Mikah Sargent: Brain Scans and Technology

Episode 13

October 4, 2022

This is episode 13. And today I'm talking with Mikah Sargent. Mikah is a podcaster, journalist, tech enthusiast, and dog enthusiast. You may know him from the TWiT network, where he hosts several podcasts, including iOS Today, Tech News Weekly, Hands-on Mac, and The Tech Guy with Leo Laporte. Or maybe you listen to another one of his podcasts. In true ADHD fashion, he hosts more podcasts than I can count. Mikah is definitely a fellow ADHD nerd, and today we're going to talk about his story with ADHD and how that has factored into his passion for all things tech.

Show Notes


Mikah Sargent



Links and show notes:


Mikah Sargent: [00:00:00] From that point on then I had, uh, you know, one of the beautiful powers of ADHD. I know a lot of us just love to learn new things.

And so I could really just devour a bunch of information about ADHD and, at that point go. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. All of these things are exactly who I am

Jesse J. Anderson: Hey, my name is Jesse J. Anderson, host of the ADHD Nerds podcast. The show where we talk about living with ADHD, and have some fun along the way.

This is episode 13. And today I'm talking with Mikah Sargent. Micah is a podcaster, journalist, tech enthusiast, and dog enthusiast. You may know him from the TWiT network, where he hosts several podcasts, including iOS Today, Tech News Weekly, Hands-on Mac, and The Tech Guy with Leo Laporte. Or maybe you listen to another one of his podcasts. In true ADHD fashion, he hosts more podcasts than I can count.

Mikah is definitely a fellow ADHD nerd, and today we're going to talk about his story with ADHD and [00:01:00] how that has factored into his passion for all things tech.

Hey, Mikah. It is great to have you here today. How's it going?

Mikah Sargent: It is going well. I'm so excited to finally, uh, come on the show. I, I remember whenever you were talking about launching it and, uh, I was pumped to see that there was going to be a show like this, uh, out there that's specifically it's it's ADHD and nerds combined. It's it's a great, it's a great concept.

Jesse J. Anderson: absolutely awesome. Well, I'd love to start with, uh, your story. Like how, how did you first find out or, you know, think you might have ADHD. What did that look like?

Mikah Sargent: Yeah. So I was in college and I, I grew up very religious. Right. And one of the, the things with, uh, the religion that I grew up with, uh, sort of nondenom Christian, but sort of. Taking many of the most extreme aspects of the other denominations of Christianity and sort of grouping them into one thing, um, was that mental health was not a real thing.

Mental health [00:02:00] issues were not a real thing. And if you were ever experiencing anything like that, uh, depression, anxiety, Essentially, that was just the devil. And so if you prayed and you, you know, yes, God for help, then that would be, uh, all you needed to do. So growing up that way, I obviously believed that for a long time.

Uh, and it wasn't until I went to college that I. Had the sort of space and time, uh, to truly sort of solidify my own beliefs surrounding that. And, uh, I was struggling with what I came to find out was depression, um, and went to a doctor and, you know, talked to them and got all that figured out. Uh, and then later on, I, uh, Got a new doctor.

And to this day, I just love this woman. She was fantastic. And, um, Dr. Wong shout out to Dr. Wong. Um, I had talked to her about some of the concerns that I was having in, uh, in college and [00:03:00] sort of. In a very light way because I was listening to a podcast, eh, um, with one of my now dear friends and he was on the podcast and he was talking about how, uh, as an adult, he was diagnosed with ADHD and it came about because his two daughters who, uh, are both on the autism spectrum, um, the, his two daughters had, um, ASD and ADHD.

He had this realization, uh, in going through the process for them that he may have it as well. He went to see a psychiatrist and, uh, discovered that he had it and hearing him talk about how in school he never struggled and, you know, elementary, middle school, he never struggled. Um, and how he was an A student and didn't exhibit any of these sort of stereotypical signs of ADHD. Then that, uh, kind of shielded him from it.

And so I. The there's so many of these [00:04:00] things that, that, uh, he's talking about. And so many of these things that I've experienced, that don't have an explanation that I've never been able to understand about myself and what he's saying really aligns with what I'm experiencing. So I went to, uh, my doctor and said that and she referred me to a neuropsychologist, which as you might imagine, combines neurology with psych psychiatry.

Wait, was he, he was a neuropsychologist. Yeah, not a neuro psychiatrist. So, uh, psychology and neurology together. And, uh, he. brought me in or I, you know, I went to him and essentially the, the process started where it was kind of talk therapy. And so he was just asking me about myself and I talked about how in school, I, you know, wasn't a student that talked too much and you know, my teachers always had nice things, especially in elementary school to say that they'd write on the little grade card or whatever.

Um, and I was in the gifted program in middle school, um, and high [00:05:00] school. Still did a pretty good job, but started to struggle when it came to kind of extracurriculars in particular sort of stuff that existed outside of classes. I could do just finding classes, but, um. I was in speech and debate for example, and I had a heck of a time, uh, going to, uh, debate tournaments.

Once I got there and did it, I was fine and had a lot of fun, but it was just like all the preparation involved and all that kind of stuff. And looking back on that, you know, it's like, oh man, why, why did I have such trouble with that? And, uh, why does it feel like I can't kind of, commit to things like I want to.

And so then, um, he had me do a series of kind of written tests that were just little evaluations. So I think there was an English portion and a, a stuff to do with math and problem solving and all that kind of stuff. Um, And then the final process for this was to after he got some [00:06:00] history as well from, uh, my family was to do a EEG, an electroencephalogram, and, uh, for folks who don't know, uh, basically they are looking at the electrical impulses, electrical signals in your brain.

And so you get this kind of shower cap put on your head and the, the shower cap has these holes in them all over. So if you've ever done a home hair dye, uh, you may remember, uh, pulling your hairs out. I've never done it by help my mom with them in the past. So I can remember doing that. You pull the hairs out through the little holes in this case though.

Um, they put these little probes into each of the holes and they put this. All over the probes as well. That's kind of, it's, it's gel mixed with bits of metal so that it does a great contact with your scalp. And so it's, it's not painful, but it's a little uncomfortable, but, uh, straps that to my head. And then this was the weirdest thing I sat in this room that was [00:07:00] kind of like a no stimulation room was the purpose of it.

And so it's a, I think there was pretty dim. There was a screen in front of me. And he said, stare at the screen, uh, for the next, and I don't know how long it was. I think it was like 15 minutes, but it felt like an hour with nothing on it. I just want you to stare at the screen for the next 15 minutes. So I just sat there, staring at the screen going, oh my gosh, hold on on.

Uh, and then after 15 minutes they put something on the screen and it was probably reminiscent of a wallpaper or one of those like iTunes visualizations. Um, and then the whole time they're running the E E. So I left, uh, after that appointment. And then he said, you know, whenever we call you back, then we'll have, uh, the answer.

He and a, uh, team of neurologists looked at my scans. Um, and I came back in and he, uh, sat me down and he pulls up this sort of visualization of a brain and shows how, uh, the, the, the different [00:08:00] colors, um, it was like from cool. To warm. So blues to reds and reds were high activity. Portions of the brain and blue were low activity portions of the brain.

And he's like in a neurotypical brain, you're going to see either all blue or, or. Mostly blue or mostly red, basically, there's a balance that exists in the entire brain of the brain activity. And he says with yours and he shows me that this part of my brain was blue. This part of my brain was red. What's happening is that you have, uh, sort of different.

Activations in different parts of your brain and that's, what's causing, you know, these, these issues for you. Um, and so then he went on to explain, you know, the different methods that one can use to have help, and, uh, talked about how stimulant medication essentially what it's doing, what they believe it helps to do.

Is it excites the part of the brain. Um, [00:09:00] To to whether it's like low energy to an extent that it helps to kind of, it makes your brain sort of balance out. Uh, so it kind of stops that one part, one portion of the brain that's that's red, uh, from being that, and it kind of balances everything out. Um, and that was very helpful to me.

Because, yeah, I'm a, I'm a huge nerd. First of all, love to learn new things and very much into the science of, of how any of this works and the understanding of how any of it works. But there was an extra layer to this kind of actually for me, a few extra layers to this I, this was while I was in college and I lived in a college town and I knew a number of people, uh, who

regularly took stimulant medication who were not diagnosed with ADHD and took it recreationally. And I also, as a person of color, as a black man, um, knew that there would be stigma associated with that. And so I wanted to [00:10:00] have, what I felt for me was definitive proof so that it was a situation where I could say, I.

You know, I went to a neuropsych, I got these brain scans, even I've gone through the whole process. This is as real as it gets for me. And so that was a very helpful, uh, thing where there was, I was wor I, I kind of was preparing for my brain to be guilting me if I didn't go through that whole process. Um, just because of the way that I am.


Jesse J. Anderson: Yeah, I can totally understand that. I feel like a lot of times people will, you know, read some of my content or some other content about ADHD and then have that first like, oh man, is this me? And then sort of look into it more. And then a lot of time they'll ask me, like, what's the point of getting diagnosed?

Is it just to get meds? And like, yeah, meds can really help. I know a lot of people wear meds, like change their life. Uh, for me, I'm currently not [00:11:00] taking meds, but I know, I know people where it's been like super effective for them. And so like, yeah, you can't get meds without a, I mean, well, I guess, except for your college town

Mikah Sargent: if you do it in yeah. In not great ways.

Jesse J. Anderson: You can't legally get, get the meds without that diagnosis. Um, but the other thing kind of what you're referring to is. Having that evidence of like, no, no, this is real because otherwise my brain is gonna want to say like, no, you're actually just lazy. Like, it's gonna go back to those messages.

I heard as a kid of like, no, you're actually just lazy. You're actually, you know, whatever, whatever those negative labels were and just sort of like tear myself down. So for me, I didn't, I didn't get go the brain brain scanned way. I mean, I. Now I'm like, man, that sounds fascinating. I, I mean, other than the 15 minute room, like

Mikah Sargent: yeah. . That was torture.

Jesse J. Anderson: I can just sort of like, imagine like what the brain must be doing for that like 15 minutes just staring.

Like, I, I can, I feel panicky just like, thinking about it.

Mikah Sargent: yeah. [00:12:00] Thinking about a hundred things is what I'm sure I was doing. I don't, I don't quite remember just sort of the discomfort of it. And, um, you know, I, the, the kind of shocking thing at the time was the, the neuropsych was not covered by my insurance. and it was enough for me to want to do that.

What I at the time felt was the right way for me to pay out of pocket for that whole process. And I don't regret that to this day that I, that, you know, I still went and did that because, it gave me an, it gave me enough of a bridge between who I am now and the acceptance that I have of, of the things that I deal with, uh, and the person that I was at that point.

And. Not having that acceptance. I could sort of rely on that more physical representation of, no, this is me when I needed it, as I sort of bridged the gap and learned more about it. Because from that point on then I had, uh, you know, one of the beautiful powers of ADHD. I know a lot of us just love to learn new things.

And so I [00:13:00] could really just devour a bunch of information about ADHD and, at that point go. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. All of these things are exactly who I am and just go, okay. This suddenly makes so much sense. And then I don't know if you've had this experience, but we, um, sort of when we look at things from an evolutionary perspective and I mean, so.

We as humans in the way that we live now is such a very small portion of the larger extent of how humanity has lived. And so this whole new world that we have with, uh, artificial lighting and microphones and everything is just us a blip on the radar of what humans are and have been. And so when we look back at our hunter gatherer past.

There's ongoing sort of an ongoing sort of belief that, um, among the tribes, the folks who were the ADHD, uh, folks were often the ones that were the.[00:14:00] The hunter gatherer types, but who were also like Scouts, uh, they were the curious ones who would go out. Um, and in some cases be a little bit away from, uh, other, other members of the tribe to make sure that the next area that they were going to was safe to eat.

And so there's that sort of, you know, there's that joke about squirrel, but. It is sort of evolutionary evolutionarily built into us to have that nature of always being aware and where ADHD, uh, in that sense was kind of an extra bit of, of, um, of the senses that we had. It was, it was an addition to the senses.

And so all of that's to say a lot of it is genetic. Um, and given that a lot of it is genetic. I don't know if you've had this experience, but I've talked to other people with ADHD who then look back at their family and go my brother, my, because I've got a few members of my, not all of my family, but there are a few members of my family who I'm like these things that you're struggling with.

I know for a fact, it's [00:15:00] ADHD and, you know,

encouraging them to, to get the, um, whatever it, whatever it takes to, to sort of take that next step. And also. Being able to define things and help them understand kind of the, uh, aspects of, of the way that we respond to things. So don't respond to things is helpful.

Jesse J. Anderson: Right. Yeah. I had the experience of, I think a lot of the symptoms of ADHD were like, like growing up, I looked at those and I knew, I was like, well, there's something weird about me. Like, there's these things I could tell that were different, but. I was like, well, my dad does that though. And my brother does that though.

So this is just like one of those like Anderson quirks of family quirks, where we just sort of act these, you know, think about things in a certain way. And yeah, so I had the same experience, like I got diagnosed and then it was like, Pretty immediately. I was like, oh, so clearly my brother and my dad have this and my sister probably has this.

And actually when I think about it, my mom probably has this. And so like my parents, you know, they're from a different [00:16:00] generation. They're, they're not interested in being diagnosed or anything, but to me, it's it's yeah, it's pretty clear. Like you said, it's genetic and. Pretty much entire family has it.

And we were, uh, just recently we were talking to, uh, my grandfather who he's, you know, he's, he's, he's pretty old, uh, these days, but we were explaining to him how I, I had been diagnosed with ADHD and sort of telling him a little bit about it. And he was, he was like, he emailed us back and said, well, I looked into this more and I guess this is definitely something I've had, cuz this was like, you know, explaining my 80 years had no idea.

So, yeah, so I had a, yeah, definitely coming kind of both sides of my family. I think it just kind of went hidden because of that. It just was just like, well, these, this is how we all are. And so we, it didn't seem like something worth, uh, looking into, which is a bummer because I sure wish I had known earlier than, you 36 years for me.

Mikah Sargent: Absolutely. And see, that was the thing, uh, too, the, the neuropsych [00:17:00] and I sort of roll my eyes at this part a little bit because, well, first of all, I'm Midwestern. And so anytime someone says something nice, I'm like, oh, no stop. But the, the specific diagnosis that he gave, because he said, I have had to give this specific kind of diagnosis before was what he called high IQ ADHD.

And it's essentially a way to understand why when you, when you ask yourself or when someone else asks you? Well, how come you didn't? How come they didn't catch it? When you were a kid? How come, uh, it never showed up then why is it only showing up now? And he said, he likes to use that terminology because there are people whose intelligence quotient is able to do so much of masking of the symptoms and where, uh, a, a teacher might not catch it.

And. I honestly, so I, I grew up in Missouri and I had, I wasn't until much later that I had the realization, um, of the aspect that I think race [00:18:00] played in, uh, that not being caught because I was, you know, I, I would get my work. I, I remember, uh, KJ Miller talking about it a little bit, like the, doing the workbook, uh, and being done with it in no time. I would, you know, get all my work done and, and, uh, do just fine. And yet it wasn't until sixth grade that one of my teachers who, um, my lived across the street from my great grandparents. So we knew her personally a little bit more. And so she paid more attention. I think it wasn't until then that, uh, she was.

Have you been, um, evaluated for the, what we called the gifted program and, uh, I had not, and she's like, I'm sorry, we should have done that a lot sooner. And it's like, yeah, maybe you should have that. Would've been great to, do that. But I was, I was glad to be a part of it in middle school. And I think that it did, it was something that I.

I think that ADHD could have started to rear its head in middle [00:19:00] school. Had I not had, uh, that gifted program to, uh, sort of fill in where I was feeling sort of bored with things. Um, so yeah, I was glad for that, but. It's, you know, going back to looking around and seeing all of your family and having that realization, but more importantly, you know, I want them to know about it earlier and know about it sooner so that they don't have that experience where it happens later and later and later in life.

And you go suddenly I can not, I don't think any of us ever truly stop blaming ourselves to an extent. It, it exists even in a miniscule amount. But releasing a lot of that guilt, um, and at least contextualizing our behavior can be so helpful. And going, I can give myself room to breathe now where, before I thought it was just a moral failing.

Jesse J. Anderson: Yeah, it's so funny. I mean, I mean, not funny, it's so tragic almost, like I hear that story time and time again. The. called gifted as a [00:20:00] child. And so I made it into the gifted program. And then at some point I failed out of the gifted program or like whatever happened, like it's, it almost makes that.

that self blame even worse because it feels like, well, now they're telling me, like, I'm not just like, I shouldn't ju just be doing normal. I should be doing above normal. I'm like gifted. So it's almost like the bar gets raised even more. And so when you, you know, for reasons you don't understand, you can't find motivation to do certain things or you can't complete tasks that you get, you know, so far into and all those sort of things that come up in school, when you have ADHD, it makes it like that much worse.

And there's nowhere you're looking around. Something like, what, is there something around here that is the cause of this? I guess it's just me because everyone else is saying that it's just me and it's just my lack of willpower or whatever it is. And so it's like, it becomes, yeah, it's so tough because you, that, that gift, you know, being told you're gifted just sort of becomes like a curse hear [00:21:00] that word and it's like, oh yeah.

You know, wanna roll your eyes? Like, yeah, gifted, but I can't, you know, I can't finish this paper or whatever it is.

Yeah. It's brutal.

Mikah Sargent: asking yourself exactly. Like you said, what I thought I was gifted. I thought that, you know, everyone is telling me all this stuff and yet I'm, I'm struggling to do that. And that's what, uh, college was, especially for me. Um, because up until that point, uh, everything was pretty structured.

And, um, for the most part, I, I didn't have those issues when it came to school. I, I think I went from being like a straight A student up to like freshman and sophomore year of high school and then junior and senior year, uh, then, you know, C's B's and A's was what I ended up, uh, with, because that's where it all started to rear its head.

It was just all too much at that point. And, up to that point, I could, you know, just read something right before a test and then go in and take the test. And not an issue that point then it was like, oh, studying what? Oh, this is hard. [00:22:00] And I mean, I can even remember freshman year of college. Um, my professor from, uh, freshman year of college never listens to this.

Uh, there was a, there was a test that we had to do. And part of it was like, we had read the, read a book and you had to write an essay about who knows what. It was like a comparison between, uh, the values of Quakers and, um, what it was like living in a whaling village at that time or something. And I remember, it was, it was like right before I was supposed to write this essay.

Um, I had just finished, uh, reading the book and I went in and, and did the, the test and did the essay. And, um, my professor was like, uh, he emailed me as he did with everybody, with all the results. And he's like, um, you're a really good writer and. That's uh, not easy to, I can't remember exactly what he said, but it was something really nice.

And it was like, I wanted him to not say that because [00:23:00] it was further reinforcing this behavior of like, I can just do something right before it, you know, it's time to go. And it's fine. I had done that so much, but at some point then that all did catch up to me and it, I, I couldn't do that anymore. I couldn't just, uh, wait till the last minute.

And so that's yeah, that's when the struggle came in, that's when I had that realization of like, I'm doing these inhuman things of putting together a whole video presentation, uh, you know, two hours before it's time to go and present it in the class and it's going fine in terms of grades, but it's not going fine in terms of the impact it's having on me.

I gotta figure out what the heck is, is up.

Jesse J. Anderson: Yeah. It's like, you can almost, or you can only use like stress to motivate you.

Mikah Sargent: Yeah.

Jesse J. Anderson: you got, you have all the, you have plenty of time to prepare for it, but then you don't do anything. And then it's like, oh, only once it's like, there's no way to do this without incredible stress. Then I can like jump into action.

And I mean, the, the problem is, like you said, I can do [00:24:00] that. And it, the result is pretty

Mikah Sargent: Is yes. Yes.

Jesse J. Anderson: like, and it's kind of what you were referring to earlier. Like the, uh, hunter, you know, potential hunter history of ADHD where like pretty much everyone I know with ADHD is pretty good in a crisis. Like, of like thrive in that, like, oh, there's a panic sort of environment I'm gonna do better than most people in that sort of situation.

And kind of like the reverse? Uh, I think like when I think when I have gotten started on like a project early, like I have a long runway, I feel like once I get to the point where I can see the finish line, all my motivation like goes away

Mikah Sargent: same,

Jesse J. Anderson: and so there's, there's almost like a bit of like subconscious like strategy of like, well, if I do it last minute, there's no time for me to even recognize that there's a finish line because I'm just like in panic mode.

So I. Rushing. Yeah. Rushing to get it done. And so that's, yeah. I feel like there's like these tricks we learn, uh, to make stuff [00:25:00] happen, but the there's a big

Mikah Sargent: There's a cost. Yeah.

Jesse J. Anderson: yeah, that's hard to, uh, recognize when you're just like, I'm just trying to do anything that can be successful right now. yeah.

And then later you're like, okay, well, how can I do it without jumping into a panic every single time?

Mikah Sargent: Yeah. And as that's it's I was a journalist, um, who at like a, I don't know, ever whatever to call them because, uh, now I'm a consumer tech journalist, but at the time I was a. Quote, unquote, general journalist. Uh, we covered all sorts of things and the breaking stories and all that kind of thing did super well on.

Uh, but when it came to these like longer term reporting things, it was just such a slog. And so yeah, you, you know, something happens around the world and we're like in the moment getting, getting it figured out all of that went super well. Um, and that was just again at, this was while I was in college that I was doing, um, journalism and, and news anchoring.

And, the news anchoring part where someone would write, uh, someone [00:26:00] else was the writer. They would write the script and then I would just stand in front of the camera and just present it. And it would be the, you know, the first time that I read that script and that was, of course it had that bit of urgency to it.

So that felt really, uh, exciting and kept me engaged. Um, versus the, the longer reporting stories where it's like, that I identify is not a job for me. that is for someone else, because I just I couldn't do it. I would just wait and then try to do it then. And, uh, yeah, with personal projects or other things like that, I think.

You can, I can still make it to where it's what I want it to be. But when it came to those kinds of projects, there was, there would be a clear difference between if you had taken the time to do all of these things at different times. So, yeah. And it's still, you know, to this day, um, When it's small things, I will find myself waiting until, uh, I, I feel that stress to get them done versus, you know, these bigger projects where I've had [00:27:00] that realization.

It's like, you can't do that anymore.

Jesse J. Anderson: Right, right. Yeah. I'd love to. So you're real big in kind of the tech podcasting world and kind of all of that. I'd love to maybe transition and talk a little bit about that. Like how has ADHD sort of affected that? I think, I mean, part of the reason I call the podcast ADHD Nerds is because I find, so many people with ADHD are kind of drawn to nerdy things, and that, that is different for different people where their nerd-dom goes.

Um, and yours, you know, seems to be kind of in the tech world, which is similar to me, uh, you know, you're on the TWIT network. And that was like, where I very first, you know, I followed Leo Laporte way back when he was on, uh, tech TV, you know, the original G4 and all that sort of stuff happening and the original TWIT.

So I've been sort of obsessed with the tech world for a long time. And it's cool seeing you a part of that now. Yeah. How has ADHD sort of affected all that world for you?

Mikah Sargent: Yeah, I think, um, I think the reason that I got into technology in the first place and found an interest there is because of how much everything [00:28:00] is changing and how much you can learn. And I think in particular, how much it results in sort of a physical manifestation of your, of one's interest, um, you know, people may be super into history and.

I guess if you are able to afford to travel to the different locations where historically these things have happened, then that is where it can be a physical manifestation of that interest. Um, but a lot of, a lot of stuff kind. Exists in in non-oral space. And so with this, for me, this interest was, um, I can have a computer in front of me or whatever it happens to be.

And not only can I make things with it, but I can also fix, uh, if something's broken, I can fix it. Uh, ever since I was even a little kid, I loved, um, fixing and, and, uh, creating and building and. Uh, all sorts of stuff. Uh, my grandparents were they'd buy houses and flip them. And so I learned a lot of [00:29:00] construction and woodworking and all sorts of that kind of stuff, too.

Uh, and still to this day, it's one of my favorite non-tech things to do. But what I'm saying is the variation of, of tech and the way that it's always changing. Honestly the way that it's always breaking is interesting to me too, because I do enjoy, um, tackling a problem that someone brings to me and they're, you know, they're saying, uh, my phone is not doing this and now I get to say, okay, when you say it's not doing this, what does that mean?

They explain more. Uh, and then we dig into all of these different troubleshooting things and it's not. and let me be clear here. If you are a mathematician, you're going to groan at what I'm about to say, but let me get through it. It's not as simple as math. And when I, when I say when I mean or what I mean when I say that, is that with math?

Almost always. Uh, maybe I should say it's not as logical as math cuz with math one plus one always equals two, but sometimes when you do this troubleshooting step, it [00:30:00] results in this. Sometimes it results in that. And sometimes it can just be, wow, we really did just need to turn it off and on again, but there's so many different things and learning how these things go wrong, looking for trends.

Um, seeing how a bunch of people who get a new thing are using it and, uh, what the common issues are that they experience. All of that is just so fascinating to me. And then you get to like pair that with, um, seeing how things change over time. And. Being able to be there at the, you know, the early adopters of the, of this new technology.

And I mean, every aspect of that is just so exciting. And, and so whether it's coding or, uh, you know, I originally went to school to be a graphic designer. Um, And advertiser. It was a special program, um, at the university that I went to called strategic communication. And it was specifically tailored to folks who wanted to go into [00:31:00] PR or go work at an ad agency.

Um, and I always said I wanted to be Don Draper without the womanizing and alcoholism, was what I had originally planned on doing. Uh, but it was then that I got into journalism because I realized that I could help people more that way. And that for me is actually a really rewarding aspect of what I do.

And I find that if another person is involved, then it also helps to kind of soothe the part of my ADHD. That's a little bit, um, Uh, you know, a bit of a struggle I guess, uh, cuz it's like the angel that is ADHD and the devil that is ADHD and being able to help another person in doing something kind of makes the devil be quiet.

Jesse J. Anderson: right. Yeah. I think you really hit on a couple of things that are really key for why. So many of us like lean into and really love, uh, tech, like [00:32:00] one, as you said earlier, like so many of us, we love to learn people with ADHD, often love to learn. And with tech, there's always new stuff to learn. And like, even if, even if technology wasn't constantly pushing forward, there's just so much that exists.

Cuz like I'm. I'm a developer. So I'm in that world and there's so many languages that I have no idea how they work at all. Like I could spend without anything new happening. I could just spend like hundreds of years trying to learn all the stuff that currently exists, but there is new stuff coming every day.

So that makes it even more exciting. There's always new things coming out. And so, yeah, there's that, that love of learning, there's just sort of like an infinite, well, of knowledge that continues to grow. Uh, and the second thing, I think people with ADHD often love to solve, uh, problems or solve puzzles.

And so, like you saying, like it. Like it's frustrating when something doesn't work, but then there's this whole, almost like adventure of like, how am I gonna figure out how to fix this problem? Uh, and kind of the same thing sort of happens with like figuring out optimal workflows. And that's something people with ADHD love to do [00:33:00] too.

Like how can I create a system that's gonna make? And maybe I'll spend way more time on the system than it actually saves me. But there's something about that. That's so like fun and thrilling of just like, how can. How can I build this like perfect little like, box that solves the puzzle for me, going forward and yeah, it's just so much fun.

Mikah Sargent: Oh man. I, I agree. I agree. And, um, the, I mean, with the specific work that I do, one of the shows that I I do every week is called iOS Today. And on that show, my cohost Rosemary Orchard, and I talk about apps, um, and sort of different features and services that exist, but getting to try out new apps and more importantly, find the ones that work well for me, um. It is, is one of the benefits that I get out that I personally get outta that show.

And so, uh, Due, uh, an app that I use as my, it, it bugs me and keeps telling me, Hey, you need to do this thing until I get

Jesse J. Anderson: D U E

Mikah Sargent: Yeah. DUE.

Jesse J. Anderson: [00:34:00] Yes. Love

Mikah Sargent: Uh, I, I would not be where I am today without Due, because that app keeps me on track. Um, I. my next sort of, uh, tackling is trying to, uh, remind myself about the watch that's on my wrist when it comes to needing to remember something, because.

Right now. And I'm sure everybody out there, or many people out there, uh, can identify with this. You'll have something that you were supposed to do and you didn't do. And so you in the moment go, oh, I need to remember to do that next time, but you forget to remember that you need to remember to do that next time.

And so you don't ever write it down or something. And I can just think to yesterday, when I, I was, I remember that I was in the, uh, bathroom standing at the sink and I had this, uh, I remembered something and I go, [00:35:00] oh, that's something I need to do. And then I said, but I will remember it. So I don't really need to, I, but I tell you right now, I don't remember what that thing was.

So apparently I won't remember it. And in that moment, what I wish I would've done was spoken into my watch, cuz it didn't have my phone with me. I wish I would've spoken into my watch. And so I'm trying, that is the next thing that I'm integrating into my workflow is being more mindful of this on my wrist.

And then remembering that I'm using it so that I check, uh, cause I use an app called just press record that I check that just press record app and find those things, uh, because that's where I go. I, I, I wanna ask you a question, uh, flipping the script here and then I'll answer afterward. What do you use to, uh, as a, sort of read it later or link gathering service, uh, assuming that you, you know, you find stuff online that you don't read at that moment..

Jesse J. Anderson: Yeah, so it's kind of a mess. Um, so in the past I've used like I've used Insta paper. I used Pocket for a long time until I eventually just was like, [00:36:00] I never read anything that I put into this

Mikah Sargent: literally nothing.

Jesse J. Anderson: Yeah, put hundreds of things into and I've never read any of them. Um, so a lot of the time, like, honestly right now, what it is is just like open tabs in safari.

I have like 480. I don't know if you know, but the max you can have on mobile safari on an iPhone is 500 tabs. It let you create anymore. And I, I can, I'm real close to it right now. so, and sometimes I, similarly I use in safari, I have, there's like the re uh, I forget what it's called, but there's like a, oh,

Mikah Sargent: oh, reading list.

Jesse J. Anderson: Yeah. Sometimes I'll use that. But similarly, I, I just have, I, I have so much optimism for like future Jesse that he's gonna just have this time to like, sit down on the couch with a cup of coffee and just read for hours and catch up on all these links.

Mikah Sargent: gonna feeling like doing

Jesse J. Anderson: yes. Yeah. And then it just, that, that scenario never, never happens.

Mikah Sargent: oh, I'm glad I'm not alone in that. Um, I will be honest with you, even though I am a [00:37:00] techy person who knows about at least 15 different apps that are out there that could do this. I send text messages to myself. I have an iMessage chat with. Me. And it's funny because the iPhone iOS does seems to not be keen on this.

And so anytime I'm in a situation where I need to, especially on the Mac, um, if you try to share on your Mac with the share sheet, uh, if you type in your name, uh, it almost always suggests my email instead of my phone number. And so that's annoying because. If I had started a transcript previously with just my email, then it'll send to that instead of my actual transcript that has all my stuff in it.

So I have to physically type in my phone number in order for it to recognize that's where I wanna send it. But yeah, I just, and I just scroll back and I love, uh, spotlight search for on my iPhone, on my Mac. And so I can easily find those things, but yeah, if there's something that I need to remember. [00:38:00] That is a link or is an image or a, a document almost always.

It ends up there. And then secondarily, I do have, um, a service called keep it. And, um, I used keep it for quite a while, but then I fell back into the habit of just texting myself again. it's, it works for me,

Jesse J. Anderson: Yeah. Sometimes the simple solutions like that, where it's just like just the raw native app in the most basic form. Like sometimes that's really the way to do it. Um, cool. So we're, we're kind of leaning into shiny objects territory anyways. So why don't we go ahead and jump into that. So other than the ones you've, uh, mentioned already, like what, what's a shiny object, what's something that you've been digging lately with some sort of recommendation.

Mikah Sargent: So, uh, as a person with ADHD, I love to be able to immerse myself in something, but still be able to get other things done. Uh, I'm a huge knitter and crochet. I love to, uh, make my hands do those things, but then also do dishes [00:39:00] and, and do a bunch of other things.

Jesse J. Anderson: wait, you like to do the dishes?

Mikah Sargent: If, if I'm listening to my shiny object, is, uh, I have, uh, Audible. And I'm a huge audio book listener, and I'm currently listening through, um, a series called Mother of Learning.

And Mother of Learning came from, um, a it's kinda one of those online places where writers will just write and write and write and write and write. And, uh, they. There's a, a service, um, or a publishing company called podium. And they pick up a lot of these fantasy books because they end up being quite good.

Uh, so then they make their way onto audible. And, um, mother of learning is this story and I'll, I'll quickly, uh, summarize kind of the, the basic. Basis of it, um, is the story of a young wizard, um, or ma I guess he's called in this book who ends up getting stuck in a time loop and has to keep reliving out about a month [00:40:00] of life and, uh, what, how to get out of that time loop and why the time loop has happened and all that kind of stuff.

And so this is a really fun book that has lots of different, uh, characters in it, but. Listen to so many audio books. I a huge audio book library because I just eat through that while I'm doing other things. And like, that is how I don't mind doing dishes is because my, the part of my brain that would otherwise be going, oh, why are we doing this?

I'm so bored gets to not be bored. So, yeah, that's uh, my favorite shiny object, I guess it's, um, a ringing object since of a sound a sight.

Jesse J. Anderson: I, I find that for me, I always have to listen to audio. If I wanna do anything, like doing the dishes, taking out the trash, any sort of chore sort of stuff. And, uh, because of that, I also have the, like, if I wanna listen to a podcast and I don't have like a chore to do, then I'll do just like

sudoku on my phone or like something that's kind of mindless that I'm doing something while I'm getting to [00:41:00] listen to whether it's audiobooks or podcasts. And it's almost like, I'm sure it's not, it's not a one-to-one, uh, comparison, but kind of like before, when you were talking about the brain scan where it's like one part activated one part, not it's like there's two parts of my brain.

Where one part of my brain wants, you know, wants to listen to this thing, but I need more, I need more than just listening, like sitting and listening. I need to be doing something else. And so like finding, getting kind of that double connection allows me to do dishes. And so a lot of the time I will. If I need to do the dishes or I need to take out the trash, my first step, like my, my, my task initiation is starting the podcast that I like, I can only listen to this favorite podcast of mine or this favorite audiobook when I'm doing a chore.

so that's like kind of the initiation. Uh, that seems to work for me. Um, yeah, so I'm actually, you mentioned like the spotlight search. So for my shiny object, I'm gonna say, uh, Raycast is a new app that I've been using and I love it. So it's very similar to [00:42:00] the spotlight search that's like built in on a Macintosh, um, and a Macintosh, using really ancient language here for

Mikah Sargent: I wasn't gonna say anything. I was gonna let that roll by, but you called yourself out. So

Jesse J. Anderson: Yeah. Like I

of an old, an old hat in the tech days. Uh, yeah. So I used to use Alfred a lot, which is like a replacement for that spotlight search. And I loved Alfred. I've used it for like 10 years, but recently Raycast it just sort of, it's very similar to, Alfred, but it kind of lets you do a few extra things really easily.

So like creating shortcuts for things that I do a lot is. Very user intuitive and I've been a big fan, so it's very, very nerdy app. But if you're into, like, if you've used Alfred before or, you know, way back in the day, there was Quicksilver and other apps like that, uh, highly recommend checking out Raycast and I believe it's, I believe it's totally free.

There's like a team plan thing, but if you're just using it solo, it's free and it's fantastic. I highly recommend it.

Mikah Sargent: man. like now the third person who's told [00:43:00] me now I'm gonna have to try I just, so I've, I've tried Alfred in the past and I just so love spotlight that it, it, you know, it's always done what it needs to, but, uh, I got, I still, again, it's a new shiny, I gotta try it.

Jesse J. Anderson: yeah. Yep.

Mikah Sargent: you've convinced me, does it, what, what, uh, Mac do you use?

Jesse J. Anderson: Well, I actually, uh, what I was gonna do for my shiny object, I just got, I, I, I, I splurge and went for the big one. So I just got the 16 inch, uh, MacBook pro and I got, I got it, out. I have the M1 Max. And I have 64 gigs of Ram and that's my new, like video editing machine that very, very excited about.

So yeah. That's, that's my, yeah, I, I had, I had the original M1, the, the smaller, like 13 inch and I had, I got it with eight gigs of Ram and oof. That not work

Mikah Sargent: Yeah.

Jesse J. Anderson: I was like, my goal was that it was just gonna be kind of a writing machine anyway. And even with that, like the eight gigs just did not hold up.

So I'm very happy [00:44:00] with, uh, yeah, my new. 16 inch Mac. It's good.

Mikah Sargent: All right. I was curious if Ray cast worked well on, uh, apple Silicon, so sounds like it

Jesse J. Anderson: yeah. Yep. Yeah. It's good to go.


Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here, Mikah. This has been, uh, this has been amazing. I love it.

Mikah Sargent: Yeah, thank you for having me. It's uh, fun to get to talk more directly about ADHD and be nerdy at the same time. This is great.

Jesse J. Anderson: absolutely

That's our show, thank you so much for listening. I especially want to thank our VIP patrons, Charise Carlson, Dan Ott, Jessica Cherry DePaul, Luce Carter, Richard Stephens, and Todd Barnett. Your support helps me do this show and the other work I do so thank you so much. If you want to support the show, you can go to patreon.com/jessej that's J E S S E J. And you can always support the show for free by leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or the podcast player of your choice. Full show notes and transcripts are available at adhdnerds.com.