What’s Your Wildly Important Goal
I was asked this in a writing productivity face book group that I’m part of in an effort to help all of us accomplish our goals. For the life of me I couldn’t think of one—though there were many I needed to work on—I couldn’t think of the one that would really help.
See, I have ADHD. I’ve written over ten books, won a few awards, and still I couldn’t seem to get my writing schedule in order. When I was diagnosed almost two years ago I felt as if I had cracked the secret code and finally earned my place at the adult table. The new medication had me feeling as if I were part super hero, part genius and convinced me that it had only been the effects of my ADHD that had prevented me from taking over the world. 🙂
Now two years later, I find myself still struggling with the same issues. It seemed that medication wasn’t the cure all I’d hoped it would be. In fact, it made me even more aware of the discrepancy of me off my meds verse me on my meds.
Over the years, I’ve educated myself on adult ADHD and one of the suggestions was to get a ADHD coach.
My reaction? Ugh…really? The last thing I needed is another person nagging me to get my stuff done. My mother, God love her, still believes if she could just help me get organized, help me declutter, help me find a schedule that I’d stick with that I would be successful. I’ve tried every organization calendar out there, every system, and here is what I learned—none of them work if you don’t follow through.
I needed to find out what worked for me. When was I the most productive? When did I get the most writing done? When I answered these questions I also figured out something interesting—it was also when I was the happiest.
What works for me
- Write first
This has been advice from writers for as long as I can remember. So why does this work for me? Because it gets it out of the way and cultivates a sense of accomplishment. Also, because it simply gets done.
Why this hasn’t this worked for me in the past
- Everyday my schedule is a little different.
I keep trying to find my perfect schedule, but each day can vary so much. So, when I don’t get my writing done I feel like a failure, which makes it hard to do it again the next day.
- It takes too long.
Inside my ADHD brain I have a little kid that screams “Three hours! That’s for-ev-er!” I don’t want to start something that takes forever. But here’s the kicker, I do know that I do better with longer stretches of writing, and even taking frequent breaks doesn’t help because it’s the starting that I hate not the actual writing part. Make sense? Also, since I am strict with myself (stopping timer for emails, breaks, calls) it has taken me all day sometimes which than leaves me exhausted because I’ve been slaying the same procrastination dragon the whole time. So, there are days when even if I do get my three hours of writing done it feels lame to say it took me all day to do three hours of work.
Things that I think can help
- Write out a schedule.
This isn’t a set schedule but based on what my day looks like. I need to be realistic. I’ve tried this and failed every time because I don’t want to do it at night. I’m tired and also, I forget. So, I put a reminder on my phone and set it in my calendar. I also think having accountability would be good. Posting my schedule the night before on a FB group and also “clocking in” and posting if I stuck to my schedule for the day.
- Prepare the night before.
I found prepping a few simple snacks and meals the night before has really helped. I do this every day when I go to work so why not when I work at home? Also, putting a gallon of water in the fridge to help me to remember to drink since dehydration really effects brain focus.
Those are a few simple changes I want to make which actually are really big for me. I know we should only change one thing at a time, but if I want to write more I need to get my “triggers” out of the way so I won’t keep failing.
What about you? What triggers prevent you from accomplishing your goals? What has worked for you? I would love to hear from you. Post in the comments below. 🙂