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#YouAsked: The power of the “pause”​ when struggling with deadlines…

Source | LinkedIn | Anese Cavanaugh | Author. Speaker. Advisor. | Presence. Culture. Leadership.

I’ve recently been invited to contribute to a new LinkedIn feature called #YouAsked. Here is the question I was given today. My thinking around it follows.

“I struggle with deadlines, timelines, and timeliness (thanks, ADHD), which is an important part of my job. Does struggling with that mean I can’t ever do my job well? How do I work to improve that while also showing that I am worth more than my biggest weakness?” — Melissa B., program manager at a Vancouver, Wash.-based nonprofit

Thanks for the question! You’re in good company, this is something I think we can all struggle with in our own ways. With the demands of our time and days and unlimited to-do lists, let alone more ways to multi-task then ever and, ironically, more apps to keep track of our deadlines, timeline, and timeliness; focus, deadlines, timelines, and timeliness can be a huge challenge. (Even without ADHD!)

So first, breathe. Get present. As obvious as this may sound, it’s essential. Breathe.

Second, know that your awareness here is a gift. Without awareness we suffer and struggle; with awareness, we have information and therefore power in choice of how to move forward. (In my experience, awareness is 70% of the battle, what you do with that awareness is the other 30%.)

Third, there’s a mindset component here that could be helpful, instead of considering your struggle with these things and your ADHD a “weakness,” see if you can actually reframe these for yourself in having your awareness and care about all of this be superpowers and signs of your commitment to growth. That you’re paying attention here and looking to do it better, is a strength. It’s leadership. This reframe may help create a bit more energy and space for you to partner with yourself, and this challenge (or any challenge), from a place of strength versus weakness.

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