The #1 ADHD podcast

on iTunes, hosted by

The #1 ADHD podcast on iTunes, hosted by

The One with the ADHD PhD, Featuring Rachel Cotton

by Faster Than Normal

rachelcottonLet me tell you about Rachel Cotton. Other than the half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich on foccacia bread that’s strangely taking up half her headshot, she’s one of the most hyper-focused people I’ve ever met. Possibly even more than me, and that is saying a LOT. Also, she loves Daft Punk. My kind of woman.

But, she proves a point – Having a faster brain really DOES mean we can do anything. There’s something to be said for having a playlist for your workouts, AND a playlist for your WORK. Like many of us, she’s a regular person, making her mark in a world that’s just a little bit slower. She has a really impressive backstory, and I think you’re going to enjoy this interview. Pay special attention to the parts where she talks about how she handles projects that require massive amounts of focus. (You know, like getting your PhD!!)  There’s some gold in there. Enjoy!

As always, leave us a comment below, drop us a review on iTunes (PLEASE!) and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! Know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, or leave us a comment below – We’d love to hear!

In this episode, Peter and Rachel discuss:

  • Rachel’s backstory (02:04)
  • Working on things you don’t enjoy doing (06:35)
  • Playlists for running and work (08:34)
  • Rachel’s PHD (09:38)
  • Things that require a massive amount of focus (11:59)
  • Tools to help with hyperfocus (12:59)
  • Dealing with negatives (14:25)
  • Top tips to make ADHD a gift (15:15)
  • Exercise (16:05)



  1. Rachel Cotton

    For the record that’s a veggie panini from the coffee shop next to my lab….a rare departure from my actual diet of peanut butter, ramen noodles, and wine! Elimination of choice in my kitchen is essential because, like Peter, there is no such thing as leftover pizza for me.

  2. iliketurtles

    I just thought I’d say that I really enjoyed this interview. It was nice to hear from someone like Rachel that excelled academically for some time due to pure gifts like hyperfocus and memory. I didn’t find out about ADHD until I was 32 or so but like Rachel I never studied and could whip out homework at the last second like it was nothing. I knew that I couldn’t sit down and read and college scared me for that reason. Back then I don’t know that audio versions of lectures and such were available. I missed out on college (because I grew up in the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses and it was discouraged) but maybe if I had gone I would have discovered my ADHD sooner. Anyway, I enjoyed this episode because it touched upon, though never said explicitly, the type of ADHD called “overfocused”. I’ve read about it on forums years ago as I was coming to terms with my type of ADHD and it seemed much more rare than the more “inattentive” type. Like Hallowell says, ADHD doesn’t have to refer to a deficit of attention, but sometimes it is too much attention, noticing everything. I am much that way and if something does get my focus (I don’t always get to pick what that is) and hyperfocus kicks in, I am capable of some really cool things.


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