Time Management Tips for People with ADHD

Written by Trisha Bhullar

Individuals with ADHD often struggle to complete everyday activities on time. Small distractions often get in the way, and the root of the problem often comes down to poor time management. Here’s our guide to time management tips for those with ADHD. After all, being productive is an inclusive process.

Why do people with ADHD struggle with managing time?

Not everyone with ADHD struggles with time management. In fact, it could go both ways. Some people find themselves bouncing between tasks and this momentum gives them the motivation to complete both tasks efficiently. On the other hand, others might find themselves distracted easily. In the second case, people could take days to complete tasks that would ordinarily take a couple of hours. That’s because the restlessness that comes with ADHD could be a huge distraction. Ultimately, these distractions and urges make it difficult for people with ADHD to practise time management.

Time management tips for those with ADHD

#1 Start with a plan

As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. People with ADHD often struggle with time management because they have the urge to jump from task to task. This could happen because the brain is juggling an internal checklist to be completed. Instead of this, try creating a detailed checklist each morning. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, all you need to do is list down all the tasks you need to accomplish in your day, in order of importance. This way, you’ll stay focused and on-track instead of task-hopping.

#2 Find a work environment that works

Normally, we might recommend a quiet, peaceful environment for work. However, this one-size-fits-all policy might not be the best for those with ADHD. In many cases, people with ADHD find quiet, mundane workspaces a factor that worsens their restlessness. As such, you should create a custom work environment that will help you stay on track and be productive. In general, you should keep away from distractions like loud noises and non-essential electronics. Additionally, you should customise the space to suit your understanding of your ADHD circumstances. For example, people who get distracted by colleagues may prefer isolated and quiet work environments. On the other hand, some people absolutely hate peaceful workspaces. To overcome this, you could try using a walking-desk to help you work your restlessness away.

#3 Use time management tools

People with ADHD might struggle with time management because of the repetition of daily tasks. This repetition is highly mundane and often provides the impetus for distractions and restlessness. As such, you should try to integrate mindfulness tools into your daily life. A Timeqube, for example, is a smart timer that indicates the passing of time through a gentle change in colour. It is unobtrusive, coming with no ticking noises or flashy notifications. Use it with your favourite time management techniques, from the Pomodoro Technique to the Zen to Done method. This could go worlds in helping you improve your productivity, even if you do have ADHD.