Blog Post | It's Now!


It's Now!


Have you ever told yourself you are going to do all the things today? Yep, me too, but after you look up, you have only done one thing mainly because you didn’t realize how long it was going to take you. Hello time blindness!

There is an excellent video from Russell Barkley explaining time blindness. It helped me to understand more about what time blindness is. This is what I took away. ADHD can come with the now and the not now. The now is more compelling than the information you are holding in your mind, and you will get pulled along by the now. Its nearsightedness to the future (dealing with things near in time). The further out something is, the more challenging it becomes. That is why with ADHD everything can be last minute because it's the now.

So now what do you do with this information? You need to find those unique strategies that work with your perception of time instead of against it. Here are some ideas to consider.

Take notes to sum up your day: 

With ADHD, you may not know what happened on what day, or even the morning may seem far off. It's helpful to keep track of what has happened, how you felt, and how long ago it happened. When you look back, you can get a better picture of what you were feeling and doing on any ‌given day.

Externalize it:

Since it's hard to feel time, and easier to see it, try to add in a tool that will help you out. Analog clocks are great for this visual, along with apps that chime to give you a sense of the half and quarter hour. Tools can make it easy to make the passage of time more visual and help us make that intentional choice to look at the clock and bring awareness to it.

Buffer that time:

When you must be at work at 8:00, what time do you start getting ready and what time do you leave? If you associate the event with 8:00, most likely, you will not get ready until then. Instead, focus on the time you must get ready, and the time you must leave for the event. If you change the “event” time, you will be more conscious of how long it will take. Add that buffer time if you don’t know how long something will take. 

Use a timer: 

Timers are a great way to go when you need support getting out of hyper-focus, giving yourself a break, and transitioning to another task. It also helps with the “I can squeeze in just one more thing -itis.” 

You don't need the perfect tool: 

I have fallen into this one. I need this new shiny thing now to move forward. We search for the perfect tool, and if we don't have it, we won't move forward with the thing. And now we are stuck! Don't wait for the perfect time. Start with what you can do now and build from there.

It's important to remember this isn't intentional. The ability to organize around those intentions is what it's about. To quote Dr. Barkley, “ADHD is not a problem of knowing what to do… it is a problem of doing what you know.” 


Kelly Thorell
ADHD Coach | Center For Living Well with ADHD, LLC

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