As an ADHD life coach, there is a strategy that I suggest to all of my adult ADHD clients because it has proven to be hugely helpful. I call it “A Planning Meeting with Myself.” Planning and prioritizing can be a challenge and sometimes everything seems equally important. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out because of all the things you have to do or feel you should be doing. What’s most important? What to do first?
Since the act of planning can be stressful in itself, the idea is to make the process as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. And having a daily planning meeting with yourself can become a habit that will help you feel more centered and in control for the rest of the day. It can actually be a process that becomes your friend and something you look forward to. Here are three steps to get you started:
1. Figure out the best time to spend 15 minutes or so planning your priorities. It could be in the evening before you go to bed or first thing in the morning before you start your day – whatever fits best for your schedule, your energy, and your lifestyle.
2. Where is the best place for you to find some uninterrupted time? This could be your office at work, your bedroom, your kitchen, or even your car. Some of my clients occasionally go to a coffee or tea shop to do their planning.
3. Some people hate planning. It’s boring…it’s overwhelming…it’s a waste of time … it never works anyway, etc. etc. How could you change the way you look it? Here are some ways my clients have changed this process from something they dread to something they look forward to. One woman lights a candle on her dining room table and takes some slow deep breaths before she looks at her lists. She calls it her planning meditation. Another buys a box of her favorite chocolates and takes little bites of it when she does her planning. She saves her chocolate bliss for this time. And another goes into a beautiful conference room at her work that is always free first thing in the morning. It is an uncluttered airy space that has an amazing view of Puget Sound. It is here that she feels the calmest during the day and thinks most clearly. Then when her workday starts, she feels much more directed and in control.