Friday, August 18, 2017

How Do I Manage My Time as Someone With ADHD?

How Do I Manage My Time As Someone With ADHD?


Part of the problem with time management and ADHD is not havinga concept of time. People living with ADHD have experiences like swearing to themselves they will only be distracted for five minutes, then twenty-five minutes will somehow go by. Creating a time schedule is also a problem for this reason. Someone with ADHD might estimate a task will only take a short amount of time, without giving themselves more room for more time. As a result, their schedule gets confused and they feel more stressed

  • Put time in front of you as much as possible: The more you can see your time, the better idea you will have of what activities “cost” in terms of time. Without a constant visual on time, you aren’t aware of how much time is passing, meaning that five minute break is going to turn into twenty-five minutes all the time.
  • Create time awareness: You’re practicing time management as you learn to live with your ADHD but you’re still forgetting things and losing track of time, all the time. Devices like your phone, a watch, and your computer can help you create timers, alarms, and alerts to keep your attention on track, remind you of important things to do, and help you stay organized. There are many time management apps which track your activity and help you prioritize your tasks. You can share to-do lists with family members who can hold you accountable.
  • Leave yourself a note: You swore you weren’t going to put something off again, but here you are, stressing as a deadline looms. You really need to remember it this time so that you don’t do it again. Write yourself a note and keep it by your work station. Tell yourself in detail how this feels and list some of the ways you’re aware you got to this point. Next time you start leaning toward those tendencies, look at your note and remember why it's important to stay on task to get things done on time.
  • Get your tasks out of your head: ADHD is characterized by having overwhelming thoughts that run in no order, making the mind feel like chaos. It is the great obsession of every person with ADHD that they will be able to control their thinking and their to do list. Rather than set yourself up for disappointment and failure, work with your strengths and your weaknesses to create a productive system. Keep a bullet journal to take notes in all day. Many people with ADHD like keeping notepads and collecting their thoughts in one (or many) places.


ADHD is commonly co-occurring with substance use disorders. Characteristics like impulsivity and risk taking, along with high amounts of energy, and personal frustration can lead toward experimenting with substances. If you are struggling with managing your ADHD and substance abuse, call Cottonwood Tucson today. Our integrative approach to treatment has gained critical recognition as leading the industry for successful treatment. Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs: (800) 877-4520

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