The time management struggle is real for many adults, but especially for those with ADHD. If you’ve been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, you know that productivity can be a serious challenge. There’s no need to stress, though – these 6 tips can help ensure time management doesn’t continue to be a struggle:
1. Create a to-do list
To-do lists are every organized person’s best friend, however, it can be easy to get a little over eager. Create a master to-do list at the beginning of each week with everything that needs to get done, followed by a to-do list for each day as well. Be realistic and allocate your tasks appropriately; give yourself enough time each day to complete what needs to be done. If you bombard yourself with a long to-do list, you may feel intimidated and hesitant to even get started. Prioritize your daily to-do lists and begin with the tasks that need to be done ASAP, while determining what can wait until later in the day or week.
2. Technology is your friend
When you use technology to your advantage, it can really assist you in making sure time management happens. Use the calendar app on your phone and computer to schedule your appointments and meetings. Set reminders so you don’t have to continually remember to check your calendar. Investing in planning software or downloading apps can also help you manage time better.
3. Use a timer/clock
Because ADHD minds don’t run according to a clock, time seems to pass quickly and more easily. In order to avoid this, make sure you have visual access to clocks in your home and workspace – the more the better! Timers are also helpful in assisting with time management because they are a physical reminder that time is passing. Set a goal for how long you expect a task to take and then set your timer in order to get it done in the allocated amount of time.
4. Make your projects more manageable
Big projects are a lot less overwhelming when you break them up into smaller ones. Once you’re assigned a project, break it up into X amount of smaller projects and put deadlines on each of them. Deadlines don’t mean anything, however, unless you follow through with them. Set reminders on your calendar or various other apps, and place sticky notes around your office reminding yourself of when your next small project is due. Another way to make projects more manageable is to remember to take breaks. This may seem counterintuitive – but you’ll actually be more productive and less inclined to experience burnout if you allow yourself small breaks throughout each day.
5. Avoid perfectionism
Perfectionism will have you spinning your wheels because “perfect” doesn’t really exist. If you worry about getting the “perfect result”, instead of getting a project done, you will never complete it. Strive to do a good job and complete your projects to the best of your ability, but don’t harp on the small things. Perfectionism also ironically causes procrastination. If you fear not being able to achieve the perfect result, it will hamper your ability to even start the project.
6. Keep everything in one place
A good way to ensure your mind isn’t scattered is to make sure your workplace and home aren’t scattered either. Carry a notebook with you everywhere you go. Instead of jotting down important thoughts on sticky notes or the back of your hand, write them in that notebook. When you keep everything in one place, you’ll be less inclined to forget about or lose track of important tasks.
Don’t let ADHD steal or limit your productivity. When you practice these tips every day, you’ll be able to make time management happen again!
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