Author: Phil Marsosudiro

“How can I be detail-oriented with ADHD?”

People with ADHD can be very detail oriented!

Much of our detail skill comes from one of two drivers:

  1. Hyperfocus. When people with ADHD go into hyperfocus, we pay deep attention to whatever we’re doing, whether that’s computer programming, house painting, or cooking a dinner for twelve. We might not notice that time is passing (or that the phone is ringing, or anything else) but by damn, we’re paying attention to our task. We don’t usually control when hyperfocus hits, but when it does, it hits hard.
  2. Compensation. After we get yelled at enough times by bosses who keep finding errors in our work, we can get really obsessive about QA. After we get fired enough times by clients whose deadlines we keep missing, we can get obsessive about timelines. After we go nuts for years of losing our keys, we learn how to put our keys in the same place every time we get to work and every time we get home.

In some cases, we end up looking far more organized than regular folks, who shake their heads in disbelief when we tell them we have ADHD 🙂 It’s fun to impress the regular folks! (As long as we don’t get overconfident…)


I wrote this post in reply to a question on Quora. 

See here for more answers:

“Do adults with ADHD get bored easily?”

Do adults with ADHD get bored easily? Yes and No, depending 🙂

Compared to other adults, adults with ADHD will get bored easily when they’re stuck in situations like these:

  • regimented work (e.g., assembly lines where the worker can’t control pace, and the pace is slow)
  • routine desk work (e.g., sorting and analyzing tons of similar data sets)
  • unappealing passive activities (e.g., sitting through a non-captivating lecture or movie)
  • unappealing social activities (e.g., talking with people at a dinner part or cocktail party with people you don’t find interesting)

That said, many adults with ADHD don’t get bored often because they hate boredom so much that they’ll do anything to avoid situations that might make them bored!

Adults with ADHD don’t pursue careers with a lot of regimented work or routine desk work. Or if they do pursue those careers, they get fired or otherwise drop out. (I used to be an engineer. It nearly killed me.)

Adults with ADHD don’t go to lectures unless they know 1,000% that they’re going to enjoy it. Otherwise, they do something else. If an adult with ADHD is at a movie and doesn’t like it, they get up and go to a different movie. Or they fiddle with their phones (despite all the nasty comments from people behind them who hate the bright screen). Adults with ADHD avoid boring parties or fail to follow the social rules that drive boring conversations. Or they find a dog to play with. Or a magazine to read in the corner.

So, to re-answer the question in a broader way:

  1. Adults with ADHD and freedom are rarely bored.
  2. Adults with ADHD and no freedom are often bored and in pain.


I wrote this post in reply to a question on Quora. 
See here for more answers:

“Do most people grow out of ADHD, or do they just learn to hide it better?”

ADHD is a lifetime condition — it’s how our brains are wired, so we can’t outgrow it like, say, acne or raging teenage hormones 🙂

Over time, though, we can do at least two things to make ADHD less of a problem and more of a joyful personality trait:

(1) we learn skills to cope with it (e.g., we get in the habit of setting alarms to let us know when it’s time to get up from our desk and head to the car to drive to our appointments, instead of just writing appointment times on the calendar)

(2) we learn how to choose jobs and environments and relationships where our ADHD are a good fit (e.g., active jobs that let us move around during the day) and not a tragic misfit (e.g. desk jobs with tedious, unchanging solo work,which is bad for most of us).


I wrote this post in reply to a question on Quora. 
See here for more answers: