“I have a subconscious list of rules for how reality should work. I did not develop these rules on purpose, and most of them don’t make sense – which is disturbing when you consider that they are an attempt to govern the behavior of reality – but they exist, and they play a large role in determining how I react to the things that happen to me. Large enough that a majority of the feelings I feel are simply a reaction to reality not complying with my arbitrary set of rules. ”
― Allie Brosh
Think about the rules you have in your life. You have rules for everything. Your life is about rules, like stopping at a train crossing or stopping at a stop sign.
If you are thinking I don’t live by rules then just look at your habits. You do have habits, things you do, things you say, the way you approach a problem or the way you tackle each day. You do have habits and some work for you and some don’t.
Habits are rules that we use to reduce the amount of thinking we have to do. Habits are programs that run in the background of your consciousness and some work well and some don’t. If you find yourself doing things that don’t produce great results for you then you might want to change some of the rules you operate by.
Sometimes the issue is trying to find the rules that you want to change so that you can change them. Some habits/rules are so embedded in our daily life that we aren’t even aware of them. Becoming aware of those “hidden” rules is the first step to creating positive change. What rules are running your life the way you don’t want them to? What would you like to change?
“You are where you are and what you are because of yourself, nothing else. Nature is neutral. Nature doesn’t care. If you do what other successful people do, you will enjoy the same results and rewards that they do. And if you don’t, you won’t.”
― Brian Tracy
People with ADHD believe that they want less structure in their lives and yet the more structure they do have the more freedom they experience. Structure creates freedom.
In the mind of a person that experiences ADHD multiple thoughts disrupt a consistent behavioral pattern. That is why someone with ADHD who starts out to complete a task can be easily taken off course by noticing something that could be done (though it could be done later) that doesn’t need to be done right now.
Where does one start?
Start with a daily plan. Plan the day in 30 minute blocks and decide what is going to fill those blocks. You can span multiple blocks if you want. The idea is to schedule your day rather than you day scheduling you. Schedule your non-work hours as well.
Start with something simple (as shown below) and extend it for the full day. You can use it to track where you time is going and then make some decisions on how you want to spend your time.
Get your day working for you.
Find out how you are spending your time (what is the reality) and then review that information. Use that information to make some decisions on how you want to spend your time.
After you know where the time is going create the schedule that will work for you. If time is being lost in unproductive or useless activities schedule that time for something that is beneficial for you.
To get start track how your time is being spent for a week. Track all the things you do. It doesn’t have to be super precise, just good enough to understand what is really happening in your life.
We’ll look at ways to turn unproductive time into productive time next time.