Are you always procrastinating things? Do you always struggle to meet a deadline? Are you always late for events or meetings? Then, there’s a high probability that you may be suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). While the disorder is mostly associated with children and adolescents, it’s also present in adults. When you are suffering from ADD, you usually have a disconnect with time management. However, before we explore the effects of ADD on time management, let’s look at a term that’s often interchanged with ADD.Book an Appointment
Difference Between ADHD and ADD
Most people often use the two terms interchangeably especially because the symptoms are similar. From 1994, medics decided that ADD is a form of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, the two differ in certain ways. When one has ADD, they rarely manifest hyperactive behavior. The person may even be too shy or quieter than the others.
Common Symptoms of ADD in Adults
Most people with ADD don’t even know that they have the disorder. However, some of the signs of the disease include:
- Poor organizational skills
- Poor time management
- Problems multitasking
- Poor planning
- Constant mood swings
How does ADD interfere with Time Management?
Let’s now look at how ADD affects one’s management and perception of time.
- Poor planning – When an adult has ADD, they lack organizational skills. For this reason, they rarely plan for things that often lead to failure. Planning helps conform one to a specific time frame within which certain milestones have to be achieved. With ADD, disorganization is the order of the day which often delays the achievement of goals.
- Procrastination – The Now/Not Now effect is common with people suffering from ADD. They are always putting off things and intend to them at a later date. They rarely get things done and when they do, it usually during the last minute. This results in chaos and frustration. For example, a manager who has ADD may keep postponing writing the agenda for a meeting until minutes to the sit-down. Procrastination results in delayed completion of tasks or at times, complete failure to do the task.
- Poor time management – As mentioned earlier, people with ADD have a poor perception of time. Experts who commonly refer to this as ‘time blindness’ agree that the sense of time for such people is impaired. Often, such people are seen as lazy or rude for not keeping time. However, it’s a disorder that needs compassion and understanding.
- Easy distraction – People with ADD often get easily distracted which makes them poor time managers. For example, such a person may be having a date with a friend but somehow gets distracted by something and ends up showing up many hours late. It’s sad but it’s common with people suffering from this disorder.
- Underestimating time – Another effect of ADD is that the person often underestimates the time needed to complete a task. Doing so may make one not complete a task or trip on time since the time they set aside to do it was too little.
Time Management Tips for People with ADD
A person with ADD can try doing the following to help improve their time management skills:
- Plan your day – One of the reasons why people with ADD fail to manage time properly is due to poor planning. However, writing down a to-do list before starting your day will help ensure that you follow through on things. You may struggle at the beginning but it gets easier as days go by.
- Set timelines – Another great way of improving time management is assigning specific time periods to given tasks. To make it work, you may set alarms on your watch or phone, which helps you monitor the time spent on a particular task.
- Prioritize tasks – In your to-do list, highlight three things that have to be achieved within a certain time period. Once you have marked these things, prioritize them. Such action will help you achieve much and ensures that time-sensitive tasks get done.
- Take breaks – Working for extended periods of time reduces productivity. Therefore, to manage tasks and time better, it’s important to take breaks. The rest will improve both physical and mental efficiency.
- Reduce clutter – Since disorganization eats into the time of people with ADD, it’s important to declutter as much as possible. Fewer things on one’s desks help ensure a clear mind which reduces the chances of getting distracted.
- Delegate – Part of the reason why one keeps postponing to do things is that they take up too many things at the same time. When one has ADD, delegating will help get things done in a timely manner without feeling the pressure to finish them yourself.
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Proper diagnosis of ADD and ADHD will help one to improve their time management skills. In case you have any of the above symptoms, it’s time you consulted a physician.