Time Blindness & ADHD

There are different ways that someone can be aware of time. The passing of time, being able to know how much time is left before an event, and so on. There are ways to know, both internally and externally.

However, for those with ADHD, it is a slightly different story. It doesn’t perceive time this way. The ADHD brain has a different perception of time.

What Is Time Blindness?

Time blindness is the inability or difficulty to accurately measure time, sense the passing of time, or remembering when a certain memory took place.

This is something that those with ADHD do struggle with. They tend to be what is called “time blind”. ADHDers aren’t aware of the passing of time in the same way as neurotypicals generally are. Managing time effectively is a struggle. 

Time management is one of the executive functions that doesn’t come easily for ADHDers. 

Time Blindness & ADHD

There are a few reasons why those with ADHD struggle with time blindness. Research done on the subject has found some ways to explain why time is a struggle for those with ADHD. 

One explanation is that ADHDers have a difficult time with circadian rhythm, which is basically someone’s internal clock based on the earth’s rotation.

Another reason is that the brain uses memory, attention, and dopamine in order to predict time. All three are a struggle for kids and adults with ADHD. 

ADHD impact and affect three different time-related areas of the brain, which are motor timing, perceptual timing, and temporal foresight.

So, ultimately, it really all comes down to how the brain is wired and how ADHD affects our brain.

Ways to Overcome It

As frustrating as it can be, there are strategies and things that we can do to overcome our time blindness. 

One thing that can be helpful is becoming aware of the areas that may be impacted the most by time blindness. This can be a good place to start. It can help you know where to focus your attention.

Having multiple alarms can be another helpful strategy. It can be a good reminder of what you need to do and be able to stay on track.

Breaking big tasks into smaller ones can be feel less overwhelmed, stay on track, and be able to get things done.

Sometimes, asking for professional help is what we need. There is nothing wrong with realizing we need some serious help and asking for it. 

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