Taking the First Step

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Today’s slice is my first blog for someone else. I’m going to blog my “Journey to Success” this year at https://danarayburn.com/. Fellow bloggers, you know reflecting on the story will be more powerful for me than paying money–I’ll be forced to reflect on my thoughts, actions, success, and struggle. I’m so excited! The program begins next Tuesday, and I’m excited and terrified, all at once. Wondering how I got here? Here’s a slice of my struggles and my decision to enroll in the Success Club. Once Dana gets my post on her site, I’ll link my “Journey to Success” here, too. 

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Continuous over-thinking, inconsistent actions, abounding distractions, and misguided hyperfocus are among the obstacles that impede me from successfully balancing myself. Relentlessly driven to overcome my obstacles, I eventually landed on Dana Rayburn’s website. For the past five years, I have worked tirelessly, albeit sporadically and ineffectively, to put together the puzzle pieces of my life in hopes of creating a picture of a balanced life that aligns with my priorities.

At times, I am totally oblivious to the time on the clock, I forget my vision and priorities, and I’m distracted from what’s most important in life. I’m late for dinner. I stay up late grading papers. I don’t consistently exercise. I don’t spend enough time with my family or friends. I procrastinate until the last minute, and then I, as well as my loved ones, suffer the consequences.

For years, I’ve tried to develop time-management and organization systems, but somehow these systems puzzle me, and I become like a toddler stubbornly trying to force the round peg into the square hole–determined, relentless, and unsuccessful. In a moment, I know which peg goes in which hole, yet soon I find myself again banging the round peg in the square hole with no consistent strategy for solving the puzzle.

Relentlessly trying to solve this puzzle, I’ve read books, listened to podcasts, sought advice, and joined programs. Enrolled in an online program for teacher productivity last fall, I was thrilled to be organizing my life (yet again). At some point, a teacher in the group shared that she didn’t believe the 6 items on the program’s list were the root cause of her procrastination but that her ADHD was the main cause. While acknowledging that overcoming procrastination might be more difficult for a person with ADHD, the leader’s tone was dismissive to the ADHD brain as she told the teacher to focus on what she could control. At that moment, I wondered if the best I could hope for was ADHD medication management and dismissive programs.

Herein lies the difference in working with Dana Rayburn, an ADHD coach with ADHD.  Because of her firsthand experience, she is practical, realistic, and empathetic as well invested in her mission to helping 10,000 people live successfully with ADHD. Listening to Dana’s time management audio, her voice spoke directly to me as she explained time and practice would be needed to change the habits of a lifetime. Dana acknowledges ADHD struggles in overcoming procrastination and addressed how to meet those struggles. Personally recognizing how easy it is to get caught up in the here and now and lose track of what’s most important, she explains how detrimental that is: “A purposeful life, a successful life is not one of rabbit holes and distractions, and I know you want a purposeful life. I know you want a successful life, or you wouldn’t be here today listening to this right now.”

For the next year I plan to find ways to work consistently and effectively, in order to put together the puzzle pieces, so my focus and time are aligned with my priorities and the picture. Yes, Dana, I would like to be 1 of your 10,000 achieving and maintaining a purposeful and successful life.

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