It’s my pleasure to introduce Ana Natkins, the founder of Ana’s Simple Solutions, who joins us today for an exciting conversation on the topic of neurodiverse entrepreneurship. In this discussion, we’ll explore how hyperfocus, a trait commonly associated with neurodivergent individuals, can be harnessed as a powerful tool for success in business. So, get ready to be amazed and inspired as we dive into this juicy conversation with the fabulous Ana!
Ana Natkins is a mother, wife, neuro-divergent, and the owner of Ana’s Simple Solutions. She is obsessed with anything puzzle or logic-related. (Sudoku anyone?)
Ana helps overwhelmed CEOs and their teams get out of the weeds and create kick-A** systems that are simple, easy to follow, and can save you 16 hours a week in what used to be wasted time. She’s all about helping entrepreneurs simplify and take the “busy” out of business. She loves freeing up individuals’ time and energy so they can spend it on the things that matter most to them. For Ana, this could be football with her 10-year-old, napping in a hammock, or helping a femprenuer launch a new product or service.
What does neurodivergent actually mean?
- This can include ADD, ADHD, autism, or other sensory issues.
- Most who identify as neurodivergent all have similar struggles in the executive functioning area of the brain.
What does ADHD look like in adults vs kids?
- There have been a lot of misconceptions over the years about what ADHD and other neurodivergent conditions actually are.
- It used to be that doctors would say that kids would grow out of ADHD, and would be cured of it by 18. It was just their age.
- We now know that ADHD has been internalized at that point.
- In adults, it is mostly internalized, and many adults have a really good way of covering up any deficiencies they have.
- When these symptoms are internalized, it often turns into anxiety and self-doubt.
- The signs for each neurodivergent person show up differently in each one. However, a few things seem to be consistently present: concentration is a struggle, it can be hard to keep a job, and a lot of neurodivergent people actually become entrepreneurs.
- More women and men in the 40s-50s range are getting diagnosed later in life.
How do you transform the thing you hyper-focus on to be successful?
- It’s important to be aware of the things you are really good at focusing on.
- Be aware of your energy. Are you a morning person? Afternoon person? etc.
- Track your time. Figure out what you spend most of your time doing.
- Those who are neurodivergent tend to not spend too much of their time on one thing if they are not interested in it. If you find that you are spending a significant amount of time doing one thing (and it’s not draining all of your energy), that might be a sign of what you prefer to hyper-focus on.
- A time audit is very telling for those whether you’re neurodivergent or not.
- We don’t always spend time where we think we spend time.
- Data tells a story – what story is your data telling?
- It’s a clue into yourself.
- Many people get stuck looking at where they fail. When you time audit, you allow yourself to also look at where you shine. What are you good at? What do you love to spend your time doing?
What do we do with the time audit information once we have it?
Put your tasks into 3 buckets:
- What are you spending most of your time on? Highlight it and make note of it.
- What things are you spending 5 minutes doing, get distracted, spend another 5 minutes, get distracted, and just can’t spend time getting that thing done? Make note of the time of day that you’re doing these things.
- What are the tasks you spend a few minutes on, and then don’t spend any more time on for several days because you really don’t enjoy doing it or it’s not really important?
Build your schedule
- Evaluate what things can I automate and what things can I delegate.
- Flip the time-blocking activity. Instead of keeping track of your time, start to schedule out your time. What would be your ideal schedule? Then put your tasks into those time slots.
- Chunk similar tasks together so that you aren’t context-switching as often.
- Place your meetings, due dates, buffer blocks, etc into your schedule. Then use the rest of the time to block out your schedule.
Where do you place the boring work?
It’s easy to hyper-focus on the things you actually like to do, but how do you work on the tasks you don’t love doing?
Gamify Your Time
If you’re struggling to do the tasks you know you have to do but don’t really want to do, gamify your time.
|Give yourself a time limit.||I will work on my business financials for 15 minutes.|
|Set a reward||After 15 minutes, I will go get a cup of amazing coffee!|
- Recommend not doing meetings after the hyper-focus work. It’s so easy to miss meetings when you are doing the things you want to be doing.
- Instead, do the boring tasks before the meeting. You know that time is going to end because you need to go to the meeting.
Using Project Management
- Have your highest priority tasks show up first.
- It’s about energy, schedule, and a balance of due dates.
- When you’ve met one neurodivergent person, you’ve met one neurodivergent person.
- As a neurodivergent person, you have to figure out what works for you.
What do you do with the tasks you’re not good at or you don’t want to do?
- Automate them by using tools like Zapier or Make
- Using AI tools to help with the tasks you’re not great at.
- Consider getting an assistant for a few hours a week.
What is one action we can take today to make progress in our business?
- Start to write down what you do every day. Chunk it down into 15-minute increments.
- Utilize a Time Tracker: Ana has dropped this freebie to help those trying to manage their time better – whether they are Neurodivergent or just need a better handle on what they are spending time done.
- Track your time for 1-2 weeks (Monday – Friday).
Where You Can Find Ana!