it in the next day, and then we’re like, then we feel bad because we, the day went by and like, we’d got maybe one of the tasks that we, we have trouble figuring out what we can actually do versus what we want to do.

[00:49:47] So how do you manage time and set realistic goals for yourself?

[00:49:52] Ian Anderson Gray: yeah, you’re speaking my language here. Yeah, it’s so I’ve mentioned that the way we kind of experienced time differently, but also we tend to kind of, you know, I’ve not mentioned the whole dopamine thing. You know, we, we, it’s difficult to get the dopamine, which is that kind of hormone that gives us that positive feedback on things.

[00:50:14] And so we, and a lot of us tend to be perfectionists and compare ourselves with others and think, Oh, I’ve got, I’ve got all this stuff that I need to do. Uh, and just like the feeling that you, that you know, you’re going to do it sounds amazing. Uh, but then you forget that. Most of those tasks aren’t actually tasks.

[00:50:36] They are tasks of tasks of tasks. They’re projects. So, uh, and you don’t also know about other distractions that are going to come in, in that day, like a phone call or somebody comes to the door or an email has popped in and you got distracted. And then you get to the end of the day and you’ve probably done like 20 tasks. But there weren’t probably about two of them were on the list. And so I think having a little bit of flexibility here is, is, is good because, you know, you just need to be aware that that’s going to sometimes happen, but this is why having some kind of, um, to do app where you’re listing things, but getting that help to break them into those Uh, actual tasks, as opposed to projects, uh, again, getting help from maybe a virtual assistant, ideally, and a virtual assistant who understands the way the ADHD brain works is, is helpful as well.

[00:51:43] Um, and, and, uh, and all this stuff that we’ve talked about before, about understanding the different zones that your tasks are in, if they’re all financial and to do with taxes and bookkeeping, Good luck with that. That’s all I can say. Just maybe focus on one or two things for 15 minutes and then reward yourself afterwards with something because again, like it is, you know, that dopamine thing.

[00:52:05] We, you know, we, we don’t want to get addicted to those tasks, but we, maybe you’re okay. You can say, well, after that, I’m going to do something, a fun task, uh, as well. But yeah, be, I think be realistic with your goals. Because of that perfectionism. However, this kind of, I’m going to like almost contradict that, I think because of that potential for that negative self chatter, you also need to dream big sometimes.

[00:52:34] And I’ve, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve sometimes like think, well, I can’t, I can’t achieve that because I’m no good at it. And actually, when I have given myself the permission to dream big dreams. I have ended up achieving those, uh, because, um, I’ve over time, I’ve built those strategies to get there. So yeah, hopefully all that helps.

[00:52:57] Jeff Sieh: so I know we’ve talked about this before, is a lot of times we struggle with We compare ourselves to others and we don’t look back seeing how far we’ve come. Like if we look back to 2015, when we first met in the real life at Social Media Marketing World, yeah, we would have never dreamed what we were doing right now and who we were working for and the project we’d be able to do and accomplish and continue to work.

[00:53:17] So, It’s trying to create that new groove in your brain. Instead of comparing yourself to others, look how far you’ve come. And that’s something I think, you know, you and I’ve talked about a lot. So, um, by the way, something that, you know, it’s good. And it’s something you can train your brain to do is, is our friends over at Ecamm.

[00:53:35] That’s right, folks. Ecamm is who sponsored the show. You can find out more about them at Ecamm. com forward slash Jeff. I know Ian uses them. Uh, they’re an amazing company. They help support the show. They, you know, they believe from the show, from the beginning, I’m very thankful for them and it’s amazing tool.

[00:53:50] Don’t forget about the Leap. Into tools and tactics that’s coming up here in next month. You can find out more about that at leap. ecamm. com, leap. ecamm. com. I’m going to be talking about some of my favorite AI tools for creative showmanship and strategic repurposing, how I use it for this show. So it’s going to be a fun time over there.

[00:54:07] So once again, leap at leap. ecamm. com. All right. So now let’s, let’s dive into this. This new project that you’ve been cooking up for a while. Ian, I know you’ve talked about this for a while. We’ve talked about it in our masterminds and stuff. Um, but, uh, yeah, Connor, I know you had a question about it as

[00:54:24] Conor Brown: Yeah, I’m excited about this of the Smart ADHD podcast, a new launch, new show, all that fun stuff. So I know Ian, you kind of talked a little bit about hesitations, but what inspired you to one

[00:54:37] launch this podcast? And two, what were some of those hesitations that you might’ve had initially when it came to starting this?

[00:54:46] Ian Anderson Gray: I love the way you ask that question, focusing on the positive first, because I would always like focus on the negatives first, but yeah. So like, for me, going down the ADHD route and realizing that I had ADHD and that my brain works differently, took away so much guilt and has helped me. Become much more productive and, and just this, that understanding is it’s been amazing.

[00:55:12] And I’ve spoken to so many other people who have had similar experiences. And so I I’ve always kind of known I was different. Uh, and I also, I questioned my own intelligence. And so I think that was part of it, but also, um, so I met, uh, This ADHD coach called Dr. Tamara Razia, I came across her on YouTube. I invited her onto my other podcast.

[00:55:38] We became really good friends. She became our ADHD coach and we were just talking about this. And I was thinking, Oh, I’d really like to, to launch a podcast about this. And she said, you need to do it. You need to do it. And like, she’s quite a big name in the, in the ADHD expert world. And so I kind of felt compelled partly because she was saying I should, but also like, I had this feeling inside of me that.

[00:56:02] I just kind of almost felt like I should be doing this, like I, I said, I, I came up with. Something a few years ago, uh, which was like one of what I really love is to, what I really love to be is like a catalyst for the transformation in people’s lives. And it, and I feel that this podcast could, could be that, but, and, and yeah, so, but there’s a, there’s a big but, and the but was that, well, yeah, okay.

[00:56:30] Lots of people have been struggling, but, um, It’s, there’s still a lot of stigma attached to it as well. And, you know, some people have said to me, yeah, Ian, you shouldn’t do that because like ADHD people are seen as unreliable. Um, they’re always late for things. And while that might not be the case, you know, you might not get hired if you, if you say that about yourself and, you know, does, does, do you want that to define you?

[00:56:57] So there was that. And the fact that I’m calling it smart ADHD as well, like, and I have, I have this double, I have a double problem here because like, first of all, as I said, people with ADHD tend to question their intelligence and they have that kind of low self esteem, but also I’m British, like, and as Brits, we don’t tell, you know, we don’t kind of like tend to kind of talk about our successes.

[00:57:20] Like, this is why I love spending time with you Americans. Not that you’re all like this. I want to. paint stereotypes, but like in the UK, we don’t want to kind of like

[00:57:29] Conor Brown: rest

[00:57:30] Ian Anderson Gray: big ourselves up. And I’m not saying I’m like super intelligent, but I think I’ve realized I’m probably more intelligent than I was giving myself,

[00:57:37] Conor Brown: Take care.

[00:57:39] Ian Anderson Gray: uh, permission

[00:57:39] Jeff Sieh: say, say it, credit for, you can say it Ian, I know you’re British. It’s hard to say, but you can say

[00:57:43] Ian Anderson Gray: No, no, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t even bring myself to say, but that that’s the focus of this podcast is, uh, for smart people with ADHD, but it’s not just smart people. It’s also smart strategies. So even if you feel you’re not smart. It’s all about smart strategies. Um, but yeah, the other thing is if you are smart, then often you have learned tools to help you counteract your ADHD symptoms.

[00:58:06] Some of them are really good and some of them are really bad. And I’ve realized, so this is again, something from Dr. Tamar Razia. She talks about the six bad tools that we tend to use and the things like using anxiety, procrastination, avoidance, self loathing and shame and anger. Uh, and those tools can really affect you in a negative state, um, a negative way.

[00:58:28] And so that’s why I feel it’s so important to do that. And so that’s why I’m launching this podcast and YouTube channel.

[00:58:37] Jeff Sieh: So this is an interesting question. I just do it because I know you do a confident live and that’s another part of your brand is helping people go live, you know, easily and confidently. Um, but you’re doing this one as a prerecorded show. Is there a reason you did this? Is it because of, um, you didn’t want to stress about it or, or why did you do it this way?

[00:58:54] Because I mean, you, you do, you excel at doing, going live and you actually remote produce for other people. What’s the reason behind doing this way?

[00:59:02] Ian Anderson Gray: And I’ve actually done it the same with Confident Live Marketing Show. I’ve actually switched that and I don’t do that live. I am going live. Occasionally with that. And, uh, I, so I had, again, I had this negative voice saying like, Ian, like it’s called the Confident Live Marketing Show and you’re not going live.

[00:59:16] And somebody said to me like, Ian, you’ve already demonstrated. That you know what you’re talking about when it comes to live, so it’s okay. So for me, the, uh, for this new podcast, we’re doing short episodes. So we’re trying to make them 20 to 25 minutes long. So I’m trying to cut out as much waffle and trying to get straight to the point, um, to make them, I suppose, ADHD friendly with that, that time.

[00:59:38] And, uh, we’re focusing on. I suppose it’s education, addressing myths, specific topics as well. So the advantage with, with that is that in that one hour of time, I can then, I can record two. Two episodes. So that’s really good. I can batch them as well. I can do multiple times today. You, you could still do that with live.

[01:00:01] Um, but I, that’s really helpful. So, um, uh, and I, so I can be more flexible. I love live. I still do it, but to be honest. It, at the level of the frequency I was doing it at before it was draining, uh, I find live very exciting, but it also drained, drained me a little bit too. I felt like I needed to change.

[01:00:23] Also, not all guests are going to be comfortable with live, uh, particularly, you know, moving out of the marketing and social media space. Not everyone is techie. Um, and I’ve got longer episodes. So the 20 to 25 minute episodes are with guests, expert guests.

[01:00:38] Conor Brown: let me

[01:00:39] Ian Anderson Gray: Um, I’m interspersing those episodes with, uh, I’m bringing on smart entrepreneurs, business owners and creatives who have been navigating their lives with ADHD on to tell their story.

[01:00:52] And we’re doing the opposite. So we’re actually doing really long episodes. So the recent one was almost 90 minutes and we’re going deep into their story and, and ah, I’m so excited about those. The expert episodes are really exciting too, but actually allowing people to speak, uh, and. We can actually really get into that.

[01:01:11] And you can imagine if that was live, sometimes they might get onto a sensitive topic and subject. And I want to have the sensitivity. Maybe if they don’t feel comfortable with that, we can maybe edit it later. I think in most cases they won’t, but I think that wouldn’t work so well for live.

[01:01:27] Jeff Sieh: Those, those are great points. I was just curious because of, of that. So, so make sure you guys check out Ian’s uh, podcast, the smart A DHD podcast. You can find that@smartadhd.me. That’s where you can go and you subscribe. Make sure you subscribe, listen, and then leave a rating and review. That always helps new podcasts out.

[01:01:46] And also you can find Ian at, uh, what is it? I, uh. What is it? E I G. I can’t, what

[01:01:53] Ian Anderson Gray: I’m just going to let you, I’m just going

[01:01:54] Jeff Sieh: it. Oh, I’ll

[01:01:55] Ian Anderson Gray: over there. It’s

[01:01:58] Jeff Sieh: England?

[01:02:01] Ian Anderson Gray: iag. me is the, the other website.

[01:02:03] Jeff Sieh: Yes. So then you can get all this confident live stuff, all his podcast things there. So make sure to check him out.

[01:02:09] Uh, Connor Brown. Where can people find out more about the unsinkable Connor Brown?

[01:02:13] Conor Brown: You can go to www. opinion. com and follow me at www. opinion across the socials. for

[01:02:26] Jeff Sieh: slash Jeff. That will give you the actual, like, if you enter the code JEFF15, you’ll actually save 15 percent on your first purchase, so make sure to do that. Ecamm. com forward slash Jeff.

[01:02:36] And, uh, thank you, Ian, for this. Thank you for you guys, all your great comments. Uh, Gary says, a great discussion today. Gents, enlightening. Have a happy Easter. Have a happy Easter as well. Hope you guys all have a great Easter with friends and family. And, uh, Dustin says he’s always been jealous of that three letter domain name, Ian.

[01:02:54] Uh, so yes, one more thing. Thank you guys so much for your comments and questions. As if you’re watching this on the replay, uh, ask your questions. I know Ian’s going to be following on the comments. We’d love to help in any way we can, but we thank you guys so much. We’ll see you guys next week. Have a great one.

[01:03:09] Bye everybody.

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