Time Management and ADHD

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Time management is such a critical thing for we ADDers. Those of us with Attention Deficit Disorder experience time differently than people without ADHD.

While we perceive time as being elastic, they see it as relatively inelastic. By elastic I mean that when we’re doing something we enjoy, time flies by and when we’re bored, it drags.

Now I’m sure that people without ADHD have experienced the same thing to some degree, but not to the extent that we do.

We also are very poor judges of time passing. My daughter Caitlin swears that she can get to her friend Katy’s house in 15 minutes and the mall in 5, but the truth is that the mall is 15 minutes away and Katy’s house 30 minutes. And don’t even talk to me about how much time it takes to get ready – I don’t think any of us know the answer to that one.

So what can we do to manage our time more effectively? Here are some ideas:

Find out how long it really takes. set a stop watch (I bet your cell phone has one) or just note the time. Then behave as you normally do and note the time when you’re done. I bet you’ll be surprised. I found out that I can clean my kitchen in less time than I thought and that if I just allow a few extra minutes, I don’t have to rush everywhere.

Get yourself an analog clock. That’s the old fashioned kind with hands. Put it where you’ll see it as you’re getting ready to leave the house or wherever you need it. An analog clock gives those of us with ADD a much clearer picture of time passing and time left than a digital clock, cause we don’t have to do the math. 🙂

Add in more time, especially when you’re going somewhere or doing something you don’t usually do. If you get lost, hit traffic, or hit a snag, you’ve got time to handle it.

Be realistic about your to do list. You really can’t do it all, or at least not in one day. My husband Mark is notorious for this. The man can come up with a list a mile long of things he wants to do in the next 8 hours. Of course, he never gets it done and then he just feels bad. Use the add more time rule here, too. Allow yourself twice as long as you think you’ll need to get things done, and don’t try to do too much in one day.

Finally, build in some time for absolutely nothing (unless that’s what you do most days – nothing). After all the rushing around, trying to fit things in, and getting it all done, you deserve some time to just relax. Just remember, you can’t relax unless you’ve done something first.

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of Lacyestelle.com and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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