9 Key ADHD-Friendly Time Management Strategies

Editor’s note: Today’s guest post is by ADHD time management expert Kim Collins.

Most people have struggled with time management at some time in their lives.

However, when you have ADHD, a lack of time management skills can have a profound impact on your personal and professional life.

Imagine being late for work so many times that you eventually get fired. Or, being so distracted throughout the workday that you must stay late each night to get caught up — constantly disappointing family and friends.

Time management is difficult for people with ADHD. The very skills needed to manage time are controlled by the same part of the brain in which ADHD people are believed to have deficits.

Although, managing your time with ADHD can be challenging it is far from impossible. Here are some ADHD friendly time management strategies that can help:

  • It’s important that you choose the right kind of planner for your unique style. Planners are not a one-size-fits-all tool. Whether you choose a high-tech smart phone, a medium-tech day planner, a low-tech notebook, or a combination of the three, you should always customize your system to work for you. Your planner should be easy to use, always visible, and contain what you need to do, when you need to do it, as well as everything else you need to remember. Consider your planner an extension of your brain.
  • Alarm clocks and timers are extremely important time management tools. If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, try The Sonic Boom Alarm Clock [Amazon link]. If you need multiple alarms to keep you moving, The Invisible Timer [Amazon link] can help you become more aware of the passage of time and alert you to get moving.
  • If you are not good at estimating time, start timing your tasks and keep a record of how long things actually take. Always plan more time than you think you will need by doubling your time estimates.
  • Schedule your day so that you are working on tasks that require a lot of focus during your peak energy time. Try to group similar tasks such as making phone calls together in order to avoid multitasking.
  • Because prioritizing uses a lot of mental energy, do it when you have a fresh and alert mind. Prioritize on paper and not in your head. Establish criteria beforehand for prioritizing. Consider deadlines, return on investment, amount of effort required, and the amount of time you have available.
  • Create routines to help you manage your time. Having written routines for everything you need to do in the morning and evening can save you valuable time and take the pressure off your brain to remember everything.
  • Drown out distractions by creating a distraction-free zone. Find a place that you can work with minimal visual and auditory stimulation. Turn off your cell phone and email indicator, and put only the thing that you are working on within your visual field.
  • Fight procrastination by breaking tasks down into tiny next action steps, find someone to be accountable to, and remind yourself the price you’ve paid for procrastination in the past.
  • Visualize yourself moving through your day successfully planning, prioritizing, dealing with time wasters and effectively managing your time!
Kim Collins is a Senior Certified ADHD Coach and Time Management Consultant who specializes in helping people with ADHD become more productive in the workplace. To find out more about her services visit her website at: http://organizedkaos.com

2 thoughts on “9 Key ADHD-Friendly Time Management Strategies

  1. Bravo Kim!
    Great list. Great work.
    Thank you
    PS A favorite time saver of mine is using my “launch pad”. I have One place in the house where I keep the keys, phone/organizer, and wallet. Using it every day saves a lot of time being stressed looking for things, on the way out the door in the AM!

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