The upside of ADD

The Upside of ADD

It’s the dreaded word–ADD–Attention Deficit Disorder. But there’s an upside to ADD as published by the Wall Street Journal.   Finally, something good. 

You see it is good to be a daydreamer. 

There is a link between daydreaming and creativity. There is something good about not paying attention. People come up with new ideas.

In fact, studies have found that employees that have some down-time, “leisure internet surfing,” are more productive. It’s good to focus and then it’s good to let your brain daydream and become creative.

You know how kids and adults with ADD have a hard time focusing when there are external distractions?
At Harvard University, 86 students were given a mental test to measure their ability to ignore external stimuli, like the noise of an air-conditioner. Being able to ignore, typically means you have better focus, an essential characteristic of productivity. But, they found that the undergrads that had a tougher time ignoring external stimuli were actually seven times more likely to be “emininent creative achievers”.


This was very strong in students with high IQs, who were easily distracted. These lapses in attention are crucial to creativity. When faced with a difficult problem, being able to look at it from a different angle, even far-fetched, will often bring the answer. When you don’t know where to look, being able to look everywhere is helpful. Wow, I feel better already. Let’s just say we have a lot of creative people in my home, starting with my hubby-bubby, down to my 15 year-old son. My kids have been known to day-dream.


They are also great thinkers, problem-solvers and creative to-boot.And 30 years ago my problem-solving husband tried to get the paper diaper companies to put those absorbent crystals in the diapers. They said “no mom would pay an extra 50 cents for that.” Hmmm…I wish we had the money for that now.It’s how great ideas come about. And innovative ideas make our life better.


Some of the adults with ADD see new ventures, such as the guy who started Jet Blue. He started the company against all the odds. Now, he has started up the Brazilian airline, Azul. Being able to focus is often necessary, but the other side of the coin, dis-tractability can be positive. We may come up with a good idea. One thing can lead to another.So, maybe this afternoon you should pass on that extra coca-cola or energy drink, and daydream a little. Take a walk with your head in the clouds.

I love that part of the movie “Uncle Buck,” when John Candy goes to see the Principal at the elementary school about his niece, Maisy. She is only six years old and the Principal is complaining that Maisy is a

“bad egg… “a twittler, a dreamer, a silly heart, she is a jabberbox, and frankly, I don’t think she takes a thing in her life or career as a student seriously.”



  • So true, all of it.

  • We have a preschooler that has to have ADD. That kid is all over the board but I’ll tell ya, he is always smiling, always happy, and always flitting from on thing to the next.

    We have him for speech and I think if his little brain can slow down just a bit his speech will come.

    I just love him to pieces and I love how he brightens up the room with his smile.

    Great post and great video clip!

  • That is seriously my favorite part of that whole movie! I totally agree with what you’ve said! 🙂

  • Yes, Open the mind! That’s what it’s all about after all. Great post. Take care, Keri

  • Sarah Lunt

    I loved this post – but I love everything you write! I’ve always been a daydreamer and once asked my husband if he ever had a problem with daydreaming in school. He looked at me oddly and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever daydreamed in my life, what is that? I don’t even understand what that means.” I was shocked, I thought everyone daydreamed. Nice to know that it’s not such a bad attribute afterall. 🙂

    • well, that is funny, he never daydreamed, I guess you better show him how. How is life out there? We have 90 degrees here today and that is too hot for me.

      • Sarah Lunt

        Life is good – we just welcomed Lunt #5 two weeks ago. Houston Ridge Lunt has brought a little more Heaven to Ohio. We sure miss the 90 degrees, blue skies, and sunshine!

        • congrats! I had my fifth at age 41, and he just turned his mission papers in to go at age 18. wow, it goes by too fast.

  • Pingback: 5 ways to help your teen find what makes his brain light up - Eve Out of the Garden()

Disclaimer This site is not affiliated with or owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I do not seek to influence or gather members of the Church. I started Eve Out of the Garden as a place to record my thoughts as I search for greater truth and light and acknowledge that my thinking can change during this process. The content covers many areas of my life — homeschooling, homesteading, health, faith, family history, marriage, raising kids, online learning, nature, science, nutrition, education, and just about anything you might find as a mortal on earth.