Psych Central


Saving time? Save me instead!

Saving time? Save me instead!

There are a few simple truths in life:

  • Marriage is the number one cause of divorce
  • You can’t take it with you
  • Time is not on your side

All these things are true, but that last one is specially true for ADHDers.

First off, we have a poor understanding of time. We can’t gauge how long something will take, we can’t estimate how much time we will waste in distractions, and we often can’t tell how much time has gone by. Little wonder that time isn’t on our side, it’s probably angry with us.

I often reluctantly start doing something I’ve put off for hours or even days, only to find that it was quickly accomplished if I was focused. Other things take hours instead of the minutes I’d budgeted for them.

And lets not forget procrastination

Putting things off also means that I end up with a log jam of things to do. Deadlines for all of them, often coming simultaneously, make it worse.

I’ve seen it happen, but I don’t learn. In fact, I seem to learn how to get into this situation … over and over again.

The big three

Time-mismanagement, distraction and procrastination will be the death of me. I can worry about things that are coming up, worry ‘til I’m sick. And yet I’ll still put things off so that I end up needing to do a good deal more at the same time as I’m having to do what I am worrying about. Does the anxiety that accompanies ADHD cause the distraction and procrastination that creates this situation? If so, vicious circle isn’t it? If not, I guess it’s the big four, time-mismanagement, distraction, procrastination – and anxiety.

Maybe it should be called TMDD … Time Management Deficit Disorder

... oh dear.

... oh dear.

I started writing this post last night. Yesterday I was facing a daunting to-do list. I needed to finish work, drive home, eat dinner, cut the grass (a half acre lawn), write this post and prepare for a charity golf tournament today. Add to this the fact that tomorrow I will be getting my head shaved for charity and I need to line up next week’s blog posts before the weekend is done and you’ve got the list of “impending” details.

I still have to do all the other little things that life on a weekend requires of me, laundry & house cleaning, market, writing … you know, the things that make a life your own.

… So, I got off of work yesterday, and made my 75 minute weekly commute back home. On my way home I stopped at my brother’s place to look at a lawnmower chassis to replace the one that’s under my current lawnmower engine. I stopped at a grocery store for some basics and grabbed some chicken and fries, thus taking care of eating supper while I drove home.

Distraction and procrastination and …

I went out to buy a can of gas then trimmed some grass at the front of my property as a sort of promise to cut the whole lawn soon.

I had a quick coffee with a friend (I know, time mismanagement). Then sat down to write this post. I turned down two requests for my presence and still I was falling asleep at my keyboard by the time I got busy on this post. I went to bed …

In the cold hard light of the morning – okay, it’s actually a warm June day, I’m feeling much rested. I’m thinking clearly enough that I know the lawn is going to get cut tomorrow, maybe tonight if I get home from the golf tournament early enough.

But that’s not a good time management plan

Being late for everything, and realizing I’ve survived is a relief, but it’s not a good time management plan. I know I need to work on this, and I intend to. But in the meantime, I’ve got a golf game at which to make a fool of myself. Mind if I play through?

Later, my friends … “FORE”

 

 


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    Last reviewed: 8 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2012). Time Is On No Ones Side … Especially If You’re An ADHDer. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 16, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2012/06/time-is-on-no-ones-side-especially-if-you%e2%80%99re-an-adhder/

 

 

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