A new way to look at time management
After my ADHD diagnosis I dove head first into learning about ADHD. The more I learnt, the more I implemented and tried to fix myself. The weird thing looking back is that I had no idea that I was trying to fix myself.
I became so good at fixing myself that I became a robot. My mindset looked like: "now that I know the way my brain works and I can actually finish tasks, what do I want to get done?" And I did it. I did it all. I became a machine. Then in 2020 I moved into a place with my boyfriend and things started to change. I had more on my plate, more demand on my executive function. I kept wanting to do all the things and there just isn't enough time and enough energy in a day.
I had a burnout in November of 2021 and it was a HUGE wake up call. I had to find a new, sustainable way to navigate all my fun and exciting projects/ideas. I stumbled across Kate Northrup's book "Do less" at the perfect time. It was like she gave me permission to do a reset in my life and in my business to navigate my days, weeks, months in a way that I innately know that I need. I don't usually like to use that word "need" but I would say that it is quite appropriate here. It is a need.
I was listening to her book on audible while packing for our new house. She was talking about different ways of looking at time. I knew that this particular part of her book was especially standing out to me, I just didn't know exactly why or how until this morning it hit me smack in the face.
Time abundance vs. time scarcity
I got a flash of why it was so impactful. I was looking at my life through the lens of time scarcity.
My definition of time scarcity:
A constant panic that I don't know how I'm going to fit all of the things i need/want to do into my day but I need to. It involves constantly replaying what I want to get done and how I can shift things around to fit it all in (even while I'm working on one of the tasks). I can make a decision/plan of how I will fit it all in but I still feel the need to replay everything so I can be sure that it will all fit (this never works!). It feels like there's a little militant inside me constantly yelling out "Hurry! You only have 5 minutes to cut the carrots before you need to go onto the next task. You won't be able to accomplish everything unless you get this done in 5 minutes." And constantly looking at the time to make sure that I have enough time to be doing what I'm doing. EVEN WHILE WRITING THIS I JUST CAUGHT MYSELF! Here was the dialogue "ok, it's almost 8. What do I have to get done before we GO TO OUR NEW HOUSE at 2pm? And then a list began in my head "walk Riley, shower, etc." this is the perfect recipe in my head. The thing is that if I just sat here until 2pm and wrote and wrote. Everything would be ok. I don't need to shower. I'm showering for future Alyssa to make her life more simple. I want to start doing things for current Alyssa. Let current Alyssa live! Writing this blog post is what current Alyssa wants to do and she deserves to have space too. And then I'm fighting this militant thinking "AH! Ok, if I take more than 5 minutes I CAN FIT IT ALL IN! I will just shift this over here and then maybe I don't need to do this other thing?! And then maybe if I ask my boyfriend for help here and then if I shift my emails to tomorrow and then if I don't wash the sheets. And Riley really needs a walk . And then I don't want to do anything because that militant makes doing tasks and organizing myself to do tasks so.exhausting. Even while writing this I want to curl up into a ball and take a nap. Whew.
I am more than ready for a new way of going through my days. How about you? Are you with me?
My definition of time abundance:
Just writing out the words "time abundance" makes me feel like in a field of sunflowers with limitless time on my hands. What is time? Time doesn't exist in my sunflower field.
In time abundance there is no doubt, there is no criticism. There's just trust that you are doing what you want to be doing in that moment - no guilt. There is no militant in the sunflower field. Stress melts away.
I'm not sure what my framework for time abundance will be. I'm going to let it go and trust that I will figure out - no I will not figure it out - I am going to have trust that by letting it go, an idea will come to me when it's a good time. You bet your bottom dollar that I will let you know when it arrives!