How Does ADHD Affect Time Management?

How Does ADHD Affect Time Management?

by Grace O’Neill and Dr. Elizabeth Snyder

New research provides further evidence to something that many of our clients and their parents already knew: persons with ADHD struggle with their perception of time.

People with ADHD typically focus solely in the present versus the near future. Time management may feel like a slippery, foreign concept, but it basically comes down to the tug of war between maximizing the present or maximizing the future. This results in some fair amount of conflict with others at home, socially and on the job.

What does this look like in the daily life of someone with ADHD?

  • They sit down for a five minute break, and are surprised when someone points out they’ve been on their phone for 30 minutes

  • They often run late

  • They avoid small tasks because they overestimate the time it will take them to complete the task

  • People who have trouble with attention regulation have real trouble with transitions from one thing to another.

So how are some ways you can work on time management?

  • Before a task, write down how long you think it will take you. Time yourself, and when you are finished compare the actual time with your predicted time

  • Use alarms and reminder apps to help you stay on schedule during the day

  • Break down bigger tasks into smaller chunks to better estimate the time. Running errands? Break that down into each place you need to go and how long you think it might take you

Time management can be hard to master, but with some helpful tricks and practice, you can improve your skills to help live a happier, less stressful life.

If these symptoms increase or worsen, feel free to give us a call to set up an appointment! You can also contact us at (734) 323-4897 or for more information. We hold life sessions in Novi, Michigan and offer teletherapy.

Zheng, Q., Wang, X., Chiu, K.Y., Kar-man Shum, K. (2022). Time Perception Deficits in Children and Adolescents with ADHD: A Meta-analysis. Journal of Attention Disorders, 26 (2). 267-281. DOI: 10.1177/1087054720978557