TIME to think about Group Coaching
Thursday, November 3, 2016 42 Comments
Time Troubles and Coaching
For people who are “ALWAYS” running late and rushing around
— and the people who love them —
(who would like to understand how to change that sad fact)
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Time & Group Coaching Series
BEFORE I tell you about the upcoming start of an affordable new Coaching opportunity designed to help you with A-WHOLE-LOT-MORE than time-management, let’s take a moment to chat about time itself.
Time can be MANAGED?
For over a quarter of a century now, I have been fascinated with anything related to the topic of the awareness of the passage of time. It has always been a mystery to me – and I now know that I’m not the only one with that peculiar problem.
Personally, I can’t recall a time when time made sense, except in the context of NOW and not-now.
Even when I explain it to someone who thinks they understand, it seems that nobody gets the implications. I am frustrated beyond belief when they continue to ask me time-based questions.
My secret fascination with the mechanics of time’s awareness began long before I first learned that I seem to be one who was born without that internal tic-tic-tock with which most people DO seem to have been equipped, part of the standard package.
I’ve been told I can’t get one now, even as an after-market upgrade.
Oddly, I have a great sense of rhythm – which is time-based – so I can change time-ING, but predicting how long something will take or how long ago a life landmark occurred is always beyond me.
Back in my acting days, when I had to do a 30-second spot and I was over or under by a few seconds, I understood how to tweak the cadence to end “on time.” But I never could stay tracked attempting to “time” much of anything for much longer than a minute (or “time” a dance number — I simply stayed in step with the music until it stopped).
Are YOU one of the time challenged?
None of us know what we don’t know . . . so how can we frame a question another will understand? It seems like magic when others are able to manage something in arenas where we are totally at sea.
The best analogy I’ve been able to come up with for a lack of time-sense is that it’s like trying to teach the tone-deaf to sing.
Friends who aren’t able to sing on pitch can’t tell when they wander away from the tune, and I have never been able to help them learn to do so. They simply can’t hear it.
Unlike those who can’t match a pitch, however, I always knew there was some “secret” that others knew and I didn’t (and therapists have had a field day with this, by the way – “Madelyn, I don’t have answers for you!”)
I simply couldn’t imagine how to frame a question beyond, “How do you DO that?” or “What am I missing?” – which, I suppose, seemed more like feigned ignorance or an unwillingness to take personal responsibility to others. So I stopped asking. I hated the look on their faces, even when their responses weren’t cruel, and even though I understood they didn’t MEAN to be cruel.
Making sense of a lack of sense
I found out that there was such a thing as “a sense of time” in the same article I found out about adult ADD, published years ago in the New York Times magazine section – Frank Wolkenberg’s now landmark, “Out of a Darkness.” I was 38.
My reaction to that particular aha! was, “Well, NO WONDER every one else can get places on time — they’re cheating!” (as if “a sense of time” was like having an exam crib sheet stuffed up their sleeves.)
Once I understood that some inner chronometer allowed others to somehow feel that time was passing (and how much time was passing, for most of them), I understood immediately that I had to stop attempting to “figure it out” and focus on easy-to-set alarms (one to STOP, to get ready for the next thing, another to begin walking out the door — etc.) That’s how I did it — and how I have to do it still.
I found it fascinating to hear that some people LOST their sense of time following a head injury. I know it must be frustrating for them, but at least they know how to explain what’s missing — not that it helps others to understand what they’re talking about or the extent of the resulting struggle one whit better.
Related Post: Lessons from the TBI Community
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Shame on WHO?
We have ALL been shamed for not already knowing something others feel we “should,” so many (most?) of us play along gamely, hoping we’ll figure it out without having to ask. We poke fun at ourselves when it becomes obvious we’ve missed something others don’t. In my case people tended to believe I was either kidding or being intractable – they either laughed or scowled.
Those of us who don’t “get” time attempt to cope with multiple clocks — like on several walls in every room, in my case. I’m not kidding – I need to see them “by default.”
However, it is an serious distraction to attempt to remember to keep looking at a clock, making it practically impossible to stay tracked on much of anything else. I tend to hyperfocus, so it seems I look up “a minute later” and much of the day is in the not-now past.
Mostly, I set my wonderful, quick set, battery operated Casio countdown timer watch — THE best sense of time-on-a-strap going. It’s the only watch with the feature I need.
I’ve been buying one version or another of this miracle timepiece for over 25 years now. EXCLUSIVELY! I have one in gold, one in silver, and a cheap black plastic strapped version for less dress-up fare — and I always make sure to keep another as a backup. Fortunately, they are all extremely reasonably priced (and no, nobody is paying me for this endorsement).
A few self-appointed members of the fashion police have tried to encourage me to “upgrade my taste,” insisting that I consider something trendier and more expensive. No way! For me this watch is more an essential TOOL than an accessory. I only take it off to bathe.
Struggling with N-24 as well, (a sleep timing disorder), my body insists my “day” is a bit longer than the 24 hours that most of you live with here on your planet. My awake time spins around your clock, relative to anybody’s time zone. It limits my life significantly.
Daylight savings time creates a LOUSY week twice a year, by the way. CRAZY stupid idea anymore!
Time problems manifest early
Science is still not sure what’s going on, but they are fairly certain that something is not working as designed in many neurodiverse individuals.
I read about a study of young kids and time that was enlightening. They had to “match” the amount of time a light had been turned off in a room where they waited alone for a brief period, turning it off themselves when the study monitor returned to turn it back on.
Kids like me tended to guess quite a bit over or under, to a statistically significant degree, based on how comfortable or engaged they were while they waited for the correct number of seconds to elapse (only 60, in this study).
Neurotypical children were very close to being right on the money!
ANYWAY – the time and time-management series is another of my attempts to, article by article, explain as much as is known about what’s going on, with a background of my unique experience attempting to run a LIFE with what’s going on. I’m hoping it will help some of you who struggle as well – and give you some explanations for your friends and loved ones who have been tearing their hair out.
Managing within the boundaries of time IS do-able, once you get a clue – and get out of denial about it – but it does take some doing!
Not YOUR time problem?
Perhaps you don’t have a time problem at all, then. It’s more likely to be trouble with transitions. That takes a different approach to be able to turn “always running behind” to relatively reliable.
Time and Transition Management
Two of the topics we will work on
in the upcoming Group Coaching Sessions
All about YOU
As the co-founder of the ADD Coaching field, creator of the world’s first ADD-specific coach training (on which most of the others are modeled), as well as creator, sponsor and host of the no-charge ADD Hours™, now that the coaching field is established, I have decided to turn my attention in another direction: working directly with those of you who could use some help!
We’ll work on ANY of the challenges I write about here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com, targeted specifically to what each group needs and wants. I’m working on a way to tape for playback, in case you have to miss one (or want to review).
Only SOME of the other areas of focus will be:
- Organization and task completion
- Procrastination and impulsivity
- Motivation and activation
- Stress symptoms, Anxiety, Depression, and Mood Swings
- Unreliable memory and workarounds
- Beating back black and white thinking
- Sleep struggles (MORE than poor sleep-hygiene)
- Treatment truths: what helps, what doesn’t
You won’t get as much personal attention as a private session, but it won’t cost you nearly as much either. In fact, full-fee Private Clients are invited to join groups for free.
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IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.
Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)
You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.
For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —
Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
(in case you missed them above or below)
- My Wrinkle in Time: HOW does time fly?
- What IS Time?
- Listening for TIME Troubles
- What ARE Executive Functions? (and time-sense is only ONE)
- Implications of a Lack of Time Sense
- Working with TIME: 5 System Basics
- Linklist to all Time & Time Management articles
Other supports for this article
A Few Other LinkLists by Category (to articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)
- The Optimal Functioning (Challenges) Series of articles
(about the Inventory & articles from each category)
- The TaskMaster™ Series
- The Transition Tamer™ Series
- The Stuff and Nonsense™ Series (clutter management)
- Memory Issues Series
- Top Ten Reasons to Reframe Procrastination
- Everything you ever wanted to know about SLEEP and Sleep Struggles
Related Articles ’round the net
- Viewing TIME through the lens of history
- Smoking May Shrink Brain and Damage Thinking
- Depression Physically Changes Your Brain, Scientists Discover
- Neuroplasticity: It’s not just for young pups – Brains of older people change, too
- Yale finds cause of age related memory loss and finds it may be reversible
- Impulsivity a key factor in addiction, research shows
- Brain Injury – Impulsivity
- Distracted Living
BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.