Hey You,

personal improvemtent-small business marketing strategies

Simplify your business life using what this Doctor has discovered

It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd.

Today I’m sharing with you the notes on one of Joe Polish’s Genius Network Interviews (series of discussions with small business marketing strategy gurus, personal improvement experts, and  with Dr. Edward Hallowell, the nations premier authority on Attention Deficit Disorder.

Joe Polish is bad ass entrepreneur who’s built an info-marketing business that is positively something to admire. He flat out admits that he’s a poster child for ADD. And this Dr. he’s interview is diagnosed as being ADD too. And the reason I’m sharing these notes with you is because one of the commonalities all entrepreneurs share are those of Attention Deficit Disorder.

Maybe you’ve been diagnosed as ADD before. Maybe you’ve never been diagnosed but felt like you were. Some people manage these ADD tendencies better than others and this explains why they’re more successful than other people.

In Dr. Hallowell’s book, “Crazy Busy”, the topic of this interview, he shows you what you can to manage your mind that being pulled in all different directions so that you end feeling a shit-ton less stress and a shit-ton more success.

Now let’s get the ball rolling with an introduction to the credentials of this ninja doctor . . .

Ned, as Joe kindly refers to him as, is a child and adult psychologist and is the founder of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health. He was a member of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School from 1983-2004. A graduate of Harvard college and the Tulane School of Medicine, he sees himself as a offering practical ways to deal with some of life’s most difficult challenges. He is the co-author of the national best sellers, “Driven To Distraction,” and “Answers To Distraction” both of which discuss Attention Deficit Disorder in children and adults. He is a frequent speaker on the subject of ADD and how to live a healthy life, communication strategies for business, stress, worry management and the power of connection. He is published in the Harvard Medical Review under “Why Smart People Underperform in The Workplace”.  “Delivered From Distraction” is the newest book he’s co-authored and lays down the current state of knowledge about ADD and provides information about how to live a joyful life with ADD and how to take advantage of the many wonderful aspects of the ADD mind. As a leading expert on this topic, he’s appeared on many talk shows like 60 Minutes, The Jane Pauly Show, 20/20, The Today Show, Dateline, Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR, and The View.

“Crazy Busy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About To Snap – Strategies For Coping In A World Gone ADD”, one of the latest books he’s written, is the one that Joe got a hold of. “Crazy Busy” is the subject focused on here.

So many entrepreneurs have an ADD brain like Joe Polish does. This is why he brought Ned to speak to his $25K Mastermind group and why he referred Ned over to his friends at Nightingale Conant to do a program on this topic with them.

What’s The Definition of ‘Crazy Busy’?

Feeling crazy busy can feel both great and horrible.

We live in an age where we’re able to reach people in ways we never were before with the internet, blackberries, cell phones, etc. These tools make reach instantaneous and global. And this is awesome.

But these tools enable you to try to do too much. Like a kid in a candy store, your eyes are bigger than stomach. Opportunities come at you at the speed of light and you’re thinking, “I wanna do this, I wanna do that, Ohhh gimmie some of that,” and the next thing you know, you become over committed, over stretched and you feel like you’re about to snap.

This is different than in the past when stress came from being stuck in a nowhere job and there weren’t enough opportunities. There’s too many places to go and you just can’t keep track of it.

If a tin can is surrounded by magnets, it just spins. It’s pulled in too many directions at once. You need to turn off magnets.

The need to keep track of things is exponentially greater than it’s ever been in human history. Our mind has never been asked in human history to process all the facebook messages, the emails, the tweets, the text messages, the faxes, and snail mail ends up being the least of your worries.

With these technologies, life can be better than it ever has been before . . . if you know how to manage it. If you don’t learn how to manage it, it will manage you. Don’t be the coke can spinning in the middle of the magnets.

Being Crazy Busy impacts not only your health AND finances AND relationships.

How Do You Deal With This Overwhelm?

Different people reach overwhelm at different stages.

When you aren’t in overwhelm, you’re in what Ned calls a “C State” – Cool, calm, collected, careful, creative, cooperative, concentrated, charismatic.

And as you get overwhelmed, you’ve got one too many emails, one too many phone calls, one too many meetings, you go into “F State” – Frantic, fearful, furious, frazzled, and you lose your edge and become stupid, obnoxious, you make mistakes, you offend people, you become rigid, you don’t listen and in this state you do your worst work.

First Step: Become attuned to when you’re going into “F State” and becoming your own worst enemy. You can’t suck it up and push through “F State”. Your physiology won’t let you.

Second Step: Start Limiting inputs. If you can get away to a place where you can be alone, do that. If you’re in a meeting, screen out inputs – look out the window, look at the floor, take a few deep breaths, go into a quiet place in your imagination. This only needs to take seconds.

You don’t have to meditate for hours, you just stop experiencing data for a few moments. If you can be by yourself in a room, that’s optimal. Think of if you flooded the engine on your car. You don’t keep pumping the gas continually and trying to start it again. You wait for a couple of minutes and then you try starting it again. Same idea here. Wait a couple of minutes. Do this, and you’ll be light years ahead of your competition.

One of his favorite things to do when he’s waiting out the “F State” in his office, is to sit back and gaze at a mobile that’s got like 25 pictures on it of his friends, family and places they love to go. Just looking at this for 30 seconds takes him out of “F State” and puts him back into “C State.” So one idea is to have pictures that bring you joy somewhere close. Maybe even on your phone if you can’t have them on the wall or in a mobile.

A quick burst of exercise is another way to knock yourself out of “F State”. You don’t need to go to the gym. Close your door and do 25 push ups, 25 jumping jacks, run up and down the stairs a couple of times. Doing 3 minutes of brisk exercise is guaranteed to push the reset button on your brain for the positive.

A lot of “F State” happens in cars. One thing you can do to overcome this is to turn on some music and say to yourself, “Don’t be a Jerk. Do I want to risk my life, my future, my health chasing this guy down and getting into an accident? Don’t be a jerk.”

People ruin their lives when they’re in “F State”. The more angry you get, the more overwhelmed you get, the panicked you get, the more tired you get, the more stupid everyone else seems.

Being in the “F State” is the gateway to addictive behavior. When you’re in this state, you might say to yourself, “Man, I need a drink, a smoke, a pill, some chocolate . . .” a substance outside of you that takes away the “F State”.

“F State” leads people to comfort activities, which more often than not, are rooted in disempowering methods of coping.

What’s the Difference Between a Frantic State and a Dissatisfied State?

You can be busy as hell in C State and get a ton done. But when you’ve got a shit-ton on your plate and you feel a chronic state of dissatisfaction, some people are wired to reach for extreme measures of reaching satisfaction.

Scratching this itch you can’t quite scratch by exercising is an adaptive way of dealing with this. Going out to get drunk to scratch it is a non-productive way of scratching it. You’re not going to get rid of this itch. So, what you want to do is have a readily available list of empowering ways to adapt to it.

Talking with someone is a good way to do this. Starting conflict is a bad way and lots of people do this because it’s engrossing and they’re self-medicating and don’t realize they’re doing this to scratch your itch.

Being in isolation is a good way to keep yourself in “F State”. One of the core attributes of 12 steps programs is connecting people with other people who experience the same challenge and are on the same path.

The paradox in this new age we live in is feeling connected digitally but disconnected personally. We need Vitamin C – Connect. Biologically, we need to make eye contact with people, touch them, be touched, need to feel presence of people we like.

You need more high fives, smiles, laughs pats on the back than you probably are getting, especially if you work alone from home.  These are not luxuries – they’re necessities. We need human moments.

This means that part of the time walking over and talking to the person instead of emailing them, meeting in person instead of talking on the phone, etc. Technology is leading to people only using electronic communication.

Harvard Medical School research has found that the feeling of being isolated is as much of a risk factor for an early death as is cigarette smoking. That means Vitamin Connect is bottom line important. It’s not just something you need to do in your spare time because your bottom line in your business is directly connected to your brain power and your brain suffers if it isn’t in C State.

Vitamin Connect is as important as sleep, diet, and may be the most influential factor in your entire life.

Do You Do These States of Mind?

Screen Sucking

This is the mindless state of mind of being aware of the passage of time in front of a phone, tablet or a computer screen. It’s a hypnotic state that the interactivity of surfing and messaging draws you in and ends up wasting tons of your time.

You must beware of how much time you spend in escapism screen sucking.

Tail Dogging

This is falling in with the herd and letting the tail wag the dog -falling into the trap that it’s some kind of status symbol to be “Crazy Busy”. This is keeping up with the Joneses instead of doing what makes sense.


This is multi-tasking ineffectively with electronic devices.

Despite what you think, the human brain can only attend to one task at a time. So what you’re doing when you’re multi-tasking is attending to one task one after the next in rapid succession. This doesn’t mean you’re attending to them simultaneously. You can’t.

You attend in rapid succession to each and this diminishes the effectiveness of everything you’re doing because you’re not giving full attention to anything. If the tasks are boring and mundane – stuffing envelopes, walking, pooping, multi-tasking is fine. It’s a way to make the task easier to accomplish. But if you’re trying to multi-task that takes a ton of focus, like driving, studies have proven talking on your cell phone while doing so is more dangerous than if you’d had two drinks and were now driving in terms of impaired skills.

Doom Darts

These are details that slip through the cracks and penetrate your peace of mind as a result of not having systems in place that keep you from having too much on your plate.


Kudzu is a nasty weed that was brought over to America from East Asia to be used as a ground cover but it’s too good. It spreads like crazy and takes over neighborhoods sending down these long pink nasty roots 50-100 feet so it’s all but impossible to get rid of.

Kudzu in the crazy busy sense is old junky clutter we let collect in our environments. Piles of books, journals, memos, emails, programs, reports, seminars piled up on your hard drives. We need to clear this shit out of our lives. When you think of electronic Kudzu, think about what a sigh of relief it is to clear the desk top on your computer.

 Info Addicts

These are people who need to be the first to get information or be the one who has the most or best information.

In most contexts, being the first to know, doesn’t give you any advantage. Especially if you don’t put what you now know into action. And this one isn’t just about wanting to be the first as much as it is about wanting MORE information.

Constantly wanting news, data, stimulation. Thinking disappears when we’re in this mode. All you do is gather. You don’t synthesize it and turn it into something productive.

Being an info-addict is one way to avoid the hard work which is thinking. Thinking hurts. Being busy isn’t a substitute for thinking. Successful people spend time thinking of how to implement what they gather.

There’s nothing more useless than doing that well, which really not need to be done at all. Peter Drucker.


Everywhere you look, there’s a tentacle extended trying to put it’s suction cup on you.

Friends, family, employees, advertisers, the media, all these people want your attention. And there comes a point when these tentacles can paralyze you and keep you from being productive and fulfilled.

Technology enables this beast to get the best of us. Learning to say no and to prioritize allows you to tame this octopus.

What Can You Right Now To Help Yourself Get More Centered?

You have more control than you think.

Stop letting other people’s perceived or real demands punk you around. You don’t have to. Warren Buffet doesn’t even have a computer on his desk and he’s done ok for himself.

When Ned went to an event Bill Gates charity was hosting, one of the executives at Microsoft, who’d come over from Starbucks told him that she’d felt that when she was a Starbucks, that the only way she could a be a high powered career woman and mom was to be highly adept at using her Blackberry even while cooking dinner for her kids.

When she went to Microsoft, they told her to get rid of her Blackberry, what she felt was the key to her success as an executive. She fought but eventually gave in and for the first week she felt withdrawal symptoms reaching for it and dreaming about it. But the second week came around and she felt more calm than she’d felt in a very long time and she was getting more work done.

By taking back control from the Blackberry and stop being used by it, she was able to experience more “C State”.

How have you given away control to the Meglaoctopus?

How Are Leeches and Lilies Affecting Your Life? 

Leeches are people or projects that are going nowhere.

Could be a relationship that makes you feel stressed out or sad. Could be the project where you’re just beating the dead horse – but you stick with it because you don’t want to be a quitter.

You need to nicely back away from people and projects that are moving backwards. Doing so frees you from the energetic suck by giving you more energy and time to pour into cultivating lilies – people and projects that make you feel good.

They make take up a lot of your time and energy but they make you feel awesome. You look forward to these people or projects. You want to spend most of your time with lilies.

Focus On Your Strengths And Improve On Them

People do better when they do what they like and are good at. Makes common sense right. Yet most people want to tell you to improve on what you suck at.

When you’re just a kid, you have to do what you’re bad at in school because you don’t what you’re good at yet. But somewhere in your 20’s you need to have taken stock in what you’re good. You want to get to the point where you’re only doing what you’re good at and delegating the rest.

Get over the idea of working on your weaknesses and shortcomings.

Spend most of your time cultivating your lilies within you. As you become more powerful, you won’t be nearly as concerned about your deficiencies. Go with what you like and what you’re getting good pay back from.

How Do You Find Your Rhythm?

Most people are driving through life on square wheels.

People get results this way but it takes a SHIT-TON more work than is necessary. You want to work hard, but you want to it from round wheels. You want to try to cut out of your weaknesses, the leeches and distractions. This is what he means by rolling on round wheels.

What comes easy to you shouldn’t be undervalued. In a world were the majority toils on square wheels, it’s easy to do this. By rolling on round wheels you move fast and get the biggest pay off for every action you’re taking.

Most people think business can’t be what Joe Polish calls E.L.F. – Easy Lucrative and Fun. They’re wrong. They don’t know the difference between necessary suffering and unnecessary suffering.

Necessary suffering is what it takes to think. It does tax you but if it’s in the service of something you’re really into, then it’s worth putting up with. It’s like the athlete who’s excited about training. They want to do it because it’s getting them closer to where they want to be.

Unnecessary suffering comes from doing stuff you’re really bad at, that annoys the hell out of you, that you really should be delegating. Or when you’re interacting with a leech, a partner or an associate who drains your energy.

And if you take care of managing the state of mind you’re in, you will find that you’re gonna enjoy what you’re doing so much more.


Now go out and get this book – “Crazy Busy” or “Driven To Distraction” or any other book by Dr. Edward Hallowell. Maybe someday I’ll take notes on the seminar Joe Polish hosted with Ned titled, “Success With Sanity”. If you bought Eben Pagan’s Self Esteem course, it came with that. Make sure to watch it if you’ve been putting it off. There’s some kick ass wisdom there for you. I can not recommend this guys insights highly enough to the person who feels overwhelmed by all of our responsibilities and options.

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd

PS. If you’re on the quest for personal improvement strategies that prevent you from ruining your small business marketing strategies, you definitely want to see what we talked about with our private mastermind group here . . .