September 10, 2011

Tomato Time

I have A.D.D.

We could argue about the realities of this "disorder" but that wouldn't get us anywhere.  I could tell you about the behavioral studies that have been done.  I could redirect you to the medical reports that go in conjunction with the diagnosing of this particular problem.  I could even point you to the somewhat new diagnostic methods that even include brain scans that will clearly point to this issue.  You, of course, may be able to offer rebuttals to any of these evidences that I could present to you, but as my final piece of evidence I could present to you anyone who actually knows me.  They would be happy to vouch for me... I have issues with attention.

I remind many people of the quintessential dog with the squirrel.  I have stopped typing this blog at least 8 times already because of things like noises out the window, the cat walking through the room, there are books on my shelves with words, etc.  My students all know this about me.  I just spent 30 sec. thinking about how my students have distracted me in the past and how I could be distracted in the future.

I have had this all my life.  My earliest memories of school involve spending hours looking out the window at school and having my teacher literally grab my head and turn it back around to the front of the room.  But thanks to my "old school" parents, medication was never an option.

I haven't regretted that at all.  I have learned to cope with this little challenge in my life.  On a broader scale, I believe that A.D.D. displays itself, not only in those little distractions, but also in a general lack of focus in one's life.  I spent 10 years getting my 4 year college degree, mostly because of big-picture life distractions.  But that's another story.

Ok.  End the intro to this blog post.

Now I want to tell you about the Pomodoro Technique.  To save time and energy, I will direct you to their website to read the details of the technique, but I will give you a brief description.  From their site:
"The Pomodoro Technique® is a way to get the most out of time management. Turn time into a valuable ally to accomplish what we want to do and chart continuous improvement in the way we do it."
Basically, it is a method that involves breaking down your time into increments.  This is something that I have done for years, but not always successfully.  The Pomodoro Technique breaks it down into a more systematic method that I am finding to be quite useful.

Please check out the Pomodoro Technique website.  They offer their book for free as a downloadable pdf.  There are also some cheatsheets and other forms that are useful in integrating this technique into your life.

I also found a nice little Chrome Web App that works well with the technique.  The web app is also available as a web page.  [tomatoi.st]

I don't want you to misunderstand me though.  I am not one who will tell you that a technique is everything. More than that I have learned that God has a purpose in our weaknesses.  More than a technique, having A.D.D. has taught me about Grace.  Many of my sinful struggles have been a result of the fact that I am so easily distracted and pulled away.  I am not a strong person, but God's grace is sufficient.  I wanted strength of will and more focus, what God has given me is grace.  I believe that this is so I might say with Paul,
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
II Corinthians 12:9
If you have a child with A.D.D. (or if you have A.D.D.) and have any questions about how I have learned to cope by leaning on into God's grace and using methods like the Pomodoro Technique and other self-made remedies, please feel free to contact me.  There is a contact page at the top of this blog.