The Power of A.D.D.
Fortunately, I’ve put the Big Snooze in her place. I have prevailed. Things are going my way, for now! I’m succeeding, climbing, being handed opportunities, and there’s so much to do! I’m seeing ideas everywhere I look.
Literally, everywhere I look.
Now that I’m in the “flow,” I can’t stop. I currently have 35 tabs open in my Chrome browser window…after cleaning it up. I have about 100 to-do lists across multiple platforms from Notes to Asana to Google Calendar to Stickies to Evernote. I’ve taken to emailing myself thoughts, taking pictures of great ideas on my phone, putting stickies on my bathroom mirror, and I have an old fashioned stack of napkins and scraps of paper next to me on my kitchen table desk. For a type-A lady trying to start a successful business, I felt out of control.
Deciding it was time to focus, I set some goals. I told myself I’d blog daily; I’d be diligent about checking something big off my list every day; I’d set aside time for creative pursuits as one part of a well oiled schedule; I’d use the standard time block exercise to stay in gear; and so on. As a start, I thought I’d assign myself to focusing on a single task for one hour: “Decide what kind of business you want to register as, and submit the registration.” That was my assignment for November 29th. It is now December 5th, late in the evening, and I just finished that one task. Check.
What I thought would take me an hour actually took me 7 days. At that record it will take me exactly 39 months to start this business. It might have taken me a week to do the single task of registering my business, but I did do about a million other things. I read 629 articles. I started this website. I interviewed 7 potential CPAs. I created a Facebook business page and researched how others host theirs. I bought a house. I figured out exactly which banks I would approach about opening a bank account. I made a list of interview questions for similar businesses to try to understand why they are successful. I did market research. I repaid favors to friends that I’d never been able to offer when I had a “real” job. I picked a name for the business. I made huge progress on my business plan and financial projections. I added 59 new tasks to my to-do list. I watched 13 hours of business start up webinars and took copious notes. I joined 2 professional associations. I was not doing nothing!
And then, a week later, as a culmination of all this research, and ADD, and spastic interest, and after days stewing in the murky, undefined thought soup of this new business venture, I decided “who” I wanted this business to be and I was ready to fill out the registration. In 3-5 business days, I will be a registered C Corp in the State of Florida! Check!
I realized this was not time wasted. There’s a time and a place to check to-dos off the list, to time-block, to shut down email and social media, and to be a stickler for staying on track. Now is not that time. The amount of creativity and energy I’m feeling is out of this world! Each new shiny thing takes me to something that will need to get done eventually. I’m building on all my great ideas and nurturing the kernel of what’s to come. This is the time to relish in the unknown, to brainstorm, to sit with ideas and challenge them, to talk endlessly about what I’m creating so my friends and advisors and I can poke holes in my decisions. So I can make it better.
A previous employer encouraged a company value of “Focus on what’s important.” Being pulled in a million directions, I thought I was already missing what was important. Turns out this creative, open space is what’s most important right now.