Yes, that is right! What I just listed is what I was able to accomplish from around noon on Friday until dinner time Sunday evening, but it wasn’t without help. Trust me when I say that the only thing I will take sole credit for is the nap I took yesterday. Our lives, ADHD or not, are filled with tremendous amounts of “stuff” as I like to call it. “Stuff” is the clutter in our lives that gets in the way of our true priorities, it can get in the way of our relationships, our work, exercise, it can also be materialistic and unnecessary. Trust me, I love “stuff”: paper, lists, shoes, cookbooks, etc… but paring down, prioritizing and asking for help and even sometimes delgating can save you from drowning.
People talk about making lists which I agree with, but you need to also evaluate a few things before moving to action.
Making a successful list:
- prioritize your day making a personal to do list and a work to do list
- identify what is most urgent vs what is “stuff”
- what can others help you with**
- what can only you do**
- Prioritize from there
** number 3 & 4 may seem to virtually be the same thing just worded differently, I disagree
3. What can others help you with; A few rules to get you started:
- It does not take longer to explain and empower people around you to do things and make decisions when it comes to the more elementary parts of your role. Especially if there are other people, departments, areas involved or effected by what needs to be done, they may be just as vested, if not more to help achieve the best possible outcome.
- You cannot expect others to do things the way you would do them.
- As long as it is legal, ethical and does not cost money what could they possibly do that you could not fix – this = TRUST
- Being a one man show is the perfect way to stifle yourself and your growth
- Getting your thoughts in order to explain yourself to others on why/how things should be done is an incredible excercise in ensuring YOU that your idea or task is well thought out, that your expectations are valid and that the expected outcome can be achieved
4. What can only you do
- These are items, tasks, conversations, responsibilities that only you can achieve (sounds redundant I know) based on job title and responsibility, confidentiality, physical & academic ability.
Here are some examples of how I was able to achieve this over the weekend:
- Completed my first 1/2 marathon: I ran the race myself however I was only able to train for the race because I had to sacrifice things like house cleaning, wedding planning, making dinner or breakfast to someone else in my life. (this is a big deal because I love to cook and do things for others)
- School meeting scheduled: I have been trying for weeks to get a meeting set with the counselors and IEP coordinators of a prominent school in Greensboro. The work I was doing had led to dead ends. I enlisted the help of a colleague who gave me a new person to connect with and yes I sent the email but used the colleagues contact to secure the appointment
- Marketing Major Event: Our incredible team, which is quite small, will be pulling off a big gathering in Charlotte and Charleston this week. We had just a few short days to get flyers & ideas together, to get out to market to health care providers, schools and families. This was ONLY accomplished by trusting in the group. We made a list of the major priorities and then delegated those out.
- Table Runners: I hate asking for help, I mean hate it. But I asked and now they are done! (big kudos to my fiance for his help in cutting and measuring burlap!)
“Stuff” I eliminated:
- said no to cooking for a big group
- asked others to bring things when I really wanted to do everything
- took 10 things from my work to do list and moved them to the next week because they were non urgent
- asked my boss a week in advance if we we could discuss shifting some priorities based on timing and urgency
- declined helping a friend with a project they needed help with
If you look at some of the examples of above, most are around saying no or asking for help, both of these are very difficult for me and for many. Especially when you have ADHD and you notice everything and want to be a part of everything.