We spoke to Ross, a Disability Employment Consultant who also has ADHD, to find out how he uses doppel.
Hi Ross, thank you for speaking with us today. We not only want to find out about how people have been using doppel but also about who our doppelgangers are. It would be great to find out more about you, what you do for a living, what your hobbies are?
Well, I work as a disability employment researcher. I research the barriers that disabled people face in accessing employment - graduates in particular. A large point of my job involves interviewing employers and the graduates themselves. As with any job, it comes with a lot of administrative tasks, which I am not particularly good at. Frankly, I do not have the attention span for it - I have ADHD.
What is it like living with ADHD? What’s been your process to generally manage it?
For people with ADHD (ADD), there are limited options. You can either take Ritalin or some other stimulant drug, which obviously a lot of people don’t want to take because of side effects or just personal choice. When I was a university student, which is when all these problems came about, I tried using binaural beats which are stimulating enough not to be a bore but not to the point of distraction. It kind of subdues the brain, like a hypnotic effect, and that worked for me.
What inspired you to purchase doppel?
I needed something to help me, almost discipline myself enough to focus, No one drug is going to cure you of ADHD - there’s no cure. You just have to find ways around it and find things that help so, that’s why I bought doppel. In the same way, binaural beats are repetitive I thought doppel might work, but instead of auditory information, it’s touch. I thought the repetitive rhythms, that I would actually feel, might be more effective than just music.
Did you find that doppel worked for you?
My experience so far has been that it does work, but it depends on how you use it. If I use it recreationally, for example, just by putting it on my wrist and walking around, that will not benefit me. However, when I am actually trying to focus on something, then it does have a positive effect. I prefer doppel to binaural beats because you can feel it. When people say "I can feel the music,” with doppel it's a physical sensation that really is there.
"I like the fact that doppel hasn’t got a screen on it. I like the fact that it doesn’t have any buttons either because all of those things distract you even more."
So how does doppel fit into your routine, how do you use it?
When I’m doing admin work, I use the setting that makes you alert and relaxed at the same time. I’ll leave it on, and it works in keeping me focused. I saw an article on the BBC about procrastination which is something I have a huge problem with. The article explained that procrastination is not about understanding what to do, it’s about being able to manage your emotions long enough to do something. That made sense to me because I would put things off that made me feel anxious, and that’s why I procrastinated. It had nothing to do with the fact that I was lazy. Some of the emails I have to send are not easy because a lot of what I do is about challenging ignorance, and I’ve noticed that doppel makes me feel calmer, less anxious and a lot more focused.
I’m quite into mindfulness, which is a lot about being in the moment rather than letting yourself be distracted. I don’t meditate all the time, but now when I do, I use doppel. Meditation is about what’s going on in the body, and I need something external for that - a ticking clock is a good example. You need an anchor - a physical anchor at that moment - I think doppel is the best possible thing you could use for that. It’s too easy to get distracted or think about something else when you meditate. Your mind wanders, but the point is to try and bring your mind back to focus. doppel touches you, so it’s a constant reminder that you’re here now in the present.
I like the fact that doppel hasn’t got a screen on it. I like the fact that it doesn’t have any buttons either because all of those things distract you even more. The fact that the design is quite analog means it doesn’t feel like a device - that’s what I like about it.
This interview has been edited & condensed for clarity.