When you have ADHD, you live and die by scheduling. If you schedule something, you get it done and get it off the table. If you don’t, it never gets done. Remember, for those with ADHD, soon isn’t an actuality. But, when you schedule something yet you’re at the mercy of the unknown, it gets tough.

Take, for example, getting a visa to another country. Sure, you can plan to take a few hours and get it done, but what if it takes longer? What if your entire day gets pushed back, and the next thing you know, you’re twelve hours behind the eight ball? Not a fun place to be. I know, I’ve been there.

But there’s almost always a solution! This morning, I had to go to the Chinese embassy to get a visa. My ADHD had already pushed the attempt back once, thanks to my forgetting to bring my actual passport. When I went back to the embassy with it, there was (and I’m not making this up,) a four hour wait. That would have thrown one hell of a cramp into my day. So, knowing I’d have to go again, I relied on my one secret weapon that gets me through when things get out of control:

2016-05-24 09.10.33I got up earlier. I’ve talked countless times about why getting up early is the best thing you can do for yourself, and this time was no exception. The embassy opens at 9am, they let people in at 8:30am. I got there at 7am. (I’d already hit the gym at 5am.)

Sure enough, doors opened at 8:30, I was first through security, first to the information desk, first to submit my documents and passport, and first to get out the door. Total time in the embassy, from the moment the windows opened at 9am? Three minutes. In my office by 9:30, all is well, and I’m back to my schedule.

In the end, ADHD tends to impact our time the most. (Tweet this!)  When we forget to do something, when we’re running late, when we’re sucked down a rabbit hole of choices, our time is affected more than anything else. Getting up early allows for a buffer to prevent that. If nothing else, try getting up an hour earlier, even if just to sit and drink a cup of coffee in peace, without fear of being late.

Oh, and bring your passport the next time you have to get a visa.

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