ADHD & Time Management: Can they Co-Exist

A client of mine recently said to me “I have to work on my time management but I never get to it!” Does this sound familiar? Problems with time management seem to lie at the heart of the difficulties faced by many adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD).

Everyone has issues with time management especially when life gets busy, priorities conflict and we over commit, but people with ADHD tend to have more trouble with time management then people without. For many people with ADHD time is not something that can be accurately estimated or judged.

Whether you have ADHD or not, you will find that there are many benefits to being able to manage your time. When you are in control of your time you will find yourself more relaxed, you will be able to accomplish what you want to, know what tasks you need to do and be able to prioritize and not over commit yourself.

Since many people with ADHD have so much trouble understanding time and truly can not internalize how time works, how can someone with ADHD ever expect to be on time?
Here are some strategies:

• Externalize time by creating visual, audible or tactile (sense of touch) cues.
• Use a SINGLE calendar, whatever kind you like and always carry it with you.
• Maintain a TASK list. It should include single actionable tasks not projects.
• Always wear a watch and hang up analog clocks in your office and home. Analog clocks show the passage of time as well as what time it is.
• Set your clocks accurately. If you insist on setting them ahead, make sure they are all set to the same time.
• Give yourself more time to perform a task then you expect it to take.
• Assume there will be traffic. Bring a book or something to do in case you are early.
• Schedule time with yourself to DO the projects on your list, don’t just write down due dates.
• Before you agree to take on a new task review what you have already committed to and decide if you can realistically add it to your load.
• Instead of allowing a project to take a certain amount of time from you, decide how much time you are willing to give it. Empower yourself to control your projects and your time!

Being in charge of your time is very powerful. What is one thing you can do today that will take you one step closer to getting there?