Zebra Stripes for ADHD
A monthly newsletter of stories tips and news for those concerned with ADHD, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, No. 14
Sarah Jane Keyser : ADHD Coach
Seeing Time: a Vision for Managing Time
Imagine. You are sitting in the middle of the railroad tracks making mud pies. A long loud Hoo-oo-oo echoes in the air. You look up to see a huge engine towering over you. Cut ! « What ? Why on earth would I be doing such a silly thing ? » Well, change the scene a bit. You aren’t on railroad tracks but on a project track. You have until Friday to complete a project at work. Thursday night you suddenly see this project looming over you, and you haven’t started yet. You’re late again. Children with ADHD often do this, but adults do it too. Have you ever arrived at an intersection which you pass regularly several times a day to find a police car with lights flashing, an ambulance, lots of people and cars standing around, a dramatic accident, someone’s life has just taken a drastic turn. You slow, gape, ask what’s happened. Sometime later you pass the same spot again, now all is back to normal; there remains no trace of that recent slice of time. Time is a curious substance. We call it the fourth dimension. The three dimensions of space, length, width, height are visible, but we can’t see time or hear, taste or smell it. For many people time advances in front of them and falls away behind them in orderly fashion like the crossties on the railroad tracks. They are able to estimate how much time has elapsed or organize future tasks neatly to fit the time available. Others, especially people with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, ADHD) experience time as a pile of crossties spread higgledy-piggledy in all directions. They have no sense of the train arriving until it appears on top of them; they are often late for meetings or forget completely. They say « yes » to too many things without considering how each commitment will fit on the time track. How can we see time coming ? How can we use this vision of time to manage it? Let's take another perspective. Instead of sitting playing mud pies waiting for events to happen to us, let's imagine riding in the train. The train is our time-machine which transports us through today. The train track is time extending into the future. Each station is an activity to be carried out. You board the train at 'Getting-Out-of-Bed'. The train starts off at 8:00, rolling smoothly through the countryside, clickety-clack marking the rhythm while you get dressed and ready for the day. The conductor announces "the next station will be 'Breakfast' at 8:15". As the train slides gently to a stop you slide into your seat to eat breakfast. The train starts off again, clickety-clack. While you are eating the conductor announces "the next stop at 8:45 will be 'Laundry-Day'". Other stops for today's trip might be "Paying-the-Bills", "Doctor's-Appointment", "Project-Meeting", and so on. The last stop of course will be "In-Bed-Lights-Out". Good night and sweet dreams.
Time Management Tips
A train provides a fanciful vision for managing time. For people with Attention Deficit Disorder, a fanciful vision can provide the stimulation necessary to stay on track. If you have a different vision by all means go for it.
Here are some practical pointers that will help you be successful at time management, no matter what sort of vision speaks to you.
Have a great trip!
For more about Time Management see : http://www.coachingkeytoadd.com/coaching/tips/timetips.html____________________________________________
Zebra Tips : Flash Report : to live longer Smile and Laugh
Most centenarians enjoy a good laugh according to Tom Perls of the New England Centenarian Study. He believes that a sunny disposition, positive thinking and a good laugh help to control stress. Stress produces the hormone cortisol which is bad. DHEA is another hormone which offsets the effects of cortisol, but DHEA decreases with age leaving older people more susceptible to disease and the effects of aging.
People with ADHD also tend to have high levels of cortisol due to stress and lots of negative thinking.
But you don't have to die young. Learn to smile and practice positive thinking to reduce your cortisol level. Here are some suggestions and don't be surprised , we've heard them before as ways to deal with ADHD.
Tai chi, exercise, having faith, meditation and yoga. Make use of the "relaxation response" devised by Herbert Benson. Don't have time for all that sort of stuff? Well then just smile and laugh that will also reduce cortisol, the more the merrier.
3 June 2006.
This report comes from Kate Douglas in "New Scientist",
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