“Help! I just got back from Spring Break and my project is due – I forgot all about it!”
Well, hope you were having fun on Spring Break at least, because the time between now and when that project is due isn’t going to be any fun at all. You are just going to have to buckle down, put aside every extraneous activity, and just do it.
How an ADHD Coach can help
The issue here is not how can a coach help you deal with an emergency – like forgetting all about a major project until just before it’s due. It is how a coach can help you avoid ending up in emergency situations in the first place. Wouldn’t that be nice!
One of the characteristics of ADHD is a tendency to shoot from the hip, or the “ready, fire, aim” syndrome. A coach works with you over time to develop better planning and self-management skills; skills that will help you manage your time and your things so you’re on top of your work and the rest of your life and not overwhelmed and behind all the time.
Getting back on track:
That being said, if you find yourself in a time pinch and are feeling overwhelmed, try this:
Assess your time:
- Get two 8.5×11 pieces of paper.
- Use the first page to sketch out a calendar for the upcoming days: columns for the days and rows for the hours. Mark them appropriately.
- Block out on your calendar plan all your classes and other necessary time commitments.
- Block out when you’ll be sleeping and eating.
- On the second page, list all the other things you have to get done.
- Give the things that have big consequences for not getting them done the higher priority. Give the other things lower priority. You can even let them fall off the list for now.
- Break your project into smaller bits:
- Divide up the time that’s left on your calendar for the high priority things on your list. For a paper, for instance, block off a portion of the time to do/finish the research, a portion of the time to brainstorm and/or write a draft, and a portion of the time to produce the final draft and hand it in.
- If it looks like you have extra hours left on your calendar plan, look to the next higher priority tasks and start scheduling them until you run out of hours in the day.
Stick to your plan!
- Keep the plan with you 24/7. Put it in your agenda, or your flip phone.
- Keep checking your plan. Stick to it to the best of your ability. If it’s 1:00 pm and your plan says you should be done with lunch and working on the draft, go work on the draft. Remember, it is an emergency plan to get you through a tough spot. One way or another, it will be over soon.
Once you’ve met your deadline, get yourself a coach. Your coach will help you plan better so that next time you won’t get into this pickle. By working with a coach, you can stay on top of your work and have fun too!