Now that you have an image of how you would like things to play out, it is time to discuss time. Time is a huge challenge for many people, but specifically for those with ADHD. ADHD can cause something we refer to as time blindness.
Time blindness is the inability to be aware of time as it is passing. Do you get lost in an activity, all of a sudden, jumping up, realizing that you missed an important meeting? Have you gotten busy with something only to realize that you were supposed to be out the door five minutes ago?
This is a challenge that many experience, but there are simple ways to build an awareness of time.
The first thing that I will ask you to do is to take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Now, fold one half in half again, so that you have three columns, one wide, and two narrow.
Think about all the things that you have to do for the rest of the day (or a few hours or tomorrow, whatever works for you). Make a detailed list of all the tasks you need to accomplish (literally everything- brushing teeth, eating a meal, washing dishes, checking email) during the selected timeframe. Once you have your list written down in the first column, move on to the second column. In this space you will record how long you think it will take you to complete each task (brushing teeth- 2 min, eating- 20 min, washing dishes- 10 min, checking email- 4 minutes).
Finally, as you go through the designated time frame, use a stopwatch to record the exact amount of time it actually takes you to complete each task.
Interesting, isn’t it?
For some people, they will have estimated way too little time for each task. Some people will way over estimate the time for each task. As you continue to do this, you will become more aware of the time you need for each task as you become more aware of time.
But what if you tell me, you don’t have enough time to do all this work. I have a faster, easier solution to make you more aware of time. It is a tool that almost everyone has at home…
A kitchen timer!
Set a timer for yourself (or your phone’s alarm clock) to go off every hour (or more frequently if that would work better for you), so that you are made aware of the time on a regular basis.
Knowledge of time as it applies to you is a tool that will improve executive functioning. Reply to this email letting me know what your experience is with these exercises! Enjoy!