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On Coco Puffs and ADD

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Old 01-23-2012, 08:19 AM   #1
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On Coco Puffs and ADD

I found this story thought provoking in the context of ADD and inattention. I forget where I heard it but it was related by one of two brothers both of whom owned a dog.

The brother telling the story said he and his sibling were sitting watching TV one night, each eating a bowl of coco puffs (or similar). Their dog was sitting on the floor, occasionally looking up pleading for a coco puff. Every so often, one of the brothers would throw one to the dog, and it would catch it in mid air.

As they kept doing this, they would make it more difficult for the poor dog, but it always managed to twist and turn and catch the treat. To make it even harder, one of the brothers threw two coco puffs at once. The dog still caught them! Then they tried three. It *still* caught them.

Then, the funny (or sad, depending on your POV ) part. The first brother grabbed a whole handful -- maybe 15 coco puffs -- and threw them all at once. The poor dog simply froze with indecision, and missed them all. One it could handle, or, two, or three. But that was the limit. Once the number got too many, not only did it not catch them all, it didn't catch *any*.

Sometimes I think part of my ADD problem is that like the dog, I am dealing with just too many coco puffs -- or, in my case, tasks. If I have only one thing to do, I'm fine. Maybe two. But when it gets more than that -- and in my case its tons -- not only can I not do them all, I can't do *any*. I simply cannot pick out of the storm of things to do, one thing.

Focus, quite simply, eludes me.

Can anyone else relate to the poor dog?

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Old 01-23-2012, 11:17 AM   #2
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Re: On Coco Puffs and ADD

That's a good analogy! (By the way, next time, don't feed the dog chocolate, their bodies react badly to caffeine.)

Dog biology aside, I understand what you are saying. Last year, I found myself in a situation where I was impossibly overloaded with work. There was no way I could do everything I "needed" to do unless I gave up on sleeping altogether.

When I sat down at my desk, I would look at my to-do list and get paralyzed by the impossibility of it. Eventually I learned to NOT read the to-do list, just glance at it long enough to select one task, then hide the list again and start working.

I didn't get everything done, but I got something done.

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Old 02-09-2012, 09:37 AM   #3
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Re: On Coco Puffs and ADD

A strong analogy, and a solid strategy for dealing with our paralysis in the face of multiple tasks. Thank you both!

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