Recently, I broke ADHD Time Management Rule #1. The result? An incredibly uncomfortable, unmanaged ADHD moment. One I hope never to repeat.
As much as I don’t like to broadcast my ADHD mishaps, I think it’s important to let other’s know how even those of us who know how to cope with Adult ADHD sometimes mess things up.
Here’s my story of my mishap with ADHD Time Management Rule #1
A few weeks ago, my daughter’s teacher sent an email invitation to Mythology Night; a potluck dinner followed by toga wrapped kids reciting Greek myths.
Though I vaguely remember getting the email, I must have been distracted at the time because I simply skimmed it, added the date to my calendar and dumped the email into my Hold Folder.
My unmanaged ADHD moment began when I ignored ADHD Time Management Rule #1.
Rule #1 is what keeps the chaos at bay; keeps my ADHD world from crumbling around my ears. Like my personal knight in shining armor, Rule #1 has rescued me more times than I can count.
What is ADHD Time Management Rule #1?
It’s really quite simple. The moment you add an appointment to your calendar you think, “what must I do to prepare for this appointment?” and immediately schedule those things on your task list.
Rule #1 makes me pause to collect my thoughts and make sure I’m covering all the bases.
It ensures the birthday cards get bought, I’m ready for my ADD coaching sessions, we have clean clothes when it’s time to pack a suitcase. All those details an ADD brain naturally overlooks.
Rule #1 is Rule #1 for a reason. Ignore it and life gets messy.
Okay. Back to the fiasco of Mythology Night.
Since I didn’t think of the tasks associated with the event, I overlooked two important actions: we needed to bring food to the potluck and Favorite Daughter needed a costume.
Fortunately, Favorite Daughter and Ever-Patient Husband handled the food part. Aja signed us up to bring couscous and told Scott who bought a box of the stuff when he did the marketing. Gotta love that guy!
Since the box of couscous was floating around the kitchen for a few days, I had my visual reminder to cook it in time to take it to school on Mythology Night.
In fact, up until 45 minutes before we needed to leave for the program, I was rather smug about how I had everything organized and under control.
But, because I’d ignore ADHD Time Management Rule #1, I’d totally overlooked the costume piece.
After my final client call of the day, I reread the teacher’s email. Oops! We were supposed to RSVP a week ago. Never did it. Oh well, I figured he must know we’re coming since we’d signed up to bring food.
Then I read that the kids were supposed to wear togas. I googled how to make a toga and went searching for a sheet. Too bad we only had a purple one. Oh well, who says all togas must be white.
That’s when I realized I needed to get ready, cook the couscous and get Aja costumed in 20 minutes so we could get to school on time.
That’s also when I flipped in to unmanaged ADHD mode and panicked. I ran hysterically around the house barking orders.
Of course the more tense I got the more things fell apart. Problems set in. We couldn’t get the toga tied right, we had no laurel wreath for her hair and the couscous was tasteless.
By the time we got in the car, Ever-Patient Husband was nearing the end of his patience, and Favorite Daughter was yelling back at me. The toga looked horrible, and I was ashamed of myself.
What was supposed to be a fun family evening started out in tension and anger all because I’d been ignored ADHD Time Management Rule #1 and was at the mercy of my ADD.
In the long run it ended up okay. My daughter’s friends helped her retie the toga and if anyone noticed it was a sorry mess they didn’t say anything. She did great on her myth and there was so much food no one knew we’d brought the couscous.
But, because I’d ignored ADHD Time Management Rule #1 and did no planning I launched into panic. What was to be a treasured memory of 6th grade year was soured.
Unmanaged ADHD is no fun. It makes for a disorganized, guilt-ridden, stressful life.
I much prefer a life of ADD Success.