Iain Preston - The NABS Podcast
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How to support yourself and others with ADHD – with Iain preston

Iain Preston is a neurodiverse creative industry leader and DEI advocate. Full of energy and wisdom, Ian shares his lived experience of ADHD, openly discussing the challenges as well as the benefits it brings to his brain. He also shares his thoughts on how ADHDers benefit adland and how team members and leaders can best support those who live with ADHD

Louise (00:06)

This week, our guest is Iain Preston. Iain is a renowned neurodiverse creative industry leader and DEI advocate. He’s got more than 20 years in digital client services and he’s passionate about all things digital and transformation. Iain proudly advocates for neurodiverse communities, working for the creation of inclusive cultures for the good of all businesses and people involved. Iain is also a devoted dad and dog father.

Welcome Iain to the NABS podcast. How are you doing?

Iain (00:37.145)

Really good, thanks Louise. Thanks for inviting me to join you.


Louise (00:40.357)

My absolute pleasure and look, important questions first. What is more of a labour of love? Being a devoted dad or being a dog father?


Iain (00:47.417)

That’s a great question. It’s got to be both, right? I have to be the guy who says he sits on the fence with that because both are labours of love for me. My three sons, as they’re referred to in the house, my two human children and my quadruped. But the kids and my wife will always say the dog comes first now. He apparently is my favourite son, basically.


Louise (01:22.373)

That’s nice. And also people keep telling me how great pets are for mental wellness. They’re really good for chilling you out and being there, literally your emotional support animal. Do you find that with your dog?


Iain (01:27.449)

Oh, totally, totally. And we actually got him coincidentally around lockdown. So my wife was moving between roles and she was like, well, if we’re going to have a dog, this is the time to do it. And it couldn’t have come at a better time because I really struggled through that period as many people did. And having a puppy around, it was just like, you know, another bundle of fun to have about the place in a time that was really challenging. But then also,

you know, it not having been a kind of knee-jerk thing for us, it was kind of just part of what we were planning to have in our lives, but to have, yeah, I really didn’t understand the impact of how important, you know, just getting out, being with the dog, having him there and around. It’s called Rocky, by the way, if I refer to Rocky, I’m not, you know, referencing the film. So, yeah, but Rocky, you know, Rocky, very, very quickly for me was, yeah, some, some, yeah, a release, something I, you know, put more time into and put a focus on that I didn’t necessarily put into other things because he was there, right? And it still is that right to now, you know, walk a lot with him, get outside. It helps me as an ADHD-er put some focus elsewhere and go and do things that actually help me as well.


Louise (02:45.669)

Yeah, that sounds really healthy. Now, you’re just talking about the challenge of lockdown, but can you tell us about another mental wellness challenge that you faced, and particularly something in your identity as someone who lives with ADHD?


Iain (03:00.313)

Yeah, sure. I mean, I think up until my early 40s, yeah, I actually was really, really lucky, I think. I was diagnosed as a kid with ADHD, or as it was known back then, hyperactivity. But it was obviously heavily stigmatised, in my childhood at least. So, you know, if you were hyperactive, you were innately troublesome, annoying, difficult.


But I was fortunate that I was put into schools and systems that actually were very, very beneficial for me. So carrying that forward into, say, work life and so on, I was very fortunate that I’d built structures and coping mechanisms and techniques that actually helped me thrive and be really successful, frankly. I guess the flip side of that, though, was again coinciding with lockdown.


I hit some health challenges and they then cascaded into mental health challenges quite dramatically. And so I sought psychiatric help during the kind of mid-phase of lockdown. And what I’d uncovered Louise was the fact that for all of the positive strong things that I put in place around my ADHD, little hacks, little coping mechanisms that were were good and healthy. I also put in some quite unhealthy ways of managing elements of my condition, right? One of those was alcohol and using alcohol as a means to kind of slow my brain down. I discovered this in my late teens that actually, you know, the kind of hecticness of the way that my brain worked, if I had to do repetitive tasks, the calmer I could make myself to do that, the more I could engage a level of focus and so actually alcohol was my hack to that.


So you know 25 some years I would you know end of my days have some drinks and where everybody else would be going home and you know doing whatever they do I would be going back to work and doing different tasks and doing my emails and in my spreadsheets and those were things that really worked for me frankly because on a biochemistry level that alcohol and doing that actually induced a state to be able to do that. So I became dependent in a very kind of hidden fashion in that way. And then as lockdown came around, I had some health problems. So my liver, I got liver problems for the third time, which is not great when you’re in your early 40s. So no alcohol. So I had that coping mechanism taken away from me. Lockdown hit.


I was the type of person who would sooner get on a plane than do a conference call for any longer than 45 minutes. So again, that kind of strength in me, that reactivity, that impulse that clients would look for and go, hey, jump in, get on a plane, come and get involved with something was gone. So another piece of my toolbox was gone. And then just being in an environment where I was around people, where I could feel people, as my part of my ADHD, I’m hypersensitive, but that hypersensitivity brings on high degrees of empathy, but I rely on physical signals a lot of the time, often unseen, but being in a room with somebody I can relate to a lot more than being through a camera. And this was a very, very difficult transition for me to make to being in front of a laptop and on conference calls and zoom calls and so on. And so with those three things in mind, I actually didn’t have a means of properly managing my ADHD. And as a result, yeah, had this kind of mental breakdown, I really didn’t function anymore in the way that I had. And so yeah, seeking psychiatric help, I, you know, I went through a process of, you know, recovery, if you like, finding new ways to engage, medicating properly. So I, for the first time in my life went on to courses of medication to treat my ADHD. But yeah, I was I was very fortunate, I think, in knowing that I had ADHD and recognizing the signs that I was no longer able to cope and I needed professional help. And that professional that I spoke to was astute enough to not put me down a depression pathway or put me down a bipolar pathway, which is often misdiagnosed in people with high degrees of ADHD and those spikes in terms of emotion. So yeah, I think it was a very, it could have been a very complex journey for me as it is for many people with ADHD.


Yeah, I mean, and it’s a complex journey of diagnosis for people. And I was quite fortunate in finding a professional who understood my experience and journey, understood how I’d got to where I was and trusted the fact that they could jump through those diagnosis steps very quickly to put me on titration, to give me medication in a time when… you know, I was really kind of lost and unable to function. Yeah, so I think that kind of that part of that was a very unexpected juncture for me, having thought that, hey, I’m doing great with my ADHD and I don’t need to talk to anybody about it for the whole of my life, you know, if I could get away with it kind of thing.


Louise (08:42.277)

That sounds really challenging. And it’s interesting about alcohol working in a certain way, positively for you. A lot of what I’ve read about ADHD is that there is a propensity towards addiction because of the way that dopamine is or isn’t present in the brain. So if you have pronounced ADHD, you need, quote unquote, to chase those highs.


Iain (09:03.449)



Iain (09:09.209)

Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.


Louise (09:11.909)

Perhaps in a more aggressive way than someone who’s neurotypical because the dopamine regulation and production works in a different way.


Iain (09:22.809)

Yeah, yeah, I think what’s really revealing for me in, you know, my mid -40s, whatever, but middle, I was about to say middle age then, my God, that feels rough on me. Let’s say, yeah, exactly, exactly. But like that more kind of reflective adulthood, let’s call it that, right? Where, you know, I look back a bit.


Louise (09:35.237)

Let’s start stroking that beard. Oh, you have got a beard.


Iain (09:47.801)

And I’m actually very, I’m very pleased that I now understand more about my past because I understand more about my ADHD, right? You know, high degrees of impulsivity. You know, for people with ADHD, those dopamine hits, it’s much easier to get a dopamine hit from, you know, people recognizing you for doing something bad, frankly, as a teenager growing up. And a lot of people who are you know, ADHD or similar kind of neurodiverse or have similar neurodiverse traits will often be drawn into, you know, situations where they’re either exploited, or they are bullied, or they are abused in some way. And because of the frankly, the biochemistry, right, you know, you are seeking those highs. And if somebody is there prepared to give you a, you know, a nudge forwards, because you’re doing something naughty, and you get that nudge and you get that hit out of it, then your propensity to actually go and do it again is much higher. I think, you know, there’s quite a few studies around the penal system and how many people are either diagnosed or undiagnosed with ADHD. And this, I think I’ve read something around 50%, even in the US penal system or something like that, have ADHD or other similar traits, high degrees of dyslexia and other neurodiverse traits. And I think it’s a combination of the factor that you mentioned there in relation to ADHD, but also, you know, the marginalisation that can be created by communities, society, you know, education, whatever those establishments might be, because, you know, people are different and they are marginalised as a result of that. And it can obviously push people down, down the wrong path.


Louise (11:33.541)

You’re in a good place now. You’ve had your rocky experiences, haven’t you? And especially reflecting on that mental health breakdown as you called it. Now that you’re medicated and you’ve got that understanding of yourself, are you better in you more of an on an equilibrium or do you still experience those symptoms of ADHD?


Iain (11:54.169)

Yeah, I mean, like being medicated is no silver bullet, right? And, and honestly, you know, there’s days when I’d go, I would choose to pick up a few drinks, versus have my meds. I don’t drink now, by the way, I’m proposing five years sober now, but it’s, it’s, it’s more down to the fact that I think that you have to find your own kind of relationship with your condition, right? And for me, in spite of my health being better now and stuff like that, and I could physically drink again, I choose not to because I recognise now that my relationship with alcohol as a means was a control thing, right? And I was putting the wrong control in place for my traits.


Now, back to your question. Yeah, my medication is a stimulant, right? So weirdly, people like me, stimulants don’t work in the way that like people would expect. So I have my dose of amphetamines twice a day, which is insane in one way, to a bystander, so to speak. The idea that you’re giving a stimulant to somebody who’s hyper stimulated seems kind of crazy, right? But actually in my biochemistry, that actually means that the signals that need to connect in my brain are actually much more able to do so. So it’s kind of dialling down on the noise. The way I describe my world actually addresses another point, which I find a bit of a bit contradictory in certain people’s ADHD. I’m fortunate that I have a trait that is called hyperfocus.


Now it’s not with everybody with ADHD, but when I do talks about you know, my condition or people who are similar to me, I use a slide that is like a wall of TVs with everything going on, right? And the way I describe the lack of focus that people perceive is actually that people like me are focused on everything, right? We literally have the world coming at us in every possible way, all dialled up to 11, right? And what we lack is executive function. So the ability to look at those things or feel those things that are coming into our world and then provide the prioritization that’s required to get on, right? So be able to go, actually it’s TV channel Y that I have to focus on now and dial down on the rest of it. So being medicated for me on a day -to -day basis actually helps me innately do that far more easily and have far fewer moments where I found myself lost in the thing that I’m doing because I’m doing five other things at the same time or I’m drawn into five other things at the same time.


Louise (15:00.709)

It’s a busy brain you’ve got there, isn’t it? Now, as well as talking to us today, you’re giving a NABS talk in May on neurodiversity at work. We’re going to do a deep dive there on how businesses can support with ADHD. As I was saying at the top, you’re one of our industry leaders.


Because you’re a leader in our industry, you’ve got that vision of what needs to happen from an organisational view, combined with your ADHD background. So you’re in a really good place to advise. What’s one key takeaway, give us a taster, what’s one key takeaway that people can do now, maybe something on a more micro level within their organisation. So if you’re a team leader, for example, what can you do to better support someone who comes to you and says, I’ve got ADHD?


Iain (15:59.321)

Mm -hmm. So I think speaking as somebody who has worked in teams and led teams, I think something that I did for a lot of my career was actually signal to people the ways in which I like to work, but do it in a way that until very recently, I wasn’t disclosing, right? And I think the best leaders I’ve been with have recognized those signals and actually acknowledged them and allowed them to be taken on board inside of teams as well. And I think it’s easier with colleagues, actually, I think actually saying to people you want to work in a particular way or think these are things to look out for can be easier in some settings than it is with a leader sometimes, right? But I would really, really encourage leaders to be very open to, and also for themselves to explain to people that they can signal how they want to work. And I’ll give you a couple of practical steps that I used to take and still do take with teams, right?


One of them is email, right? I really struggle with email. As a device, I cannot fathom how Outlook becomes this tone for people and they can work through it. So I have a real challenge with email. And so I would signal to people for many years, I struggle with email. I would also signal that I would be working at funny hours, right? So I would say, look, don’t worry about replying to me and you’re gonna get something at 2 a .m. from time to time. Don’t worry about me, it’s just the way I work. So I’d always do that as well. And people got used to it, right? And they understood that that’s what was going on.


And it also helped that for many years I was on a plane and I was in another part of the world as well doing my work. So the time zones did work in my favour to some degree. And then the other thing I’d say is I would also let people know that they should nudge me. So I literally would say to people, I’m never going to turn around to you and go, don’t bother me about that. I’m on it kind of thing. I would very much be the person to go, thank you. I’ve got that. Or even more actually, I hadn’t got that thanks to the nudge. So I would say to people and still do to this day, like, okay, if you haven’t heard from an email reply that you sent to me, just pop me a text, ping me a WhatsApp, let me know that it’s in there and I’ll absolutely get to it because there is a chance that I’ve just missed it. And so it’s little things like that. I think to some leaders previously and historically, I think people are much more tuned to this now, but previously people would be quite critical of that. They’d be like, oh, right. They’d go, they don’t follow up and they don’t reply on X and Y. But actually it was a one, you know, it was a one channel that we’re going through. And actually for people like me, it’s really helpful to have multiple signals of their need to do things. Like I list stuff all the time. Like people used to look at my desk when we were working in like a big studio together in digital sales LBI. And I would have like post-its and notes and scribbles and stuff everywhere. But people knew not to mess with the desk. Don’t tidy anything up, don’t do anything with it, don’t move it. Because it was my mind map of how everything needed to go on for me. So again, that whole tidy desk policy at one point, I went into consulting at one point, my God, the whole clear desk policy was just like a mind blown thing for me. I was like, this is a nightmare.


So again, just being as a leader, able to allow people to put forward their ideas on how they work best and allow the team to form their norms because actually your colleagues by and large are really, really accommodating and they really want to help you as a person, you know, bring the best that you’ve got to your work, right? And so small adjustments like that really, you know, really are not a big deal for the majority of people. And I think also a little bit of give on that side of things, some leadership gives a strong signal for people like me that they will give even more to that business.


Louise (20:29.061)

So I can attest to that because when we started working together, both on planning this podcast and also the talk that we’ve got coming up, you said very clearly, if you don’t hear back from me, just give me a WhatsApp. I find it really helpful. Don’t be afraid to nudge me. And I also asked you how else we could help you. And you said, structure emails, let me know about agendas for meetings. And it’s just a simple enough question. Like, ‘How can we help you? How can we support you?’ can then enable someone who does have ADHD or whatever other need it is that they have, to then state really clearly, this is it. And you know, when you think about it in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big ask. Feel free to WhatsApp me, give me a few notes before the meeting. It’s not a big ask, is it? Everyone can do it.


Iain (21:13.049)

Totally, Louise. And again, I really appreciate yourself and your other colleagues who’ve been really brilliant in actually putting that upfront in all the communications that you’ve done. I was on a call yesterday with the team from the advertising association. I’m part of the All In Action Plan group around disability. And it’s interesting, just formulating the wording around the next action in there. And you know, really the focus of that is addressing exactly this. What is it that we can be asking of our All In champions that they can frame around a statement, but make it an intent that they can follow up on, right? And it’s a really simple one. It sounds simple, but actually to put into action and just do it repeatedly to help people. I know I use this term to work and life around everyday inclusion.


So how can we really make things every day, you know, because like you say, just dropping into an early conversation with someone else. So how is it that you prefer, you know, to, to, uh, to have communication with the, with a team like ours, right? Or, okay, you’re coming to our building for the first time. Is there anything that we can do to just make it as easy as possible as you arrive here?


You know, even not asking people to disclose, but just giving them a couple of hints here, by the way, you know, we’re very used to people coming into the building who have access needs. Unfortunately, there’s some steps in our building, but we do have a ramped access that is around the corner if somebody from your team happens to need that. Or, you know, we recognise that a lot of our space is open and that can be a little bit difficult. Do you prefer that we have a team setting that is in a meeting room or anything like that? Again, it’s small things that actually build up to being a big change for people and a massive impact for everybody in and around our community.


Louise (23:08.645)

Yeah, exactly. And from NABS’ perspective, we believe really strongly in the power of inclusive cultures. So you’ve got that as a foundation for people then to feel comfortable, empowered and have the right knowledge to make those offers, to make those gestures and to know that that’s part of the culture. That’s how we do things. We’re all generous and we’re all kind. We have inclusive leader training, which I strongly recommend everyone check out, just to make our industry a kinder and more considerate place where everyone feels that they’re supported in the way they want to work.


Now, a lot of what you read about ADHD, it’s the negatives, unfortunately, isn’t it? However, I’m sure you can tell us about some of the ways in which the industry benefits from employees who have ADHD.


Iain (23:57.337)

Yeah, definitely. I think we’re really fortunate in our industry and I think having quite a high degree of types of neurodiversity that we come across. I’ve actually joked with colleagues in the past as we’ve gone on our various journeys and gone into different types of walks of life and work that, you know, as ADHDs, we don’t quite come up with the term with it, but it’s like, we cluster, we kind of find each other and I think in, in, yeah, there’s a number of people who’ve disclosed in the past few years who we had no idea while we were working together, why it was we worked so well together, but actually, those neurodiverse traits, we could read each other, we understood, we made allowances for one another. You know, we allowed our minds to wander and explore the kind of why not rather than the whys, right?


And I think, that notion of having quite expansive thinking, having a means to connect unrelated or seemingly unrelated thoughts or ideas is quite a gift that you see in many people from a neurodiverse community. I think the ability for us to be part of groups who are, let’s say, more neurotypical. I relied a lot on individuals who are neurotypical to be the best that I could be in my organizations. I think we really do rely on a project manager or something like that, in my case, to go, hey, can you just help me with these timesheet things? I mean, my God, it kills me.


And, you know, for them to take some of that burden and go, no, no, no, we can chew through that with this team. That’s fine. Yeah, yeah, right. There’s five of you and did it, you know, and just be able to help you. Um, I think, you know, I’ve been very fortunate that across my career, I’ve had people do that for me and I’ve seen people do that for one another, whether they’ve disclosed or not. And I think that’s a really good thing and powerful thing in our industry. Um, I think also, yeah, there’s a, there’s a common trait in, um, uh, or a trait you come across frequently in ADHD is around kind of spatial thinking. So whether it’s 3D or whether it’s this notion of you being able to imagine in a way that you can then put into action. And I think oftentimes we’ll procrastinate and we’ll be trapped in some of this kind of spiral of inertia. But again, with the right triggers around us and the right teams and kind of very blended and diverse teams, frankly.


Louise (26:39.205)

Thank you.


Iain (26:49.369)

Actually great teams pick up on those signals and help you. So actually you take them to unexpected places. I think what surprised people at times when I’ve talked about some of the people I’ve worked best with is they are either very neurotypical in some degree, if you wanted to define it that way, or they are from other elements of the spectrum where actually we, we, you’re on paper, you know, from an academics and people would go, you jar, like I’m really loud, really out there, you know, and, I’ll be working with somebody who is extremely focused, extremely quiet and, you know, very reserved. And yet we find a real vibe with each other in terms of how we connect and what we bring out in one another. And I think that is something that we’re very fortunate in our industry that in the right settings, we can build those types of relationships and engagement that some of the industries may not be able to afford you the space to be able to do. And I feel very lucky that I found my way into advertising design in the digital world. Because I think there’s other worlds where I would have notionally been directed towards that I would have found really, really challenging and not thrived in the way that I have.


Louise (28:06.949)

We ask everyone on the podcast, how does the advertising and marketing community lift you up? And it sounds like that might be the way where people with diversity of thought are welcomed, where you can form connections with people. Is that a fair assessment? And is there’s anything that you would add to that?


Iain (28:28.249)

Yeah, I think so. I mean, you know, I don’t want to, you know, I always try and be balanced, right, as well. And without drawing on the negatives, I think, there are absolutely people’s experiences of some of the things that we touched on earlier, you know, I think, you know, we can all reflect on areas of our community where, you know, people maybe don’t feel and react quite negatively to…


Louise (28:35.973)

Right, of course.


Iain (28:55.033)

the way that they’ve been treated by the leadership or colleagues in these settings. Like I say, from a personal experience perspective, I’ve been very fortunate for the most part. It’s been a very, very positive journey for me. And actually, last year, in fact, I was reminded in two situations of how much, I guess, this community around advertising has really meant to me, right?


And one of them was with the BIMA 100. So I was inducted into the BIMA  100 last year. Thank you very much. And it was for my work around inclusion. And it meant so much to me. It meant more though, right at that moment in time, because I’d actually finished with my time at Wunderman Thompson. And I literally had no concept of, you know,


Louise (29:30.917)



Iain (29:53.273)

going into the BIMA 100 at that point in time, you know, I’d exited a full -time role in a network. I was no longer on a day -to -day basis connected with teams and industry. I was no longer being PR’d, so to speak, right? So in terms of it being there for, or being an award, so to speak, that was there for the benefit of an employer or, you know, inside of the structure of an organization, that wasn’t the case. And so to be sort of on my way out, as it were.


But then knowing that a person or persons, I still don’t know to this day, have come together and decided that they wanted to take the time to put me forward into something like that and then to be recognized was amazing. It was a real reminder of how people really care and they want to lift you up. They want you to be recognized for doing good work and being a good leader. And it meant the world to me.


I think the other thing that really kind of struck home to me was kind of a sadder piece of news last year was the passing of Simon Gill, who’s a really, really, really close friend and colleague and a mentor. So Simon and I met in LBI years ago, so 2007. And yeah, he…


He was suffering from cancer last year and he died really quickly at the end of the year. And it was very sudden and quite a shock to everybody. And some of us in a close circle knew about what was taking place. But obviously it wasn’t kind of publicly known, but it happened so quickly, suddenly word got out. And I wasn’t quite ready for it, frankly. And actually what I also wasn’t ready for was how many people took a moment and reached out to me personally and knowing how close we were and there’s a lot of people who were really close to Simon. He touched a lot of people and made an incredible impact in our industry. But they thought to reach out and go, we’ve heard this news and we just wanted to let you know we’re thinking about you and how are you and what can we do and so on. And I was absolutely overwhelmed with the fact that people took that moment and took that time. I never appreciated how I never expected it. I never anticipated it.


And it meant again, so much that, you know, you’re not taken for granted. And I, and you know, it was such a hard time, but actually it’s brought so many of us together and reminded us of how, how, how brilliant our time has been in working in some of those different environments and settings, but also how much we mean to one another. And so again, it meant the world for as a community in our industry that, you know, people really thought about me in that moment. And it did make an incredible amount of difference at a very difficult time.


Louise (33:04.293)

That’s a really moving example. And I also think for anyone who’s listening to this, who’s got ADHD or who lives with ADHD and is having a more difficult time at work. And we know that people are because our Advice Line is receiving calls from people who aren’t feeling supported, who are in serious conversations with their employees because they’re even being discriminated against because of their ADHD. We know people are going through that. And I think your story shows that there is some light at the end of the tunnel and they…

you can go through some serious challenges as someone living with ADHD, but ultimately you can find your tribe.


Iain (33:41.657)

Yeah, absolutely. And there’s a, I think there’s an increasing role for leaders and like you say, especially at times when different communities are being marginalised, right? No, let’s face it in times of economic downturn, right? It is those groups who are more marginalised or underrepresented who suffer, frankly, and I know first-hand that it’s not through a lack of want in some of these organizations, but people do fall quiet, right? Allies in those big positions, their focus becomes about, you know, other factors, right? And it diminishes the importance of whether it’s inclusion or other related topics. And I think there is room for leaders to be more forthright in standing for and defending individuals who are in those communities because it’s easy to kind of turn your backs on smaller groups because, you know, the numbers, whatever the reasons, you know, or to just fall quiet. And I think we need to maintain those voices through these times and make sure that, you know, there are leaders who are going to be in those businesses who are going to represent and they are going to stand up for people.


Louise (35:11.109)

Absolutely. And to reiterate, again, if you want to learn more about that, then join the NABS Talk that we’re going to have with Iain coming up. We will post the link in the show notes. And if you happen to be listening to this podcast after that talk has taken place, I think we’re recording it. So we’ll post the link to the recording there as well. So you can still benefit from all the wisdom. I’ve really enjoyed this chat. Amazingly, we’re at our last question. That’s gone really quickly. What’s the best lesson you’ve learned about how to support yourself?


Iain (35:42.393)

Um, listen to people and do take a moment to take their advice on board. I’ve lost count frankly over the years the number of times people have said to me slow down, take a break, you know, actually switch off, right? And I actually thought I don’t need to.


In 99 % of those situations, I’d say I was probably right in 75 % of them, right? Now that might sound like me just bigging myself up and going, hey, look at me, I’m three quarters, right? But I don’t mean it like that. I mean, there’s a lot of people who see people like me buzzing around lots and go, geez, that’s a heavy load, right? What are they up to? There’s 20 things on their plate. It’s interesting, my business coach, she’s epic and. we did a diary thing of like, what’s been going on, what’s happening. And she sort of sat back and took a couple of classes and looked at me and she was just like, I’m tired. Just listening to it. Like, is this really your week? And I’m like, yeah. She’s like, wow. So I think there is a part of that where, you know, but just because of the way I’m made, you know, yes, I kind of, that’s me, you know, that’s how I’m wired.


But there’s also, masking, right? There’s also just getting on with it. There’s also, you know, the places where you don’t step back and, you know, take a breath and take a beat. And so the rest of that time, that 24 and a bit percent, 25% whatever, people were right. And I probably did myself harm, but also I sent a bad signal to them as well. You know, I’d be the person, you know, badgering people to take their holiday days before the end of the year or, you know, secretly tacking them on the following for early months in the year when the time sheet said no or whatever.


But I would be the person poking them and going, go and take that time. I want you to send me a picture from outside or, you know, whatever. And so when I started to do those things for myself, but show them to people and like when I started to take calls outdoors and do my one -to -ones and walk with people, I like to do the walk and talks. Um, it sent a really good signal to them to go, this is acceptable, this is every day, right? This is something I can do and I can practise. And so I think what I’ve learned is, yeah, listen to those signals from people and do take the time and let people know that you’ve taken that time to be with yourself, to be with your family, to be with your friends, to be with your dog.


And because it helps, I think it helps us all create a much more balanced and positive environment because work and life can be tough and I think it’s actually really important that you’re not only taking time for yourself, you’re not just taking time for yourself, you’re letting other people know it’s okay to take time for them as well.


Louise (38:51.141)

Yeah, absolutely. You’re showing the way. That is a lovely, relaxing, open note on which to end. In the show notes, we will signpost to some places where you can get more information about ADHD. We would of course put the details for the NABS Advice Line down there as well. So if you’ve been affected by any of this and please give us a call, we’re here to help. And Iain, is it okay if we put a link to your LinkedIn in the show notes as well so people can know where to find you and carry on the conversation?


Iain (39:15.257)

Of course, yeah. Have a seat.


Louise (39:20.645)

It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today. Also very impressed that Rocky has not barked once during this, which is excellent. My child’s home from school, she hasn’t made any noise. Your dog hasn’t made any noise.


Iain (39:35.001)

The stars have aligned, you know, and then there’s been no hailstorm during this call either, which actually in the past 48 hours, one couldn’t have predicted that either, right?


Louise (39:44.933)

Truly we have been blessed. I’m really looking forward to continuing the conversation with the NABs talk. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your wisdom today. Have a great afternoon.


Iain (39:56.857)

Thanks so much, Louise. Cheers.


Louise (39:58.373)

Thank you.


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