The best tips for ADHD time management address some of the most prominent challenges for people with the condition. These include lack of awareness of time and difficulty staying organized or maintaining concentration. Addressing these problems, in addition to outsourcing tasks when possible, can help individuals with ADHD to manage tasks and other commitments in a more timely manner.
One of the major blocks to efficient ADHD time management is the awareness of time in the first place. Individuals with this condition can become so distracted by things such as conversations, television, and Internet surfing that they are constantly late to or entirely miss appointments and other daily responsibilities. In order to make the individual more aware of the passage of time, it can be helpful to use the timer feature on a phone or watch, or even a kitchen timer. These can be timed to provide a reminder of specific event or set to go off at a certain interval so that the individual will be forced to stop and decide if his or her attention should be focused elsewhere.
Often people with ADHD can become overwhelmed by tasks to be accomplished, either for a deadline or before leaving the house. For this reason, planning ahead can be another strong element of good ADHD time management. Taking proactive measures such as keeping all key items by the door, writing short to-do lists, or doing as much as possible before the destination time can all help to improve focus and timeliness.
Feelings of being overwhelmed by duties and events can also hinder effective ADHD time management. Individuals with ADHD can have difficulty gauging how much time assorted events and tasks can take. This can lead to overbooking and difficulty attending to everything. It can be helpful to keep track of all tasks and appointments in order to get a feel for what kind of a workload is actually manageable. The problem can be partly alleviated by the deliberate scheduling of downtime, which is often essential for individuals with the condition.
In addition to managing required tasks and commitments, it can be helpful for people with ADHD to outsource some of the things they do not necessarily need to handle themselves. This can be provided by family members, such as having a spouse take on a few responsibilities. It may also be provided by outside vendors, such as a bank providing automatic bill pay.