ADHD and Knowing When to Refuel

fuel-1

Sanc·tu·ar·y
1. a place of refuge or safety.
2. a nature reserve.

Re·fuel·ing in Sanc·tu·ar·y
1. attending to self-care needs.
2. building reserves.
3. reinforcing bandwidth.

We all know the benefit of self-care activities like exercise, meditation or a walk with a friend. We read about the positives of down-time for the body and the brain. Covey’s words of “Sharpen the Saw” echo in our heads. Yet we are busier than ever and we seem to be losing the time war with regards to ample break time. Busy-ness is even seen now as a badge of honor. Global Creatives are not immune to this desire to speed up and not slow down. On the contrary, those of us wired for rapid response are often on the front line of this need-for-speed group. In the daily game of crossing items off the list, self-care activities are often those task-list items that hang out at the bottom of the list consistently rolling over to the next day. “There simply wasn’t enough time!” goes the thinking.

We make time for what matters. For the Global Creative, reinforcing bandwidth and building a reserve must be a number one priority. Out of that reserve comes creativity and resourcefulness. Start with rethinking how self-care and this concept of refueling can show up in your day, your month, quarter or year. If you don’t, you could find yourself like the race car driver who calculated not to take an all-important pit stop and ran out of fuel prior to crossing the finish line.

Refueling in your World

When we think of refueling we often think of the traditional approach of simply engaging some activity in a natural habitat. The benefits of enjoying time in nature are irrefutable. We often think of a week long trip to a beautiful destination but refueling can occur in a much shorter time period. A walk in a park, a bike ride, a run outdoors all fit this category. A bustling gym with seventeen TVs on 24-hour news channels is not a great option here. Everyday, a simple gesture for me is to walk my dog along a country road deep in the woods.

Refueling in your Community

We are a social species. Connecting with supportive groups of people doing things to benefit oneself or others can be a great way to refuel. Volunteering or even going to an AA meeting creates necessary connection and reserve. We find strength and resolve in numbers.

Refueling in your Home and Office

Any dysfunction or toxicity in the home front or office will disrupt the ability to create sanctuary in in these places. Developing simple rules of engagement and effectively managing boundaries can help here.

Refueling in your Head

Sanctuary moments for the brain help to calm the storm by managing inputs. Thousands of inputs vie for our attention every hour of the day and time online boosts this 100 fold. Your brain works to make sense of the most salient inputs even when you are not being intentional. Turning down the flow of this fire hose of information can provide an immediate sanctuary moment. Turning down the rate of input allows the brain to focus more on the information it already has. The benefits of reflection are well known and yet most people just don’t do it.

Research  in call centers demonstrated that employees who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned, performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect.

I am not one to tell people how to refuel but I’d like to share one approach that has been extremely effective for my clients. Some combination of Exercise-Meditation-Journal-Plan launches the day quite effectively. This is similar to Tim Ferriss’ routine I wrote of before.

Keys to Success

  • Keep each element to 15 minutes (exercise maybe more)
  • Keep it simple
  • Practice gratefulness and detachment
  • Name 2-3 intentions just for the day, one being a QII item
  • Visualize success at the end of the day.

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