TIME to think about Group Coaching


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.”

Found it at Amazon

Found it at Amazon

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.

Time Zoning

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.

Related Posts: Up all Night? Sleep Away the Day?
JetLagged for Life

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:

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.

So stay tuned for an upcoming announcement (and start thinking about asking your personal Santa Claus to gift you a life with a lot less struggle and a lot more follow-through!)

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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!)


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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with Executive Functioning struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

42 Responses to TIME to think about Group Coaching

  1. Pingback: Procrastination’s link to kludgy Executive Functioning | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Pingback: Living within the boundaries of TIME | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  3. Pingback: Sleeping with the Enemy: Mom’s N-24 | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  4. Pingback: N-24 Awareness Day is almost upon us | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  5. Pingback: Can you hear them NOW? | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  6. Pingback: Whose Daylight were they Saving? | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  7. Pingback: ADD/ADHD and TIME: will ANYthing work? | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  8. free-running sleep is a trip ✈

    wonderful article. peace ^_^V

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. Yep – it’s a trip alright. I’m preparing an article for Nov. 24th (N-24 Awareness Day) about chrono-troubles and disregulated sleep patterns.

      Peace, and sweet dreams.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Madelyn, I have found a magical solution which works for me… I eat when hungry, sleep when tired (even at work sometimes). If only I didn’t have to travel so far to the office. How do some people work within the time constraints given to us?

    Where do I sign up for your course and can I sign up? I’m in the same Time Zone so that won’t be a problem 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m working on sign-up stuff NOW, but I’ll sign you up unofficially, saving your seat.

      I’m drumming up interest while I work, hoping the Group will fill quickly enough that we can use the Christmas to-dos as some of our examples.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Madelyn xoxo

        Like

        • Thank YOU, Dave. I’m really looking forward to getting things started. (One of my core values is FUN, so expect more than a few laughs as we move forward).
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

          • 😄

            Liked by 1 person

      • That was my question, too… where do we sign up? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m still working on the admin (sign-up & payment pages, taping and phone bridge details), so you can’t officially enroll just yet. I’ll save your seat – and I’m thrilled you are interested in being part of the Group.

          I’m hoping to get it going before the end of the year, since holiday to-dos & plans make great examples, and most of us tend to be overwhelmed in that arena anyway.

          AS ALWAYS, I need a minimum enrollment to begin it (tho’ I can add folks until the class reaches maximums).

          However, if everybody waits to sign up “later” we’ll NEVER get started — which is why I’m doing the “coming soon” teaser posts as I work on handling the required tech and admin. They are lined up, waiting to autopost, so I can use the time to move forward.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

  10. reocochran says:

    I try to keep a calendar as well as sticky notes posted on my door, my refrigerator and in my car. I am good at remembering most every detail that I say to myself before I go to sleep. This was a great list of suggestions which did remind us we CAN manage time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, maybe not actually “manage” – but at least we can keep it from running us off the road!

      I’ve never been good with going over what I need to do the next day before I fall asleep – it keeps me awake. 😦
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wendy says:

    Good luck on the coaching group. I know it will be great.
    Remember time changes this weekend. Argh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh noooooooo! It always takes a week (or three) for my chronos to adjust.

      I hope to get this group going in time to help them with their Christmas to-dos, but it depends on enrollment. Cross fingers.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Kate McClelland.

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANKS! I’m soooo eager to get this Coaching Group filled and running, so I really appreciate your help spreading the word.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Me, too, on the missing time sense. I remember having a great sense of time, until the age of twelve. I did not have a head trauma then, I had a series of extreme psychological traumas:

    1) my dad came so close to murdering my mom that I thought she was dead. I actually went deaf temporarily from the shock of what I’d heard, until I discovered my mother was still alive — then my hearing instantly came back!
    2) Dad was arrested the next day, then hospitalized, and without his income our car was repo’d, we ran out of money and ran out of food, and I literally thought we were all going to starve to death (I did not yet know about welfare and I had seen the heartbreaking Save the Children ads) — then, while we were trying to figure out how to eat, our home went into foreclosure,
    3) Mom made several attempts to commit suicide with pills and a butcher knife and I stopped her each time,
    4) We got on welfare (thankfully!) and my grandparents moved us to a different city, where I was immediately bullied for being poor (I had to still wear my last year’s school clothes and I’d grown a lot that year. I was also bullied for the fact that I was a walking emotional zombie at this point and my mind went blank every time a teacher called on me), and
    5) around Christmas of that year, my mother decided that gassing our whole family to death would solve everything.

    There was other traumas, too, during that awful year, but I got tired of writing. Like my dad molesting me, a boyfriend taking advantage of my vulnerable state and then bragging to all his school friends, and my best friend since first grade telling me at the start of seventh grade (before the boyfriend entered my life and ruined my reputation) that she could not be my friend anymore and to stay away from her. To this day she has refused to explain WHY. She did this almost immediately after my dad was arrested.

    (I found her a few years ago on FB and messaged her, asking if she would tell me now why she had ditched our friendship way back then and she immediately blocked me. We were in our late fifties then — we’re in our sixties now — and I saw from her FB profile that she had gotten a college education and had become the superintendent of a school. So she isn’t just some lame brain dummy. I mean, WTH??!!

    So yes, at the age of twelve my inner time clock permanently STOPPED. I have no idea why and I have found no way to restart it. When I go to do anything: cook, eat, clean, take a shower, start getting ready to go somewhere, go to the bathroom, etc, I fall into a black hole of endless NOW. What — I have been in the bathroom two whole hours?? REALLY?? Uhm… wow. SORRY!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lady, it’s a wonder you are still walking around, given your history. I’ve read quite a few articles on your PTSD support blog (GREAT, btw), so I knew some of this already, but my mind is blown seeing it all in a list. I’m so sorry you had to try to come back repeatedly and from so MUCH. SCARY to me that someone with so few emotional skills is a school superintendent, btw.

      This is the first time I have heard of anyone who lost time-sense due to emotional trauma. Not meaning to make you feel like a lab-rat, did it happened suddenly, gradually, were you confused by it, etc.? Can you recall what time used to feel like at this point in your life? (see – I’m fascinated by the subject!)

      If you write (or have written) anything about time-sense, leave us all a link and I’ll approve it.

      Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. BTW, I added a few returns to improve readibility for readers who can’t make it thru long strings of text – but, other than correcting a typo, your words are unchanged.
      xx,
      mgh

      PS. I worked with a client who found an interesting way to compensate with that bathroom thing, btw. An example of a super compensation that I will tell during Group Coaching.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for fixing my typo and breaking my comment into bite-sized chunks. I really hate when people don’t use paragraphs, because it’s so hard to read and comprehend an endless wall of text. And yet I did it myself, right here!

        What happened was that I freaked myself out as I was writing my previous comment. I have never before numbered the traumatic things that happened when I was twelve to thirteen, one after the other like that. By the time I reached the end of my list, I was thinking “Dang… no wonder I have issues!!”

        However, I know that many people have gone through far worse things than I did. But I suspect that a lot of those people did not survive their traumas. Of those who survived physically, I doubt if any of them survived unscathed, psychologically.

        According to something called an ACE study that was done by the center of disease control people in Atlanta, Georgia, several years ago, the average life expectancy of someone with as many severe traumas in their childhood as I have had, is only about sixty-one. I have already outlived my ACE score life expectancy by more than two years, and I am still physically very youthful and healthy.

        Why have I survived as well as I have to this point? I could not have done it on my own! I survived because, throughout my life, a small number of people genuinely cared — enough to reach out and let me know they cared. Every time I felt like I was metaphorically drowning and going down for the third time, someone tossed me a life ring and pulled me in to shore.

        It is amazing the huge difference that a little compassion and a kind, caring word can make in the life of a victim of trauma and abuse!

        To answer your questions about how I experienced the loss of my ability to perceive the passing of time, I believe my loss of the time sense happened all at once. However, I did not perceive the loss all at once.

        What I did perceive, for the first two years after the night my dad tried to murder my mother, was a deep, dissociative sense that nothing was real and life was just a dream. I kept trying to wake myself up, but I couldn’t. I went through the days like a sleepwalker, numb, feeling more dead than alive.

        At night I slept only fitfully, expecting something terrible and life-threatening to happen at any minute. I was constantly on guard, hyper vigilant. I could never relax. It was utterly exhausting being me, during my adolescent years.

        My report cards from school had been almost all A’s, from the first through the sixth grades. Now they were all D’s and F’s. I hadn’t stopped caring, like I was falsely accused of doing; I had lost my ability to think and function. (This, despite an IQ that tested at 156 when I was in my twenties.)

        Time became an endless, nightmarish NOW. I kept expecting to wake up at any minute and find myself back in my old bed, in my old room in the house we had lost, with Dad’s electric razor humming in my parent’s bathroom and my mom singing happily along with the radio as she made pancakes in the kitchen.

        Then I would get up, get dressed, eat a hearty breakfast, and ride the bus to my old school where my best friend would greet me with a big smile and a hug.

        This was how I first experienced the endless NOW. I felt frozen in time, stuck in ::)the year 1965, while the rest of the world flowed past me like a river rushing by a stone.

        Liked by 2 people

        • In my final sentence, somehow a ::) was added when I hit the send button..

          Liked by 1 person

          • May that be the worst thing that happens to you for the rest of your life. 🙂
            xx, mgh

            Liked by 2 people

        • One quick rant as I approve your comment, Linda, and I’ll be back with more shortly.
          ~~~~~~~~~
          “My report cards from school had been almost all A’s, from the first through the sixth grades. Now they were all D’s and F’s. I hadn’t stopped caring, like I was falsely accused of doing; I had lost my ability to think and function. (This, despite an IQ that tested at 156 when I was in my twenties.)”
          ~~~~~~~~~~

          You have hit on one of my “issues” with this one: that “stopped caring” BS!

          When *any* child’s grades slip across the board, there is ALWAYS something going on besides a sudden lack of interest in doing well: head injury, rape or other trauma, drugs, grief, cyber-bullying (or actual) — no matter what the IQ.

          In your case, to go from a consistent background of high grades to D’s and F’s, it is practically impossible for me to fathom why the entire school didn’t come to your rescue and insist on getting you some help.

          You are one strong human being. More than surviving, you became an advocate for others who were in pain and struggling. I SO admire what you have done despite your circumstances — you are a PHOENIX.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

    • Simply-Me says:

      I applaud you for still standing on your legs. Especially for stopping our mum from committing suicide. It’s an easier answer to problems but not the solution.
      Dear Linda, people who left are not worth your time and space, but instead hand on to those who were by your side, they are the ones who should truly be treasured.
      It’s beautiful to see that you are still strong and your experiences seem to have made you much stronger.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure you have jumped over to her blog, but you are sweet to leave her a comment here tool.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

        • Simply-Me says:

          Thank you

          Madelyn you write beautifully.

          I always have believed ‘Time is like a sword, cut it before it cuts you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Your writing is admirably poetic – even when you are writing prose. I love it. Trying to follow your blog but, for some reason it isn’t “taking” right now. The WordPress gremlins out for a bit of belated Halloween trickery?
            xx,
            mgh

            Liked by 1 person

            • Simply-Me says:

              Thank you for your kind compliments. I appreciate the generous feedback.

              Ah I was having the same trouble following you, so I refreshed my app and then gave it a try and managed successfully.

              Liked by 1 person

            • I’m on a computer – no ap to refresh. Maybe I need to close my browser and reload it. I’ll do that and try again.
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Simply-Me says:

              Thank you

              Liked by 1 person

            • That seems to have done it!
              xx,
              mgh

              Liked by 1 person

            • Simply-Me says:

              Thank you Madelyn, appreciate the follow.

              Liked by 1 person

            • DITTO! xx, mgh

              Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Simply-Me. ((Hug))

        Liked by 2 people

        • Simply-Me says:

          My pleasure dear. (Hug).

          Liked by 2 people

  14. Regarding “to know what others feel like” if you can find a paper by Thomas Nagel it helps us to understand why we will never really know what it feels like to be the ‘other.’ His paper is called “What it feels like to be a bat.”

    Here is a post of mine where I point out that “TIME” spread out over close to 3,000 years are summed up by one simple concept and in just a few minutes of reading. Our minds are simply wonderful (I hope) time machines. May your ‘judgement of time’ improve over – – – well – – – time.

    https://waldotomosky.wordpress.com/2016/09/03/an-ignorant-god/

    Liked by 3 people

    • lol – over time indeed! I’ve learned to compensate, so I’m no sure if it would be good news or bad for time to kick in at this end of my life.

      While, human to human, we can’t *know* how another feels, we can empathize by taking the time to touch similar feelings and thoughts in ourselves – “trying on” their experience, essentially, to see how it might play in our own lives (first career was acting, and that’s how it works)

      Thanks for the link – I’ll be over shortly.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 4 people

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