ADHD and being a good steward of time

Raise your hand if you struggle with poor time management! *raises hand*

It made me wonder if I have ADHD or if I just have my time and priorities all over the place. I don’t want to misdiagnose myself even though the symptoms are similar (according to Instagram reels! 😏 )Kidding aside, I wasn’t like this before. Was it because of environmental changes? Was it because I have more time on my hands now? Was it because there were too many notifications calling my attention that I couldn’t focus on one thing? Or was it because I kept distracting myself that I couldn’t sit still?

I used to be a stickler with planning my day but I find myself procrastinating these days and I believe it is due to not having a firm grasp on my time and resources. I am the kind who can finish a task right away, but when I have a timeline that spans longer than my estimate of the task (let’s say I can finish it in 2 days but I am given 1 week to complete it), I tend to do it immediately that I lack sleep (hyper-focus) or stretch the task until a day before the deadline. No in-between. If I don’t meet my goal of finishing it soonest, I get so disappointed and paralyzed that I don’t want to think about the task for a while. Which leads me to find something else to do until I have a pile of things I’m doing. Until I go back to my sense of urgency and prioritize what needs to be done ASAP.

I got convicted when I was contemplating a code that I had been slacking off for a week already. Normally I am very eager to code but there are days that I don’t want to (but I need to because it’s my job!). I prayed to the Lord to give me focus because I knew in my heart that I was not doing a good job stewarding the time and work He had given me. It is not honoring God and I remembered that work is an offering, a service to God, and He deserves excellence in everything we offer to Him. Besides, this work is an answered prayer from God and I shouldn’t be wasting this blessing, that’s why I feel very guilty for not providing a quality service. Being lazy does not give a good testimony of Christ-likeness to people who are seeing and/or scrutinizing my work.

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭23‬-‭24‬ ‭

As I was laying it out to God one morning, I suddenly heard this song called “Spend a Life” on my playlist. The lyrics struck me because it is my current struggle!

That’s when I decided to get up and fix this while it’s not too late. I had to make changes and they were:

  • Putting my phone away — out of sight, out of mind!
  • Disabling access and notifications from mobile apps during focus mode
  • Installing a focus app called “Forest” (available as a Chrome extension or mobile app), which plants a tree every time you set a focus time. I like gamification so this was a good motivation. I follow the good old Pomodoro technique: 25 minutes of work then 5 minutes of rest. I sometimes go longer on bigger tasks then get longer rest (e.g. 1 hour of work, 20 minutes of rest), but the critical thing is to strictly follow the time for work and rest even when I’m in the zone, else I will be too fatigued to work or become too rested that I can’t get back to work mode.
  • Having someone to be accountable to. Right now it’s my sister because she knows when I’m running out and about in the apartment during work hours and she calls me out sometimes
  • Walking and stepping out of my workstation during rest

We will not always be given time, so while we have it make good use of it and spend it on what matters the most, in a way that God would be pleased.

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