Zoë Kessler speaking at the ADHD Through the Lifespan Public Forum, with Dr. Timothy Bilkey, April 4, 2012, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Zoë Kessler speaking at the ADHD Through the Lifespan Public Forum, with Dr. Timothy Bilkey, April 4, 2012, Barrie, Ontario, Canada

If I’m supposed to be getting paid to pay attention, I’m pretty sure my paycheck will be docked this week. Or at least that I’m on an apprentice’s salary because there’s no way I’m up and running just yet.

In this follow-up report to my April 3rd blog post, Solo Business Owner? Get Paid to Pay Attention!, I’m going to look for the positives in an effort to encourage myself to keep going.

Why? Because I’m still excited about Marilyn Strong’s approach, and I want to give it a fair shot. Quitting at this point would not only be premature, it would be unfair to me, to my business, and to Marilyn’s hard work.

Meta planning: planning to plan

I shouldn’t be surprised to find that I followed one of my usual patterns that gets me into trouble. Just like taking 15 hours to bake a blasted sheet of cookies, I’ve once again been guilty of not planning well enough ahead before starting something. In this case, I didn’t plan properly to plan.

As usual, my enthusiasm for something new propelled me forward at too-fast a pace, leaving me unprepared to actually follow through on my goals. With the peanut butter cookies, I realized (too late) that I didn’t have any baking powder. Soda. Whatever.

Similarly, I started off half-baked with my plan to get better organized. I hadn’t factored in my income tax deadline, so I was under the extra pressure of having to tally up receipts, find documentation, and generally spend tons of extra hours on the once-a-year-but-massively-loathed task of preparing to file my income tax report (and you know how I feel about paperwork!).

Ten o’clock bedtime? Ha! That’s just when I start rolling!

Not only do I detest the boring and frustrating tasks involved at tax time, I procrastinate. The result? My planned bedtime goes all to hell; I wake up after 4 or 5 hours’ sleep, bleary-eyed, yawning, with zero resistance to scarfing back re-heated pizza for breakfast before flying out the door barely dressed and barely on time for work.

Obviously this leaves my brain in less-than optimal working order. I can hardy think enough to operate a motor vehicle let alone craft a sensible game plan for my work day.

In addition to forgetting it was tax-time, I also forgot about the Easter holiday. Going on Marilyn’s encouragement to be good to myself, and to balance my life, I decided to go ahead and take the weekend off. As usual, I paid for it by losing track of my priorities. It was all I could do to keep up with my daily work last week, along with the income tax debacle.

On Monday when I came back to work, I found myself completely stuck as, by that time, EVERYTHING was top priority. I had no idea where to start, as by that time I was behind schedule with everything!

5 positives to getting paid to pay attention

In spite of these setbacks, here’s what went right:

1 ) I’m still enthusiastic and on board, and plan to continue working at my strategies. After all,  it took Marilyn almost 20 years to come up with and solidify her strategies, so why would I expect myself to be able to implement them in a few days? (especially after a lifetime of undiagnosed ADHD).

2 ) I was able to complete my big picture plan for the whole day, and through doing that realized that I have time for the things I love the most (most days). Just seeing this on paper gave me a motivational lift!

3 ) Even though I didn’t implement my plan as I’d like, I’m on my way and looking forward to its unfolding.

4 ) In addition to the Big Picture, I’m also celebrating small successes more often by patting myself on the back.  I enjoy the physicality of this reward a lot. Just the feeling of my hand patting my back reinforces a job well done. I’m training my brain to activate good feelings of accomplishment through the physical trigger of a pat on the back.  Besides – it’s free and doesn’t take long!

5 ) I’ve still got Marilyn’s book as a handy, quick reference. It’s written in a way that I can quickly find what I need to keep me on track, and it’s positive and makes me feel like I can actually do this.

BONUS! Oh ya, I just remembered! One of my business goals came true last week too: I presented with Dr. Timothy Bilkey at a public forum on ADHD. This too dipped into my regularly-scheduled roster of projects, setting me behind but also propelling me forward on  my goal of doing more public speaking and presentations on women and ADHD.

I’ll write again when I have more time and practice under my belt.

REMINDER:  Marilyn Strong’s FREE teleseminar – How to Set Yourself Up for Success in 15 Minutes! –  IS TODAY, 3:00 p.m. EST.

Register HERE.


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