Like many, I've been fascinated watching how quickly AI has seemed to evolve in just the past few months. It seems like many areas of life will be forever changed as the world tries to catch up with this new technology.
I've been using it as an assistant in many areas of my life. For writing, I sometimes use it as sort of a really really smart thesaurus or writing assistant to brainstorm with. Most of the writing is a bit character-less so I treat it much more like a conversation than a co-writer.
It helps me think and clarify my own thoughts.
I'm particularly excited to see how things like ChatGPT evolve and can become virtual assistants that specifically help us to manage our ADHD.
Here are a few cool things some ADHD friends are doing already:
Nathan Baschez writes about how he’s using GPT-powered tools (including his own ai-powered writing app, Lex) to help augment his journaling. He does a deep dive into how it’s helping him and changing his outlook in Supercharging My Focus (with Help from AI).
My ADHD brain was not a great fit for school, so I got used to feeling as if I “should” reject my impulses. But now I see that automatically rejecting an impulse is just as senseless as acting on it. In writing, I can create a space that is somewhere in the middle.
Overcoming Executive Dysfunction
Nick Dobos wrote a twitter thread about how to use ChatGPT to help break down large projects.
Copy paste your todo list or the thing you’re avoiding and ask gpt to break it down into smaller steps. (Even if it’s absolutely trivial and you know the steps, like doing dishes)
Nick also talked about this strange effect I’ve also noticed, where it feels like using an AI assistant to help you break down a task can almost feel like body doubling, giving you that extra motivation to get stuff done.
There’s something extremely weird happening where I can outsource my planning mind to gpt
I am seriously reconsidering how my entire brain works and the nature of my procrastination, executive dysfunction and adhd after trying this a few times and watching myself breeze through stuff
Creepy? Yeah, kinda. Useful? You bet.
Virtual ADHD Coach
Ted Yav shared a prompt he’s been using to make ChatGPT behave as his own ADHD Coach. Similar to what Nick is doing, but a very thorough prompt that even uses the Four Cs of Motivation to help give specific strategies to help you get stuff done.
(Ted has graciously given me his prompt to share, but it’s quite long so I’ll include it in the comment section)
I’ve personally been playing around with similar prompts (that I keep adapting and tweaking) and finding it super helpful at creating unique, original strategies to help break me out of a rut.
Positive Feedback Bot
A year or so ago, I was a guest on the makers.dev podcast and I shared a story about how a buddy and I used to encourage each other with an “attaboy” for simple chores around the house. We knew that positive feedback was important for our brain, so we just helped each other out.
At the time, the hosts Chris and Christian mentioned that it would be cool to develop an app that did the same task for you. And now, thanks to the magic of AI, they build the bot which they’ve aptly named Attaboy.ai.
Just text it a quick message about something you were able to finish, and get a custom response, encouraging you for a job well done.
I don’t know what the future with all of this stuff with AI holds, and if I dwell on it too much I start to freak myself out. But there is certainly a lot of cool potential as well.
Are there any use-cases you’re seeing that have helped you better manage aspects of your ADHD?
Jesse J. Anderson
P.S. Know any kids with ADHD? You should probably buy them a copy of Peter Shankman’s new book, The Boy with the Faster Brain.