Boggle Bait

Phillip Martin artwork – THANKS!


Excerpted from my upcoming Boggle Book ©Madelyn Grifith-Haynie-all rights reserved.

Understanding Boggle Build-up

In the last section, Anticipating Boggle, you began to pay attention to the unique way that YOU build to the Boggle point, and you began to capture your personal triggers in real time.

Continue what you’ve been doing for the rest of the month, with the addition of a few more lists that will give you the perspective of specialized cycles.

That Time of the Month

Every one of us has regular dips in functioning, male or female, ADD or non. Your biological rhythms are not constant. They are, however, predictable, given close enough attention.

Have you ever taken the time to observe those times of the month when things go well, as well as those times of the month when they do not?

  • Do your eating patterns change during this period?
  • How about your sleep habits?
  • What ELSE is different?
  • How does that affect your functioning?

Write down anything you can recall from memory, and begin to pay attention to the changes through the cycle of a month as you continue to track your day-to-day Boggle triggers.

The Year in Review

Mentally review the Boggles of the past year. Fill in as many of the above details as you can remember.

  • Don’t forget to look at major holidays and personal anniversaries.
  • Factor in high overtime periods at work.
  • Think about bills that occur only periodically (property taxes, insurance payments, tuition)
  • How about the weeks when the kids are home from school? Or the months when they go BACK to college?

Boggle Bait

Write down every month of the year, in chronological order, on several sheets of paper. Skip at least six lines between each month to give you room to make some notes.

List at least five possible Boggle triggers for each month – over and above the “regular and recurring” Boggles.  I promise you, there are at least that many potential triggers for each of us who struggle with Boggle.

NOTE: It is not necessary that you actually Boggled to list it.

Some of you are coping fairly well with Boggle already. This exercise will help you refine your functioning further.

We’re noting potential triggers here. If a major blow-up followed a particular trigger on your monthly list, mark it with a star, or circle the item.

Put a check-mark next to the times you “overcame” Boggle points on the way to the Big Bang Blow-up that will surely be farther down on your list.

The Boggle Master List

Now, make a list of your sure-bet Boggle triggers.

  • Does your sister-in-law make you crazy?  Always – or only after a certain amount of time in her company — or whenever she’s the one in charge of family celebrations? If you want to insist it’s always, before you write that down, see if you can think of even ONE time when she didn’t. What was different about that one? Check out the location, who else was around, who “owned” the space where you got along?
  • Is filling out your time report a prescription for disaster?  Always, or only certain times? WHICH times? Is there a period where there are more clients to track, for example? Or are there certain periods where there is an unusual amount of overtime that must be broken out in specific ways?
  • What about paying the bills, fixing breakfast, or making school lunches?
    Do your very best not to give in to black and white thinking here – we need the details.

Look at your life with the idea that you are going to eliminate all of the major stressors. List them all, even if you can’t envision a time when you could ever eliminate them.

Pay no attention to the little voice that says anything resembling the following:

My spouse is committed to the great room concept.
There’s no sense even writing down the lack of a door to close!

Well, the kids can’t LIVE at school – besides, I would miss them terribly.

Sally travels for work. What am I supposed to do, insist that she find a new job?

List everything that is a “toleration” for you — those things you are putting up with grudgingly because you don’t believe they will ever change or don’t think you are capable of doing what you would have to do to change them.

Tolerations are Boggle Bait. 

If you can’t eliminate the stressor, at least arm yourself for Boggle.

Take the time to do a complete inventory.

This is a task that, once completed, will precipitate a major shift in the way you handle your “volitility.” Unless you can find a way to predict Boggle and head it off at the pass, you might as well plan to live your life in your Boggle Space.

Go back to your Boggle journal. 

Armed with your master list, which of the Boggle points could you have predicted?

Yes, you do know, on some level, those things that tend to throw you completely out of whack.

  • You may not be willing to face the fact that such “silly little things” turn a normally rational human being into a raving lunatic.
  • You may not like the fact that you seem constitutionally incapable of of dealing with such a small irritant.
  • It may not be logical to your conscious mind that it should be so.

But you do know, on some level, that it is true that some things push you over the edge faster than others, logical or not.

As I said in the previous Boggle article:

Even though this is your list, it is not personal.   We are looking at facts here, not opinions.  Based on the evidence of your life, these items are major stressors for you.

Pay no attention to the fact that everyone else you know has absolutely no trouble with anything on your particular list of stressors. Give absolutely NO credence to the idea that “it makes no sense” for a grown person to be the slightest bit bothered by something that many fifteen year olds take in stride.

We are not talking about logic here; we are talking about evidence.

You have a bodily reaction to certain life events that releases a surge of adrenalin, whether those events affect others the same way or not.

  • Just because most people are not allergic to wheat does not mean that it is not highly problematic for others. You didn’t choose to be sensitive to your triggers any more than a person chooses to be sensitive to wheat.
  • Don’t waste time trying to figure out a way to talk yourself out of your sensitivity.
  • Make plans to limit your intake.

Stay tuned. In the next article in this series we are going to take another look at how to keep an episode of Boggle from turning into an entire DAY of Boggle. Before we wrap up this series, we’ll skim the surface of some of the science behind the phenomenon, focusing on what’s going on in your brain and how (and why) it recruits your body in behaviors that you darn well KNOW will mortify you!

BY THE WAY I have received quite a number of Boggle-related questions that are covered in the Boggle Book itself, though not part of the excerpted content.

Until The Boggle Book is available, rather than “reinventing the wheel” in an e-penpal fashion, it occurs to me that it might make some sense to use what would otherwise be penpal time to develop a Boggle TeleClass, where we can cover the content “live” (and do a bit of group coaching with follow-through).

So if you sent me a question that remains unanswered, that’s why. 

Leave me a comment if you would like to be notified when the TeleClass is ready to launch and I’ll save you a seat!

As always, if you’d like notification of future articles in the Boggle series (or any other), give your name and email to the nice form at the top of the skinny column to your right.  You only have to do this once, so if you’ve asked for notification for a prior series, you’re covered for this one.  STRICT No Spam policy.

Related Articles on this site

Articles in the Boggle Series
**Below: SOME content overlap – different info – Read BOTH

Coming up in the Boggle Series:

A bit of Related Neuroscience

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

One Response to Boggle Bait

  1. Pingback: Predicting Time to Manage Tasks | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

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