November 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm #91182
AnonymousInactiveNovember 23, 2012 at 3:13 pmPost count: 14413
I struggle with this daily. I work very early in the AM (4 oclock) and have to leave to get there in enough time to put away my coat and purse so I leave at 25 after 3 unless I’ve gotten distracted and sat down in front of the computer or started talking to my oldest son who hasn’t gone to bed yet because he also has ADD and a video game addiction. My Adderal hasn’t kicked in yet if I’ve even remembered to take it and I am just so easily distracted first thing in the morning. It happens no matter what time I start work btw because I’ve had my schedule changed to a later start and then I just am having a harder time making it there because I always forget to allow for traffic since there isn’t any at 3:30 am.REPORT ABUSENovember 24, 2012 at 12:26 am #117479
ScattybirdParticipantNovember 24, 2012 at 12:26 amPost count: 1096
Wow! You call that first thing in the morning! That’s the middle of the night at best and bedtime at worst. I take my hat off to you for getting up for then.
If I have an early start I need to have laid everything I need to wear out the night before and have my bag packed and by the door. If not, I can forget even thinking about being on time.
I also need clocks everywhere and I don’t sit down – not even for a coffee. That’s a disaster waiting to happen – so coffee is on the go.
If I go to bed early I invariably won’t get everything ready the night before – mistake!
Like I said – I admire you for working those hours!REPORT ABUSENovember 25, 2012 at 6:59 am #117480
AnonymousInactiveNovember 25, 2012 at 6:59 amPost count: 14413
Wow 😯 that’s early!! I once had an employer offer for me to get there at 8:30 instead of 8am so I wouldn’t be late anymore. Unfortunately, I then started arriving at 8:45. They shouldn’t have told me. They should have just switched my hours to 8:30 and left me still thinking I had to be there at 8!
Scattybird’s right, having everything completely ready the night before is the only way to go! Sometimes if I’m really tired, I won’t lay my stuff out at night, but that 5 extra minutes at night then turns into a half hour the next morning. I never thought about not sitting down in the morning, that’s a good one! Then I wouldn’t be tempted to read the entire paper or clean off the kitchen table, etc.
When I saw ADD and Loving It, something I had never thought about before (and that has helped a lot now) was the fact that even though it may take 10 minutes to get to my dentist, that doesn’t mean that I can leave at 3:50 for a 4pm appointment. I have to find my keys, walk to the car, I might hit a red light (or 5), then I have to find a parking spot, and then walk from my car to the office. I always thought ten minutes was ten minutes, and then I would be SO surprised when I was late all the time.
I know I HATE it when people say this to me, but have you thought about leaving the house earlier? (I’m like, no kidding, that has never occurred to me!<sarcasm> Of course it has, I just know it’s impossible because I know i don’t HAVE to leave that early, so I won’t.) But maybe you have more self-discipline than I do 😉 Maybe if you try leaving at 3:15, and then if you end up leaving a little late it won’t matter, and (hopefully) no one will be upset if you arrive to work a few minutes early! They may even take your temperature and make sure you’re feeling ok…
Another thing I’ve tried in the morning is setting two alarms, one for my Adderral and one to wake up. I set my medicine alarm for a half hour before my regular alarm and I have my medicine and water on my nightstand. I open one eye just enough to take my medicine, and then go back to sleep til my real alarm goes off, that way I am ahead of the game.
If you find anything that helps – post it up here! Me and probably 90% of the other members are dealing with the same issueREPORT ABUSENovember 25, 2012 at 7:50 am #117481
ScattybirdParticipantNovember 25, 2012 at 7:50 amPost count: 1096
So true SayWhat – leaving enought time is crucial and obvious. But it’s one of those ‘know what to do but can’t do it’ scenarios.
On saying that, I try to do it – when it works it’s lovely. It leaves me time for turning round and going back when I have forgotten something crucial – that’s for the days that I didn’t pack stuff the night before – and if I don’t need to double back, then if the traffic is heavy I don’t get so stressed and if I get there early I feel SOO good!
Counting time backwards is a good one. Instead of thinking it’ll take 10 minutes to get somewhere, you need to account for all the stuff SayWhat mentioned, but doing it backwards.
So, what time do you have to arrive – OK, that’s 9.00. So, 5 mins to walk up stairs to work station, 5 mins to walk to building from car park, 30 mins drive in, 5 mins to leave the house, 30 mins for a shower, 10 mins breakfast, 30 mins of snooze alarms. So that’s nearly 2 hours. I would never think about 2 hours prep time if I had to get somewhere for 9.00. Silly examples maybe, it works better with train times! The point is I see 9.00 but not all the time needed to get to 9.00 so it quite a mind and action shift for me.
Like the other day – I had to be somewhere for 9.15. The place is only 15 mins from my home. That day I was late leaving – that’s OK – I can do it in 10 if I go fast. Well I can only do it in 10 in my head. So I speed along the road and hit an unexpected set of road works with traffic lights that weren’t letting my side through very fast. So I needed to phone someone who didn’t answer immediately so my stress levels hit the roof. Finally they did answer and I had to ask them to photocopy some stuff for my meeting (because I was going to swing by the building and do that in my 10 mins too!) and then go out in torrential rain to deliver said photocopying to the meeting and inform the others I’d be late. By then I am so late that I have to park illegally which adds to the stress and then I have to walk into a room full of people all of whom were waiting for me to turn up because I was chairing the meeting. So the inconvenience to everyone and especially the person who had to trail out into that rain was BAD. And how lame it sounded “sorry the traffic was bad” when I know they know I only live 15 mins away from that venue. So….as much as I know WHAT to do, it doesn’t happen as it might.REPORT ABUSENovember 27, 2012 at 3:24 am #117482
Misswho23MemberNovember 27, 2012 at 3:24 amPost count: 146
One thing I heard from a woman who grandmother always said “If you can’t be on time them be early. “
On the days I try that I actually may show up early and even on time. For some reason I too have that thing of it something is 10 minuets away then it should just take 10 min to get there. And for me in my mind that includes getting ready. I have tried and tried to work around this. Getting up early, having everything ready, some days not being able to find what I put out since I’m not used to it and don’t remember where I put what I need… multiple alarms and on and on.
But when I heard the saying “then be early” for some reason that clicked with me. Be cause I know there is a one in a million shot that I will actually be on time. My mind just does not work that way. But early? Well that could be anywhere from 20 min to 10 min or even just a couple of minuets early and that gives me a lot of leeway. One thing I work well with. I do not like absolutes.
I don’t always succeed but since I heard that I have chopped off at least 10 to 15 min of my usually late time. Did that make sense?
So down from the 30 min. I was always running behind to 10 – 15 min. on a late day.REPORT ABUSENovember 27, 2012 at 3:36 am #117483
Misswho23MemberNovember 27, 2012 at 3:36 amPost count: 146
Ok so here’s a funny thing I said in relation to time.
My boyfriend and I were watching James Bond movies (the ones with Roger Moore). On one channel it was The Man with the Golden Gun 1974 and the other was For Your Eyes Only 1981.
So we were commenting on the special effects and fight scenes. I was counting the years between the films and said while back on the Golden Gun channel.
“So this one was filmed 7 years after this one.” Pointing at the screen referring to the 1974 movie.
And my boyfriend just looked at me with a what the hell look. Um no you mean 7 years before “For your eyes only” on the other channel.
It’s ok I know what I meant.REPORT ABUSENovember 27, 2012 at 5:11 pm #117484
quizzicalParticipantNovember 27, 2012 at 5:11 pmPost count: 251
MissWho, I find that story to be a really good metaphor for my ADD brain! It’s not like I’m completely off topic, just….on the previous channel!
As for the out-the-door problem, it’s definitely one of my biggest hurdles.
Interestingly, I find that if the event in question is a one-time thing the odds are much higher I’ll arrive on time. (Because I have to rely on outside info only to estimate the time needed. Example: a doctor’s appointment in a place I’ve never been. One with one of those “Please arrive fifteen minutes early….” OK, sure. First appointment: On time!
Then after that, I’ve “figured out” I don’t need the full fifteen minutes for the paperwork – maybe there won’t be any! And I’ve “figured out” that Google Maps’ time estimate is just an estimate – I’ll get there faster! Somehow! And I’ve “figured out” that they don’t mind if I’m five minutes late! Because, well, when I sign in the blank that says Appointment Time with “9:30” and then the blank that says Arrival Time with “9:47,” they never whip the clipboard away and smack me on the hands with it…
But maybe they should. And of course if they start charging a late fee, I will probably start being on time again….
We have an expression in our house we love: “To the pain.” Those who are geeky/old enough will remember that it comes from The Princess Bride.
To the pain: It’s where they set the meter on the torture machine. It’s a great unit of measure for just about anything in life. Your commute, your job, the price you’ll pay for the cell phone contract, the number of steps in your Christmas Card routine….it’s all “to the pain.” Everything is determined by some mysterious awesomeness/hassle ratio, determined by you but often cannily calculated by salespeople as well. Why does Apple charge 30.00 for every accessory? To the pain! Why do I live in a place where every grocery store is fifteen minutes away and every appointment 25 minutes away? To the pain! Why does the gas gauge have to be on steady orange and not just flickering orange before I will stop and fill up? To the pain, and I guess now I will have to go to the gas station, rather than waiting for one to happen along on my route to the doctor’s appointment I am late for….
Wow, overly long post. I’m thinking maybe the question I had earlier – did I take the pill, or just get the bottle out? – is being answered…November 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm #117485
AnonymousInactiveNovember 27, 2012 at 6:53 pmPost count: 14413
1. I allow 3 and only 3 snoozes on my alarm.
2. I have my clothes laid out the night before.
3. I have my lunch made the night before.
4. I have my bag of ‘stuff’ ready the night before.
My whole morning is made up of rituals….REPORT ABUSENovember 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm #117486
AnonymousInactiveNovember 28, 2012 at 5:24 pmPost count: 14413
So hilarious!! The worse thing I could have done was to take up the hobby of reefing, and build a saltwater reef aquarium on the way downstairs from the bedrooms. Every morning, early, late, whatever, as soon as the thing catches my gaze I’m !@#$ed. I’ll check the temperature, water level, pH, make sure the corals and fish are looking good. My ADD brain rising from a shitty nights sleep and an Adderall hangover needs stimulus regardless of how my time is. Unfortunately my rituals consist of being ritually late and unorganized. One thing I maintain some pride in, is the fact that I remember my wallet and phone every morning without too much trouble. Funny how we all no better as adults, but still shit the bed in these categories!REPORT ABUSENovember 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm #117487
Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipantNovember 28, 2012 at 9:10 pmPost count: 473
If knowing what the ‘right’ or ‘correct thing’ to do always lead us to do that right thing… None of us would be overweight.
Or in debt.
Or rushing madly to get somewhere.
This week, I have been diverted from a number of important jobs, and even some fun jobs, by shiny things, new ideas, little interruptions, a simple question, a stray worried thought, or a promise to, “Just check Facebook for two minutes.”REPORT ABUSENovember 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm #117488
Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADDParticipantNovember 28, 2012 at 9:13 pmPost count: 473
And Tumbleweed, I love your rituals. I keep thinking rituals will put me in a rut. They actually free me from the rut of, “Where did I leave me wallet?… Oh my god, I forgot to shave… Now, where did I leave my wallet? I just found it and now I can’t find it!… Darn, I forgot to start the dishwasher… Oh, darn, I forgot to call Mom…. The directions? I thought you were printing off the directions?…”
Structure. Two of the most creative people in history, Shakespeare and Mozart, did all of their creating inside very tight, formal, specific, complex structures. Hard enough to write a few dozen plays… but to write them in Iambic Pentameter rhythm?!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm #118242
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 8, 2013 at 3:15 pmPost count: 14413
This is a very edifying thread and I’ve read through it with much interest. Every single response has something I can relate to; the distractions, the skewed sense of time, the dissociation between what we ought to do and what we actually do, the lack of structure, the futility of imposing it, insomnia, morning drowsiness, good and bad rituals, and so on. I’ll definitely try that snooze and dose strategy – thanks for that one, SayWhat.
Yes, I hear you. The problem of getting out of the house is a major one for me, and I’ve tried strategies. Like many of you who have posted on this thread, I’ve laid out my clothes the night before, packed a bag and made all kinds of arrangements, but even still I manage to get out of the door late. It always seems justifiable: things pop up, obligations, things I can’t find, lost keys or wallet; a piece of clothing, a library book that I suddenly remembered that I have to return, and so on.
The only way for me to get anywhere on time is to have something to do before it; an errand, like going to the bank or the post-office. In this way, I never get to complete that first errand, but arrive on time for whatever I had to do. But what is disturbing – what makes me feel like I am losing my mind, or that there is some mischeivous supernatural entity playing tricks on me and rolling on the floor laughing – is that time seems to speed up when I am trying to get out the door. The experience of time changes when I know I’m late, and it races as I race.
And then there is the matter of getting to where I’m going. I tell people that I ride a bicycle all year to stay in shape, but that’s not really true. It’s because I’m always late and waiting for a bus when late is such an excruciating and painful ordeal that I’d rather ride through snow, rain and ice because I know that I can get anywhere I need to go in half an hour or less.
Or I’ll stay home. Often getting out of the door becomes such a problem and distractions pile upon delays that hours pass and at some point there is no purpose to leaving home: why study at the library, for example, when it will close in a few hours? Such rationalizing is a path to despair.
It may be where I am in life – a Ph.D candidate teaching classes and writing his dissertation – or it may be that the Vyvanse isn’t working for me anymore. It helps me to have some structure, but it must be imposed by something or someone other than myself. Often another thing happens, which is that I get moments of clarity about my dissertation, and feel compelled to sit down and write, when I know that I’m supposed to be somewhere else.
I do find, however, that I am more or less on time (though I’ve been up to 10 minutes late on a few occasions) when I teach. The idea of students waiting for me to show up terrifies me enough to make me speed through the traffic, burn through red lights, ride in between cars and narrowly avoid accidents that only afterwards do I reflect on the possibility of injury or death. I broke my arm when I worked as a bicycle courier in between finishing the M.A. (in English Literature, after which there are few jobs) and beginning the Ph.D (in Comparative Literature after which there are fewer). It was a great job for someone with ADHD, but on that icy day I shouldn’t have taken that shortcut through an alley covered in ice, even when carrying out what we would call a “hot shot” – an urgent package that has to get from one part of the city to another in fifteen minutes or less. With my forearm broken clean through the two bones, and twisted like a swan’s neck, I still managed to pass that package to another courier, but you can’t do that with a class to teach.
And even writing this message… What, it’s already 10? Shit, I’ve got to go!
… oh yeah, and my best advice: If you have someplace to go stay away from your computer!!!January 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm #118244
Patte RosebankParticipantJanuary 8, 2013 at 4:56 pmPost count: 1517
@rafo17, I use advance planning and alarms, to make sure I get out the door on time, and with everything I need.
My smartphone has been a huge help, because it’s very easy to set multiple alarms, and I can customize the sounds, and label them. And they’re LOUD. When they go off, I have to pay attention!
I always write down every event as soon as I get it, in both my Daytimer (which always lives in the same place) and on my smartphone, and ONLY in my Daytimer and on my smartphone. I always note the time as 15 minutes before the time I need to be there. If I arrive any later than “15 minutes before”, I consider that to be “late”.
For each event, I set an alarm on my smartphone, for a time that allows me enough travel time (allowing extra time for possible delays).
If I’m not familiar with where I’m going, I’ll check Google Maps in advance, to plan my route, and print out a map.
Since I don’t drive, I check the public transit schedules in advance & use their “journey planners” to plan my route. And I’ll use smartphone apps. to track the vehicles in real-time (since they could be running early or late). This ensures that I don’t miss the one I need, and can make alternate arrangements if there’s a delay.
If I need to do some special preparations before I leave (putting on my uniform for work, or putting on my stage make-up for a gig), I’ll set an alarm for the time I need to start getting ready, and another one for when I have to leave.
If I have to bring along a bunch of things (like to a gig, or on a trip), I’ll make & follow a checklist in advance, so I’ll have everything packed and waiting at the front door, where I can’t miss it.
To really make sure I remember important things, I’ll make a note on the side of my left hand, between the thumb & the wrist, where I can’t miss seeing it. I’ll do this on the night before, or first thing in the morning.
It takes discipline to set up & follow this system, but I have to do it, because I love the feeling of accomplishment & being in control that I get when I show up, on time, every time, with everything I need…and because I hate the panic & confusion & guilt that I go through, if I don’t follow my system!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 9, 2013 at 6:08 pm #118275
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 9, 2013 at 6:08 pmPost count: 14413
Thanks for the advice Larynxa. Smartphone alerts, checking schedules and writing things down are all very good ideas, and I’m glad that these strategies work for you. My problem with getting out the door, however, is that something often seems to just pop up to get in the way of my plans. The only thing that I seem to have control over is the one where I don’t open my laptop until I get out of the house, but other than that things pop up regardless.
You’re also right that it takes discipline to follow through on those strategies once we commit to them, and those positive feelings of accomplishment and self-mastery certainly reinforce that commitment. In my case, medication is only one part of the solution with ADHD, and as part of my treatment I also had several meetings with an ergotherapist, who created a personalized program to help me finish my dissertation and be more organized in general. A lot of what you describe in your routine made it on to the list that she gave to me.
One point on the list of recommendations that seems pertinent here was to evaluate the time that it would take for me to get places and to accordingly set alarms so that I would drop everything I was doing and consecrate myself to preparing to leave. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, since obstacles just seem to arise unexpectedly, usually outside the scope of the steps that I took to plan for things. This is what gives me a feeling of instability and at times a hopeless outlook.
One thing that we can all count on is that life is unpredictable, and if it were not then it would lose its flavor. I like living in a world of surprises, but I also hope to have a bit more control in dealing with them when necessary. In any case, getting organized and out the door in the morning is kind of a two-step-forward-one-step-back process for me. At the end of the list of recommendations, the ergotherapist also noted that all of the strategies she outlined would take at least three months to really sink in and become integrated into my routine.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 9, 2013 at 8:48 pm #118284
Getting out the door on time2012-11-23T15:13:01+00:00
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