The #1 ADHD podcast

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The #1 ADHD podcast on iTunes, hosted by

John Sonmez on Systems, Rules, and Meta-Rules for Utilizing ADHD

by Faster Than Normal

The thing I love the most about ADHD is this: I get to talk to people who went through the exact same things as a kid, that I went through as a kid. This week’s guest is no exception – Meet John Sonmez – Bullied as a kid, and turned his ADHD into a mega-power for him. A day or a week doesn’t happen for John without a plan. In John’s terms, “ADHD people suck at judgement calls. So I remove them.”

The key: Create your plan when you’re NOT in the moment – When you’re NOT fueled by passion, dopamine, or fire. Then you can make the right choices.

PS: Meta rule: You can only modify the rule NOT when you’re doing the rule. I.e., you can’t say “I don’t want to run today” if your rule for this week says you have to run today.

In this episode, Peter and John discuss:

  • John’s background story (01:32)
  • Negatives of growing up with ADD (04:42)
  • Dealing with society and expectations (07:31)
  • Tips to maximize your day (09:16)
  • Modifying rules (11:22)
  • Flying of the rails (12:56)
  • Start with the end in mind (14:58)
  • Things John will not let himself do (15:54)
  • Morning routine (17:49)


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 – We’d love to hear!


  1. Jon

    This was an excellent interview, thank you. One thing that sticks out to me is that John seems to have superb self-control and self-discipline, a lack of which is the problem I and many others with ADHD face. Dr. Russell Barkley goes so far as to say that ADHD has nothing to do with a deficit of attention, it’s a deficit of executive function–that self-control.

    I’d be interested in learning how John developed the self-control to stick with his plans and bounce back from indulgences so well.

    • Vishal Verma

      Hi Jon. I have the same question as you as it sure seems like something is missing. If I had the executive skills that John Sonmez seems to have, my diagnoses would not be ADHD. If I can “DO” all these things (and more as described on John Sonmez’s and Peter Shankman’s sites), than how is ADHD a disability?

      I want to hear an answer from Peter Shankman or John Sonmez to your question Jon. Else, this all feels very much like a SALES PITCH, kind of a fraud and it is actually very dangerous for ADHD people. Some ADHD adults may go after this, another promised solution if they could just “follow these rules”, instead of actually following something which is really possible given their wiring and not hyped to make you a “SUPERMAN”.

      An average ADHD adult knows deep down know that they have desperately and fruitlessly tried some (or all) of these skills discussed here with all their might. None of these skills are rocket science or just being “discovered” and saying that ADHD people have not been doing it “right” and here is the “right way” is actually very CRUEL to those who suffer day in and day out.

      If this question is too blunt an ask, then they both need to put a disclaimer in their books and sites. And STOP PLAYING WITH PEOPLE’S DESPERATION AND WHATEVER LITTLE STRENGTH THEY HAVE TO GET THROUGH THE DAY (AND LIFE).


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