Mental Map of my Day

So, yesterday I mentioned that I make a mental map of my day but that I’m not sure if other people do that.

Here’s how it goes for me-

I have a vague mental image of a calendar that I bring to mind throughout my day.

Anything that has to happen at a specific time is ‘blocked off’ – it’s a fixed point.

So my mental calendar of my day might be a kind of blank space from 9-11:30 on which ai know I am going to work but I haven’t decided on specific tasks, then a blocked-off section for a meeting at 11:30, then another for lunch with my family, then more work time.

On a regular day, I don’t do a lot of visualizing of specific tasks, I just have that mental calendar.

But on a busy day, or on a day when the timing of tasks matters (on Tuesday, I had to bake cookies before my friend got here for tea), I actually do a short mental rehearsal.

I might even start the night before, imagining myself getting out of bed getting dressed and then making tea while putting the oven on. Then I’ll imagine making the cookies and putting a load of laundry in while they are in the oven. Once my imaginary cookies are on the future table, I might visualize my client’s face on my screen for a Zoom meeting, and then my hands on the keyboard writing something. If I know I have to run an errand, I’ll get a quick flash of me walking the right direction in the store.

This mental mapping is great when I’m in charge of my day but if something comes up and I have to change my plan then I need a few minutes to recalibrate – as if the GPS guiding me through my day needs to do some calculations.

I think I have always done this unconsciously but I’m the last few years I have often chosen to do it so I can feel less harried on busy days when I have a lot to remember.

I have gotten the impression that either this mental mapping is an unusual thing to do or that the way I do it/describe it is odd.

So, once again, I’m left wondering – Is this an everyone thing? A me thing? An ADHD thing?

Either way, becoming conscious of my mental map has been really helpful for me. Not only can I make use of it to get things done but knowing that I have automatically done it has helped me to understand why I get frustrated when I have to add things in that I haven’t ’rehearsed.’

And knowing why I’m frustrated helps me manage that feeling and keeps me from being cranky at someone for a perfectly reasonable request.

I prefer to save my crankiness for when I need it – I don’t want to waste it on ordinary things. 😉