Get Past Procrastination

 There are many possible reasons for putting off until tomorrow what you intended to do today. It is only once you know why you are doing it that you can figure out what to do about it.

   Reason    Solution
You need more information to do the job right. Replace what’s currently on your list with a different task, such as “gather needed information.”
It’s overwhelming to think about. Break the project down into smaller chunks. Don’t post the project name on your list, only the next step.
The deadline is far away so you still have time. Set interim deadlines to be sure the final one doesn’t creep up on you.
You don’t like the task. Delegate it, swap with someone else, or create a reward system for yourself. Be sure to follow through on the reward even if it’s only a fifteen-minute break to read a magazine, or this technique will become less effective over time.
You don’t know where to start. Start anywhere. This will motivate you to continue and complete the task.
Other priorities get in the way. Review your hopes and dreams. How important is this project to reaching them? Get clear on this so you know to move this item up the list or drop it permanently.

Source: “The Organized Life: Secrets of an Expert Organizer” by Stephanie Denton

Quick relief from e-mail overload

Eliminate Time-Draining E-mail Habits 

If you are feeling overburdened and stressed at work, your online habits may be partly to blame. Poor e-mail management often is a sign—or the cause—of other time management woes. A top culprit: mismanaging incoming messages.

Marsha Egan, president of The Egan Group, a success-coaching firm, offers a self-management program that teaches you how to eliminate time draining e-mail habits and boost your productivity. First, Egan says, you need to alter your perception of e-mail: Stop viewing the act of checking e-mail as a task in itself; come to see e-mail as merely a task delivery system. Then adopt these habits:

  • Empty your inbox every time you check it.
  • Live by the two-minute rule. If you can handle any incoming message in two minutes or less, do so immediately. That could mean replying to, forwarding or simply deleting a message.
  • Use a filing system. Create action folders and use them temporarily to file e-mail messages that will take longer than two minutes to respond to. Treat those messages as items on your daily to-do list.
  • Control incoming messages—instead of letting them control you. Change your “send and receive” e-mail function from “Automatic” to “Every two hours.”

Source: Success Magazine July/August 2007

Running Late Again . . .

Have you noticed that, like other ADD adults, you are routinely 5-10 minutes late for work, appointments, and most other scheduled events? It’s not that you intend to be late. You just simply got lost and distracted in time.

Let’s face it — ADD Adults generally have a poor concept of time. We understand time but we tend to be poor managers of it. Certainly, I’ve met some ADD adults who are compulsive about being on time, but on the average, we simply run late. Let’s take a  look at what goes wrong.

You know the drill. You have an appointment at 2pm and if you’re lucky, you just might have your appointment written in your calendar. You may actually know where your calendar is. You have an idea about what time to leave for your appointment but it’s not likely written in stone. It’s still an idea.

Meanwhile, “stimulation is my friend”) so you’re probably in the middle of something. Now maybe you just lost track of time or maybe you’re watching the clock while strategizing the best time to break away from your current focus of attention. Ok, leave now! I’ll have just enough time to arrive on time. But wait! Where are my keys, where are the papers or directions I need to take with me?” You know what it’s like, right? You’re ready to go, but you’re not prepared to leave.

Again, ‘stimulation is my friend ‘, so you probably don’t like arriving at your destinations early. “What will I do? Why arrive early and risk feeling bored with nothing to do?”Now here’s an interesting twist…Although you don’t like being late to a scheduled event, now that your are running late you may be feeling bad or guilty at the thought of not arriving on time. At the same time, your body is now filled with adrenaline as you ‘race’ to your appointment – ‘stimulation is my friend ‘ . Bottom line, you feel bad about running late, but your body is being rewarded with adrenaline for ‘running’ late. 

Tips for Managing Your Time:

  • Mindfulness Bells: Set timers or alarms to bring your awareness back to the moment. Timers also help to remind you when to “get ready to leave” so that you’re prepared to leave on time.

  • Get ready to get ready to go: I had a girlfriend who was always on time and very structured in her life. Unfortunately, when it was time to leave for destination, she was ready to walk out the door and I was “ready to go but not prepared to leave”. Before long she began to announce, “Rudy, it’s time to get ready to get ready to go”That gentle message got my attention and allowed me the appropriate time to prepare to leave on time.

  • Dual alarm kitchen timers are wonderful. Set one alarm to remind you to get prepared to go, and the second alarm five minutes before it’s time to walk out the door.

  • Planning: There is a popular saying… “People who fail to plan, plan to fail”. Set yourself up to win/succeed by using some type of planning calendar. You can use calendar books or you may use your cell phone or electronic PDA. These last two options are nice because you can set an alarm to remind you 5-10 minutes or more before your intended departure time. Of course, it’s also helpful to keep track of your calendar/planner.

Time Management for ADHD Adults

ADHD adults are typically challenged by completing tasks and especially completing tasks ‘on time’. We’ll discuss this further in an upcoming class but here are a few tips that may help you to get started.

1. Start by asking yourself    

  • How important is this task to YOU?    
  • How important is it to YOU that you complete it? I recommend a scale of 1-10; [10 = High]. If the task is a #7 or below it’s not likely you’ll get done (on time).

2. Plan your time ‘realistically’. Establish a goal or deadline for completion of your tasks/project. Question: Is your intended date for completion realistic? Do yourself a favor and add extra time (days/hours) to complete your project. 3. Use an A, B, C Prioritization system.

  • First of all, make a list of ALL your things TO DO (related to this task/project).
  • Next, on the left hand column of your list, place the letter “A” next to every task that is both IMPORTANT and URGENT.
  • Next place a “B” next to every task that is IMPORTANT but not “urgent”.
  • Finally, place a “C” next to each item that is neither “important” nor “urgent”.
  • Now return to your “A’s” and number them from 1-10 in order of MOST IMPORTANT and MOST URGENT.
  • Now start with your “A-1” until completed. Then move to “A-2”.
  • Update this prioritization process EVERY DAY as some items will increase or decrease in their level importance and urgency.