How You Can Master Time Management with ADD/ADHD Starting Now

ADD:ADHD Expert - Claudia Haller

Research shows that ADD/ADHD also distorts the perception of time and how to estimate how long something will take.

“Honey, can we get out our calendars and talk about the weekend after dinner?” 

This simple inquiry from my husband used to send my entire nervous system into a defensive frenzy—and my ADHD kicked in.  My heart would speed up and my mind would race as I desperately tried to find reasons for why tonight wasn’t a good time. 

Trying to figure out who drives which kid where, what to eat, and when to fit in grocery shopping; all while being behind with the laundry and missing three out of four workouts sends me into overwhelm. 

ADD:ADHD Expert - Claudia Haller

All I want is for time to stand still so I can actually get myself organized.

 I get it, this might sound like an overreaction. 

Today I’m able to stay calm and collected while making plans, but a few years ago…? Not so much. 

As moms wrestling with ADD/ADHD, weekend planning and organization is not our strong suit. We grapple with feeling inadequate and are unsure how to improve. Our guilt and the nagging sense of not being good enough is a constant companion. Innocent questions like planning a weekend become triggers that unleash a flood of emotions. 

Never mind the seismic stress of orchestrating annual camping trips: coordinating clothes, food, gear, and every essential for a family of five venturing into the woods for an entire week took the concept of overwhelm into an entirely new dimension.

While this adventurous nature escape was a beloved tradition for everyone else, for me, the demands of planning clashed fiercely with my cognitive hurdles, and was a source of anxiety and struggle to organize the chaos. The weeks leading up to the trip felt like a looming storm on the horizon. Looking back it makes me sad that this was the experience I had. 

Sound familiar?

ADD/ADHD is an executive function disorder which means that traditional time management and planning often feel like trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

Executive functions are the skills that enable us to plan ahead, focus our attention, remember instructions, and multitask. When we struggle with executive function, it’s hard to block out distractions, maneuver through interruptions, and do the work now that will pay off in the future.  

We want to meet our goals. We know it’s best to start early and stay on task. It’s just that actually following through is easier said than done.  

“ADHD is a disorder of doing what you know. It’s not a disorder of not knowing what to do.” – ADHD expert Russell Barkley, Ph.D. 

Research shows that ADD/ADHD also distorts the perception of time and how to estimate how long something will take. People with ADD/ADHD are often late, and struggle to meet deadlines. This “time blindness” occurs because the frontal lobe of the ADD/ADHD brain is associated with time perception.  

How can we stop playing catch-up so we can meet our goals? 

We need to be self-aware, and make a plan (I know, I know!) for success.

Tips for Successful Time Management with ADHD

Find external accountability

You likely already know what you need to do. The struggle is to make yourself do it. 

This is where an accountability partner comes in: a trusted friend or even a coach like myself can give you the support and encouragement to push through challenges to help you succeed. 

Use checkpoints

Checkpoints are a great tool to combat procrastination! They can take the shape of setting smaller goals within a larger task; breaking up “for later” projects into “for now” components!  

You can set due dates for yourself or even schedule check-ins with a boss, coworker, or friend – a bonus for accountability!  

Checkpoints make projects more manageable for people who are easily distracted and lose focus over a longer stretch of time.

Create rewards for yourself

People with ADHD often have difficulty envisioning the future impact of our present actions; both positive and negative consequences. It’s hard to imagine and be motivated by a far-off reward in the distance. 

This can appear as waiting until the last-minute crunch time to get something done in a panic.

Creating rewards that are more immediate for smaller steps of a task can help. They don’t have to be big, elaborate, or expensive, but can be as simple as doing an activity you enjoy…after you’ve completed a small step toward your goal.

Prioritize what gives you energy!  

Taking care of yourself will help your brain to focus and keep you on track to accomplishing your goals.  Make sure to get sufficient sleep, maintain a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, and make time for self-care. 

With self-awareness, support, and ADD/ADHD strategies, successful time management is well within your reach. 

As you master the art of planning and unlocking your untapped potential, your confidence blossoms, transforming not just how you manage your time but also how you show up for yourself and others. 

You navigate the challenges, unveil possibilities, and pave the way for a more empowered and organized life.

Time Management with ADD/ADHD, It’s a dramatic transformative journey that leads you to ask:

What else can I achieve even with ADD/ADHD? 

About the author

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Claudia Haller, NBC-HWC

As an expert in ADD Coaching for people struggling with attention, focus, emotional regulation, impulsive behaviors, and low self-esteem; as well as having the diagnosis myself, I’m passionate about supporting people to get the help they need to take charge of their own health and advocate for their well-being. I understand that not everyone identifies with the label of ADD but may have similar challenges.

I have eight years of experience understanding how diet, exercise, relationship skills, mindset and gratitude, time management, and sleep can shift someone from despair to living with confidence and agency.

I’m an NBC-HWC Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach and owner of Vibrant Health by Claudia LLC and Virtual Health Coaches LLC. I studied health and wellness coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I also completed courses in Gut Health, Hormone Health, and Advanced Coaching. I’m a certified 21-Day Sugar Detox Coach, as well as a co-author of the Amazon Bestseller “The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Soul Aligned Business”

I’m big believer in the fact that food is medicine, and also that our thoughts and the way we speak to ourselves are powerful tools that can help or hurt us. Let’s go, it’s time to thrive!

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