Ok, ok I know I said I’d post this recap awhile ago, and I’m sorry for the delay, but…sometimes life gets in the way of my blogging. Never fear my fellow tribespeople – recap part 2 is here!
This section is all about action! These are things I’ve been “meaning to do” but not doing, such as backing-up my laptop to an external hard drive. Did I have to go buy one? Nope – it’s been sitting on my desk not being used…doh!
Consolidate - But lets start at the beginning. The tagline starts with Consolidate or as I like to call it – Simplify! I’ve been on a simplification mission for awhile now and although it seems like a never-ending process, every step I take in that direction reduces my stress and that is a great feeling! So, I quit putting it off and consolidated my to do lists into one task list. I recently got an iPhone and I have to say it’s one of the best things EVER. I use Google calendar and tasks so I found an amazing app (It’s called Calendars…there are a few different options) that integrates Google calendar and tasks with the iPhone’s built-in calendar. It’s incredibly helpful and I can color-code different calendars for my various activities, which helps me see what I have going on at a glance.
Automate - Thanks to the awesome calendar app I instituted, I have automatic reminders for my tasks and appointments. This is a life-saver! And not a yucky lemon one no one wants…a cherry life-saver! Oh yeah! Another thing I’ve been working on is cleaning up my email. Instead of just deleting all the crap that piles up, I’ve been taking the extra time to actually unsubscribe to stuff I don’t have time for or care to read. I hate to admit it, but I’m still working on this because I had about 3000 items in my inbox! RIDICULOUS. And every time I saw that number it really stressed me out! No mas! I’m cleaning it up, setting the junk mail filter to kill (not stun) and not looking back!
Delegate - And finally, the action step here was to make a list of things you suck at. Heh heh – I love the humor in these videos. The top item on this list for me is the financial side (taxes, etc…) of my business. I am absolutely a mess when it comes to keeping the records and getting those damn forms mailed in, etc…My wife is much better at this than I am, but right now she has a full plate with work and grad school, so my mission is to find someone else to help me out. This is one area where I really need the help so I’m going to suck it up and do it.
Way 7: Attacking the Tough Stuff Now I have to tell you…I had to listen to the audio right away because it wasn’t quite sinking in. Maybe it’s because it hit too close to home with a few tough tasks that I’ve not been able to get to…nah, I’m sure that’s not it. Anyhoo, I watched the video and listened to the audio and indeed it did start clearing things up for me. I’ll be damned…I didn’t realize fear was keeping me from doing a couple of the items on my list, but…it is.
Fear - this may be fear that you don’t know how to do the dreaded task or it may be the impending frustration because the task is a tough one. Whatever the case, I’m committed to getting my most fearful tasks out of the way by the end of this week. I will report back on this! Crusher pointed out that the task doesn’t go away when we ignore it – it just frequently grows larger while we’re putting it off! He asked, “What is the worst that can happen when you do this task?” Chances are very low that physical pain will actually result and if I’m afraid of something other than physical pain then I should probably take another look at that fear and move past it.
Disarray - You don’t know which task to start on and/or then you don’t know where to start, so you don’t…ugh! This is an awful feeling!! I get so overwhelmed sometimes! Even if I have a beautiful to-do list all written out, I swear sometimes it’s like it’s mocking me from my desk. ”Here I am! You don’t know what to do with me, do you?” No, I don’t really hear the voice. Ok, maybe once in a while, but let’s focus here people! I still have to finish packing tonight, remember?! I think the best point I got out of this part was Crusher pointing out that it doesn’t matter if you start imperfectly, it still beats the heck out of not starting at all! So dig in! If you can’t decide which task is most important then play some pin the tail on the task and pick one! JUST START SOMETHING and the momentum will come. I have found this to be true!
Indifference - just not motivated until the last-minute, then you’re motivated by the consequences of NOT doing it! For example, maybe I promised my wife I’d do a load of laundry during the day. If it gets around to 4:15 or so and I haven’t done it, you can bet that I’m motivated by wanting to avoid seeing “that look” on her face if I have to tell her I didn’t do it. According to Crusher, the trick to beating indifference is to create a greater pleasure in your mind surrounding completing the task versus putting it off. So I would visualize the look on my wife’s face when she realizes I did that load of laundry AND the dishes because I know she is exhausted from working full-time and going to graduate school in the evening. Satisfying, right? Yes!
Distraction is definitely one of the biggest issues I have as an ADDer! Particularly when it’s something that is actually important. It’s easier to recognize when you’re doing something that is complete BS as Crusher puts it, but when it’s something that really needs done it’s a bit trickier.
Crusher says there are 2 keys to keeping ourselves on track when we have a job to get done. The first is Awareness of what we are actually doing and the second is Labeling what we are doing. There are three ways we can label activities: 1) What we are doing now; 2) Important, but not what we are doing now; and 3) BS that is not what we are doing now.
Here’s an example from my life. It’s time to straighten up my home office for the week. I get started, but then my brother calls. That’s important, but it’s not what I’m doing now. Crusher suggests writing a reminder on a sticky note to call back when I’m done. Ok, back to the task at hand (what I’m doing now). Then I find the magazine I love and haven’t read yet as it’s been in a pile on my desk for last couple of days…Reading the magazine may be a great way to relax later, but right now it’s BS that is “not what I’m doing now.” I should put the magazine aside and finish what I’m doing now.
This is something that will no doubt take some practice, but the rewards will be well worth it!
Next up: Ways 9 and 10 with a video! Hang on tight! We’re almost done!
Hey everyone! Yes, still here and still alive I have a confession to make. I said in my last post that I was going to do a video blog segment. Well, I had some technical issues that made that difficult and delayed my post as well, but the biggest problem I ran into was…fear. Yep, there it is. I kept putting it off and putting it off because I never felt like I looked right for video or I didn’t have the right equipment, you get the idea. However, if you read all the way to the bottom you will see my request for the Crusher himself to join me on video! I’ve also had some personal things going on that actually fit in quite well with most of the ADD Crusher course including the last two segments, Ways 9 and 10. Can you believe I finished the whole program?! That MUST be scored as a success all by itself!
Nice segue, if I may say so myself, into Way 9: Scoring Your Successes. Crusher says that we ADDers are really good at remembering and ruminating over every failure, real or perceived, and I think he is right. It’s probably not only ADDers who are good at this, but if it was an Olympic sport I think we’d have good odds of making the team. I am certainly an expert at beating myself up when I screw up, but I”ve actually been working on this in the past few months by (trying!) to do a weekly gratitude post I’ve entitled “Thankful Thursday.” Focusing on what I’m grateful for has really helped me focus on the positive things in my life over all, including my successes. And, as suggested in the action steps for Way 9, I am scoring myself on the template I downloaded from the ADD Crusher Toolkit so I can actually tally up my successes on paper. I will report back on what categories I counted and how well I scored in a later post.
Perhaps the biggest take-away from Way 9 for me was Crusher’s challenge to turn failures into lessons. As some of you know I’ve been underemployed for some time. In July I finally got a job that I was pretty psyched about and one where I could continue my media consulting business on the side. It lasted 6 long weeks. The first few weeks were great and the last two were awful. Needless to say I spent a few days feeling like an utter failure even though I knew the end-result wasn’t my fault (seriously…this time it truly wasn’t). At any rate, I remembering saying that I needed to think about how everything went because I felt like there was something to be learned from the whole situation. And then, voila! I watched the Way 9 video and there’s Crusher talking about turning failures into lessons! Nice timing! And yes, I did learn some things from that whole situation and am stronger for having gone through it.
Way 10, Get a Lateral Mindset. This section is all about embracing the fact that we ADDers think differently than non-ADDers. It’s true – we are genetically wired differently and that’s ok! Non-ADDers generally have a vertical or linear mindset and go about figuring things out in a way that is opposite of ADDers. You know all that stuff about how you have to love yourself first…I’m not a huge one for the mushy stuff, but I am determined to embrace the fact that I think in a different way and therefore come up with new ideas in different ways. It does NOT mean I am wrong, just different. There are some pretty cool folks out there who are (or were) fellow lateral thinkers and I, for one, am quite proud to be in the same group with them: Einstein, Da Vinci, Monet, and oh yeah…Alan Brown Of course as Crusher says, ADD is neither an absolute gift nor an absolute negative, but it’s not until we embrace our unique way of thinking that we can unleash our full potential on the world!
Now that I have gone through all 10 Ways, I doubt it will be any big surprise that no, I will definitely not be requesting my money back! This program has and no doubt will continue to have a huge impact on my life. I highly recommend it!