Executive Functions: Time Management

Another part of executive function is time management. And that’s what this post will focus on today.

This is something that many of us are aware of, whether we consciously think about it or not. But it is still something we do need to talk about from time to time.

Time Management

As many of us may be aware, time management is the ability to organize and plan your time between different activities. It is the executive function in charge of knowing how long a task should take, or being able to what time we need to leave for an appointment, or how much time we need in order to get ready for this appointment, just to name a few.

For most neurotypical individuals, time management is not too difficult, for the most part. Some may be have some difficulty, but many may not struggle too much with this.

However, it’s not always as easy for those with ADHD. 

ADHDers don’t perceive time in the same as neurotypicals do, for the most part. For those with ADHD, there are two switches: now and not now. The fact that we struggle with planning, prioritizing and organizing doesn’t always help with our time management skills. 

ADHDers often struggle with what is referred to as ‘time blindness’. This basically means that ADHDers may be unaware of the passing time. 

In the ADHD Brain

As I mention, due to how our brain is wired, those with ADHD don’t perceive time in the same way as neurotypicals. For this reason, this can lead us into some situations that may not impact others.

Here are some examples of how ADHD and time blindness presents itself.

  • We are often running late
  • We easily underestimate how much time we need to do a task
  • We often scramble to get everything as we’re leaving
  • We miss deadlines
  • We struggle with long-term deadlines

These are just some examples of what ADHDers may experience due to their time management struggles. 

Strategies to Improve

Much like a lot of things, there are strategies that ADHDers can use in order to help with managing and improving their time management skills. 

Here are some strategies that have been helpful for ADHDers.

One strategy that can help is having a planner. Whether it’s an app or a paper planner, something that will be easy for you to use and look at. It can be beneficial to have one place to put all appointments, deadlines, kids’ activities, and any other information that you want/need to remember.

Another thing that can help is creating timers. Setting alarms. This can be used as a reminder to take a break, or leave the house, or to start a task, just to name a few.

Creating routines can also help you save time. If you create a morning and evening routine, this can help you save time to get out of the house on time in the morning, for instance. 

Creating a to do list everyday can be useful as well. The important thing to remember is to be realistic. Keep your to do list to a handful of task at most. Check your planner/calendar, see if you have anything scheduled for that day or the following days you need to prepare for, and take it from there. Break things down into manageable tasks on your to-do list.

So, these are just a few suggestions. As always there’s so many more strategies that can be helpful, but we’d be here for a while. So, these are just some ideas to get you started.

Final Thoughts

Being able to understand how ADHD affects our perception of time can be useful, for those with ADHD looking to improve their lives, or their time. Once this is done, it can give a better understand of what can help us. 

As challenging as it may be, it is more than possible for to become better at managing our time.

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4 Comments

  • Thanks for this! I know a lot of people struggle with this. I’m not diagnosed ADHD, but I struggle with a lot of executive dysfunction, and it can be really challenging.

    • Thanks for reading. It’s definitely challenging. I can certainly understand.

  • One of the reasons why I love reading blogs is because it gives you great insights into how other people perceive the world and in this case time. I love how you describe what time management means for people with ADHD. Although I can use some of the tips as well, this allows me some insight in how difficult it can be for others. Thank you.

    • Thank you for reading. I’m glad that you were able to gain some insight and it was helpful for you.

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