The same is true concerning other household chores. Dishes and silverware no longer accumulate in my sink--not because I've become overly fastidious about cleanliness, but because I've developed the positive habit of washing the utensils I used to prepare my meal, either while the food was still cooking, or just before I sat down to eat. And, after I've finished eating, it no longer seems to make sense to leave dirty dishes in the sink without first washing them. That doesn't mean that I've become a perfectionist, far from it, because I will leave dirty dishes in the sink if I don't have any other options; for example, if I need to go somewhere immediately after eating, then I go. My wife pointed out that I had signed up for a lot of e-mail programs - for Word of the Day in Spanish and in English, free guitar lessons, news, political movements, and more. My inbox was quite crowded every morning. So I kept the ones I really like and use, but I was able to eliminate many of them and save time and simplify. I've also learned not to make promises. Now it's "OK, I'll try," or "OK, I'll do my best." No promises. In order to avoid committees and boards and other projects, I needed to learn to do a better job of saying "No". That's hard for many of us, especially those of us that tend to be "people pleasers." We want everyone to like and admire us. That is not a healthy condition. It partly comes from low self-esteem, which can often come from having ADD. Fortunately, therapy can help with the "people pleasing" problem. Willpower, if we have any, helps too. I'll tell you later on about Ms. B, a patient who learned how to say "No". I will also tell you about my famous colleague, Dr. John Rush, who has no problem at all in saying "No", and who became a role model for me. Hang around.

Imagine that your highest values are "big rocks" and you must fit them into the limited space in your life (this is shown in the image below as a jar). Somehow you must also fit in lots of "pebbles" (small but vital tasks like brushing your teeth and buying groceries). If you put all the pebbles in the jar first, there is not enough room for all the big rocks. But, if you put in the big rocks first, the pebbles can fit into the holes between the rocks. The take home message is that if you fit the big things into your life first, then the little things will sort themselves out. Please look at the values you checked off, above. Mark off with a star the values that feel the most important to you now. Once you know the values that are most important to you at this time, it may be easier to choose where to invest your time and energy. If you think back to the story of the rocks, these top values are like the big rocks--making them a priority in your day to daily life will give you a greater sense of purpose and fulfilment. Have you ever really taken a close look at how you spend your time? It's a great way to learn about where your energy goes, and to see what values you put the most time into. Do you see any activities that are taking up more time than you would like? Are any important activities missing from your day? Are you doing activities related to your highest values? Are any values missing? Are activities spread out over time or all together? Do you see any links between what you do and your energy or pain?I didn't realize that it wasn't just work I stopped doing, but so many other things as well. When I see my activity log, I realize I'm not doing anything toward my value of nature. I didn't spend any time outdoors! "Is this a good use of my time?" I need to pause occasionally in the middle of whatever I'm doing and ask this question.

This is a form of "awareness", which I'll also discuss later. This is also a good approach when I'm being asked to do something. Will the benefits justify the use of my time? For example, occasionally I'm asked to volunteer for a good cause. Sometimes it's clear that it would be more effective to just give money. Someone else can be hired to do the work; that will benefit them, benefit the cause, and save my time. I do put a dollar value on my time and that helps me make some decisions, such as when to hire someone to do some work in or around the house and when to do it myself. The enhancement of self-esteem and self-efficacy can be an important contributing factor to both the prevention of psychological and physical illness and the maintenance of health. Specifically, researchers have found exercise contributes to the prevention of illness or the reduction of its effects through the process of improving self-esteem. I have a client named Aharon, who is a tremendously successful businessman. He started his own company at nineteen and has never worked for anyone. Aharon is now sixty-four years old. His family immigrated to the United States in the early 1940s. They were very poor and held on to every penny they ever got their hands on. But the tighter they held onto their money, the more it seemed to squeeze out of their hands like sand falling on the ground, leaving them consistently at a stage of lacking. They lived a life of emotional, physical, and spiritual poverty because they felt that their lifestyle was as good as it would ever get. Aharon told me that he knew he had a different mindset from his parents. At age nine he thought, I don't want to be like my parents. My parents do not think they deserve a better life. They have settled for a life of poverty and hardship.

Aharon was destined to break the family cycle of poverty because he had a made-up mind at a very early age that poverty was not for him. He had the deep discipline to create a better life for himself and the generations to follow. In 2008 Aharon moved to Haiti for a year, contributing his talents and finances to rebuilding Haiti and helping save the lives of children and their parents. He has helped communities worldwide and broken the cycle of the poverty of the mind in his own family. After putting an end to my habitual procrastination, I took the next step and became a non-procrastinator. Just to be clear, that doesn't mean I never procrastinate, or that I will never procrastinate ever again. Rather, I began acting like the kind of person who isn't all that troubled if they happen to procrastinate on something, because they engage in it so rarely, that it's hardly consequential in their life. In addition, as I previously mentioned at the start of this chapter, the price that I would have to pay for engaging in procrastination is so high that it never seems worth the risk of the downside. It's important to point out that the changes that I have undergone have been gradual, and have taken place over a long time span. What's more, remember that you can always come back to this chapter whenever you feel ready to improve upon your productivity. So then, what improvements did I find? Then, I found a different relationship to do-ing, which involved becoming comfortable with tasks that required greater amounts of time to complete. The truth - or the real secret - is that the law of attraction' (also known ascosmic ordering') is based on a concept better known as confirmation bias. Confirmation bias (as described in Chapter 1) involves looking for evidence and information to support and confirm what you've already decided is true, while avoiding or ignoring information that contradicts it. If you tripped over and twisted your ankle, the law of attraction would claim that you had attracted' that to happen to you as a result of your negative thinking. <a href=''>By</a> thinkingThat'll teach me! I knew I shouldn't have sneaked off work today; I knew something would go wrong. It's my punishment', you looked for and accepted evidence that you had done wrong. If you found a parking space in a packed car park, the law of attraction would claim that you had `attracted' that parking space from the universe and as a result of your positive expectation that a space would be there, waiting for you. The Secret and the law of attraction exploit the concept of confirmation bias and suggest that the positive and negative things that happen in our lives are the result of a mystical force.

It exploits the fact that our brains naturally choose what we pay attention to. The law of attraction suggests your mind attracts thoughts and experiences as a result of the workings of the universe. It doesn't. Your mind attracts these thoughts and experiences as a result of the workings of your brain. I'm not great at making decisions. I can ruminate for a long time over the pros and cons and still wind up on the fence. Part of the reason is that with ADD, I have trouble prioritizing. Everything looks important. One strategy for this problem is to realize that if the decision is that hard to make there must not be a "right" answer, or else it would be obvious. So it is a guess, a coin flip. We can't know how something will come out, so we can only play the odds, and sometimes they're about fifty-fifty. Strategies for decision making help, but if I can minimize decisions it simplifies my life even more. One way to do that is to have rules. My grandson, Michael, is nine years old. He lives here in Santa Fe and spends a lot of time with us. He likes me to play games with him. As part of my grandfatherly responsibilities I've taught him to play poker and chess; he can't beat me at chess yet. Michael's growing up fast. About six years ago I paused and thought about my priorities and I was blessed with a great revelation. I had not been a great dad.