Time blindness is one of the most common symptoms of ADHD.
If you consider yourself to be a victim of underestimating or overestimating how long things take, you’ll be happy to know that it is a symptom of ADHD that you can overcome.
Yes, the condition is real, and it can be managed.
Here is how it can impact others
People with ADHD have trouble keeping track of time.
This is what psychologists call “time blindness” or “time disorientation.”
They are unable to estimate time intervals, and they forget appointments and deadlines easily.
They can’t tell what time of day it is. This problem may be due to a number of factors, including the following:
WHY IS TIME BLINDNESS MORE PREVALENT AMONG ADHD INDIVIDUALS?
The problems with time arise from the differences in how our ADHD brain perceives time and performs the actions necessary to accomplish a task.
It is a problem that is usually related to a difficulty with planning, organizational skills, and memory which you guessed it are part of executive function deficit.
People with ADHD think and perceive time in a way that does not match with the way neurotypicals perceive time.
This is a difference in the way people with ADHD and people without ADHD perceive time.
Our perception is out of sync with other people and it can cause us to be late for school, work, or appointments.
Explaining ADHD Time Blindness To Others
Forget the label.
Now this may sound counterintuitive.
Because it makes sense to share why you do what you do to others in a neat package.
But we know nothing about ADHD is neat.
And the labels we use have often got many people’s preconceived ideas and unconscious biases.
So instead of hearing your challenge with time, they are hearing an “excuse”.
So instead of feeling that you can’t share your struggles,
Some people just won’t get it and after a while you start to recognize that your job is never to convince
So, how do you explain time blindness without taking on other people’s biases
Here are a couple of ways to disclose time blindness and get support at the same time
I am not sure how long tasks that will take me so just remind me in 20 minutes please
Sometimes time goes by and I have no idea where it goes, time goes by when I am having fun
WAYS TO HANDLE ADHD TIME BLINDNESS
Step 1: RescueTime
Let’s face it, most of us could stand to be a little more productive. Whether we’re trying to get ahead at work, complete a project on time, or free up some leisure time, increasing our productivity can be a real challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to identify and eliminate time sinks so we can focus on what’s important and get more done in less time.
One of the first steps is to take an honest look at our working habits.
Do we procrastinate?
What distractions do we allow ourselves?
Once we have a better understanding of how we work, we can start setting smart goals and tracking our progress. By taking these small steps, we can achieve big results in terms of productivity.
In order to truly manage time blindness you need to raise awareness of what is actually taking up your time
Understand the apps and sites that keep you from getting work done.
When you know what drains your day it’s much easier to create strategies to support you
My own co-occurring neurodivergence and competitive profile means if I am not measuring it, I tend to not do it
It’s that black and white thinking, all or nothing battle I tend to fall into
Here is what RescueTime shows you.
What get’s measured get’s improved which brings me onto…
Step 2: Mind Map
Create a mind map
I like mindview
But you can choose the tool of your choice
Then decide what needs to be …
Which then follows onto taking action on the most important things that move the needle forward…
Step 3: Pomofocus
Pomofocus is like having your own personal chef who helps you create the perfect recipe for success.
It’s a customizable timer to help you achieve your goals by keeping track of time so that you can get the most out of it!
Pomofocus works on desktop & mobile browser.
The aim of this app is to help you focus on any task you are working on, such as studying, writing, or coding. This app supports the Pomodoro Technique.
What is Pomodoro?
The Pomodoro Technique is part of a productivity method based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility. Every task and/or project should be broken down into sections that are 25 minutes long with short breaks in between where you do something you enjoy as it helps create a sense of excitement and prevents burnout by never letting your mind get too tired. The method was developed by Francesco Cirillo, an Italian university student who first used it to stay awake while studying.
This how to get the most out of Pomofocus
Decide on what goal you want to achieve using Mindmapping first
This will help you see your big picture first and see how subtasks contribute to the meaning of this task.
- Add tasks to work on today
- Set estimate pomodoros (1 = 25min of work) for each tasks
- Select a task to work on
- Start timer and focus on the task for 25 minutes
- Take a break for 5 minutes when the alarm ring – don’t skip this step as this real break is imperative so that you don’t fall into hyperfocus mode. These breaks should involve some form of play
- Iterate 3-5 until you finish the tasks
Pause don’t stop when you come across an obstacle
If you have taken Productive AF with ADHD course you would have implemented obstacle mapping.
Here are some final tips
- Acknowledge progress (a destination is reached by taking one step at a time)
- Celebrate the small wins (what get’s celebrated get’s replicated)
Time blindness is a common problem for many people, and it can cause you to feel like your life is passing you by. But there are ways to stay on top of the activities you have planned, and be more aware of what’s happening.
If you found these three simple steps to overcoming ADHD time blindness helpful, why not share it, so you can come back to it later.