As an ADD Coach, managing my time is a high priority. I gotta walk my talk. If I can’t manage my own ADD symptoms, how can I help my clients?
Talking to clients on the phone is only one part of my work day. I also cover the not so glamorous parts of running my business; bookkeeping, web site maintenance and planning. I get to do the fun parts, too; spreading the word about living more easily with ADD / ADHD by writing blogs, articles and coaching programs.
Sure I occasionally get distracted by the Now / Not Now Effect – focusing on the shiny things that grab my attention instead of what’s important. Fun, interesting stuff that doesn’t take me one inch towards my work goals.
My biggest, shiny workday distractions are my dogs, Buddy and Carly, Facebook, checking the news and doing the daily sudoku puzzle. I’m also enthralled by that webcam of the eagles’ nest in Iowa. (I’d share the link, but it would be irresponsible, don’t you think? I suspect you battle enough distractions as it is.)
How I Manage My Time At Work
I think of living successfully with ADHD / ADD as a puzzle with a bunch of pieces. The puzzle pieces are the tools and techniques of ADHD management. The person with ADD’s ability to function is the final picture. Though the pieces are different sizes, each is important. Leave out a piece and you’ve got gaps in your functioning.
Here are the pieces in my ADD functioning puzzle:
- Goals – I’m very focused on my goals. I’m keenly aware of where I want my business to be and what I need to do to get it there. I post my goals on a large white board on my office wall.
- Planning – I plan and prioritize daily, weekly and monthly to be sure what I’m doing gets me to my goals.
- Awareness – Throughout my day I check-in to see if what I’m doing helps me reach my goals. If I’m off track I do what I must to get back on task. Yes, this was hard to remember to do at first, but it has gotten easier over time. Kind of like a muscle growing stronger with use.
- Focus Tools – Almost daily I rely on an incredible tool to stay focused and on track: the Focus CD set from the Immrama Institute. When I find I’m procrastinating or can’t get motivated to get to work, I play the recording straight from my computer. It’s the closest thing to taking ADHD medication I’ve discovered.
Controlling my ADD symptoms and managing my time isn’t easy. It takes effort and determination. Yet what’s choice? For years I was at the mercy of my whims and my ADD. That was a frustrating, demoralizing way to live. Now I make the effort and take the time. I refuse to be a victim of my ADD.