ADHD / Adult ADHD / Anxiety / Coping Strategies

ADHD & Prioritization: Boxes Beyond Tomorrow

Oh this here, this is really funny. I think I found my sense of humor.

So I’ve got my calendar out and I’m doing this awesome thing where I’m starting to use my calendar in the way I’ve been musing about in my blog posts, you know, taking my responsibilities and breaking the pile into chunks so that I can do a little each day…

…yeah. So I take out a pencil and I’m being really focused and thoughtful about the whole thing…when I realize, I’m putting everything in tomorrow’s box. Everything. All of the things. ALL OF THEM. And I realize…this is what I always do. This is why I feel like a failure, every day of my life.

I do, I feel like a failure every day. And it used to motivate me to feel like I was failing because I’d be all “yeah well fuck it, I’ll just do more stuff and take on more stuff and YEAH” and keep going. These days, it just depresses me. I seriously need to knock it the fuck off!

Dammit, seriously! I need to stop terrorizing and validating myself with a giant list of shit!

So I did something radical. Radical in the “big change” sense, not the 1980’s sense. I started putting stuff in the day AFTER tomorrow too. In the interest of full disclosure, I then started writing this blog post because I started to freak out about going beyond the day after tomorrow. Because I also realized…I don’t like to push things off until “later” because I’m afraid I will never do them. I guess torturing myself instead was the only alternative I could fathom?

So I’m going to post this post, then I’m going to pick up the pencil, and I’m going to start putting things in little boxes again. Boxes that exist beyond tomorrow. If time exists as a continuum of some kind, I’m going to envision the “me” of “two weeks from now” (oh my gawd it’s painful to even think about that) thanking “me” of “right now” for doing this.

Right after I freak out thinking about how I suck at checking calendars, argggggggh…okay I’m done I’ll grab the pencil and get back to the task, I swear…

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10 thoughts on “ADHD & Prioritization: Boxes Beyond Tomorrow

  1. I’ve had to learn how to do this for work. The way they have set up our follow up system for cases on the computer does NOT show you any where how many cases you’ve already set up for the same day. As a result, I’d put a bunch on the same day and never be able to get to them. We HAVE to use that system, but my boss suggested a paper follow up system in addition so I can see how many things are going on. I’d hesitated doing that since it seemed like duplicate work, but it’s helped immensely
    .
    Before, I’d have 7 things to follow up on in one day and I’d think, “that’s too much, I’ll do something else instead” and it would snowball. The other thing that helped with putting it to paper is that I also write down doctor appointments, planned leave, group meetings and see that I don’t put as many (or any) follow ups for that day.

    On the home front, I have no problems with lists, but husband does. He’ll make a list and put EVERYTHING on it, look at it and feel so overwhelmed that he goes back to playing on the computer and nothing or little gets done. For him, it’s either now or never. Still working on that one.

    It’s ok. Space things out. You’ll be ok and should be less stressed.

    • This all sounds very familiar, Penny 🙂 I think that an elephant in this room is the fact that I have too many things. I got rid of a lot, but I clearly have more paring to do.

  2. Dennis’ADHD Calendar Trick #7
    This works best with white refrigerators. You will need white board markers as well.
    – draw a big calendar month on the fridge or freezer door.
    – layout your task steps in colour on calendar. Add some cute little pics or fridge magnets to gussy it up and make it stand out.

    Now when you enter the kitchen, a very popular room in any house, your giant task calendar will be begging to be attention.

    • I do LOVE gigantic visuals. I’m so mobile though that I think I have to have something I carry with me. We’ll see though…I like this idea of getting to play with colored markers, lol. Calendar envy 🙂

  3. You in the “right now” is so on point. That’s the one that takes care of ourselves, and helps us recognise the fatalistic and negative self-talk. And this struggle you describe is so salient to my experience, on the regular. So take that pencil, and let yourself get creative with it. Be gentle. Know that you aren’t alone. Getting out my little list now as we speak 😉

    • 😀 I’ve got such the follow up post for this…I definitely need to sleep before I write it though. I’m just glad that every pencil has an eraser! (Or should…if it’s worth its pencil salt!)

  4. I call it “Day Planner Anxiety”. It wasn’t until I started using a project management day planner in January 2014 that I realised that I have a lot of anxiety about scheduling things past tomorrow. I couldn’t believe it took me all those years to realise this!
    Good luck with your adventures using a day planner. I started off with the one on my smartphone. FAIL! So I bought a moleskin for way too much, but I seem to use it a lot and look at it everyday, and every hour from 6 a.m. – 5 p.m. and then again before I go to bed.

    • I really fret about the format of these silly things! And now…I’m not sure I even picked the right one. Project management planner…I’m going to investigate this. I fluctuate between wanting a “full month view” and wanting bigger boxes to write notes in. The problem is that I really need to pick one or the other because the more I have to flip back and forth, the greater my chances of forgetting to flip back and forth and missing something. Hey wait…maybe I can design my own calendar. Why didn’t I think of THAT before?

  5. Two things. 1.) I love tomorrow. It is the day I plan to do all the things in my life i dont want to do, that must be done. 2.) It is rare i find an ADHD blogger who writes well, and realizes the importance of profanity in their blog. You are a breath of fresh air my dear, and i thank you for your presence in the blogging community. I will follow you with anticipation.

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