Allowing ourselves to be led astray by shiny objects leads to scattered nothingness.
Over the past decade or so, Adult Deficit Disorder (ADD) has become a new phenomenon. I personally believe this is the result of the world we live in today with all its distractions and the seduction of shiny objects.
I’m a victim like the rest of us. So let me paint a picture of two typical scenarios that I’ve personally encountered:
#1: The weekend is here!
Finally, I can spend time baking, knitting for hours on end, blogging…and engage in quality family time and exercise. By the time Sunday evening rolls around, I realize not all my plans were realistic.
#2: Typical morning before my 8-5 job
The alarm goes off at 4:30am. My first plan is to sit in meditation for about twenty minutes, then I take a look at my to do list, and I’ve got three big items on my list: write blog post, begin editing a podcast and interact online with community. I’ve got two hours to make all of this happen! However, I’m lucky if one big thing gets checked off the list.
Problem— overly optimistic about the time I actually have. As a result, a sense of personal failure is the result.
Solution— discovering this problem has become a useful tool, because I’ve been forced to take a hard look at my time. I plot out the weekends loosely with “anchor activities” (see below). I start the precious two hours before my work day with meditation and one task, which takes a bunch of discipline on my part because by nature I’m an over-planner.
I enjoy the act of planing. I love both digital and paper planners and I’m addicted to finding the right system. It all looks so perfect when I plot out my day. This is a “failure to launch” tendency that I’ve discovered in myself, so I try to be mindful when this behavior creeps in.
I realize the act of over-planning is the result of not knowing what those key activities should actually be. This all or nothing “throwing it on the wall and seeing if it sticks” approach is not very effective.
With the weekend coming fast, you may like the idea of planning those anchor activities mentioned above, as Laura Vanderkam suggests in What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. The way to do this is to map out about three key activities that you’d like to do from Friday night to Sunday evening. The goal is not to go to extremes by mapping out every hour, or be too loose and not plan at all. I highly recommend checking our the book here. It’s a quick and easy read. Also, click here to check out the latest Morning Cool Down episode with Laura!
The predicament is wanting way too much.
The new idea, the best new thing. Just as we create some traction in one direction, we see something new, jump for it, but then make what we’ve been striving for come to a halt. John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire says it best with his acronym: