I heard something the other day that really hit home with me. I wish I could remember where I heard it, because I would like to credit whoever it was.
Anyway, the general idea was about time management and how we all seek to manage our time.
The truth is that each of us has the exact same amount of hours in our day as everyone else. Some get a lot done during their day and some don’t.
I suspect that those of us with ADHD are in the group that doesn’t get enough done.
There are two reasons for that:
1) Sometimes it’s hard for us to get started, because we don’t know where to begin. Overwhelm sets in early.
2) We tend to write very ambitious to do lists, vastly underestimating how much we can get done in a day. It’s possible that we’re getting a lot done during the day but we don’t recognize it as such.
The real key to being more productive is not to manage our time but to manage ourselves.
Are you like me? First thing each morning, I check the news, the weather, and my email. Then I might pop on to Facebook for a while, which can easily turn into hours if I’m not careful. I have not, at this point, eaten breakfast, showered, or gotten dressed. And seriously, it takes all 3 of those things to make me feel as though I am ready to face the day.
There is a very loose plan to my days. There are things to be done, but most have no time frame around them. This one simple fact vastly reduces the chances that everything that needs to be done will get done. Simple things that take minutes can stay on my to do list for days.
So what’s the solution?
Self management, not time management. (OK, so time is in there, too, but it’s really you that causing the problem).
Fill your days with boxes – boxes that stay in one place most of the time.
So, you put all of your email tasks (reading and answering) into a box and you put that box into a 10:00 – 10:30 am time slot. That time is reserved for checking email – not every 15 minutes all day long.
For me, a box for breakfast and showering would be good; I’d put it before anything else so that I start my day feeling productive and in charge.
You can think of it as assigning tasks to time periods. Your child might take a nap about the same time every day or go to math class. You can do the same thing with your day.
Give this method a try and see how much you get done and how much your day opens up.