“As Soon As—“
There are several things I want to do, “as soon as – — -”
I want to start Spanish lessons again.
I want to resume fishing.
I want to cleanup the disarray in my office.
These are on my “on-hold” to do list. They’re important to me but not urgent or imperative.
I was going to get to them “as soon as” –
I got back from vacation.
as soon as – I finished the doctor’s appointments and procedures.
as soon as – I finish the prison ministry weekend.
But the spaces in my appointment book and calendar are already starting to fill up for even after all that. I don’t think “as soon as” will really ever come. It’s like a fairy tale I’m telling myself. Maybe this is part of the ADD ADHD problem with time?
Have you noticed that we’re not good about time?
I need to stop waiting for the “as soon as” and the empty calendar spaces. Ain’t gonna happen.
If I want to get those things done I’m going to have to just schedule them and do them.
Quote O the Day:
“It’s always something.”
Bonus Link O the Day:
Bonnie’s tips for packing for a trip – but this could apply to other things too
Agreed. Time is a problem! And schedule what’s important!
What I’m trying out is putting those things in a non-scheduled category of my todo list until they are important enough to me to move to the scheduled part. I’m using the 5 categories published in “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD” by EIleen Bailey & Donald Haupt, M.D.. First book I bought; Doug’s was the second. My time management system is a mix of tips from both, and of course it’s complicated so I’ll (try to!) just talk about the bits that are important for this topic – the categories I use and how I move things between them.
Categories are (paraphrasing), from highest priority to lowest:
Absolutely Urgent = Important to me, my family or my job (and thus things I want to do) and have a due date.
Urgent = Important to me, my family or my job (and thus things I want to do) and don’t have a due date.
Chores = Things I don’t necessarily want to do, but have to do anyway (if chores are important to me, my family or my job then they go on the Absolutely Urgent or Urgent list; if cyclical like housework they get repeating daily/weekly/monthly due dates)
Maybe = Things I would like to do, but they’re not really important, and it doesn’t matter when you do them
Dreams, Wishes & Ideas = Things I might like to do, not important, not time sensitive
I enter my todo items into Wunderlist, an app I like because it syncs across all of my devices and my laptop, and it does most of what I like in a todo app. I then use the “due today” view from Wunderlist each morning to create my 5 item working list. Anything due that day automatically pops up, and I don’t have to see (and worry about) stuff due later. It gets first priority on the working list. If there are spots left on the working list, or if I get through the working list early, next priority goes to Urgent items, and so on down the list.
Stuff like guitar lessons (I’d love to get back into and better at playing too!) start off in Maybe. Once they’re in that category, I tend not to think about them in “as soon as” terms anymore. They’re recorded, and I know that they will come up in my daily process when I have time for them.
If they start to feel more important to me (if I am more often feeling a lack in my life because I’m not doing them, if I find myself thinking about them more often, etc…) then they get moved up the category list to Urgent. If something important to me spends too much time on the Urgent list, I assign it a due date and move it to the Absolutely Urgent list. That’s the part that I’m still trying to work out – how much time on the Urgent list is too much time? For stuff that’s important to my family or job, I use Doug’s 3 day rule – if it’s on there for more than that people are waiting too long and a due date is assigned. But if it’s “just” important to me, like guitar lessons? I don’t know. I’m trying to go with how urgent it feels to me right now, but I’ve only been on my meds a couple of months and I’m still getting the hang of things in that context. Any suggestions are welcome!
So that kink’s not worked out yet, but I am finding this system is keeping me away from “as soon as” thinking, and once something like guitar lessons makes it onto my Absolutely Urgent list, it is scheduled and fiercely defended. So it’s working so far in that sense.
LikeLiked by 1 person
you strategy is good. if you dont mind I may just use it as a post. lots of good ideas. i especially like where you dont have to think about it anymore.
thanks for commenting
LikeLiked by 1 person
Great post Shannon! You got me thinking about how important it is to assign realistic priorities to our various to-do tasks. And showing a way to do it.
My to-do list / planner is an Excel spreadsheet that lists all of my to-do’s in horizontal rows by date. I indicate a task’s priority by highlighting the cell in yellow and the text in red. When something is done that row is deleted. Unfortunately, I have more to-do’s than time, so many to-do’s get carried-forward into the near future or left behind and not done. So I have to do a better job of setting priorities for my to-do’s!
Doug’s book is helping me in many ways, but it’s just another to-do (reading it from time-to-time) that I have to squeeze into my day. Thanks for your contribution to helping others deal with our issues relating to ADD. Jeff
LikeLiked by 1 person
Really my pleasure, Jeff. The help I get from books like Doug’s, people on this blog, my in-person support group…all invaluable to me. It’s great to be able to contribute.
Good luck with the prioritization battle – experiment! I think you know when you hit on things that work for you because that’s when it feels easier. Discovering those five categories and merging them with some of Doug’s tips was like that for me; the system fits me, rather than me trying to make myself fit it.
And easy is important to me because I think prioritization is one of those battles I’ll be fighting my whole life. Even when I get to the point where I feel like my whole system is perfect (for me), I’m sure there will be times of stress when I won’t be able to get myself to follow it. So the easier it feels, I figure, the more stressed I’ll have to be to ditch it. And the sooner I’ll be able to get back on track.
Isn’t that the truth: “If I want to get those things done I’m going to have to just schedule them and do them.”
And after you schedule them, be prepared to work hard to protect the time because something always interferes.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Homey – the protect is so important! learning how to say NO.
thanks for the good comment