10-10-10, Suzy Welch and a cure for A.D.D.

05/09/2009 01:04 am 01:04:11 | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I think I may have found a cure for my A.D.D. You know what A.D.D. is...that's when what's important loses out to what's interesting. In fact, even as I write this I've once again become seduced by what's interesting, i.e. blogging, when I should spend time focusing on preparations for the launch of my next book, Just Listen, due out September 09.

But it's 9:30 PM PST on a Friday night, I'm writing as I'm watching the Lakers win game three of their series against the Houston Rockets (Go Lakers!). And I've put in a full day and week, so screw it.

My full day was a triumph over A.D.D. thanks to Suzy Welch's terrific new book, 10-10-10. I attended a book signing by her at Borders Books in Westwood, California last night. She was introduced by her husband Jack. You remember him, the guy with the thick New England accent, used to run GE.

But I digress...darn that A.D.D.

Anyway Suzy's book 10-10-10 formula stands for thinking of decisions in your life in terms of what the result/consequences might be 10 minutes (immediate), 10 months (near term) and 10 years (long term) from now. Suzy talked of how she often had to weigh whether to disappoint one of her children or attend to a "crisis" at work. She felt that as much as she hated letting one of her children down (the 10 minute consequence) that not attending to something critical at work could come back at her 10 months down the road when she had a performance review. She explained how apologizing and then calmly explaining this to her child was not that difficult (she's probably one of those lucky parents who has forgiving children), especially since she knew she could make it up to them later on.

I used the first two 10's of her formula to maintain control over each distraction that like the Sirens of Ulysses called out to me to go off task today. Each time that happened I thought of what doing so would mean in 10 minutes. It would mean the beginning of checking twitter, facebook, my email all of which were not necessary, but could lead me further astray.

Instead I followed Suzy's advice and thought about the consequences 10 months from now. At that point it will be five months after my next book comes out. IfI have not done a good job with its launch, I will have missed out on an opportunity to reap the fruits of the last year and a half I have spent writing and taking precious time away from my family and my job and career.

The most powerful, life changing and upsetting use of her formula is the 10 year piece. It's what she refers to as the "going up the mountain conversation" you have with yourself. It's when you imagine yourself 10 years from now asking yourself if you have any regrets if you keep living your life the way you're doing it now. Such a question may reveal that you're deeply unhappy in your marriage or your career.

But discovering it and tapping into courage you never thought you had gives you the grand opportunity to change and give your life the happy ending that everyone wants.