(BlackDoctor.org) — There are many benefits to being able to manage your time. When you are in control of your time levels of stress are reduced, you are better able to prioritize and not over commit yourself, and you are much more relaxed.
Adults with ADHD often experience frustrations with time management, organization, decision-making, getting started and following through. These problems impact many aspects of life, from work and home to personal relationships.
The following are strategies that can help turn a chronic procrastinator into an efficient time manager.
Schedule Enough Time
A fundamental piece to getting past adult ADHD symptoms is having the ability to get yourself moving on a task before a deadline is upon you. As you plan your day, be realistic about how much time it will take you to complete a goal. When you start to procrastinate, remind yourself of the reward for reaching your goal early: You avoid the anxiety of rushing to finish and you have the time to do your best work. That’s the essence of time-management skills.
Break Tasks into Manageable Chunks
For people with adult ADHD, the first challenge of taking on a big project is stopping long enough to think about how to break it down into smaller tasks. Too often, they tend to jump into a project without planning it well. Having better time-management means you start by thinking through what needs to be done each step along the way to finish a project on time.
Invest in a Planning Software
If you have trouble doing it on your own, project planning software can enable you to sit down, think about a project, and break it down into pieces. It can help you make interim deadlines, consider what resources you need to get the job done, and provide reminders of deadlines. But it can be a hindrance to your time-management skills if playing with the program becomes a distraction to getting your work done.
Rely on Audio and Visual
Reminders of Time
Because someone coping with adult ADHD doesn’t have a reliable internal clock, one strategy is to rely on external markers of time. Put up plenty of clocks in your workspace so that you can always see the time. And a more active solution, he says, is to set an alarm to go off or vibrate every 15 minutes. This will be a reminder that time is passing and will give you a chance to evaluate where you are and what still needs to get done.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
The biggest challenge to using a paper calendar is that you have to keep looking at it to know what’s coming up. For adults living with ADHD it can be easy to miss appointments or fall behind. But when an automatic reminder on an electronic calendar, Blackberry, or cell phone pops up on your computer screen or beeps in your pocket or purse, it’s hard to ignore. Consider one of these high-tech options as a time-management tool.
Carry a Notebook
It may help to keep track of different projects with notebooks. That way, the information is organized and easy to find and it’s better than writing something down on a random piece of paper and then losing it. –By Brittany Gatson, BDO Staff Writer
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