Here are three ways you can make it concrete.
One of the struggles of people with ADHD is not “feeling“ the passing of time as other people do.
Time feels much more interconnected and complex. It’s not just the passing of minutes and hours; it is the complex interconnection of emotions, relationships, and accomplishments.
Even though time feels like a complex thing that is hard to grasp, what you feel is actually more simple.
As a person with ADHD, you probably feel time in two categories – “now” and “not now.”
This can lead to excessive impulsivity and/or excessive procrastination—making prioritizing and achieving tasks in real time more difficult.
But there is hope!
One thing that can help you better manage your time, and your life, is to externalize time in a concrete format.
Your goal is to make time less like oil and water flowing through your hands—hard to define and grasp and more like Lego bricks with purposes, and concrete beginnings and ends.
To do this, I recommend engaging the visual-thinking part of your brain.
Here are three ways you can use visual thinking to make time more tangible.
- Use a Time Timer. Decide ahead of time what time you want to finish a task, walk out the door, finish a speech, etc. Set your Time Timer for that time. The diminishing color communicates more effectively to the ADHD mind than an analog timer. It’s really effective.
- Time Block Your Routines. Practice timing your regular activities and keep track of how long things actually take in a chart on a Free Space page in your Think Time Planner. Once you have a pretty good idea of how long these activities take, time block and color your routine activities into your Routine Worksheet. You may prevent problems as you discover that your 30 minute workout actually requires an hour with prep time and a shower afterward.
- Sort your To Dos. Once you have selected your most important tasks, separate them into the three categories in the Decide Phase of your Think Time Planner: immediate, short term, and long-term. But don’t stop there. Color the immediate column red, the short term column yellow and the long term column green. By visually separating these into these three categories – you can “see” what you need to attend to immediately, what helps you make tomorrow smoother, and what will help you toward your long term goals.
Don’t fall victim to impulsivity or procrastination ever again!
Use color as you plan to help your brain process and prioritize important tasks so you can feel the confidence you are getting the right things done.
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