This was incredibly frustrating to my clients. I was sure of this because of the phone calls that I got asking where I was. I was very frustrated with my tardiness as well.
I need about an hour to set up my show, but I usually arrived with 20 minutes to go before show time. I would be drenched in sweat from the frenzied setup before I even started talking. When I started flying to shows, it was just as bad. I took traffic and other distractions for granted and often was left racing to the airport.
Looking back, I had no concept of how to plan ahead and hold myself accountable to leave on time.
When we ADDers find something that ‘sparkles’, we create a hyperfocus on that sparkly thing. The rest of the world just fades away. We eliminate any recognition of time, responsibility, or tasks that we’re supposed to do. Plus, our mind moves so quickly, we think it takes less time to do something than it actually does.
A good thing to help ADDers be more responsible with their time: a Blackberry or iPhone or some kind of PDA with a good calendar system and alarms. Set the alarms accordingly to remind you to leave earlier.
A better thing to help you: personal accountability. Larry, who travels with me, helps me with time. He keeps me conscientious about when to leave. He even interrupts me when I’m signing autographs and talking with people when it’s time to move on.
In the past, we didn’t have the tools that we have now. At least that’s my excuse for being late so much that first year. I don’t think that a calendar would have been effective because there’s no alarm to remind me. Countless times I thought that my mental clock would give me ample warning, but ADDers do not usually have good mental clocks.
Whether you use a Blackberry, post-it notes, email reminders, traveling partners, or scheduled skywriting, my advice is to use something to help keep you accountable with your time. We ADDers need to plan ahead so that we don’t get ourselves in a stressful situation. There’s never a good time for one of those.