How I Do Less to Achieve More

Thanks so much for your engagement with my blog last week. You have been telling me that you want to live a life of true success — not of shallow achievement and shiny objects–but one full of the good stuff–the real stuff. You want to get great results, have great relationships, and maintain a resilience that will sustain you for the long-haul. You want to live a truly great life.

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I have spent decades collecting understanding of the true meaning of personal and leadership success. As a Christian counselor with professional experience in neuropsychology, I have developed a whole-brain process that can help you use more of your brain to help you get this goodness into your life at the point of performance–when you create your plans for your everyday life: this is Think Time Planner.

As promised, today I am going to share with you how I do less to achieve more.

One of the classic characteristics of people with ADHD is impulsivity. In the area of goal achievement, this means that when you see something that needs to be done, you feel you MUST do it NOW!

As a result, many of your efforts are fragmented in a million directions, and you struggle to get results.

It feels like this: “I worked so hard all day long, and I still got nothing done!!”

If you are going to achieve your peak performance, this will never work. You simply cannot spend your important energy like that. You cannot afford to be exhausted and not get results.

Here’s how I do less to achieve more.

Following is a part of my process no one else is talking about:

I separate my ideas into two phases: Dreaming and Deciding.

First, in the Dream Phase, I dream big and get all of my ideas on paper in the Dream Phase of my Think Time Planner. Here, I have a place to immediately act on the idea that came into my head–without ruining my day with an impulsive 5 hour task that “has to be done now!” When an idea pops into my head, instead of DOING it NOW, I satisfy my impulsivity by WRITING it NOW…as an idea in the Dream Phase. I don’t have to do it now “so I don’t forget it.” I write it down.

Next in the Decide Phase, I evaluate which actions will get me the most results in the direction of my vision. I DECIDE what to do…

Here’s how:

Research tells me that about only 20% of my actions will give me about 80% of my results, so the LAST thing I want to do is write everything down and attempt to do it all. This would almost ensure that I suffer exhaustion with not much to show for all of my effort. I have a lot on my plate, and that’s just not going to work in my full life. I need to spend my energy carefully–so I get my best results.

So, now you know my secret to do less and achieve more.

First, separate your ideas from your actions.

Second, decide which ideas will give you the most bang for your buck before you commit to do them.

BUT IT’S NORMAL TO WORK FROM DAWN TIL DUSK. I AM AN ENTREPRENEUR!

Sure, it’s true. Many entrepreneurs wear busyness as a badge. But, chances are, these entrepreneurs are not getting their best results. Sure there are busy-seasons, but watch out or busy seasons follow other busy seasons and simply become a way of life. The truth is that being busy is the opposite of being intentional. It’s reactive instead of proactive. The better way is to pause and evaluate the best use of your energy–not to run yourself into the ground to get results.

Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be that way!

Here’s what Kelly had to say the year she launched her business:

“Think Time has been giving me tools to use my time better, without compromising my priorities of time with family. It has given me the space to visualize and dream. It has also helped me evaluate more and think about the areas the need pruning. I am cheering you on!!”

When was the last time you heard of an entrepreneur launching a business and feeling great about their time management and family priorities? Think Time is next to magic!

________

Okay, as promised, next time, we will talk about relationships! We have hinted toward the importance of nurturing relationships along the way today but next week, we will deep dive into that topic. I am going to share a perspective you probably have not heard in your other entrepreneurial groups. You won’t believe how important this is!

If you have found today’s content valuable please share this blog in your ADHD and entrepreneur groups.

The Approach I Personally Use to Be More “Disciplined”

“I want whatever the person who wakes up early in the morning and works out has.”

As a person with ADHD, have you ever felt this way?

You want to wake up early to write that novel, launch that course, or lose the weight, but somehow it just doesn’t happen.

Have you wanted to be disciplined but felt somehow it eluded you?

If so, today’s blog is for you.

In this short blog, I will quickly pull back the curtain and show you a secret to being “disciplined” I don’t hear anyone else talking about.

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Let’s start by breaking down discipline for what it is.

Just by casual observation, if I were writing the definition, I would include something to the effect of delaying short-term gratification for your long term goal–on a regular basis. You pass on immediate rewards for long-term gain.

But, when you tend to be impulsive or procrastinate because you almost always choose short-term rewards over long-term gain, how can you possibly be disciplined?

Sssh, don’t tell anyone!

I believe there is a “back door” to discipline for the ADHD brain. That is, by using the strengths of your self-motivated, hyperfocusing, visual mind, I believe you can boost your discipline.

Here are the three steps I personally use to be more disciplined:

  1. Identify what matters most to you. The key to developing discipline for the ADHD mind is by first identifying what you really want. It takes a little time, but just like a good investment, it pays off! By becoming mindful of your deepest values and desires, you can use your double strengths of self-motivated action and hyperfocusing to achieve what you want. Use the More of-Less of tool and the Think Zones in your Think Time Planner to identify what matters most to you.
  2. Nurture your love toward it. Next, engage your emotions. Nurture your love toward your deepest values and desires by clearly envisioning them coming to fruition. Use the Five Sensing tool in your Think Time Planner to engage your five senses as you visualize. This is best way to prime your mind to focus on what matters most in a distracting world according to neuroscience so you can bring your dreams to life.
  3. Move your dreams into your routines. If your dreams and goals are not in your routine, chances are, they are not in your life. It is true. Once, you “get” this, everything will change. Instead of making lists and individual goals, make a strategic plan via a Dream Routine that includes your highest values. Cultivate your love for what matters most as you work from your Routine Worksheet and paint your plans with your Think Time Planner.

Let me be clear–I am still the same person. I still prefer immediate gratification; however, with this process I stay in the driver’s seat and CULTIVATE MY DREAMS & DESIRES so I actually WANT NOW what moves me toward my long term goals more than whatever shiny object is in front of me. Make sense?

Continuously renewing your motivation toward your dreams and goals engages the ADHD strengths of self-motivation and hyper-focusing and using a Dream Routines adds the “regularity” you need to be–or appear– disciplined.

What techniques do you use to be more disciplined so you can achieve your dreams and goals?

CLICK TO GET THE ALL ACCESS SUBSCRIPTION AT THINK TIME U

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Is Time Slipping Through Your Fingers?

Here are three ways you can make it concrete.

One of the struggles of people with ADHD is not “feeling“ the passing of time as other people do.

Time feels much more interconnected and complex. It’s not just the passing of minutes and hours; it is the complex interconnection of emotions, relationships, and accomplishments.

Even though time feels like a complex thing that is hard to grasp, what you feel is actually more simple.

As a person with ADHD, you probably feel time in two categories – “now” and “not now.”

This can lead to excessive impulsivity and/or excessive procrastination—making prioritizing and achieving tasks in real time more difficult.

But there is hope!

One thing that can help you better manage your time, and your life, is to externalize time in a concrete format.

Your goal is to make time less like oil and water flowing through your hands—hard to define and grasp and more like Lego bricks with purposes, and concrete beginnings and ends.

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To do this, I recommend engaging the visual-thinking part of your brain.
Here are three ways you can use visual thinking to make time more tangible.

  1. Use a Time Timer. Decide ahead of time what time you want to finish a task, walk out the door, finish a speech, etc. Set your Time Timer for that time. The diminishing color communicates more effectively to the ADHD mind than an analog timer. It’s really effective.
  2. Time Block Your Routines. Practice timing your regular activities and keep track of how long things actually take in a chart on a Free Space page in your Think Time Planner. Once you have a pretty good idea of how long these activities take, time block and color your routine activities into your Routine Worksheet. You may prevent problems as you discover that your 30 minute workout actually requires an hour with prep time and a shower afterward.
  3. Sort your To Dos. Once you have selected your most important tasks, separate them into the three categories in the Decide Phase of your Think Time Planner: immediate, short term, and long-term. But don’t stop there. Color the immediate column red, the short term column yellow and the long term column green. By visually separating these into these three categories – you can “see” what you need to attend to immediately, what helps you make tomorrow smoother, and what will help you toward your long term goals.

Don’t fall victim to impulsivity or procrastination ever again!

Use color as you plan to help your brain process and prioritize important tasks so you can feel the confidence you are getting the right things done.

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Are You Constantly Interrupted?

When I was launching my business, I did not know what I am about to share with you today. I wish I did because it would have helped me find soooo much more time…AND I would have been able to be more present with my family during that time!

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Most entrepreneurs with ADHD feel like they need to be available or respond immediately to get their best results. There is a sort of “NOW or NEVER” feeling that is ever present.

When a notification pings, you jump to answer so you can be helpful and available. If you are aware something needs to be done, you try to “knock it out” right now. But, somehow your efforts splinter and you don’t make the traction you want.

While everyone loves to hear immediately back from you,

reacting to just one notification

or

responding right away to that one e-mail

or neglecting to create uninterrupted time blocks for deep work…

may be stealing quite a lot from your results.

You may be thinking, “It’s just a minute. Not a big deal, right?”

Wrong.

The latest research shows that just one interruption can cause up to 23 minutes of lost productivity. You hear me right.

That 5 second glance at Instagram.

23 minutes of lost productivity.

That one e-mail.

23 minutes of lost productivity.

Responding to a quick unscheduled “got a minute?”

23 minutes of productivity.

And this is not just my opinion. This is what the data shows. And this is a LOT of unrealized time. So, if you are looking for more time, try to use the power of focus through uninterrupted time to get the traction you need.

To improve your productivity, use this neuro-time-hack to boost your productivity with your Think Time Planner. Set aside blocks of time as you think-time and do your deep work. Turn your cell phone off. Shut the door. Let everyone know when you will return (& honor your commitment).

Here are a few practical ways I set aside uninterrupted time:

I use a Time Timer. The visual impact of the red color diminishing communicates more quickly and clearly to my ADHD mind. All of a sudden, I can “see” what 10 minutes is. If you haven’t tried this yet, you’ve gotta. The science behind this simple tweak is similar to the strategies you use in your Think Time Planner to communicate more effectively to your ADHD brain. It’s a game changer! Get a Time Timer if you don’t have one yet!

I use noise canceling headphones. Because the ADHD mind is more open to distractions (through the senses), I find reducing the input into just one sense (hearing) can really help me focus. I pair it with music to fit the activity, or if the activity is physical, I listen to an online course or a podcast. (Important Note: If you are caring for children, do not use this technique. Being aware of the nuances of the sounds around you is key to keeping the kids safe.)

Set aside time to be interrupted. Time block “responsive time” to “walk the floor” and respond to needs. Set aside time to be with your family or your team proactively. You will both build into your relationships as well as prevent a lot of crises this way.

As a homeschooling mompreneur, I try to start my kids’ mornings with a lot of personal attention, ideas, and inspiration, so when it is time to play their minds have a lot of “fodder” with which to imagine and create. I start with a huge block of interruptible time, so when I need to focus without interruption for a small amount of time, I am more likely to have success. 

When you create your plan with your Think Time Planner, set aside blocks of time to do your deep work. Turn off your phone. Shut the door. Let everyone know when you will return (& honor your commitment).

Don’t let interruptions steal your focus and results anymore.

Say “no” to interruptions, and “yes” to your dreams and goals so you can…find more time to focus on what matters most.

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How to “Manifest” Your Dreams and Goals

Have you heard people talk about the life-changing experience of “manifesting” their dreams and goals?

Well, I don’t exactly call it “manifestation,” nor do I credit an impersonal universe; however, I do believe people are getting great results.

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I’ll tell you why.

What a lot of people call “manifestation,” I call it “visual thinking”–visualizing your goals so clearly you can FEEL them.

There are great neurological reasons why this practice works.

I discovered the power of visualizing and drawing my completed goals over 5 years ago–conducting an educated experiment I was pretty sure would work…

And, it did.

Better than I could have imagined.

It frankly blew me away.

Here’s what I believe is happening neurologically and why it works.

Research shows that when you visualize something so clearly that you can FEEL it, your brain gets to work to bring that vision to a reality–and here’s the cool part–even when you are not consciously thinking about it!

So, think about going throughout your day. You have literally tens of thousands of inputs. You simply cannot respond to all of them if you are to effectively tune into your tasks and be productive. So, your brain has a built in design to help you filter through all of these inputs to make your decisions–all day long.

(Now, some of us ADHDers respond to external stimuli more than others, of course, but generally speaking, this is how it works.)

AND.

Guess how many decisions are made on a subconscious level!

95% of them!

WHOA!

That means that your brain is saying “pay attention to” or “ignore” before you even consciously process 95% of what is going on around you.

So, if you want to start noticing more opportunities each day to achieve your dreams and goals, you need a proven strategy to help your brain recognize them and bring them to your attention.

You need to help your brain help you!

You need to help your brain help you!

Christine Wilson, LPC

How do you do that?

Here are 3 steps you can take:

1. Set aside regular uninterrupted think-time. Starting with just 5 minutes can get you started. The brain is more receptive and effective when you are calm. When you are stressed, it moves into fight, flight or freeze. So, if you are writing your goals on the fly, you may as well kiss them goodbye. Instead, place your phone on airplane mode and “sit with yourself” for a moment as you allow what matters most to surface.

If you are writing your goals on the fly, you may as well kiss them goodbye.

Christine Wilson

2. Visualize what you want. Really experience your dreams. See yourself completing your goal. How do you feel? What do you see? Employ as many of your five senses as possible to clearly visualize this accomplished goal. When you experience your dreams and goals viscerally, it gets to work to bring them to reality. Research shows that your energy, focus, and motivation toward your goals increase with the practice of visualization.

3. Draw it, mind map it, use color, and add words. The visual thinking techniques I curated in Think Time Planner to help you apply the above two steps are drawing this vision in your Envision Box and concept-clouding (brainstorming) using your 5 Sensing Tool. This creative process engages your whole brain and really communicates to your brain in a way it can understand a whole lot better than writing words alone.

This three step process engages several parts of your brain: the visual processing part where ideas originate, the deeper parts of your brain where your emotions are stored, right brain creative thinking and left brain analytical thinking. That’s how Think Time Planner helps you use your whole brain strategy for achieving your dreams and goals. Promise me you’ll never plan with words alone again!?!?!? Please!!!

Promise me you’ll never plan with words alone again!?!?!? Please!!!

Christine Wilson, LPC

By clearly envisioning your dreams and goals, you have “primed” your brain to focus on what matters most in a distracting world, so in the midst of your crazy busy life you can increase your chances of noticing what you “intend” to notice.

With this type of clarity you can feel, you should begin to find more opportunities to live on purpose and achieve your goals–even in a distracting world. To literally BRING YOUR DREAMS TO LIFE.

By clearly envisioning your dreams and goals, you have “primed” your brain to focus on what matters most in a distracting world, so you are more likely to notice what you “intend” to notice.

Christine Wilson

Opportunities to fulfill your dreams and goals surround you. Help your brain help you by preparing it to focus on your dreams and goals amidst distraction.

Set aside uninterrupted think-time.

Visualize your completed goal.

Draw this in your Think Time Planner.

Stop missing out on the opportunities in your own life.

Get the thinking skills you need to fight distractions and get results.

In my signature course Cut Through the Noise, I teach my full Dream, Decide, Do, Review Process in depth to help you immediately apply the best purpose and productivity strategies for entrepreneurs with ADHD on the market today.

A little think-time can change your life.

Claim your seat today.

Don’t let distractions get your best attention. Learn the thinking skills you need to succeed. Enroll in my Signature Course today.

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Three Ways to Boost Your Energy

How often do you take time to consider how you can boost your energy?⠀

You may not often think of what a game-changer good energy is, but it is soooo important.  I love the way performance psychologist Jim Loehr says it: “Energy is life!”  If you have poor energy, you miss out on life itself.

Truly, the amount of energy you bring to a task or a relationship makes all of the difference. Yet in the busyness of your day to day life, you could be depleting this most valuable asset instead of restoring it.

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Think Time Planner helps you process your life so you can live on purpose in a distracting world–and part of living on purpose is boosting your energy so you can show up well.  By combining creative thinking and mindfulness with productivity, you can see your life in a more complete sphere so you can not only be confident are you getting more done in less time, but you can also be confident you are getting the RIGHT THINGS done.

Today, I want to show you how you can boost your energy levels with your Think Time Planner.

Think Time Creative Productivity Planner helps you find time for what matters most.

1 Get More Sleep.  Use the Review section to become mindful of what is working and what is not working as you seek to get more sleep. Then, use these insights to create your Dream Routine and time block this directly onto your weekly calendar. To add a visual boost, time block your sleep by coloring in those hours with a charcoal gray oil pastel or dry-brush paint black to claim them for sleep.  

2 Reduce Your Stress. When you have a lot of unresolved thoughts, your brain works overtime to find a place to put them.  It can be exhausting to have so much on your mind. That’s why I created the Daily Planner ThinkPad. Every morning when you wake up, use your Daily Planner to get on paper everything that is on your mind and create a clear plan for your day so you can reduce your stress and move into your day with calm confidence. (Learn more techniques to reduce your stress in my course From Chaos to Confidence.)

3 Get on the Move.  Building exercise into your routine is a keystone habit to boost your energy.  Each quarter, use your “Health” Concept Cloud to mind map all of your ideas for getting more exercise. Raise your chances of success by moving the best ideas into your Dream Routine.  Raise your chances of success even more by inviting your friends or family to join you. (You can learn more tips for creating Routines that Support Your Long-Term Goals in my Course Cut Through the Noise.)

Your weekly plan for boosting your energy may never be 100% perfect. That’s okay.  Your Think Time Planner is the place where you identify what you would do if you had total control. Then, you flex with your real life and record your journey along the way in the Review area.

Life happens. And, that is okay.

Your goal is to control what is within your control by creating ideal rhythms and routines that help support your dreams and goals.  Over time, you will become who you want to be across many areas of your life. This week, don’t miss out on your life because of a lack of energy, focus on boosting your energy so you can infuse more life into the tasks and relationships that matter most to you. 

How do you plan to boost your energy this week?

Cheering you on!

Christine

p.s. Don’t let the distractions of life get in the way of your dreams and goals.

Buy a Think Time Planner today!

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“Shower Thoughts”

Have you ever noticed when you have your a-ha moments?

They are usually in the shower.

Do you know why this is?

All other distractions are finally turned off. You can’t hear anything. You’re not having a conversation. You haven’t thought intentionally about what you were going to do with your shower time. You are just taking a shower.

It is during these times that we have our most insightful moments. This is because our brain is involved in something called “drift thinking.”

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According to Edward Hallowell in his book Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive our brain is particularly active when we are not thinking about anything in particular.

  • Our social cognition is boosted.
  • Our executive functioning is strengthened.
  • Our brain’s Default Neural Network is very active.

So, we are more likely to connect important dots when we are in the shower!


As you go throughout your week, ask yourself if you’re building into your schedule time when you’re not focused on anything in particular.

This practice is really great for your brain.

It is really great for your life.

 

p.s. Learn how to harness the strengths of your creative mind to be more productive!  Buy a Think Time Planner today!

 

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Are You Bored?  You Should Be!

A new book was released last fall called Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out can Unlock Your Most Productive and Brilliant Self.  

In this work, Manoush Zomodori uses cutting-edge research and examples from the lives of real people to demonstrate how more time to be bored can help you lead a life that is happier, more productive and more creative.

Yay Manoush!  You hit the nail on the head!

I am so excited about the research that is continually being released on this topic–that time to allow our minds to wander–to have think-time–is the first step to gaining traction toward what matters most.

At Think Time, we call this “drift thinking,” and it is absolutely foundational to our Dream, Decide, Do + Review process in our Life-Coaching Planners.

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People are getting it.  When we stuff so much into our lives that we are never bored, we are not getting more done.  We are instead reducing our effectiveness!

When we let our mind wander, amazing things happen in our brain.

This week, ask yourself, “Am I bored?“ And if not, figure out how to get there. 🙂 Your best insights, productivity and relational breakthroughs will occur and your life will be changed.

How do you help yourself get bored?

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p.s. Have you ever wanted to have a life-coach, but didn’t know where to start?  A little think-time can change your life.

DSC_0051.jpgThink Time Life-Coaching Planners guide you through the process of clarifying who you want to be and creating an actionable plan to get you there.

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What’s The Big Idea? On Thinking About Our Thinking.

It’s been a great week for me.  I have been doing some mini trainings here in Dallas as well as virtually with some online groups online.  It has been refreshing for me to think “big picture” about our message and distill it into simplicity for those who have never heard about Think Time.

What are some of our big picture thoughts?  Let’s start with a quote from Uncle Al!

“We cannot solve our problems with the same THINKING we used when we created them.”  — Albert Einstein

Take a moment and write or draw some of the successes you are experiencing and some of the problems you are facing in your life.

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Some things are going well, and other things are not.  In the areas in which we are struggling or stuck, we need to develop new ways to think about things.  Then, we can get unstuck.

creativity ideas concept with light bulb on wooden texture background

Psychologist Henry Cloud notes that 90% of the thoughts we have today are the same thoughts we had yesterday.

While this has worked well for us in many areas in life, there are areas in life in which our old habits are no longer serving us.  Instead, they are actually hindering us.  When we rise above our thoughts and think about our thinking, new neural pathways begin to form and we can begin to get unstuck.

Neurons in the brain

 

This is the heart of what we are doing at Think Time.  We are practicing healthy thinking over and over again…sort of “trying on” the thinking patterns of top performers and wise people.  The more we practice these thinking patterns, over and over again, the stronger these new neural pathways will grow, and we can begin to get unstuck.

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time

 

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Think Time 3DR Program

Life is moving fast.  You are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps you to dream bigger, get more time for what matters most, and become who you want to be.

think-time.com.

Get unstuck.  Shop Think Time Programs with online training here.

 

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On Life Balance: Protect Your Focus

You know what it is like to finally have the time to sit down and work on that project you’ve been wanting to do…

Handsome young smiling businessman working from home with a lapt

But.

You’ve.

Got.

Nothing.

Tired of working with laptop

Your mind won’t stop wandering.

You simply cannot bring about the results you want.

Simply put, you cannot focus.

focus

There are a lot of secrets to boosting your focus, and nine are woven into the Think TimeTM 3DR Process.  However, we are going to talk about one other strategy I believe is foundational to all of the others.  Without it, when you are ready to focus, you simply won’t be able to.

With it, you will exponentially increase your mind’s ability to focus on demand.

This strategy is so underutilized in our culture, that if you apply it, you will immediately gain a decided edge.

Without it, your mind will simply not have refueled sufficiently to bring about the focus you need.

Are you ready?

Thoughtful woman

Make the most of your time by allowing your mind to Drift.

Allowing your mind to Drift will–among other things–actually boost your brain’s ability to focus.

When your mind Drifts, your brain is actually quite active.

If you were to take an MRI image of your brain when you’re not thinking about anything in particular, it would be incredibly colorful.  A part of your brain called the Default Neural Network (DNN) is activated.  When the DNN is active, executive functioning skills such as focusing are strengthened.

So, set some time aside this week to allow your mind to Drift.  Take a walk without your phone.  Drive without the radio.  Pause before a meeting simply to “be.”

And, afterwards, you will be better able to focus like you need.

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This world is sooo distracting!

What would you do if you could finally focus?

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time
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Think Time 3DR Process

Life is moving fast.  We are losing valuable time.  We have created an innovative process that helps people to dream big, get more time for what matters most, and become who they want to be.

Find out how Think Time can help you make the most of your time

by boosting your focus at think-time.com.

Shop Purpose Programs with online training here.

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