Have you ever been too distracted by insignificant things when working on something? Generally, it is a common effect if you are bored with the task, stressed, or anxious. Once the cause of your negative feelings is eliminated, you get back to focusing well. However, it is not the case for people with ADHD.
When engaged in exciting activities or when we are intensely concentrated, we usually feel as though time is passing quickly. But if you have ADHD, time blindness may be one of the symptoms. It makes timekeeping a daily challenge and feels like time is compressing or stretching. Sometimes, an hour seems to fly by for a time-blind person, while other times, it seems to last for an eternity.
Fortunately, various tried-and-true methods exist to help people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder control their symptoms. So, if you suffer from ADHD and time blindness, reading this will be helpful.
Do you struggle with symptoms of ADHD? Feel free to contact us if you need help.
What is Time Blindness?
Time blindness is the struggle to recognize the passage of time. Many people with ADHD feel so overwhelmed and confused when dealing with time pressures that they have problems in their careers and relationships. This symptom can also cause great difficulty and harm a person’s mental and emotional health and decrease their overall quality of life.
Time blindness can change a person’s internal system in many ways. These people often:
- Appear careless or incapable of managing time and require help with that.
- Can’t tell you the estimated time.
- Miss deadlines because they lose track of time.
- Get late because it takes them too long to get ready or to travel.
- Find it challenging to determine when exactly something happened.
ADHD and Time Perception
The brains of people with ADHD are wired differently. This description frequently refers to our executive functioning, primarily managing the organization, planning, problem-solving, working memory capacity and time management, and other cognitive processes.
ADHD impacts executive functioning, and a person may struggle with time perception. As a result, there may be difficulties in creating and defining schedules, significant daily routine variations, and time estimation issues. Worth noting that when people with ADHD acknowledge their symptoms and claim that their time blindness makes it harder for them to finish tasks or meet deadlines, they are not making excuses.
Hyperfocus and Time Blindness
Hyperfocus is a unique component of ADHD that might also impact how you perceive time. Hyperfocus makes a person concentrate so intently on a single task that he or she loses track of time. ADHD sufferers are sometimes in a “flow” state, where they are so focused on what they are doing that they are unaware of their surroundings. Hyper focusing can be advantageous, but it can also be harmful.
Management of Time Blindness
Developing personal habits and seeking professional support are frequently the best ways to manage time blindness. Here are a few tips that could assist you in meeting your deadlines and arriving on time.
Keep a Time Journal
It can be helpful to take a day or several days to write down how long your activities really take to complete. This correct data will help you better understand how much time you need to do your job, go to the store, do the dishes, etc. Maintaining a time journal can greatly aid in gathering the information required to ascertain where the time goes.
Take steps to prevent ADHD symptoms from affecting your daily life. ADHD experts are available to assist you.
Keep a Clock in Each Room
Despite how simple it may appear, having a clock in each area makes it much easier to keep track of time. Knowing the current time or how long a planned activity has taken might help you manage tasks better. You can keep on track by using other devices, such as an analog clock, to supplement this lost sense of internal time. This gives time a more real quality, especially when placed where people can plainly see the clock.
Make Use of Technology
Set alarms for meetings, departures, and other events on your smartphone. You can also think about looking at apps made for those with ADHD. They could assist you in scheduling your work and managing your time. Some of the apps that might come in handy are:
- Simple mind
- Rescue time
- Epic win
Prevent Hyperfocus Before It Begins
We experience hyperfocus so naturally that we may be unable to control it. It is not surprising to discover that we can’t stop once we start a task we love to do. Before completing something significant, try your best to avoid the types of tasks you easily hyperfocus on. If you simply can’t help yourself, enter with an alarm and the unwavering determination to break your hyperfocus from a specific task.
Take Breaks From the Schedule
When working, people with ADHD occasionally start to hyperfocus. Then, your cortisol levels increase if you don’t eat for a while. Also, burnout may arise from the resulting tension and stress. Small breaks and refreshments help you stay motivated and upbeat for extended periods.
Your motivation may be increased by scheduling a leisure activity to reward completing a work task. Examples include calling a friend or going for a walk. Also, remember to schedule time for meals.
Add Buffer Time
If you are bad at estimating how long a task will take or often require more time than you think, you can add buffer time to your estimated time. For example, you can give yourself two hours to edit an article if you estimate it will take an hour. This helps you avoid over-committing to your day’s agenda and offers you some breathing room in case you get sidetracked at any time (which, let’s face it, is very likely to happen).
Practice Early Bedtime
Getting to bed earlier is one strategy for coping with this symptom of ADHD. A restful night’s sleep can aid with concentration and focus, making it simpler to get through the day. Additionally, obtaining adequate sleep might improve mood, making it simpler to handle unavoidable daily setbacks.
Get rid of distracting factors and establish a productive environment that promotes continuous focus. For instance, food and technology devices can be sources of distraction. Before beginning work, eating a substantial meal and setting a glass of water out on the work table may also be beneficial. This avoids trips to the kitchen, which would break up your mental process and attention span.
Break Down Intimidating Tasks
Individuals with ADHD often experience a state of inactivity or “freeze” when faced with significant changes, such as preparing for the day. They are aware of time passing, yet the task appears overwhelming, making it challenging to initiate. A practical strategy is dividing the task into smaller, manageable steps, commencing with the simplest one, and then estimating the required duration for each step. By utilizing this technique, one can obtain a more precise assessment of the time required to complete the project.
Get Help From a Coach
ADHD coaching can provide you with practical strategies to manage your time. A coach will also help you develop structured routines and tell effective techniques to prioritize tasks.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy can help individuals with ADHD identify and challenge negative thought patterns contributing to time blindness. It can also help individuals develop problem-solving and time-management skills, such as setting achievable goals and using self-monitoring techniques.
Although every person’s experience of having ADHD is different, the symptoms of time blindness are quite common. It can be managed with lifestyle tips, but sometimes, it can be difficult to cope without professional help. Contact us today to get your symptoms checked and know what medication, therapy, and approaches for behavioral management can help you reduce ADHD symptoms.