49: Practice Makes Precious: On Procrastination and Practice


Precious Makey Talks Procrastination and Practice

Raising her son while pursuing her passion in college, guest Precious Mackey talks of challenges and tribulations she has dealt with over her life, as well as her path to finding a solution though understanding her ADHD. Until she was diagnosed not long ago, and despite having exemplary grades throughout most of school, Precious’ sporadic study practices and workload between school and life had become too much to handle. Listen as Precious walks through various points in her life where ADHD played a part, providing motivation and inspiration for others along the way.

About Precious Mackey:

  • A returning college student from Florida, Precious now lives in Virginia.

  • She began studying in college for dental hygiene, but later dropped out to better focus on raising her newborn son.

  • Her son, now nine, helps keep her focused while giving her purpose and drive.

College and School:

  • At around the same time her son was born, Precious also began studies at college in the field of dental hygiene.

  • She never felt she had the same drive and focus she saw in others to progress in school and toward their goals.

  • Throughout grade school, despite being a good student, Precious rarely tried to improve her grades and would frequently only do the minimum amount of work needed in order to score well. Instead of expending some effort to receive “A”s, she would settle to not study and earn high “B”s.

  • Precious endured a lot of pressure from her aunt and uncle to perform better in high school; she would be lectured about receiving an “A−”. This drove her to stress out in search of perfection.

  • She has now has gained perspective to the point that she no longer feels her grades are a reflection on her self-worth.

  • Eric: Your grades really only matter as far as your first job. It’s not worth it to fret over slightly less than perfection.

After College:

  • Due to time and effort constraints compounded by her poor study habits, Precious decided to drop out of college so she could better focus on raising her son.

  • Precious then began working a job as a waitress in a corporate restaurant, which she now realizes was a great job for her ADHD due to its hectic pace and continual differing of experience.

  • Over the years at her job, she became increasingly efficient, also relying on it to escape from the other problems in her life. The confidence and empowerment that came with her job sometimes came from imagining herself as embodying the character of a waitress whenever she would don her uniform.

Returning to College:

  • Precious decided to return to school to continue her dental hygiene studies.

  • Upon her return, she realized she was still unsure about whether she wanted to continue studies and whether college would work out for her in the long run.

  • Also around the time of her return, Precious bought a piano to play in her free time. A friend of hers asked to be taught how to play. During their lessons, the friend suggested Precious consider teaching others as a profession.

  • Precious found that there happened to be a nearby college with a top-ranked arts program, and after auditioning, she was accepted into its music school.

ADHD Diagnosis:

  • Within the first few weeks of the music school, Precious began to struggle due to the depth and continuity needed between lessons.

  • Precious began to heavily procrastinate over months of time, and her teachers began to comment on the lacking results.

  • A few years prior to her return to college, Precious had been diagnosed with depression and had begun seeing a psychologist. She mentioned her school struggles to the psychologist, who then asked about ADHD and any past Precious may have had with it.

  • Though initially skeptical herself, upon looking into more of the research, visiting a specialist, and reading a particular article describing almost exactly what she had been living, she began to gain a better understanding of ADHD.

  • With this new information, Precious was excited that she finally had a potential solution to the problems she had been facing.

  • After attending three one-hour test appointments with a counselor, she came to terms with her ADHD.

  • “Me being late is not my personality.”

  • After starting the medication, Precious was able to finally be focused enough to practice piano when she needed to, productive enough to keep her home clean and organized, and attentive enough to accomplish other goals in her life. Classes and concepts that previously she had struggled with were now much easier to grasp and perform well in.

  • Her piano teacher was still skeptical about the relevance of her diagnosis and medication.

  • Precious: The medication is a tool, not a fix-all answer.

  • Eric: The medication helps the brain focus, but it doesn’t teach you to think.

Products and People Mentioned:

Random Question Round:

  • If you could see one thing invented that has yet to be, what would it be?

  • How long can you dunk an Oreo cookie in milk before it falls apart?

  • Why is there no E-sharp or F-flat?

  • In the prospective future where you write your opus, what is its name?

  • Who would you like to orchestrate your opus, and with what instruments?

Precious’ Parting Message:

If you do have an inkling and think that it might be helpful for you to look into ADHD and it may be affecting you, […] there are others, and you’re not alone. It’s very isolating initially, especially when everyone that you do know in person doesn’t believe in it. It’s something that’s affected me my whole life, and I’m so thankful now that I have the answer to that problem so that I know how to assess it and manage it. I’m excited to plan some change now that I know that I can do what I thought before I wasn’t able to do.

Find and Contact Precious:

Other information:

  • If you would be interested in planning to meet for scheduled “adult study hall” sessions, let Eric know at either erictivers.com or eric@ericgivers.com.

  • If you want you hear your question or comment on a future episode, go to erictivers.com/adhdrewired and look for the comment form, or click on the yellow button for either “Be a Guest” or “Record your question”.

  • Are you looking for a coach? You can schedule a free 20-minute consultation with Eric. Go to erictivers.com and click the blue “Schedule an Appointment” button

  • http://www.chadd.org/

  • Northern Illinois chapter of CHADD

    • Third Monday of every month at 6:45 PM

    • Grayslake, Illinois

(CHADD does not endorse this podcast)

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