How many times have you said, “It will only take a minute,” finding yourself coming to the surface about thirty minutes to an hour later?  Maybe you are looking up something on Google and truly believe it will only take you a short time, which you term as “a minute.”  First of all, we know that even if you have your computer on and Google’s site up, it will take you longer than one minute to look up an item and read about it.  Sure, you may be able to complete this task in about ten minutes; however, there could be several things to get you off-track that could turn the ten minutes into thirty before you even realize it.  What if you lose your Internet connection and have to reboot?  What if you see something else in the search results that attracts your attention?  What if there are links you want to check that show up within the particular site you chose to read?  And this is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being distracted while online!  (And yes, that is another blog post for another day.)

We with ADD/ADHD have the risk of not having the ability to realistically estimate the time it will take to do tasks as well as the risk of being distracted from the task at hand.  Both of these challenges can give us much frustration when trying to schedule our tasks for a day much less our trying to do them. 

Many times we forget that whatever task we have listed to do may have many steps to complete before we can actually say the task is done.  For example, I used to think of paying bills as one to-do item.  Then my mind was opened to the fact that paying bills is actually comprised of several steps: balancing my checking account; determining what has to be paid first; making online payments and printing confirmations of payment; writing checks for those payments requiring such; preparing the checks for mailing; and keeping up with my checking account balance as I go along.  As a result, I no longer see “paying bills” as ONE thing on my list that will “only take me a few minutes.”  I actually give myself ample time to get this accomplished so that there is not stress added to the process.  We often have enough stress when dealing with finances without needing anything to add to it!

There are other things that we put on to-do lists that can truly be broken down into smaller steps, which make the tasks less daunting.  Some of these larger tasks that come to mind include: grocery shopping; cleaning the house – or even a room in the house; preparing a tax return; getting ready for bed; getting ready for work; doing homework; studying for a test…this list could go on and on.  Hopefully you can see how these tasks can be broken down into smaller steps, which would help one better estimate the time it could take to do the tasks as well as making it easier to complete the tasks.

Another result from our not having realistic time allocated to specific tasks could be the expectation we’ve given others for our completing the task.  We could have someone waiting on us to finish something so that we can leave to go somewhere.  There could also be the expectation at work or school for us to complete a certain part of a project in order for others to be able to do their part.  We can end up appearing irresponsible or uncaring when we’ve merely incorrectly estimated time.

One way to begin dealing with the estimation of realistic time for projects is to keep a log of how long it takes you to accomplish tasks throughout the day or for a few days.  I have kept a “Things Done Log” in which I listed everything I did in a day so that I could actually see that I had accomplished something even though my list for the day might not be done.  This would also be useful for seeing how long it takes me to do various tasks on a regular basis.  We can also ask others who know us well how long it typically takes us to do certain tasks.  Then when we are planning our schedule, we can begin allocating more time to those tasks taking longer than we expect.  It’s also a good idea to allocate some extra time in our schedule for interruptions or surprises in the process of doing tasks.

In dealing with distractions, it often depends on the person performing the task as to what works best for him/her and can also depend on the task being done.  Some people work better in certain environments than others.  For example, some could write a paper in a coffee shop while others would need a completely silent room guaranteeing no interruptions.  Having music or TV on in the background can help some get certain tasks done faster than others.  It is important to notice your environment when you are performing at your best so that you can plan accordingly in the future.

With a better estimate of time for projects and limiting distractions to the extent possible, we will find it much easier to schedule time for projects as well as to complete them.  There are many other strategies that one could use, but I hope this post sheds some light on a place to begin.


When I think about actually being able to manage time, I’m perplexed.  Can one truly manage time?  Doesn’t it simply keep passing by regardless of how we use it?  If I could manage time, I know there have been many occasions that I would have put the clock on “stop” for a bit so that I could catch up.  Of course, I can see the turmoil this could cause overall, but that is how I see the management of time.

Rather than managing time, we are actually in control of managing our tasks during the time we are given.  Yes, this can be quite challenging with the pace of society today; however, we must remember that we determine the particular task(s) we work to accomplish in a given time.  There may be more tasks added to our plate by others or other tasks we remember needing to be done during our scheduled time.  Discipline must prevail here.  Rather than immediately taking on the task either assigned or recalled while working on the task at hand, write down the task(s) in a particular place so that you can schedule the time to work on it/them after you’ve completed your work on the task at hand.  This will allow you to continue working on your scheduled project without forgetting about the new task(s) to be done.

We with ADD/ADHD are so easily distracted.  When we are given something to do or recall something that needs to be done, we tend to immediately begin that new task.  Often we leave behind our work-in-progress that was scheduled during this time.  In the end, it’s likely that we end up with a few projects started without any actually completed.  This can cause much overwhelm and stress.  It’s important to schedule time for tasks to be done as well as to respect the time you have allotted to each project in order for things to get accomplished.

At times I do wish I could truly manage time; however, I don’t believe I would want to live with the chaos that could result.  It’s much more productive to try to manage the tasks I have to do by giving them realistic time in my schedule.  (And yes, there is another blog post to come regarding “realistic time.”)  I feel much better when a task is completed versus just started along with several other incomplete projects.  Motivation to complete other tasks increases when I actually see a project come to a close.

What’s your opinion on time management?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.


The first time I recall hearing “compartmentalize” was in the movie, The Holiday by Nancy Meyers.  Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Graham (Jude Law) are in a scene in which Amanda finds out that Graham isn’t the “normal, single guy” that he portrays.  Graham explains his charade by saying, “I’m on some kind of constant overload, and it helps to compartmentalize my life – just ’til I figure this out.”

Can you identify with that statement at all?  I certainly can.  When it comes to trying to get things done, I definitely feel like I’m “on some kind of constant overload.”  Before anything can get done, I must understand what actually has to be done as well as the priority of these items.  For someone with ADD/ADHD, it can be quite challenging to determine the priority of things on his/her to-do list.  Many times just looking at all the things on their list(s) can cause overwhelm escalating to the point of not being able to accomplish anything. 

One step in beginning to prioritize items on your to-do list so that things can get accomplished in a productive manner is to compartmentalize.  What do I mean by that?  If your to-do list is quite lengthy or if you have several to-do lists that you really need to have in some sort of order, you can begin by assigning each task to a compartment.  These compartments can consist of different topics depending on your tasks. 

Some people may divide their to-do’s into compartments such as:  correspondence via phone calls/emails; errands to run; business-related items; and household-related items.  Others may need to have compartments for their business/job that are more specific such as:  phone calls; emails; research; written correspondence; and project progress.  There could also be household compartments such as: cleaning (by room if needed); paying bills; shopping for groceries; and meal planning.  It is also very important to schedule family time/fun time since there is the chance of this time taking a back seat when we are very busy.

Once the tasks are separated into compartments, it will be much easier to determine an order of importance of each item; i.e., their priority.  It will also be much easier to determine whether there are tasks that can be delegated or to discover tasks that may not even have to be done. 

In my next post, I will discuss how to begin developing a routine so that these tasks can be prioritized and accomplished.  In the meantime, let me know if you compartmentalize and what topics you use if you do.




Today I had a doctor appointment scheduled for 9:40 AM.   When I made the appointment, I didn’t know that I would also have a client meeting including a mother and her son at 12:00 PM.  With the meeting location being between the doctor’s office and my house, I knew I needed to take everything with me for the meeting.  I did fairly well with that part in that I prepared most of what I needed to take last night.  One step in the right direction, huh?!

Then the morning dawned.  I was up in plenty of time to get ready for my doctor appointment as well as getting the few things together that I needed for the client meeting that weren’t packed last night.  When I was dressed and ready to go, I began gathering the few things needed and was out the door knowing I’d be a few minutes late…but not too bad. 

THEN as I was putting my key in the ignition, I realized I’d forgotten something.  I decided I could do without it, and it certainly wasn’t worth the time of my going back in to get it.  So off I go!  When I was about a mile from my house, just missing a green light at a traffic signal that takes FOREVER, I realized I’d forgotten something very important.  The thoughts were running rampant at this point:  Do I turn around and still try to make the doctor appointment?  Do I come home between my doctor appointment and the client meeting even though I need that time to prepare a bit more for the meeting?  UUUGGHHH!!!

Suddenly, my rational voice kicked in – yes, it does that at times:  “Tina, just cancel your doctor appointment, go home to get what you need, and finish preparing for the meeting in your office at home.  You won’t feel as rushed, and you will be able to show up for your client meeting without being in such a frazzled state.”  HMMM. 

This actually made sense to me.  Of course, there would be a cancellation fee, and money is certainly tight right now.  However, as I began to weigh the monetary cost of missing the appointment against the stress and craziness of trying to make both appointments, I realized that the monetary cost was well worth my cancellation.  (And as all of this thought process was going on, that traffic light never changed to green!)

So I turned around, called the Doctor’s office, and cancelled my appointment.  To my surprise, there had been another cancellation for tomorrow that I was able to take!  So, it all worked out so much better for me thanks to my stopping to weigh the odds.

Having ADD/ADHD, we often act without thinking things through first.  This can cause us to have states of major stress and overwhelm.  When we are able to stop and think about the options, which in situations as mine won’t take long for our speedy brains, we often come up with the best answer or solution for us.  Yes, there is a cost involved for my not being as prepared as needed; however, the “cost” I avoided by cancelling the doctor appointment would have been MUCH greater in terms of the condition of my mind, energy, and well-being than the monetary cost of the cancellation fee at the doctor office.

Try to remember to STOP and THINK things through before making rash decisions or any decisions for that matter.  This does take practice and is relatively new for me, but it is certainly worth it in the end.




Have you ever reached a point of having so much to do that you literally couldn’t do anything?  Has overwhelm ever literally overtaken you?  If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions, I certainly understand.

Many of us, especially those of us with ADD/ADHD, can reach a point of not being able to do anything when we don’t have a schedule or boundaries to use as guidance.  We see all that needs to be done and have trouble determining where to begin.  Often we spend so much time trying to decide what to do first that we become exhausted, which can result in our accomplishing very little.  At other times, we don’t give ourselves credit for the daily tasks we do that have become routine for us.

When someone becomes this overwhelmed, it is time to stop and come up with a plan.  Of course, I know that is much easier said than done.  In fact, one reason you’ve not seen this post sooner is due to my own overwhelm.  Yes, I’m admitting it; I’ve been in MUCH OVERWHELM lately.

My last post discussed to-do lists and schedules.  In that post, I mentioned a series of posts that would follow discussing how to create a plan or a schedule to be able to accomplish our many tasks.  Well, I found the idea was much more attractive than coming up with the action steps!  It’s taken some time for me to be able to focus on the steps necessary to come up with a plan/schedule to begin to get things done.  Why?  Because as I write these posts, I am establishing a plan for myself.

When you are employed by someone, you often have a schedule to follow even if it is merely set by deadlines versus a daily routine.  Believe it or not, this also helps the routine at home for getting things done.  However, working as an entrepreneur without employees leaves you without a definite schedule.  The only schedule you may have is set by your clients if you are selling services.  If you sell tangible products, you might have deadlines for items clients are purchasing or no deadlines at all due to the product needing to be produced before marketing can even be done…much less selling. 

Working from home causes even more distractions for an entrepreneur, which makes getting things done at work as well as at home next to impossible.  Having ADD/ADHD can make this quite the feat!  Reaching out for help to get things under control and to put a plan in place is the best answer when overwhelm invades to a great degree.

In coming up with the ideas for a series of blog posts, I took the approach of thinking of how, as an ADD/ADHD Life Coach, I’ve helped clients work through approaching tasks.  Now that I’ve put these steps on paper, the blog posts will follow more easily.  [Yes, I am still one of the paper and pen types; although, I am better than I was at one point.  At least my blog posts are done directly on my computer. :) ]

How do you manage your time?  Do you have a daily plan or schedule?  You will see the steps I take as I move forward with a plan of my own.  Please give input along the way.


Do you ever feel that you will simply NEVER CATCH UP?  Many of us do.  I often wonder why we get to this point.  If we truly never caught up, would we be able to continue living day by day?  Maybe things we include in our to-do’s aren’t all necessary.  Maybe we procrastinate.  Maybe we dread things that must be done.   Maybe we no longer know what it feels like to have “everything” done because we indeed try to do everything

Do we ever feel content in or with life?  Why or why not?  If not, what keeps us from that contentment?  What would it take to reach the point of being satisfied with our circumstances in life or our current situation?

Having a schedule or a list often seems like the answer to getting everything done; however, do we ever do much more with these lists than make them?  Do we have to re-write them often to make sure we’ve included EVERYTHING?  Do we feel an accomplishment has been made when we mark off an item completed?  Or do we ever mark anything off this list as done?

Yes, I’ve asked many questions so far in this post.  These are just things that come to mind when I really sit down and think about my list of things to do.  What is the answer to even some of these questions?  I don’t know that I can answer them all; however, over the next few days, I will attempt to give some suggestions and ideas that might help us actually use these lists we have.  Maybe we can even find contentment along the way.

I would love to hear any ideas you have.  Also, please let me know answers you may have to any questions posed above.  I am certainly teachable and always willing to learn new approaches!




Have you ever been so involved in a project that absolutely nothing could pull you away?  And even if something did pull you away, it was only for a short time?  Yes, even that short time of sleep!  This is what I call having a “ONE-TRACKED MIND.”  Those of us with ADD/ADHD also know it as hyperfocus.

I’ve had a project recently that left me with a one-tracked mind and little sleep.  My computer has been “sick” for a few days, and I found out how to do the repairs without having to pay someone.  So of course, I was determined to get this done while my husband continually asked, “Don’t you think we need to take it somewhere?”  There was NO WAY I was taking this computer anywhere when I had found someone on Microsoft Support who was patiently answering my questions.

Once I found this guru on Microsoft Support, I followed his responses and continued to ask questions until I understood the entire process.  It worked!  Yes, it took me away from the blog challenge and many other things for a few days, but this time my hyperfocus paid off greatly.  I was determined and didn’t let much distract me during the process.  Time would go by, and it would be VERY early in the morning before I even went to sleep.  However, I did make sure to address what was necessary for the day before beginning to work on the computer.  If I hadn’t done that, I knew things would be forgotten and/or overlooked.

Often we ADDers can get involved in something that “takes us away”…and not like Calgon!  Many times the outcome of our hyperfocus can be negative due to our neglecting things that MUST have our attention.  This is when we have to determine how to set boundaries on the time we spend on these activities once they are identified.  There isn’t an across-the-board answer to control hyperfocus because we are all different and respond differently to strategies that are put in place.  Thus, an ADD/ADHD Coach can help a client determine what strategies work best for him or her in various situations. 

Now the air conditioner in our house isn’t working.  (And I live near Memphis, TN!  IT’S HOT!)  However, my focus on this project will simply be asking my husband when someone will be coming to check the unit or if he’d rather me call the repairman.  I don’t think I’ll try a “how to” or “A/C unit repair support” search on the computer for this project!  :)


Do you ever have in mind the perfect holiday experience?  I have done this for as long as I can remember until recently.  Even though it took some time, I finally realized that I was completely ruining my holidays by setting such high expectations for each of them.  Now I begin with no expectations at all unless there are plans.  And even with planned events, I keep my expectations at a minimum.  In the end anything that happens which exceeds my expectations makes it extra special.

For example, a “perfect” 4th celebration for me would be having a gathering with family and friends.  We would cookout in the afternoon/evening and have lots of finger-foods/appetizers to graze over all day.  There would be drinks iced down for everyone…even the ones wanting a toddy or two. ;)  Of course, we would have homemade ice cream.  Everything would be in red, white, and blue decor in a large backyard including a patio with ceiling fans or just several fans set around.  We would eat, visit, and laugh throughout the day and end with fireworks either in a location we pick to do our own or at a public event.

Of course, I could try to get this “perfect” event planned ahead of time and carry it out, and maybe I will one day.  However, there are several reasons that it is not practical for me right now.  Even if I try to do some of these things without going overboard, which is what many of family and friends would say about this “picture” of mine, it still wouldn’t be “my perfect 4th.”  Yes, I drive a tough deal, but I know what I enjoy.

Since this idea of mine is out of reach for now, I approach the day with no expectations and hope for implementing some of my “perfect celebration” over time.  Maybe I’ll begin with the homemade ice cream this year!  YUMMY!

{ 1 comment }

Whose expectations are you trying to meet?  Do you set expectations for yourself…for others?  Do you allow others to set expectations for you?  These questions can cause one to truly think about his or her daily actions in a totally different light.

Those of us with ADD/ADHD often believe that others have such high expectations of us.  We can create such demands that we feel others are putting on us that may not actually be true. 

Many times we feel inadequate, which can cause us to take on more than is expected hoping to prove ourselves.  Note that I wrote “feel inadequate.”  There are very few, if any, times that one is actually inadequate and certainly no time that one is as inadequate as he or she might feel.  Having ADD/ADHD can leave one with these feelings especially if they have always been told that they aren’t trying hard enough or doing well enough. 

We ADDers also have a tendency to compare ourselves to others on a regular basis.  From these comparisons, we allow ourselves to feel and even believe that we are lacking in many ways.  As a result, we tend to set expectations for ourselves based on these comparisons rather than setting goals for ourselves based on our desires and needs.

It is very typical for one with ADD/ADHD to set expectations for himself or herself that are way out of reach.  I believe part of this deals with perfectionism.  I will set expectations for myself that are totally unrealistic, and sometimes I actually reach these lofty goals.  (That is where hyperfocus can be quite an asset!)  However, other times I fall short in my eyes while those around me are telling me how well I’ve done.  It’s odd how many of those comments can just fly right over my head because I am focused on the things I didn’t accomplish. 

Another part of setting lofty expectations for oneself may come from the plethora of ideas that come to mind.  My mind can be so full of great ideas that there is no way humanly possible to ever accomplish all of them.  Writing down the ideas as they come to mind, and then choosing which project takes priority for that day or time can allow one to better get things accomplished.  Eventually, one will either accomplish these projects written down or possibly decide that some of the ideas wouldn’t really be a good use of his or her time.

If you realize you’ve let someone else determine expectations you are striving to reach, it can be very frustrating.  Once this becomes clear, the awareness that certain things really aren’t necessary is quite liberating.  One can trim down his or her to-do list to something more manageable and interesting rather than trying to fill the desires, whether real or perceived, of others.

It is also important to be careful of the expectations we place on others.  If we place such high expectations on ourselves, we might tend to place some lofty expectations on others.  We might not expect others to do as much as we expect of ourselves; however, some expectations we place on others may not be their way of dealing with life.  For example, we might expect a certain reaction from someone when we make a comment.  If the reaction doesn’t occur, we find ourselves either disappointed in the other person or even feeling self-pity for ourselves.  This can certainly be an indication of expecting too much of others OR of expecting others to be and/or think like us in actions or words rather than allowing that person to be himself or herself.

So, who sets your expectations?  Do you believe you set realistic expectations of yourself and others?  I would love to hear your thoughts.


Often we think of habits as something negative; however, if we develop certain habits, they can make a positive change to our lives.  ADD/ADHD Coaching involves having the support, encouragement, and accountability from someone who understands your way of thinking so that desired actions can come from developing new habits.

This Ultimate Blog Challenge is the perfect example of developing a habit.  No, I doubt I will blog daily after this month; however, I do hope this attempt to post daily will help me to develop a habit of blogging more than once a week.  This is the desired action I want to change as a result. 

Do you ever find yourself late for work or appointments because you can’t find your keys?  An example of what an ADD/ADHD Coach can help a client change is where he or she is keeping car keys so that they can be found anytime they are ready to go somewhere.  We would begin by talking about a likely place that the client could put the keys each day when he or she gets home.  Then as the process or habit develops, the client would be able to find his or her keys without it making him or her late for a destination.

What are some actions you would like to change by developing new habits?  It just takes repetition, practice, support, and encouragement.  I would love for you to share!


Posting To My Blog DAILY?!

by Tina

Yes, you read it correctly.  I have entered the Ultimate Blog Challenge, which means that I will be TRYING to post to my blog every single day for the month of July!  All of my posts won’t likely be as long as the ones so far, which may be seen as a good thing by some.   Also, watch for a new […]

Continue Reading Here…


by Tina

Have you ever been so involved in something that you completely lost track of time even to the extent of missing appointments or forgetting to eat?  This is one example of hyperfocus in action.  As you can see from the given example, there are some good and bad results with hyperfocus.  We must try to […]

Continue Reading Here…


by Tina

What is self-care?  Webster merely defines self-care as “care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.”  For many years, I defined self-care as a selfish act.  That’s it.  No further thought about a true meaning.  Just a selfish act.  Interesting, huh?  I believe that this point of view about self-care comes from my […]

Continue Reading Here…

You are just too sensitive! Don’t you think you’re overreacting?! Why do you take everything so personally?!

by Tina

Do any of these comments sound familiar?  They certainly do to me.  Sensitivity can be much higher in those of us with ADD/ADHD than in others.  And usually people who don’t understand ADD/ADHD have a very difficult time accepting that being highly sensitive is part of who we are. One can be sensitive emotionally, empathetically, […]

Continue Reading Here…


by Tina

Last week several things had my attention rather than what was actually planned on my calendar for the week including posting to my blog.  Of course, I spent time beating myself up, figuratively speaking, over not getting things done that actually needed to be completed.  People with ADD/ADHD are typically their worst critics, and we […]

Continue Reading Here…


by Tina

When we think of a “Coach,” we often think of sports.  There are games, rules, and boundaries.  One might also picture a Coach stomping feet, screaming obscenities, and turning red-faced.  While there may be a few similarities, an ADD Coach is quite different than a Coach for sports and certainly in the areas mentioned above. […]

Continue Reading Here…

ADD: just a math function to me until a few years ago.

by Tina

Math was my favorite subject in school.  Yes, I was in the minority.  The challenge of the subject as well as knowing there was a definite answer intrigued me.  Oh, I did despise the word problems, and now I understand why.   When reading a math word problem, I had trouble comprehending the parts of the […]

Continue Reading Here…

Letting Go of Perfectionism…Momentarily

by Tina

So, what does “perfectionism” have to do with being an ADD/ADHD Life Coach?  Well, not only am I a Life Coach specializing in ADD/ADHD, but I also have been diagnosed with ADD and experience its wonders daily. (By the way, I use “ADD” in my writing to cover all types of ADD and/or ADHD.)  Having […]

Continue Reading Here…

Thanks for visiting my site!

by Tina

I am currently in the process of preparing my site.  It will be ready soon, and I hope you will come back to visit often.  If you’d like me to email you when my first blog is posted, which will be when the site is ready, please submit a comment below with your email included. Thanks! Tina

Continue Reading Here…