Have you ever known that you wanted to get something done, but noticed you are not actually taking the steps to accomplish it?
Chances are, it’s not the last minute. 🙂
Your creative brain engages when you are at the deadline—the REAL deadline.
And it will not be tricked.
But, could it be?
The more responsibilities you have to manage, the less working up to the deadline serves well the other areas of your life. How can you work with your brain to help you accomplish goals – even before the real deadline?
It is possible to help your brain engage before the deadline. To do so, I recommend following three steps.
WARNING: The three steps are probably not what you are expecting. You probably expect something like, #1 make a list, #2 prioritize, and #3 be disciplined to follow through.
For the creative mind, however, those types of steps often work against you–serving to demotivate you often instead of motivate you.
And goal achievement for the creative is all about MOTIVATION!
Take a moment, and allow yourself to imagine that another way–a more fun way–to achieve your goals exists. And, this method is steeped in neuroscience research to help you boost your focus, motivation, and energy so you can achieve your goals.
Here are the three steps:
1. DRAW IT. Draw what you want to accomplish. Even add realistic colors to make it look as close to real as possible.
2. IMAGINE IT. Next close your eyes and imagine yourself completing that goal.
3. FEEL IT. Engage your senses. What will it be like to actually accomplish this goal? Really see, feel, hear, taste, and smell in your mind what this moment is like. Are you leaning back in your chair and closing your computer? Giving someone a high five? Taking a reward bite of your favorite dark chocolate? Take a moment to feel this.
What happens when you do these three things?
Your brain thinks it is the last minute and engages your last minute energy.
Here’s how: the beauty about this exercise is that your brain does not distinguish between what you clearly imagine and what has actually happened.
You really are what you think!
So, if you see yourself at the last minute in your mind, your brain kicks into gear to make these goals happen–thinking it is the last minute.
So, the next time you feel procrastination raise its ugly head, use these three easy steps to help you kick your brain into gear so you can beat procrastination and get results.
I have said it all my life. I would even say it today. I don’t like all of the details!
(Which is sort of awkward in the planner business. Ha!)
But truthfully, I have hated planning so much that in past seasons of my life I even gave up my voice & preferences simply to not have to make a plan.
I would have rather gone along with someone else’s plan entirely than exert the effort to figure out the details. (insert “ick” emoji)
Thankfully, I have since found a way to plan that works with my ADHD-style brain, preserves my voice in the world, and helps me live a win-win life with those around me.
However, for so many, this solution has not been discovered yet. Why is planning so hard?
One of the executive functions with which ADHD interferes is “seeing into the future.”
That’s why you may have grown to become a “conquistador of chaos” (to quote professional organizer Julie Morgenstern) as well as–I might add–an amazing innovator.
You have had no choice!
For most of your life–whatever it was–you didn’t see it coming!
However, there is a secret strength of the ADHD mind you may not have thought of applying to planning. That is, when you want something, you are virtually unstoppable.
“Here’s your strength:
When you want something, you are unstoppable.”
So, the key to YOUR SUCCESS is different than neuro-normies. Instead of starting with “what has to be done” and depending on discipline to carry it out, you need to start with what you really want. I call this “starting with the dream.”
For you, it is crucial to take some think-time to envision what you really want to help you get really clear on what matters most to you so you can get THAT on your calendar.
Then, and only then, will you be the best version of yourself.
You will find yourself to be much more effective. As Steven Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, recommended, “Don’t prioritize your schedule. Schedule your priorities.”
Don’t prioritize your schedule. Schedule your priorities.
When you plan this way, your heart and soul will be into it, and you may just find, you like it!
Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed with all that is on your plate that you were crying at night—only to wake up after a good night’s rest and feel able to move into the “hard” with perseverance and fortitude?
I don’t remember where I heard this phrase the first time, but it really resonates.
Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
When you are tired, it is easier to feel afraid and overwhelmed.
When your brain is refreshed after good sleep, it is sharper and better able to sift through the thousands of inputs you have to deal with on a daily basis.
This impacts not only how you feel about your life, but it impacts your best decision making and your relationships.
Decision fatigue from a long day has set in and your brain is tired. You physically cannot access the higher levels of thinking until you reboot your brain with a good night’s sleep.
So many of the arguments couples have happen after 8pm. And this physical reality impacts everyone—no matter how smart or accomplished you are.
Even psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud and his wife never discuss any big decision after 7 or 8 pm.
So, if last night you felt overwhelmed with all that is on your plate, take note of the feelings using the reflective, mindfulness exercises in your Think Time Planner.
Here are 5 ways you can use your Think Time Planner to calm your big feelings and move forward with confidence:
Jot down what you want more of and less of in your life with the More of / Less Of exercise.
Sift through what is in your control and out of your control using your Serenity Circle Exercise.
Review what is working and what is not working in your Review Box.
Gain perspective on where you have been, where you are and where you want to be using the Timeline Tool.
Record what you are grateful for even in the hard seasons in the “I am Thankful For” area.
Simply putting words to these big feelings can help your brain calm down (helping you move your right brain big overwhelming feelings into the left-brain logical part of your brain) so you can get your bearings and move forward into your life with confidence.
If you enjoy topics like this, you may want to take a deep dive. I’ve got an audio-only course in my subscription called From Chaos to Confidence. It’s designed for overwhelmed people who don’t have time to think. You will learn how to APPLY strategies to your days that will help you
Why do some people get results while I just get exhausted?
How can I get more done in less time–even if I don’t have a history of being a “productive person?”
Why can’t I just get things done?
If you are asking these questions, you are in the right place.
As a person who has struggled with time management and getting things done my entire life, I understand the struggle. It is real. It even hurts to know that your most important dreams and goals have been on hold…for a decade.
Six years ago, I finally discovered through an educated experiment from both professional and personal experience how to “hack” my unique brain to get more of the right things done in less time.
For the first time in my life, I could focus and complete a complex task without getting pulled off course!
I was amazed as I realized I could use the strengths of my creative, visionary, idea-generating brain –not to scatter me in a million directions–but to help me identify what matters most, boost my focus on it in a distracting world, and feel the confidence I am getting the right things done.
In 2016, I launched my 3DR Process in an easy-to use planner. And since that time, I have helped people from every age and every stage to bring their dreams to life.
“ I have only had planners that looked like grids before this. I have never had a planner that taught me how to plan.” — Erin
As I interviewed my “raving fans” I discovered so many of them were like me–entrepreneurs with ADHD. So, I have niched this year to serve you.
You guys, no one else is doing this.
Instead of learning from a $2000 online course on a Saturday what to do and then feeling frustrated that the ideas are not in your real life, Think Time Planner helps you take action and APPLY the top neuroscience based creativity and productivity strategies to your day to day life so you make different decisions so you get better results–at a fraction of the price.
This spring, I have launched added an online subscription to provide additional support through self-paced online courses, webinars, interviews, and additional content that helps you get the good stuff off the shelf and into your day to day real life.
The feedback is already rolling in.
“I just started and am getting so much out of it!”
“No one else is doing this, using right-brain AND left-brain techniques to boost productivity!”
“Just listening to the lessons while I do my afternoon chores, I feel so much more capable.”
Don’t waste your days wondering why you are working so hard and not getting the results you want, take time to think-time and use your beautiful brain to help you get more time to focus on what matters most–so you can bring your dreams to reality.
Simply go to think-time.com and buy a planner and subscribe.
Don’t leave your dreams and goals on hold anymore. They matter!
I have loved chatting with several of you this week about how you are simplifying your life and supercharging your dreams with your Think Time Planner.
Over the last few weeks we have discussed the three pillars of true success. First, we discussed the importance of getting real Results. It doesn’t matter how much energy you expend; what matters is the results that flow from your efforts. (It is possible to do less and achieve more!)
Next, we discussed the importance of valuing Relationships. You’re not just a machine. You need people, and they need you! You are a human BEing created to DO amazing things! Keeping your relationships strong is central to true success–and living your unique purpose.
This week, we will discuss the third “R” — Resilience. Anybody can sprint for a short season and accomplish a lot in one area of life but leave a mess behind in others. There is an art to being able to perform at a high level across all areas of your life over the long haul. True, sustainable success over the long haul is the goal.
Often, productivity processes include only strategies for simply getting things done. You are in the right place if you not only want to get things done, but you want to get the right things done–living on purpose and improving your performance along the way. This is what I call “Resilience.”
Here are three secrets you can use to build your resilience:
1. Refuel your energy.
Have you ever had the time open on your calendar to complete a complex task, but you got there and just didn’t have the energy? That is the worst! Prevent this problem by constantly building into your energy. On the “to be” cloud each week in your Think Time Planner, plan for ways to renew your energy. This includes rejuvenation in your relationships, your spiritual life, and your physical life. Schedule some R & R & R (rest, relaxation, and recreation) each week to help you replenish your energy.
2. Keep a whole life perspective.
If you only focus on what you “have to do” when you make your plans, you could quickly become a candidate for burnout. Don’t let that happen to you. Use the Think Zones area in your Think Time Planner to see at once 9 key areas of your life that need to work in harmony for you to achieve true success. Trust me, I have seen it. Even just one intense season of overdoing it can cause problems can literally sabatoge your truest dreams and goals for the rest of your life. Keep a whole life perspective in mind as you make your plans to succeed for the long haul.
3. Cultivate a strong mindset.
It really all does begin in the mind. As you move through your days, things will go well and they will not go well. You need to have a mindset that is ready to celebrate the successes and learn from the failures. Along the way, continuously build into your mindset as you dream big, practice creativity, developing your spirituality, strengthen your boundaries, cultivating a spirit of gratitude and regularly review what went well and what didn’t. These mental disciplines will help you continuously improve your resilience through the ups and the downs of life.
You are in the right place if you are not only wanting to get things done, but you are wanting to get the right things done.
Life is too short to be satisfied checking off a list every day and not aligning yourself with skills and practices that help you live your true purpose and develop an ever-increasing level of performance.
To continuously grow in resilience, build into your energy, keep a whole life perspective, and cultivate a strong mindset so you can be energetic and present as you achieve what matters most in a distracting world.
I love hearing from you!
This week, I have enjoyed chatting with several of you this week about what you love about your Think Time Planner and your new Subscription. You are telling me that you are saying yes to fewer things and confidently moving through your week focused on what matters most as you bring your dreams to life. You have been “scattered and overwhelmed” for far too long and are quickly finding the answers you need.
Yay! Thanks for sharing!
In my next e-mail, I am going to let you know about a special offer I have for you that lasts through next Wednesday, March 31st.
You won’t want to miss this, so keep your eye on your inbox tomorrow morning!Share this Blog
Christine Wilson LPC, Co-Founder of Think Time Bring Your Dreams to Life email@example.com +12149034675 think-time.com
Most entrepreneurs & leaders with ADHD have amazing dreams & goals but struggle to cut through the noise so they can achieve them. At Think Time we’ve developed a neuroscience-based process to help you build the mental tapestry you need to succeed so you can live on purpose and achieve your dreams & goals. (every brain is different and results vary…of course!)
I have loved interacting with you throughout this month on three of the most important aspects of success: results, relationships, and resilience. Keeping these three pillars in view will help you get your best results in a distracting world.
Last week, on IGTV, I had the opportunity to speak with parent Coach Tyler Drouet of Simplify Parenting about helping your kids move from chaos to order with time management tips for kids with ADHD. Then, I was privileged to welcome my friend September James to our community to share three tips on building community while building your business. Check these interviews out if you missed them!
At times, simply having something on your calendar helps you move what matters most into your life. As Steven Covey said, “Don’t prioritize your schedule. Schedule your priorities.” Allow relationships to get on the calendar.
You may be thinking, I will pay better attention to my relationships after I launch my business.
What if I told you that you didn’t have to wait?
The year that Evan launched his new business, not only was he able to bring his dreams to life, but he also told me he felt more aware of the needs of his wife as he used the Think Zones exercise in his Think Time Planner.
Similarly, the year her husband founded a church in a new city–an entrepreneurial endeavor–Mary felt the freedom with her Think Time Planner “for the first time to put my kids on my to-do list. I don’t know why this never occurred to me before!”
It is simply not enough to “get things done” while your relationships remain on the back burner. You need to get the right things done–including being present with the people in your life.
Let me remind you: you are not a machine.
You are a human BEing designed to DO important things. Make time for those who matter to you–even in busy seasons. Your spouse did not covenant “for better or for worse” to be put on hold. And, your children need your attention to thrive.
Don’t settle for short-term success in one area of life.
Take time to Think Time and get more time for what matters most–in your professional life and in your personal life.
Next week, we’ll discuss how you can maintain your vitality for the long haul as we discuss developing resilience.
How have your relationships shaped who you are? Would you comment below?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you have time but still struggle to get the right things done? How can you find time for what matters most when life gets in the way?
Here’s what you have told me. You believe there are two primary things that keep you from living on purpose and achieving your goals.
#1 more time
#2 improved focus.
These two needs are critical for your goals and are actually very, very intwined. Let me explain.
Have you ever had a million things to do and the deadline was upon you? Do you remember that you “got it all done?” It may have seemed like a miracle, but things just “worked out.”
Dr. Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, suggests that intensity can be traded for time.
“Intensity can be traded for time.”
-Dr. Cal Newport
That is, if you are more intense, you can accomplish more in less time. On the other hand, if you are low on energy or highly distracted and unfocused, you lose a LOT of time.
Dr. Newport’s formula could be described in mathematical terms as time = intensity
time = intensity
To get more time, up your intensity–just like you would when the pressure is on and the deadline is fast approaching.
To help you get traction with Dr. Newport’s idea, I want you to break it down another step.
What is intensity?
Intensity increases when you have increased energy and increased focus in a singular direction.
To explain this mathematically, I defining intensity as “energy x focus.”
So, time = energy x focus
The next time you feel over whelmed that you have so much to do and so little time, don’t get discouraged and wish for a day in the future in which you will have more time. Instead, get strategic. How can you boost your energy and your focus toward the goal for which you wish you had time?
Don’t get discouraged. Get strategic!
-Christine Wilson, LPC
With this formula, you can create practical strategies to find more time in your life for your dreams & goals.
Let’s start with one strategy to boosting your energy—self-care.
When was the last time you were hoping for more time and decided you needed to go to bed earlier, build more exercise into your routine, or make wise eating decisions? Well, good job if you did. It is one of the most strategic ways to boost both your focus and your energy–which gives you more time.
If you are like many people, often, when you want to accomplish a big goal, self care is the first thing to go on the back burner. However, this works against you–causing you to lose valuable time–just when you need it the most. The energy you gain from good sleep, exercise, and nutrition propels you toward your goals and allows you to accomplish your goals faster because you have more energy available.
Think about how many goals can remain on hold when you “don’t have the energy.” Don’t let this happen to you! Use this idea of taking time to boost your energy to your advantage so you can achieve your goals.
Next, let’s talk about a strategy to boost your focus.
Often, when people feel like they have a lot to do, they get a quick idea of generally where they want to go and just dive in. They think, “There is no time to lose. I need to start right now!” Well, this impulse is exactly the wrong way to boost your results.
Here’s why: When you dive into a project without clarity, you can waste your best energy on low-results activities that leave you empty for what matters most.
When you dive into a project without clarity, you can waste your best energy on activities that don’t move the needle–leaving nothing left for what matters most.
On the other hand, when you take time at the beginning to develop a crystal clear clarity around your goal…so clear you can feel it…research shows you are less vulnerable to distractions and more likely to achieve your goal.
Being distracted SLOWS YOU DOWN. So, diving right in causes you to lose time in the long run. Stepping aside to develop a compelling clarity around your goal helps you get the best results by focusing your best efforts on high results-yielding activities.
Retirement strategist Chris Hogan calls this Dreaming in Hi-Definition. When you paint such a clear picture of what you want that you can taste and see it, your focus is boosted and distractions simply do not hold as much sway. You gain time.
This is why energy Think Time Planners and Courses help you improve your energy and boost your focus so you can find the time you need to succeed.
You may be thinking that you don’t need to be strategic like this. You just need to try harder. Let’s talk about that. Unfortunately, trying harder will not help you achieve your goals. Here’s why.
There is a problem.
Research shows that 90% of the thoughts you have today are the same thoughts you had yesterday. This means that if you like the results you are getting, then, yes, do more of the same.
However, if you need to overcome an obstacle, change a pattern, or solve a problem, you need to think differently. How do you think different thoughts? You need a guide to help you think about your thinking. When you do this, Psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud says, “When you think about your thinking… Voila! New neural pathways begin to form!”
And, when new neural pathways begin to form, new ways of being and doing are born. New paths can be explored and experienced. Your changed behaviors and new solutions are on their way!
This is the big “why” behind taking time to think-time. Improved thinking leads to improved results.
In my next e-mail, I will be sharing another important strategy to include in your goal achievement toolbox. I will share a tip that can help you avoid losing up to 23 minutes every time this happens. It is so critical to your success and will help you maintain the boosted energy and focus you need to succeed. So, keep your eye on your inbox for this!
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.
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.
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!
p.s. Don’t let the distractions of life get in the way of your dreams and goals.
Think through the lenses of anyone you choose: How do you want to be remembered by the people in your life?
Instead of looking at your to-dos head on this morning, align yourself with your values by beginning your day with this simple question.
Allow it to shape your day today and see what a difference it makes in the small choices throughout the day.
What suddenly looks important that didn’t seem so important five minutes ago?
What suddenly seems unimportant that seemed important five minutes ago?
By this simple exercise, you can shift your entire day.
Don’t let your days be highjacked by things that seem important but really aren’t. Make the most of your life and your time by aligning your activities with what matters most. Simply taking 2 minutes to ask yourself the right question can shift your decision making and change your life.