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The Time Factor

time formula
Moving right along …

It is a given that those of us with ADHD have what are referred to in a non technical way as “poor time management skills.”

There is no technical term for this, or at least not one I’ve heard.

It all has to do with too many of the differences that define an ADHD brain in relation to the neuro-typical brain.

Somehow, when it comes to time … we fail.


First, we do not recognize the passing of time.

We know that it passes, we know there is a past and a present, and we are aware that the present will become the past.

We are also well aware that there is a future and that it will eventually become the present.

But …

The idea that the future will eventually be the past is starting to get beyond our ability to deal with.

Yes, we recognize that is what will happen, but no, we cannot really grasp the way it will happen.

Hell, I can’t even really see the present becoming the past even though if I think about it these words I’m writing are actually words I’ve written, past tense.

I’m no longer writing them now, they still feel like the present, but they are done.


Yeah, I don’t know.  I don’t know what part of my brain doesn’t work well with time.

But I can tell you this, it feels like I’m on a dark street, and that’s my life. I have a lantern that lights about twenty feet, ten ahead and ten behind, and that is now.

And what isn’t now? That, is darkness.

I can’t tell you …

To make matters worse, I really have no idea how long it takes to do anything.

If you asked me how long it would take to clean the kitchen I’d tell you that it might be ten minutes or three hours … while I’m looking at the kitchen.

It doesn’t help that laundry takes more than half a day, yet I only work on it for maybe ten minutes of that time. Or forty, it might be forty, I don’t know.

Big picture …

The extent of my time ignorance can easily be seen in the details of my day, but I can also tell you that it extends much beyond that.

While I am sixty years old and am well aware that I cannot do all the things I used to be able to do, there is a part of my brain that is still engaged, in a very real and scary way, with trying to decide what I should be when I grow up.

Part of my mind still says, “Plenty of time to settle down and start living a sensible life.”

And …

That’s probably not good? Or maybe it’s okay, I don’t really know.

In physics, time is supposed to be distance divided by speed.

I know I’m fast, but I have no idea how far I’ve come or how far I have to go yet

Thus, time remains a mystery to me. Understanding time and ADHD are mutually exclusive entities.

The Time Factor

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2019). The Time Factor. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 May 2019
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