We’ve Been Talking About Time
-and Shannon’s comment was so good I’m just posting it here:
“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.”
Thank you, Shannon.
I especially like your comment about “scheduled and fiercely defended.” We need to fiercely defend our schedules. We need to learn to say “No”, to ourselves and to others.
Note O the Day:
If someone makes a request of you, and you say “No”, and they get upset, then it wasn’t a request, it was a demand.