Finding the Best Lead Domino for Good Productivity Habits in Inattentive ADHD w/ Aron Croft
Hey guys! Peter Shankman the host of Faster Than Normal here. I wanna invite you to something! I am hosting a Mastermind with 12 amazing speakers who are gonna be talking about everything from ADHD to mental health, from entrepreneurship, to just living your life better. It’s gonna be on November 10th, It’s gonna be virtual from anywhere in the world. Incredible, incredible speakers. The leading fitness trainer in Canada for all things. Me! A whole bunch of speakers- Scott Carney, who wrote the book which is to all about how he goes and takes ice showers every day. It’s gonna be 12 amazing speakers, the CBS Early Shows’ Jennifer Hartstein, really, really great people. And I’d like you to join us. Check out the link below in the show notes at ShankMinds 2022 and we will see you there. And a matter of fact, look for the discount code in the show notes as well, that’ll take a hundred bucks off the cost. We’ll see you soon! https://shankman.lpages.co/shankminds-virtual-2022/ DISCOUNT CODE: SMFriends22
We’re visiting again today with Aron Croft who’s made some changes since our last visit on Episode 240, “The Un-Squeaky Wheel: How Inattentive ADHD Goes Under the Radar w/ Aron Croft” including developing a new way to help the community; enjoy! In his own words: Aron Croft has always been obsessed with one question: “Why can’t we get ourselves to do tasks that we WANT to do”? That question was on his mind as he dropped out of college twice, failed out of his first 7 jobs and ended up broke, divorced, and earning minimum wage at 33. After an adult diagnosis of Inattentive ADHD and an M.S. in Coaching Psychology, he decided to abandon neurotypical productivity, and his life changed. He built a successful Fortune 500 career followed by a six-figure coaching business with over 125,000 followers. In his coaching business, he teaches ADHD’ers his contrarian 8% Productivity Habit, which helps them complete their top tasks in 2 hours a day and never feel behind again. His work has been featured by ADDitude Magazine, the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, and dozens of top ADHD outlets. To watch a 30 minute training on the 8% Productivity Habit, visit freeadhdtraining.com.
In this episode Peter and Aron discuss:
01:20 – Thank you so much for listening and for subscribing!
01:29 – Intro and welcome back Aron Croft!!
02:40 – Tell us what you’ve been doing since the last time you were on the show? Ref: 8percent Productivity Habit Method
03:20 – What is living in the country like for someone with a faster brain?
04:12 – Is spending time daily in the out-of-doors helping?
05:25 – How have you grown in this environment within the last couple of years?
07:01 – On embracing ‘measured’ change
08:11 – Aron explains his 8percent Productivity Habit
08:47 – “motivation, willpower, and discipline” These may only be neurotypical confines!
09:23 – There are other ways to win!!
09:53 – How do professional Boxers become so fast?
11:16 – On willpower and habits. Skateboarding can strengthen you!
15:07 – Guys, as always thanks so much for subscribing! Do you have a cool friend with a great story? We’d love to hear. I’m www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via email at [email protected] or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!
15:30 – Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
TRANSCRIPT via Descript and then corrected.. somewhat:
Hey guys. Peter Shankman the host of Faster Than Normal here. I wanna invite you to something! I am hosting a Mastermind with 12 amazing speakers who are gonna be talking about everything from ADHD to mental health, from entrepreneurship, to just living your life better. It’s gonna be on November 10th, It’s gonna be virtual from anywhere in the world. Incredible, incredible speakers. The leading fitness trainer in Canada for all things. Me! A whole bunch of speakers- Scott Carney, who wrote the book which is to all about how he goes and takes ice showers every day. It’s gonna be 12 amazing speakers, the CBS Early Shows’ Jennifer Hartstein, really, really great people. And I’d like you to join us. Check out the link below in the show notes at ShankMinds 2022 and we will see you there. And a matter of fact, look for the discount code in the show notes as well, that’ll take a hundred bucks off the cost. We’ll see you soon! https://shankman.lpages.co/shankminds-virtual-2022/ DISCOUNT CODE: SMFriends22
[00:01:23] Peter: Hey everyone. Peter Shankman, another episode of Faster Than Normal. Thrilled to have you here. Welcome aboard. We gotta repeat guest today Aron Croft was here by a year or so ago, and since then he told me that after he, he heard hisself on this episode, he’s had to upend his entire life and he moved to a farm. And like, I don’t know, I’ve got 10 acres of land and a chainsaw or something. I’ll let him tell you more about that. But Aron Croft has is he was a great guest last time we have him back, and he’s always been obsessed with one question, which says, Why can’t we get ourselves to do the tasks we wanna do? He dropped outta college twice. He failed his first seven jobs. He ended up broke divorce earning minimum wage, days 33. Then he got diagnosed and then he got an MS in coaching psychology, and he took his neurotypical productivity. His life changed. He built a Fortune 500 career, followed by a six figure coaching business. He teaches ADHD ‘ers his contrarian. 8% productivity hat. We’ll talk about that. He’s at free ADHD training.com and welcome back Aron good to have you, man.
[00:02:21] Aron: Thank you, Peter. This is, this podcast is always the most challenging one for me to be a guest on because it’s like, it’s so hard to be efficient and, and get everything done that you and I want to talk about in your episode. Cap.
[00:02:37] Peter: All right, so let’s let you start it. Tell us about yourself. Tell us what you’ve been doing since the last time you had you on.
[00:02:42] Aron: Yeah, I mean, pretty much just buying 10 acres in a chainsaw. Uh, that’s, that’s pretty much it, that’s taken up most of the last 12 months. Um, what have I been up to really, uh, formalizing, Um, my 8% productivity habit method. Which is really just about how do we get our top task done in just two hours a day. Like, we’re not gonna suddenly become sort of full of motivation, willpower, and discipline. Like we’ve been trying that our whole lives and how do we do that so that we can just stop feeling behind? And, um, that’s really what I’ve been focused on and working with hundreds of ADHDers and, um, now we’re just, you know, expanding it out to more.
[00:03:20] Peter: Very, very cool. And tell me that I wanna, I wanna talk about living in the middle of nowhere or on 10 acres or whatever. What’s that like for someone with a faster brain?
[00:03:28] Aron: Uh, it’s so delightful because, you know, I can just, my brain is going a mile a minute all the time. It’s so exhausting. I would love freedom and a break from it sometimes, but like when I go out, like we’ve got trails on the property and it’s just, we’re surrounded by just trees and nature and when I just, when I get outside, Um, it just quiets everything down, um, in nature. And so, yeah. So it’s just been, it’s been absolutely delightful. Um, and there’s also like some mindless tasks like cutting, you know, cutting down branches with a chainsaw on the weekend. Like, I don’t need to think. And it’s very nice for me to not give myself like, cognitive tasks every once in a while.
[00:04:10] Peter: Yep. Are you enjoying, So is there, is there, would you say you’re getting more outdoor time than you used? And and is that helping?
[00:04:20] Aron: I, you know, honestly I’d say that I’m getting about, I’m getting a little bit more outdoor time, Not a ton more, but the outdoor time absolutely helps. Like I, I mean, part of the reason we made the move is cause I was living in downtown Chicago and all I would do to leave the apartment was just go and walk in nature. And there was this cool nature path near us. So I’d say that I’m, I’m only getting a little more time in nature, but the other thing I really like is, um, space. Uh, so like you can’t see it cuz it’s off camera, but like, I literally commandeered the entire big, like what room would be a family room in our basement. I put up a 16 foot long whiteboard of just wallpaper, that’s whiteboard wallpaper. Um, I mean, I’ve got like a studio set up with camera and lights and a nice microphone, and I’ve just got my shit everywhere. Like on the pasted it on the walls, the post it notes galore! I just love the ability to spread out and try to untangle this like super messy brain.
[00:05:21] Peter: Very cool. And what would you tell people that you’ve learned? How have you grown in the past couple years?
[00:05:27] Aron: I’d say, I’d say two things. So, um, one is just this idea of like, stop, like, like I, I, I’ve given up trying to be neurotypical. Um, and you know, that might sound obvious, but I work with a lot of ADHDers and they’re still trying to be like what their parents and their peers and their teachers told them to be. And so one is just the freedom to give that up, um, and all the like self-compassion and acceptance that comes with it. And then on the flip side of that, right, and you know this in business, right? Is once I gave that up, um, And I was like, You know what? I’m not gonna be like, So you and I are a little bit different. Like I, I just have the inattentive ADHD symptoms. I wish I had some of the hyperactivity energy stuff, but like, like, I’m like a delicate flower. I burn out after like a few hours of like, I. Of like thinking work. And so I was like, Okay, instead of just saying that, that’s like a weakness. How can I just build a productivity system around, around that? And um, so just doing those things and kind of embracing my limitations, quote unquote, has like, turned me into way more powerful than I’ve ever been.
[00:06:43] Peter: It sounds like it might have. Um, It’s interesting. I, I know a lot of people with adhd, they, they change is difficult; , Right? They get into a routine, they get into a habit, and then change becomes sort of a, a, a fear, right? You embrace it.
[00:07:01] Aron: Um, I embrace, I embrace measured change. Okay. Um, because Right. It’s, that’s important. That’s an important distinction. It is. Right. But like, but it, it’s like so many things we don’t realize that we’re actually trying to. For two variables. And we’re really looking for balance, right? We want, we want no change, but we also want lots of novelty and variety, right? And so we’re, we’re kind of, we kind of need to find that right balance. You know, I find so many people with their, uh, Productivity. They’re like, I wanna get all my top tasks done. But I also don’t wanna be forced into like Right. Having to do it. And I wanna like feel like doing them. Like I don’t want it to be painful. And it’s sort of like, okay, like if we can make explicit those like trade offs that we’re trying to make, we can find a solution. That’s the, that sounded theoretical. I feel like I’m just dabbling. Sorry, Peter.
[00:07:53] Peter: No, no, it makes sense. So with that, tell me about the, uh, the 8% productivity habit.
[00:07:58] Aron: Yeah, I know cuz clearly I’m obsessed with it. But , uh, I’m excited to have somebody to talk to about it that isn’t my wife. Well, she’s excited that I have someone you know today to talk to about it. Um, yeah, I mean, so it was really just, This concept. So the 8% is simply that like 8% of a 24 hour day is two hours. And I was like, All right. If I could just build a productivity habit, that meant that I could get away basically with just doing hard tasks for two hours a day, and then the rest of the day I can kind of just slack off and like wing it. Um, like if I could build something that would be effective, man, that would just give me so much freedom. And, um, so I tried to build it, and then the first phase of it is abandon neurotypical productivity. So all of us have been raised on this like diet of motivation, willpower, and discipline. And like you, Whoever wins is the one who wants it the most. And that’s fine if your motivation pathways and willpower pathways work, you know, neurotypically. But for us, or at least for the inattentive, ADHD symptoms that I tend to work with with my students, um, it doesn’t translate to action. And so we’re left with, we’re left with this really unfair conundrum. We either don’t take action. Or we have a secret sauce, which helps us take action, which is we just flood ourselves with adrenaline, stress and anxiety, and suddenly we can do a bunch of hard tasks. Right? But it’s like so mentally and physically and emotionally training,
[00:09:33] Peter: I believe that. It’s interesting because it puts us back into that premise of imposters, right? If we’re trying to do things in sort of like that one way that’s supposed to be done right? You know, like what you said about, about going out and, and, and you know, the person who wins, the person wants the most, there are other ways to win .
[00:09:55] Aron: Amen. My brother. Thank you.
[00:09:56] Peter: You know, I, I, I find that, Well, even this morning I was, I was in a boxing class and I was training. It was one trainer who was training two of us, and we’d each do drills, uh, alternate on drills. And I was watching him, you know, so like 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. And on my 30 seconds off, I’m supposed to be shadow boxing. And of course I wound up watching this guy. This guy is about. 10 years more experienced boxing than I do. And his punches were so fast, like, so fast, and, and it was like a blur. And I’m just staring at him. And of course the trainer’s like, Yo, you wanna actually do something or you wanna just watch? I’m like, Okay, yeah, sorry, but I need to figure out how he got that fast. And he goes, he’s trained, He’s constantly repeating the motion and doing it over and over again and building those muscles and growing and. You know, so I, I hear what you’re saying. It’s, it’s in that, in that regard. I’m sure he does want it, but I’m sure he is also lost a ton of fights. He doesn’t want it the most, he’s just doing it every day because it’s something that makes him happy and excites him, and he is also getting better at it by default.
[00:10:55] Aron: I love, I love that you said that because, um, so like, because I. And just, I’m, I’m just like on like, honestly, like, I’m literally like the most like unproductive person at my core. Um, and I just have like almost no motivational, willpower discipline. So the work around though is kind of, is what you were saying though, that I discovered. It was like, if I just build something in a habit, then it kind of happens without really any motivational will power discipline. Right. And so, It’s been this like side door to like sneak into like productivity, uh, without kind of the traditional things is it sounds like you’ve got some, uh, interest in habits as well.
[00:11:42] Peter: Well, I’ve always found that, you know, I always, because for ADHD I would always gravitate back in school. I always gravitated toward the things I doing because I enjoyed doing them and I. Specifically, One time I got off, I, I was up, I would always ride my bike, and then one time, one year I get into skateboarding, right? And I, I would skateboard, skateboard, skateboard for like a year and a half, two years, everywhere. I went to skateboard. Skateboard. And then one day case got back on my bike. And I was shocked at how much stronger my legs were. It wasn’t that I’d been working out my legs, it’s that I’d been skateboarding, I was working out my legs, but it didn’t occur to me as that, Right. The things that you love to do are the things you naturally get better at because you’re doing ’em so much because you love them. The the downside for ADHD is sometimes you have to do things you don’t love and you still have to do them.
[00:12:27] Aron: Well, and so the, the upside, so I agree with you and the upside is, um, so look, I believe, and, and again, all with the caveat that a lot of the things I’m talking about are limited to people that have the inattentive symptoms or combined adhd, Right? Um, but. You know, the cool part is that I believe so many people, and this is entrepreneurs, this is working professionals I’ve talked to, like, we’re looking for something that would have like the biggest bang for our buck. Um, kind of like on the entrepreneur where they’re like, I don’t want to just trade dollars for hours. Like, Right, or hours for dollars. Like, I want something that’s scalable and like, I want, I want like leverage effectively is what? You know, working professionals and stuff are saying. And um, the cool part is that I found is. A lot of productivity stuff focuses on like overhauling your life, right? Like you’re gonna write down all your to-do lists and write down goals in every area, and then you’re gonna time box your schedule and you know you’re gonna do all these things. You’re gonna make this color coded thing. And the reality is that there’s a lead domino in there, which is if you just push this one piece, all these other productivity things fit, which is the piece that you just mentioned, which is. We don’t suck at all productivity. We’re great at like fire alarm tasks.
Exactly. We’re even decent at like busy tasks. And the reason we’re decent at them is because the area that we suck and that if we improve is the lead domino that knocks all the other dominoes down is in doing tough tasks. And if we can get, build a habit of doing tough tasks every day, suddenly they don’t feel tough and our comfort zone expands.
[00:14:13] Peter: Yep, a hundred percent. Tell us how we could find you.
[00:14:17] Aron: Well, you could just drive out to Michigan and look for a house.
[00:14:24] Aron: All right. Alright. Um, I would say, I would say just go to free adhd training.com. I literally was like, How could I come up with the easiest to remember URL in the history of URLs? Not that help a reporter out.com isn’t also memorable . But anyway, free adhd training.com and uh, I go into like a full training. It’s free on the 8% productivity habit, what it is, how you can do it, um, and really break it all down with like pretty graphics and all the, my pretty bald head and all these fun things.
[00:14:57] Peter: Always love having you, Aron bald head and all. It was a pleasure. Enjoy your home, enjoy your 10 acres and your, your chainsaw. We’ll have you back again.
[00:15:06] Aron: All right, brother. Appreciate it!
[00:15:07] Peter: Guys, as always, we wanna know what you’re hearing and we wanna know what you’re seeing. If you have a guest that you think might be great, shoot us a note. [email protected] Let us know, Tweet us, post us, Facebook us, whatever. If you like what you heard, leave us review. Thanks to Steven Byrom @stevenbyrom our awesome producer. We’ll back next week, another episode. Stay healthy, stay strait on keep going on the path that is yours, and yours alone, and we’ll talk to you. Bye
Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at shankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week!