Baby Steps for Better Time Management


Time awareness is a familiar challenge for those with ADHD. Often referred to as time blindness,  people have difficulty knowing how long a task will take, knowing how much time to allocate for transitions such as leaving for an appointment to be on time, or how long they are spending on a task. Start with baby steps in creating more time awareness to begin better time management.


Build data

Learn about time by building data about your use of time. Start by using a clock to time the duration of tasks at home like getting ready in the morning, winding down in the evening, or unloading the dishwasher. Clock tasks at work such as reading and responding to emails or completing a report. You are better prepared for setting up time blocks with this information.

Analyze patterns in your day to learn about your personal productivity. Learning your chronotype, when you work best during the day, helps you know when to schedule your tasks and projects. Focus on the positive and assess the situation, time, or location that prompted your success.


Externalize time

Using an external tool to help you become more time makes it easier to see or feel time. Add an analog clock in spots where time is lost. This type of clock, with arms that move, offers a visual reminder of time. Use a timer to hear the beginning, duration, and end of an allocated time. Set alarms and reminders to start and complete tasks. Each of these external time managers helps keep you on track.

Calendars are one of the best external tools for time management. With a place for dates, appointments, and tasks, you no longer have to remember this information. Update your calendar as information comes in and refer to your calendar all day throughout the day. Widgets make your calendar visible on the locked screen of your devices.

There are many more digital tools to help you on your journey, such as Alexa and Siri!


Get organized

Because of poor working memory, items can get misplaced and delay you. Be sure to have a “place for everything and everything in its place” to save time when you are ready to start a project or leave your home or office.  Have a reset time to replace items into their spots each week. Proactively being organized gives you the best opportunity to make use of the time you have.

Organize your calendar and reminders with cloud-based project management tools such as Click Up, Trello, and Asana. By integrating these, you are automating your time and task management.



Choose one of these baby steps to help you with your time awareness. Remember that time awareness is a work in progress and that you are learning as you progress.

5 replies
  1. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    I have a place for most things, but every now and then I still misplace things. This happens most frequently when I’m in a new space, traveling, etc. I find it helps me to speak out loud when I am putting something down in these situations, such as “I’m putting the hotel key on the desk.” Somehow saying it, and simultaneously hearing it, helps me remember. I think I must have a strong auditory sense, so hey, use whatever works, right?

  2. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    Just last week I had a conversation with a client during our virtual organizing session about time blindness. She identified it as something she experiences. We talked about possible ways to help including some of the things you mentioned. Great to know we’re on the same page, Ellen!

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