“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. 

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