Monday, July 13, 2009

How to Lose Time & Clients Simultaneously

287/365 by ladybugbktIt seems there’s been nothing but illness, sickness, ailment, infirmity, and infection in our home lately. On top of that my teenage daughters are doing their best to give me a heart attack with boys, friends, and clothing. I’ve tried explaining to them they may want to wait for me to get published before driving me to my grave, or at least until I have a beefy life insurance policy. I’d be worth more to them then, but you know teenagers. There is no time for adult advice.

Mostly, my life has been bouncing from bronchitis to ticking and back again until my body is so confused that every time I tic I need a cough drop. Honestly, what is there in my life that is interesting to write about? Or even tweet about? It’s Dullsville on mothballs over here.

Take Saturday morning. I experienced a charming nightmare involving a poisonous coral snake, moody music, and a delightful scene where it crawled into my clothes. I couldn’t move fast enough to yank it out before it bored into my spinal column, wriggling its way up my back. I awoke refreshed and twisted in my covers with my legs turned in a different direction than my torso.

After I untied myself from the pretzel I was in, I realized that I would soon be late for my hair appointment. I shaved, then spent 10 minutes walking around the upstairs looking for my wet towel. It took me that long to recall that I hadn’t actually taken a shower.

I knew then it was going to be one humdinger of a day.

Then again, that’s really how well my Summer has been going. It has been drama, drama, drama over here followed by intense periods of confusion. I haven’t written in my novel since the BYU conference. I don’t practice my pennywhistle 30 minutes a day. I don’t draw. I seem to be completely wrapped up in my daughter’s lives instead. You’d think I was the stay-at-home parent or something.

Somehow I think every year, “Hey, it’s the summer. I won’t have to drive them around everywhere. Think of all the time I’ll have with them home all day!”

Truth is, however, I never find any time. Time needs to be harvested, not found lying around on the ground. I can become so wrapped up in my day to day activities that I fail to plan properly. ADHD fog blurs the days as they pass by and Summer is almost over before I know it.

For some reason, I constantly plan my personal projects as if I have all the time in the world, instead of realizing I already have a full time job. Then the big projects fall by the side and I end up frustrated and behind. It’s an ADHD disconnect with reality that gets me every year at this time.

Case in point: my current web assignment. I say “current” with a cheek full of tongue. The project is behind and now the blame lies fully on my shoulders. What was originally a timing issue with my client last Summer & Fall is now turning out to be a timing issue with my own life. It’s embarrassing. Family drama, illness & disabilities don’t mean much to clients. They just want results.

In hindsight I shouldn’t have taken on the job, but now I’m committed. One thing going for me this year, though, is that I’m aware of the problem in July, not September, so I can do something about it. Embarrassment is quite the motivator.

I’ve made the goal to finish the site by the end of July. I’ll have to make some sacrifices to meet that goal, but I intend to induce hyperfocus on my end so that I plow through the procrastination wall with my head if I have to.

There are occasions where readers ask me how I am able to work through Depression or ADHD to be productive. I’m afraid I’m not really that amazing. For me the secret is fear of failure. I may be in a neurological cloud of confusion from moment to moment, but eventually responsibility breaks through like the sun on a rainy day. Those moments shock me forward and give me focus. I’d prefer to be organized without them, but my attention deficit wouldn’t be a disorder if I wasn’t so dysfunctional.

So I press on. My current client may never work with me again, but I’ll get their job done. The alternative is more embarrassment, and frankly I’d rather get bronchitis down to my toes again than experience that.