Time Management With The ADHD Life Coach

Episode 96

It seems like some people have all the time in the world. How can these individuals stack so much into the same 24 hours that we all get? Must it be some magic, right? The magic is time management, and it’s a skill like any other skill. It can be learned and mastered. ADHD Life Coach Dr. Diana Mercado joins the podcast to discuss how she developed a time management system that allows her to thrive as a busy physician with ADHD.

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Episode Transcript

Dr. Richard Harris MD  00:00

Do you ever feel like you just don’t have enough time? Often I hear from people, I just don’t have enough hours in the day but we all get the same 24 hours every day, no one gets extra time. The people who seem like they have infinite time, have great time management. And that’s what we’re going to talk about on the podcast. today. I’m joined by the ADHD life coach, Dr. Diana Mercado, and we’re going to talk about time management, and how she encourages her clients who have often the biggest struggle with time management people with ADHD to regain and recapture their time. empower them to take control of that 24 hours. Are you ready to boost your health, EQ and IQ to the music?

Dr. Richard Harris MD  00:54

Join me Dr. Richard Harris as we strive to unlock the secrets of the human body. Strive for Wellness strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google and Android.

Dr. Richard Harris MD  01:21

And now a word from our sponsors. Our first sponsor is Nimbus healthcare, the company that I co founded personalized medicine, personalized results. And numbers. We don’t believe that there’s one size fits all when it comes to treatment. And the data is starting to show that there’s a large variety of how people respond to certain things. And we’re in the Age of Science where we can use things like genetic testing and biomarkers to truly customize a plan just for you. And that’s what we do at Nimbus health care. We are in the hair loss and the hormone space. And what we do is we use lifestyle medicine, supplements and compounded prescription medication to tailor an individualized plan just for you. If that sounds like something that you’re looking for, you can check out Nimbus healthcare.com or click the link in the show notes. Our other sponsor is CBD health collection. CBD oil collection is the CBD that we use in the house. We use it. Our dog uses it love CBD health collection, it meets all of the requirements that we set forth in our CBD episode, organic us grown. They do a lot of third party testing so you know exactly what you’re getting in the product. And it works. My aura ring data is wonderful when I take the product for sleep, and then I also use it for inflammation and recovery. If you’re looking for a high quality CBD that is third party independently tested and who does research they work with universities to do research on their products to push the edge on CBD and make sure they’re staying current. That CBD health collection is the CBD for you. You can check the link in the show notes more head to our website, the GH wellness.com and click CBD at the top. And now to this week’s episode. Welcome to strive for great health podcast with your host Dr. Richard Harris. And today I have with me on the podcast, a friend that I met in a physician’s group of like minded entrepreneurial physicians. She’s amazing her work is awesome. It’s near and dear to my heart is my wife is someone who has ADHD her business’s ADHD life coach, I have Dr. Diana Mercado on the podcast with me. How are you doing?

Dr. Diana Mercado  03:29

I’m doing great. Thank you for having me.

Dr. Richard Harris MD  03:31

Yeah, it’s great to have you on the show. We always start off at first with how do we end up where we are because you’re a physician, like myself, but you’re also now being a physician entrepreneur. How did you transition in what was it that made you feel like you had more to offer to your clients into people than what you were able to provide in your regular nine to five job?

Dr. Diana Mercado  03:55

Yeah, so my intention, as you probably know, is never that you want it to end up here, but you’re so glad that you did. I was diagnosed in medical school with ADHD and and then I took some meds and I did okay, but then when I finish and I was now going to be an attending, I got told when I went to go see a different physician that I should know better that I outgrew ADHD and basically that I internalized that two minute appointment and I paid for a dearly by telling myself I didn’t have anything that I just needed to work a little bit harder to accomplish goals. And it was 10 years of struggle, the pandemic hits and I didn’t even realize like I was struggling. I just thought you know, I was doing what I had to do it meant going to do 2030 hours outside of work on pay to chart and it was a love hate relationship for me but because I love my patients. I was willing to do that and I didn’t realize I was doing it at the expense of my own self care always been taught to do the best that you can for others especially, and to do it at whatever cost because that’s what it’s needed of you. And so pandemic hits. And I’m pretty sure like most of us, who are physicians, we tend to be lifelong learners. And so I was learning, but it was not from a place of like, I’m so excited. But it was from a place of inner critic, where I felt like I was never good enough, I was listening to different podcasts, buying different books that I will never read doing different courses, because I always felt like I was half doing everything, I was never reaching my full potential. And I just never tied it back down to the fact that maybe I didn’t have solid systems that could support my ADHD. So one day, I was listening to a podcast and I hear a podcast that was done by five physicians, and they were talking about life coaching. And that was the first time I’ve had ever heard it. That same day, I guess, the impulsivity in me, I heard it in the morning at 7am. By 4pm, I had signed up for that course. And it was $5,000 course. And it was a course called empowering women physicians. And the reason I signed up is because they said they would give you 30 hours of CME. And at that point, I didn’t even realize I was burned out, I think I was just a little bit more irritable, I was just a little bit more tired. And I just thought that was the norm because was a physician as at that time, I was a mom of a two and a three year old. And I was the clinic medical director and I was working at the clinic, hospital and nursing home. And so I figured that was just life. And so I get coached. First thing that came up was my ADHD, and I didn’t realize that it was causing me shame. And starting to see it from a place of like, this is just a neutral diagnosis like it doesn’t. It’s just a fact, it’s whatever your thoughts about it was like it’s not good or bad. It’s whatever you think of it. And, you know, the funny thing was that I would have never judged my patients for this diagnosis, or for diabetes, or for blood pressure for anything else. Yet I was making it seem that ADHD meant I was not perfect, and therefore I was not worthy. And therefore I could not carry my load. And I could not do X, Y and Z. And

Dr. Diana Mercado  07:30

I kept looking and I finally a little window creeped up of curiosity like, Okay, what if it is my ADHD that is making me feel tired? Or what if there’s a better way that I could leverage my ADHD? I mean, after all, I do like to speak a lot. I say things before other people do. And so I’ve changed a lot of stuff for the betterment of it. So what if it was my ADHD that helped me become a leader and helps me not give up when I mess things up? Because I just figured, Well, the answer will finally come if I keep trying, or I keep asking. And so I started to see that asking for help was not going to be a weakness. If anything, it was a sign of strength. And so the more I looked around, I did not see other coaching programs that would be physician based or medical student base for ADHD people. And the program I wasn’t in even though it was wonderful, that could have been so overwhelming for somebody with ADHD because some of those coaching class would last like four hours, two or three times a week. And somebody with ADHD, we always feel like we don’t have enough time. So to all of a sudden invest 12 hours a week. But you know, my husband was like, you go and pay attention, you already paid that money without consulting me. And so it was the first time that I allowed myself to invest that type of money in myself. And I think that’s where the depth first clicks started to happen, where I realized I was important that what I was thinking was important and how I was showing up that I could control that that I could show up from a mindful place, not from like an overwhelmed place all the time. And so that’s how I ended up not knowing anything about intrapreneurship into deciding that what if I could create a course where physicians or medical students could come and not feel like they were being judged? Because that’s how we always feel we always feel like we weren’t good enough so to say and what have you could just come as you are and you just start to get curious and start to see what are your actual strengths because it almost feels like ADHD has a missed name because the things that you do love Oh my god was hyperfocus and then it’s like, almost problematic to get us pulled out of that state. And so you could imagine some of my patient appointments could be an hour because I was lost in like having fun talking to the patient, right. But then of course, I didn’t want to write the note afterwards, you could imagine why I was struggling with 200 notes or every single weekend having to put in like about 20 hours. And then finally, I realized that 20 hours of unpaid work, if you did the math, it ended up being like $6,000 a month, and about 70,000 a year times 10 years, that was like half a million dollars that I was never going to get back in money or time. And so I decided that nobody else should have to go through that nobody else should have to shot in their pajamas. And you’re not living from a place of what your values are, because you just feel like at any moment, they might fire you because you haven’t done the boring tasks of charting. So that’s why I decided to create a course like that, where I could teach them that everybody has a zone of genius that it’s okay, how you learn, if it’s by reading, if it’s by talking, if it’s by looking at pictures, that you just had to tap into that. And it sounds silly, but you have to prioritize because anytime we say planning, most of us with ADHD want to run the other way, because we feel like you’re putting us in a box. But learning that if you at least start with what are your one or two intentions for the day can get you so far ahead versus just driving around without a final destination, it can get you in trouble, because a lot of people will stop you along the way and their priorities. Now that you become your priorities, and the old stuff you had to do never got done because you didn’t even know what you needed to do. And so starting this journey, as an entrepreneur, of course, brings up all kinds of stuff, right? All kinds of beliefs that you didn’t even know you were walking around with whatever society tells you what your parents tell you what your school tells you. And then you having to be like, Okay, I just have to make a decision. It doesn’t have to be the right decision. Because eventually you can make the decision right when more information comes up. But sometimes not knowing it’s actually a strength because you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. You just keep asking, and you just keep trying different things. And eventually, if you know that why you’re doing it, the universe will give you the answer, and you will figure it out.

Dr. Richard Harris MD  12:37

Yeah, thanks for sharing your story. And it’s interesting when you look at ADHD, because it’s mostly a problem with dopamine signaling. And dopamine deals with our reward and motivation pathways. And so the issue is that because of that abnormality, the people with ADHD have issues with motivation. And that appears as focus because it’s like you jump from thing to thing, that thing, because the dopamine signaling is abnormal in the reward that someone who doesn’t have ADHD gets from staying on one task. Someone with a DD or ADHD needs to do multiple tasks to get that same reward signaling. We’re going to do a whole nother podcast on the science behind that if you’re interested check out Huberman lab, he dives really deep into the science behind ADHD. But what you brought up is very important. If you have some type of genetic difference or situation, you need systems. Everybody needs a system that works for them a way that you can do things over and over again, make it repeatable, you don’t have to think about it, and that optimizes your efficiency. So one of the things that you mentioned is time, we all feel like, we don’t have enough time. But then you look at the people who are super successful, and then they seem to be in complete control. They seem free, and they’re getting more stuff done before noon than you get done in like five days. And you’re looking at them like how is that possible? So how do we get better at time management? What are some strategies that we can start to implement to take better control of our time?

Dr. Diana Mercado  14:11

Yes, that’s a great question. Clarity, understanding what it is that you value. So for example, if you say that family is the most important thing, or health is the most important thing, or your job is the most important thing. If you know what your quote unquote, big rocks or priorities are, then you know how to focus that energy, right? Because anything that comes your way you decide, is this thing that I’m about to do? Is it gonna take me closer to those three things that I just said are my priority? Or is it going to take me away from it? And so we waste a lot of time not knowing what is most important and therefore we don’t protect it. For example, for me Of course, my health now I know that self care is the most important thing, because if my brain is okay, my mind is okay, if my spirit is okay, then I can show up more present. How do I do that? Well, planning is one of the fastest way to be in control of your time. Because if you make some decisions ahead of time, and I don’t mean like planning, like, minute by minute by minute, I mean, like, five minutes of you planning, literally be, as soon as you wake up. What are my three intentions for today? What am I grateful for? If today, I died? What would three things I wish I did, and I completed it? And I felt like that was okay. I know that sounds harsh to think if today I died by with the COVID thing. It got a lot of us, especially physicians to question what would happen, right? If you had a two or three year old that you would have to live with somebody? Who would you trust him with? Learning, that’s a part of the brain that requires the prefrontal cortex that brings you into the consciousness, again, of what is important. And it’s just like a muscle, right? The more that you do this, instead of thinking negatively, why don’t I have what do I have? How can I leverage it, because the people you know, can give you the answers to the things that maybe are not your strength. And that’s one way to create more time. If you know, you’re not one to want to pay the taxes, or you not want to do the dishes or whatever, why do something that’s against your nature, leverage your time by paying somebody else’s time if you’re a physician. And you know, I don’t want to say that everybody has the same payment, but we get paid, right? And so if you know that somebody down the street, college student can come babysit your kids for you know, 1/4 of what you get paid, leverage that go have a date night with your significant other. Planning is a way to get back time making a decision is a way to make back time a lot of us get paralyzed. Oh, am I making the right decision? Is it the wrong decision? Should I learn more, I’m not saying be impulsive. But at some point, you have to take a leap. And then as more information comes on, go on. Because if you sit there and indecision and reminiscing and second guessing and regret, all those are time wasters. Because it can take us years to decide if we’re gonna marry somebody years to buy a new house right years to stay in a job that you think it’s like, saying, It says so but it’s a job, but you’re not. It’s not the right environment for me, for you, because x, y, z, those are decisions that are going to bring you time. So planning, saying no is a big one. Say no to things that don’t align to you don’t just people, please. And it’s human nature for us to have connection, right? We that’s how we survived. Like, if, if we get kicked out of the tribe, we would have gotten eaten by a bear. And we would have been that was the end of us. But nowadays, we have the possibility to say no to things when they don’t align. If you say yes to something that doesn’t make sense to you. What happens the whole time, you’re wondering, why did I say yes, you’re rolling your eyes, you’re like uncomfortable. You’re wishing you were somebody else. So nobody wins. Versus if you just say, and believe me, I used to do this. I used to lie. Like I would be like I couldn’t say I’m too tired, or I don’t have enough energy. I would say Oh, I’m on call. And then I wasn’t. And then they would ask me how was your call? And I was like, who I was it on call? And then they would tell me But you told me and then I forgot, right? And so don’t do that. Just say, if you don’t want to say no right away, just say I have to look at my calendar, then. If it’s meant to be it’ll happen if it’s not move on. So those are ways to make time saying no to things you don’t want to do. Aligning your decisions with your big why’s. And it’s important to take time off because most of us think that work, work, work, work work. But actually, there’s evidence that shows if you take breaks, then you’re gonna actually be more productive. That’s why like you said, some people are able to do more by lunchtime, right? Because you don’t know that they already had for 20 minute breaks somewhere here and there. And it’s most people are like, Oh my God, they’re being lazy. But they’re not because during those 510 minute breaks that they’re doing, they might be meditating, they might be walking, they might be dancing, Zumba, they might be doing something else that actually lets their brains concentrate when they are going to work. Because they’re not on Facebook pretending to be working. They’re actually working. And so that’s where it’s important. And again, understanding that you need to be perfect at everything. And you’re right about people with ADHD needs In that energy boost, so do using those strategies that I just mentioned, it’s a way to increase your energy boost so that you do focus on one thing I heard somewhere where they said that if you focused on one thing at a time, you could actually shave off three months versus if you were multitasking at the same time. And so sometimes it’s hard for us to constrained to one thing at a time, especially when we think it’s a boring task, if you use something like music or something that you enjoy, that could be a way for you to do the tasks that you need to. But it gives you back more time, because in the long run, you did that thing more efficiently, quicker, faster. And even though you didn’t want to do it, you still did it, they say you did what you needed to. And if you weren’t going to do it, you delegate that task to somebody else.

Dr. Richard Harris MD  20:50

Yeah, you bring up some really great point. And you say a lot of things that my listeners I’ve heard before. Number one, if you want a place to start get crystal clear on your values. If someone asked me what my values are, I can give you a very distinct answer very quickly, because I spent a lot of time figuring out what is important to me. And when I figured out what was important to me, it was easy for me to figure out what lane I wanted to play in. That’s number one. And number two is once you crystal clear on your values, you form a new identity around those values. And it becomes very easy to move in alignment, when your values are clear. And your identity is based upon your values. Planning. This is something that I spent a lot of last year doing. And people ask me, Richard, how do you have like five businesses, you still work as a doctor, and we still see you out having fun, it’s because I plan if you look at my calendar, it is planned, everything’s planned, rest is planned, gym is planned, meetings are planned, all of it is planned, I make sure I have time for what’s important. Even I have time in my schedule to read clinical trials, or to listen to videos or audio or whatever, it’s all in my calendar. And that way, I’m able to get things done the things that are important to me. And then when I have that space in my calendar, that’s when I get in other stuff that may not be as important or as necessary. But that’s when I get that done is when I have those spaces in the calendar that I just fill in. And boredom is huge, like we hate to be bored. But the science on boredom shows that boredom sparks massive creativity, massive because your mind will start to wander and make connections between things that you didn’t see. And I generate a lot of my ideas when I’m not thinking about them. When I’m just letting my mind kind of do something else, or I’m doing some type of meaningless task. Like for me that’s playing video games a lot. I’ve had a lot of my best ideas playing video games, because it’s a meaningless task for me. It’s not boring, but it’s meaningless. There’s no real thought that goes into it, I could probably do it in my sleep if I wanted to at this point in time, but we can’t be afraid to be bored, especially if you want to be creative and optimize your efficiency. Because you’ll see your mind do some really cool things during boredom. And then not being afraid to say no, this is something that you mentioned. And this is part of what we want to talk about next is boundaries. And I’ve met a lot of people. And sorry, ladies, it’s mostly ladies, most of the guys I know are very good at setting boundaries, because we’re not afraid to tell each other no. And if someone talks bad about us behind our back, we’re just like, well, whatever. But I know a lot of women in my life have a hard time setting crystal clear boundaries. And this is something they can eat your time. They can cause burnout, they can eat your feelings of self worth, if you’re not clear on your boundary. So besides saying no. What are some other things that we can do to help firm up our boundaries?

Dr. Diana Mercado  23:44

Yes. So we go back again, to the clarity. When we’re talking about boundaries, most people automatically associate boundaries with conflict. And I think that’s where the problem is that you can set boundaries from a place of love from a place of understanding yourself understanding the person that you’re serving, and you’re right. I don’t know if it’s just in our DNA, or it’s just a way being conditioned. Most females feel like a duty to serve and a duty to like

Dr. Diana Mercado  24:18

not make people feel bad of XYZ and especially time I used to have a hard time saying no to patients who would come late I would still see them despite because in my mind oh my god, I’m so hard to get into. And tada. But at the end of the day, I had to realize that if I didn’t have a clear clear picture boundary of no matter what I am not seeing a patient past 20 minutes because I cannot get that time back in my time is just as valuable as their time. And me saying yes to their delay means me saying no to my food. No To me close in my notes, no to me feeling that peace and not overwhelm, I had to realize what it meant and why I was setting the boundary. I wasn’t setting the boundary to be mean, because whatever. But that’s what our brain tells us that Oh, my God, you’re being like conflictive, or you’re not serving your patient. But life happens, right. And if something were to happen to me, that patient is going to be taken care of by somebody else. So I had to make sure that I understood what my boundaries were, I remember being mad when I first started getting coached. And I remember I was paying like $300 for a one hour coat, and I missed two hours, two times, because, again, patients were coming late. And I felt obligated to see them instead of me stopping and saying, Well, they can wait after my hour, because I already paid for that hour, I’m gonna go do XYZ, I felt too guilty to say no. And I missed those two appointments. And I remember talking to my husband and telling him, I cannot believe the front desk does not respect my time, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And he looked at me and he said, you don’t respect your time. And I said, What do you mean? Like, what are you talking about? Like, these are my patients? And he’s like, Yeah, you could have said, No, you could have walked out, you could have gone, do whatever you have your will, and you have your mind, and you have your opinions. And it took him pointing that out, for me to realize, oh, yeah, I don’t respect my time sometimes. And again, it’s from that boundary, right. And the thing with boundaries is that you have to understand how you’re going to react, you cannot have a boundary so that you can control other people that’s different. That’s a manual, that’s manipulating people, and blah, blah, blah, by boundaries, it means that you know, how you’re gonna show up, for example, if there’s somebody screaming at me, if I say, Excuse me, I don’t appreciate you screaming at me. If you want to talk, I can talk, if you’re going to continue to scream, I’m gonna walk out of the room, and you’re welcome to reschedule or make another appointment with somebody else. I’m telling them that what I don’t approve of right, I’m telling them, I don’t like them screaming at me, and I’m telling them how I’m going to behave, I’m going to walk out. And so I cannot stop him from screaming or stop her from screaming, but I can control how I show up to whatever is happening. And so that’s what I mean by a boundary, understanding how you’re going to behave. Because if you don’t have that understanding, then you can see how you can feel the lack of empowerment, you can see how you can feel hopeless, or you can see how you can be a quarter quarter pushover, right? And then it’s nobody’s fault but your own because you didn’t realize you had that opportunity to say no. And many times, like you said, We fear of what are they gonna think of us and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But at the end of the day, what you think of us should be the most important thing not from a, again, an egocentric, but from a place of, I’m doing my best. And I have my own back, regardless of how I showed up, I am human, I make mistakes. But if you’re doing it from a place of I’m doing it because of how I want to role model for my kids or for my community or for whatever, because this is what feels right for me, then that’s different. And so we all have manuals, manuals are like a set of instructions on how we wish things would happen. So for example, I have a manual on how I wish my mom would behave, or my husband would behave, or my patients would behave. And the thing is, I don’t tell them and like it’s in my all in my brain, and then I’m upset that they’re not meeting my expectations. And that’s where the problem happens, where we think that it’s outside of us, that they’re responsible for making me feel happy or peaceful or whatever. But again, it’s not. It’s my job to realize what is happening. People said words, how am I reacting to it? How am I showing up? And how am I having a conversation from a place of trying to understand myself and understand them, and know that we’re all human, and nobody’s trying to do anything to anybody, and it’s my responsibility, how I show up, and it’s a boundary that I need to be aware because if I don’t then I give all my power of wave. Whether I had a good day or a bad day depends on how many patients showed up or if they were mean to me or they were nice to me. That’s not a place to live because we No life is gonna happen. And if you just wait for others to do what they do be human, forget it. So if you at least know, okay,

Dr. Diana Mercado  30:12

I take care of me, I have a boundary in terms of, I don’t overwork myself, I have a day off here, I have a day off there, this is my fun time, this is my rest time. You know, batteries have to get recharged. If you had a cell phone, if you have a car, they need gas, right? You too, you need to get recharged so that you can think, well,

Dr. Richard Harris MD  30:36

yeah, there’s a lot of key points there. One, if you don’t have any type of external conflict, you will have a lot of internal conflict. And I’m gonna say that, again, if you don’t have any external conflict, you will have a lot of internal conflict. When you’re setting a boundary with someone, it is a form of external conflict, because your opinion and what you want is going to differ from somebody else’s opinion and what they want. But if you just strive to confer to their opinion, and what they want, you may be thinking that you know what, I’m just doing this. So I don’t have any conflict, but you’re going to create internal conflict, an internal conflict is a lot harder to solve, because we tend to bury it, then external conflict and internal conflict will manifest itself as a whole host of problems. You know, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, like acting out substance abuse, all kinds of problems can manifest from internal conflict. So do not be afraid to set those boundaries, because you can’t avoid conflict. And I’d much rather have a little bit of external conflict than a lot of internal conflict. And then what you said about realizing what the boundaries mean, this is opportunity cost. There’s a finite amount of time. And so when you devote time to something, you’re taking that time away from something else. And you have to think about what am I sacrificing this time for? Is it something that’s really going to be for my Betterment for their betterment? A lot of times when you help people, I’m sorry, you’re not helping them, you’re hurting them. And you know, I’m gonna lose a lot of people with that, but it’s the truth. A lot of times, if you’re not helping someone help themself, then you are hurting them. If you help them help themselves, and you’re helping them, if you enable them, they’re not helping themselves, you’re hurting them. So realize what you are putting your time to, am I actually helping this person? Or am I enabling this person? Because there’s a big difference? What you talked about on control? The space between stimulus and response is the space that we control. A lot of times we think about, oh, I can’t believe this person acted this way. Or they did this. Or they said that, why are you talking about stuff you have zero control over? My response to that is okay, well, what did you do about it? What did you do about that situation that you could control? And a lot of times people will be like, Oh, well, um, you know, I said this, and I probably shouldn’t have done that. So I’m like, Okay, you were focused on the part you couldn’t control instead of the part that you can control, focus on the part that you can control. And that’s personal responsibility. There’s a huge accountability problem in this country, huge. We blame everybody else except ourselves. When most of the time you’re the problem, I’m sorry, in this day and age, with the access that we have with the technology that we have, with the ease of information that we have, like if I want to learn how to do anything, I can literally find out at least a good basis in five minutes. So don’t rely on other professionals don’t rely on other people exclusively, you have to have some personal accountability in the situation and stop blaming other people. Now, we alluded to this earlier and about decisions because we have to make a lot of decisions every day. I mean, I think it’s like what we make 1000s of decisions every single day. I don’t know the exact number off the top of my head, but there’s a lot of decisions we make. And you talked about willpower earlier is finite, right? Our decision making capacity is finite, it’s not infinite, you will get decision fatigue, you will run out of willpower. So how do we optimize our ability to make good decisions before we have decision fatigue?

Dr. Diana Mercado  34:25

Yeah, so that’s a great question. Let me just make one statement about what you just share, because it was so good. I just want to make sure that your listeners caught that. The fact that when we think we’re helping other people. Sometimes we’re not necessarily especially like, for example, if you have that patient that comes in entitled ride screaming at people that are bullying people around so that you could see them and quote unquote, they feel like they’re VIP. And you do give in you’re teaching them that that’s okay. As to be a park, that it’s okay to mistreat other people. And that’s not the case. That’s why in my control substance I put on there, that there are certain speculations. And if you’re rude to me or my staff, you are discharged from my clinic, because my staff is just as important as I am. And if their mental health is not taking care of, I don’t need tired employees, just because like the, the patients think they’re VIP. And the same thing with their families, right? Sometimes we are, quote, unquote, financially a little bit more stable. So they just expect that you’re going to take care of the problems that they’re having, because well,

Dr. Diana Mercado  35:45

you can afford to right, but the thing is, like she just said, We cannot, by trying to help others enable them such that they become crippled, right? We cannot care more for them that they can care for themselves. And the same thing for us. I cannot expect everybody else to care more than I care for myself. And so just like he stated, What did you do about XYZ? People were screaming, what did you do? People were talking? What did you do? Again, it’s how you reacted to whatever was happening. And so that’s where it’s so important. And this goes to your question about decisions of whether you have ADHD or not, we all have what is called executive function. What does that mean? It’s our ability to make decisions. So like I was talking about in the morning, when we wake up, hopefully, we had at least seven hours of sleep, that’s ideal. But when we wake up, we’re refreshed. And so our ability to make decisions, depending because some of us are morning persons, and some of us don’t wake up till noon, kind of right. But for the most part, or ability to make decisions are pretty quick, we can do a really good job in the mornings when we’re refreshed. But most of us who have gone through med school and residency they work does. So it doesn’t matter what time of the day, you have to make a decision, you’re going to make it and you’re going to make it because that’s just how they trained us. But despite that, when you know that your brain has the capacity to make decisions earlier in the day, compared to later in the day, then you start to understand how you function because if I were to say, hey, Richard, it’s 7am, you want to have a margarita with me? You’re gonna probably think you’re crazy. Yeah, no, what are you talking about? But if I call you at 7pm, it might be different. You’d be like, Yeah, let’s go I had a date. Right? Why? Because again, at the end of the day, the amount of decisions that you made, just kind of maybe was one too much. And you’re just kind of spent. And so by decisions, the way to be able to optimize your decisions is, again, sounds silly, going back to the planning. But if you have decided you want to start to exercise, you need to know when, where, why and how right, you need to know, on Tuesday, at 3pm. I’m going to the park for 20 minutes, and this is what I’m doing. And if you already made that decision ahead of time, when that time comes, you don’t have to think about it again, because you already decided you don’t have to waste time. I used to be somebody who all day I wanted to decide what I was going to eat. Or why do I feel like eating today and like my whole day was revolving around or do I want care? Do I want this? Do I want that in like so many decisions, and then I didn’t even know what I wanted and I never even decided and so deciding that when I finally said okay, you know what? The rest of the week I’m going to eat peanut butter jelly sandwich for breakfast every day. I’m going to buy a peanut butter, a loaf of bread and bring the peanut butter every morning. I’m just going to eat that. That’s five decisions I didn’t have to make and if I decided for dinner, we’re gonna cook chicken and and beef. And then one day because he has one day is loaded nachos one day is baked potato. I didn’t have to worry about I already decided and you’ll do leftovers. And again, those sounds silly but they add up to the amount of when you’re there. Am I gonna not workout because I don’t know where my sports Briars or I don’t know where my shoes are. Or I woke up five minutes late. Remember brain is gonna come up with all kinds of roadblocks. And if you have not decided that this was important enough for you and you have not helped yourself to get clear on how you’re going to accomplish that task. Then because you have so many other things that come your way. That decision is going to be easy for you to put off So, planning your time off is a decision that is important. Planning, your time to sit down and execute the things that you don’t want to do. But you know, are necessary to do like, you need to close your charts because otherwise nobody gets paid, not you, not the people working with you, because that’s how that works. If you do not do the things that are needed, because you are tired decision fatigue, then it’s not gonna get you anywhere. And you’re gonna wonder how you woke up and like life is just passing you by and you’re not doing what you wish you were doing, because you didn’t make the decision.

Dr. Richard Harris MD  40:44

Yeah, absolutely. It’s what you alluded to earlier in when you have an identity value, you don’t have to make decisions. It’s just this is what we do. Because I know my identity, I know my values. This, if you have like four or five different options, there’s going to be one option that aligns with your value and your identity. So you don’t have to decide, it’s okay, this is the path I’m going. And then if you are making a decision, pre plan, I always tell people, in moments of strength prepare for moments of weakness, if you just say, I’m going to exercise that’s so amorphous, that it’s never going to happen. You’re never going to hold yourself to that. If you say, I’m going to go to the gym on Tuesday from seven 8pm. I’m going to do this chest exercise, I’m gonna do squats, I’m gonna do deadlifts. I’m gonna be there for 45 minutes, and I’m gonna go home. If you say that to yourself, the likelihood of you doing it is much higher, because now you’ve crystal lies that vision. It’s not some amorphous concept of exercise. It is. This is my concrete plan. It’s like when you start a business having a business plan, or if you’re going to college, I’d be like, Yeah, I’m going to call it What’s your major? I don’t know. I’m going to college. Oh, Kay. Like, what is? What does that mean? Right, the more specific you get on these details, the less you have to think about in the moment. So pre plan these moments with as much detail as possible, because it tells your brain a story. And we like cohesive stories. So if I have that story in mind, when I step in there, it’s a lot easier for me to go through, and then finish and then move on to the next task. And

Dr. Diana Mercado  42:27

if you write it down, you actually have a 40 to 50% chance that that will crystallize and actually become a product that gets completed, versus just an idea in your brain because we have 40 to 60,000 thoughts a day. And so if you don’t direct your brain to focus on something, then it’s not going to think it’s a priority. And if this is really a priority, if you write it down, it’s more likely that it’s going to happen. And now a one thing about motivation that I think you asked me about earlier, you know, nobody is like, oh my god, I can’t wait to do XY see, right? If you go back to the why, why do I need to close these charts? What I need to close these charts because we need to get paid? Because I want to go home to my family? Because I don’t want to be pajama charting, right? If you know the why? And then you have to ask, well, how can I make the decision ahead of time, so I have a protected time. Or I do something every single time so it becomes a routine. So after every patient encounter, give yourself the five minutes to close the chart, because that’s when your brain has the short term memory that is to sharpest and you put it there you close your chart, make it fun, make it a game, you don’t want to chart I don’t either, but how can I chart this the shortest amount of time when I made my top shape of what I knew happened with that patient and you can apply that to anything. Like if you’re going to do laundry will decide ahead of time, okay, Tuesday’s is my laundry day or Saturday is my laundry day. Like if you know when it is then there’s no like drama of like, oh, what can I feel like it we’re never gonna feel like so now you have decided that, whether I feel like it or not, this is something that I’m going to do at this point because I decided this is something I’m going to do. And so batching it’s making that decision that I am just gonna focus on lab. So I’m just going to focus on patients calls or I’m just going to focus on charting, those are a decision that you just made that you’re going to do a certain amount of time whether you feel good or not, whether you’re motivated or not. And it’s just like the muscle right at the beginning. Of course you’re gonna want to bomb it every time you do it. But the more that you tell yourself, why you’re doing it, how this fits into the bigger picture. Because if you were like Me, I was always having to pay for the Wi Fi when I’m going to somewhere exotic. And then pissed off that, you know, it’s so slow that I can’t close the notes and then just give up on it. And then I’m actually at the beach trying to chart trying to finish. That’s not a vacation, you’re still working. Versus if you decide no, I’m going to, even though I don’t want to, I am going to do this in a systematic way so that I can continue to have x, y, z, you’re looking at? How can I make it fun? But how can I still do what I need to with the shortest amount of time since I don’t want to be in here forever?

Dr. Richard Harris MD  45:41

Awesome. Well, thank you for coming on the show today. If people want to learn more about you, you have your own podcast, where can they go to find your information? Sure,

Dr. Diana Mercado  45:49

yes, I now have a podcast that is called Beyond ADHD. It’s a physician’s perspective. And so if they want to find me on my website, it’s ADHD, dash life, Coach comm if you know any medical students that want to talk about ADHD, or time management, or if you’re a physician who you feel that you just don’t have enough time, you know, talk to me so we can talk about charting or in basket or decluttering your house or whatever you need to do. Because really, it’s always about the mindset. And sometimes if you’re like me, you just need to have that accountability on somebody who’s gonna be you know, somebody who believes you can do it, but somebody who’s gonna call out your BS sometimes, because sometimes we need that type of love to be able to be like, Okay, what do you really want? And how do we get there? And being accountable to somebody or to a group of people who are there to help you level up makes the world of difference?

Dr. Richard Harris MD  46:54

Absolutely. If you want to get someplace, find a group of people all trying to get there and you’ll get there much faster with a lot more insight than when you started. So Well, thank you for coming on the show. Today. We’ll have all that information in the show notes. To the listeners strive for great health podcast. Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. Y’all have a blessed day. Thank you for listening to strive for great health podcast with your host Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal at the podcast to impact as many lives as possible to empower individuals to take control of their health, and live a life full of joy and purpose. You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform. And by sharing this podcast with anyone you think it may help. You can also support the podcast by making a donation to your favorite charity. If you do so and send us an email. We’ll give you a shout out on the podcast. Because here’s the strive for great health podcasts. We’re all about charitable giving and making the world a better place. Thank you for listening, and God bless

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