In a queue, let people merge in. Hold the door open for someone and smile at them as you do. Buy someone a coffee and cake or some fresh fruit - summer strawberries or raspberries. It could be your colleagues, neighbours, family or friends; whoever you choose, surprise them. Don't leave others waiting for you. Be on time. Send a surprise book to someone from an online retailer. Share your skills. If you have a skill - photography, Mexican cooking, website programming, gardening - and someone you know has expressed an interest in what you do, offer to teach them what you know. Offer to help deliver or collect something for someone. Because we have ADD, we need to simplify our lives. The basic approach is identify a problem, develop a strategy, make the strategy a rule, make the rule a habit. That process can make life less frustrating, improve our functioning, save us time, reduce pressure, and provide other benefits. Checking is one useful tool which we can make into a habit. These rules and habits contribute to making our life go better, and eliminate some mess-ups so that we don't have to deal with them. They will save a lot of time in the long run. They are tools to put us in charge of our own lives. Although the main problem in ADD is in the focus center, it's remarkable how many of our difficulties involve time in some way. So we need strategies to help us deal with time. I may be indulging myself a little in this philoso-phizing piece.

Maybe that's an author's prerogative, or maybe not. We both know that you don't have to read it. Feel free to skip this and go on to the next chapter. You'll save a little time. What is important? Relationships. Health. Time. It's nice to have money, but that's a distant fourth. Security would go up there, but security is an illusion (except spiritually). Modern physics is questioning the reality of the concept of time; time may be an illusion too. Time is subjective. It moves very fast when we are on vacation; we can sit in the dentist's chair for an eternity. When we're young, we have all the time in the world and it moves very slowly. It takes forever for Christmas to get here. As we get older, it speeds up. The days and then the weeks and the months whiz past. You cycle through these stages of sleep several times in an average night, as shown in the image on the next page. Note that most deep sleep happens in the first part of the night. Your sleep is regulated by two systems that determine when you feel sleepy and when you feel alert: your body clock and your sleep drive.

Body clockYour body clock, also known as the "circadian rhythm," is responsible for regulating hormones, body temperature, alertness and sleepiness. Your body clock is set by areas deep within the brain: the suprachiasmatic nucleus in your hypothalamus, and the pineal gland (pictured opposite); both of these regions are influenced by light and dark signals coming from the eyes. The longer your body is awake and active, the more you need sleep. Picture your sleep drive like an elastic band: in the morning when you wake up, the elastic is loose (your sleep drive is low), and as the day goes on, the elastic slowly begins to stretch and tighten (your sleep drive is increasing). At the end of your day, your sleep drive should be strong (the elastic should be at its tightest point) so that it will be easy to fall asleep. Some behaviours that can cause a low sleep drive (loosen the elastic band) include: naps, sleeping in, going to bed early, spending a lot of time in bed and being inactive. The amount of sleep you need changes over your lifespan. After an injury, it can be helpful to sleep and rest more so the body can heal; however, after the body has healed, sleeping or resting for long periods of time can disrupt the sleep drive. Since my brain injury, I have been napping and resting a lot more. I didn't realize this could be affecting my sleep drive and making it harder for me to sleep at night! Sometimes thoughts may come with an emotional charge; when this happens, noting this. If any thoughts are associated with intense emotions, whether pleasant or unpleasant, as best you can, simply noting these as sensations like any other that arise, stick around for a while, and pass away. It can be helpful in these moments to say quietly to yourself, "Sadness is here; joy is present; frustration, worry, happiness is here." If emotionally charged thoughts are particularly intense, bringing attention to where in the body these might show up as a bracing, tightness, or heat. Holding these body sensations in awareness, bringing attention to where in the body they are showing up, investigating them, perhaps, breathing into or with sensations on an in-breath and softening on the out-breath. And now choosing to let go of any one particular object of attention, like breath, body sensation, sound, thoughts, or emotions, and letting the field of awareness open to all experience, internal or external. Not directing your attention anywhere, not looking for or holding on to anything but rather receiving sensations. Noticing the movement of experience, sensations arising, staying for a while, and leaving to be replaced by another and another. (Here the teacher, in her instructions, is guiding participants to practice a receptive, open, and effortless stance to experience.) Save a life. Donate blood. Donated blood is a lifeline for many people needing long-term treatments, not just in emergencies.

Your blood's main components, red cells, plasma and platelets, are vital for many different uses. Go to Of course, some people are easier to be kind to than others; if they show gratitude or if they have been kind to you first, it's easy to be kind back. It's not easy to be kind to people who are rude and ungrateful. Don't let that put you off; they might not be nice, but you are! And if you can show a kindness it may just make them nicer. In this practice, we are noticing whatever comes in the moment as we sit here, observing sounds, thoughts, emotions, and sensations in the body including the breath. (The teacher allows for a long pause to allow participants to practice this.) When I was fifty-four years old, I took a real close look in the mirror for the very first time. Yes, I looked directly into my eyes and started examining what I was feeling deep within my soul. In fact, I was studying and tapping into my deep beauty and inner worth. By that time, I had already worked a lot on clearing my mind and embracing my spirit. Now I was ready to make physical discipline a top priority as well. I was ready to start living in the present moment by intentionally making a difference in my physical health, starting from the inside out. I recognized I had a lot of hard work to do, and I loved myself enough to do everything necessary to make a difference in my life. Physically, my body was falling apart bit by bit before my very eyes, and I was in constant pain. I knew it was up to me to make the difference in my life. Although I had a pharmaceutical background, I knew I did not want opioids to be my first-line pain treatment; I didn't want to be that lady who walks into the doctor's office with a bag full of pills. No, that was not going to be me. Instead, I chose the medicinal route toward self-healing, and I recognized that eating foods bursting full of antioxidants and using other therapeutic techniques would be my first-line choice. I understood it was up to me to change my physical health and well-being by applying the necessary discipline.

Speak out. There are people in our world who need someone to speak out for them. You don't have to take on that cause by yourself, but join others. It could be Amnesty International - a global movement of more than seven million people who take injustice personally - or it could be speaking up at a local council meeting, writing letters or otherwise making a need heard. Contact someone you know who is going through a difficult time. Phone or write them a card, email or text, cook a meal or send flowers or some other thoughtful expression to let them know you care and are thinking about them. Do a chore that you don't normally do for someone else. If your partner always empties the rubbish or the dishwasher, do it for them. In addition to the appointment book in my pocket I'm surrounded by calendars. I have a small calendar of the month on my desk top. The large three months at a glance calendar is hanging on the wall. I can see it from anywhere in the room. A calendar hangs on the side of the bookcase next to my therapy chair. Next to my phone is a large monthly calendar, where I note my open appointment spaces and my out of office appointments, kind of as a supplement to my appointment book. Under that is the one sheet calendar for the next month. I print these one month calendars free from the internet. I am not good at time, in many ways. I need to keep track of my appointments, both for my practice and out of the office. I need to keep track of where I am in the week and in the year and in time - hence the three months at a glance calendar. (You likely will not really grasp what I'm talking about here, unless perhaps you have ADD, too.) The three month calendar has the current month on the left, next month in the middle, and the next month on the right.