For most of my life with ADHD, time has been my enemy. When I have wanted to move slowly, it has chased me. When I've wanted to ignore it, it's sprung in my face like a jack-in-the-box. When I've wanted the moments to zip along, time has dragged relentlessly. None of this is the fault of time.
Time is what it is. I can choose to be its victim, or befriend it and work with it creatively. Here are three ways to make friends with time:
- Introduce little extra spaces into your schedule. I build in breathing spaces, time to bring closure to one project before starting another, time to allow for the inevitable monkey wrench that tends to come flying into the midst of my careful plans.
These extra spaces leave me feeling more sane, more able to complete tasks, instead of feeling harried and having a lot of loose ends dangling - a common emotion among ADD adults.
- Build in some longer periods of "timeless time." In a world full of electronics and technology, it is crucial to my health that I regularly take time to shift into following the rhythms of my own body. I breathe. My blood flows.
To make this shift, I require some extra help, a transitional ritual. It can be as simple as a bath, dancing, breathing from my belly, or going out into a cold night and basking in a sky full of stars.
- Learn to do one thing at a time, with presence. This is easiest for me when I am moving slowly, carefully examining each leaf and twig of my inner and outer landscapes. I am working to bring integrity to each moment of my life, striving to be as fully present as possible, no matter what is going on around me.
This article appears in the June/July 2004 issue of ADDitude.
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To share strategies for getting time on your side, visit the ADD Adults support group on ADDConnect.