As ADHD’rs we have the bad habit of getting away from things that are helpful. (Perhaps another post on why this is at some point in the future.) I recently re-started a practice that I’ve used in the past and wanted to share how helpful it has been for me, even though I consider myself pretty squared away at this point in my life.
I have been struggling with organizing my days lately. This is a struggle which plagued me earlier in life, but hasn’t been much of a problem lately… or so I though. Recently, I have had a long list of things to get done, but none of them have been accompanied by too much urgency or a definitive deadline. As a result, with the exception of my client sessions, I had lapsed in to a pattern of largely unproductive days. Needless to say, that was not helpful to my business and wasn’t great for morale.
Last weekend was super relaxing with the house to myself. I was free to catch up on some shows, watch movies, work out, and eat take out – aka food that I didn’t have to cook myself. But when Sunday night rolled around and I was having trouble sleeping, I realized that I needed to give myself some structure for Monday morning in order to get myself back in the flow of working and being productive. My solution was something that I hadn’t done in a while but had always worked in the past. I made a very detailed schedule for the following day.
I pulled out my two lists of things to do (personal & professional) and I accounted for my time for the following day down to five minute increments when needed, and included everything. This technique allows me to prioritize, put my tasks in to time, make sure I’ve considered how long things will take, etc. It is the structure that I need and sometimes forget to give to myself.
Of course, I didn’t follow it exactly. I never do. Things always come up. Sometimes things take longer. Items were added and removed or moved around. The best thing about self structure is that it’s flexible! Bottom line is that Monday was one of my most productive days in months. So, it occurred to me… Why don’t I do this more often? I didn’t have a good answer.
So, starting Tuesday night, I began to make my schedule at the end of my work day for the following day. Wednesday was again one of my most productive days in months. Put that together with today and Monday and I’ve had a crazy productive week. I haven’t had to work late. I’ve slept well. I’ve had pretty low stress. And, I have an overall sense that I’m in control and life is moving in the right direction. I just need to stick with it now and not get over confident.
I’m off to make my schedule for tomorrow!