From a young age, we are taught the importance of time management and punctuality. There are deep-seated ties between how you use your time and respect. As we grow into adulthood, we develop an innate sense of time. Knowing it is time to go to sleep, always being aware of what day it is, and being able to recall where you were during a specific time. But if you have ADHD, you don’t develop this innate ability to feel time pass, something also known as time blindness.
What is Time Blindness?
The frontal cortex and basal ganglia in your brain play a large role in your perception of time. Neuroimaging has shown that individuals with ADHD have malfunctioned in these areas which is what causes a myriad of symptoms, including time blindness. This symptom of ADHD causes people to lose out on relationships and jobs because the neurotypical community still understands very little.
People without ADHD can get frustrated, thinking that the problem is that the person who is always late is just not putting in enough effort, but this isn’t the case in the slightest. People with a mental health issue like ADHD sometimes have to work a lot harder to do simple tasks that a lot of people learn at a young age like knowing how long it will take to accomplish a task you’ve done a hundred times.
Tips on Coping with Time Blindness
Write Everything Down
Appointments, addresses, grocery lists. Don’t depend on your memory for any of this, give it room to worry about other things. Make sure that when you do write something down, you use something like an agenda or a planner, not just a piece of paper, so you don’t lose track of it.
There are apps where you can have a calendar or to-do list that go across all platforms. Use these, so you always know what you need to be doing. Use digital watches that give you an option to set alarms is a great way to remind yourself that time is passing by certain increments. Use an alarm or busser when cooking, taking a break from work, or taking a shower. Make a playlist that has a certain amount of time filled to gauge time with music!
GPS is Your Friend
You don’t want to worry about getting lost, and you don’t want any distractions along the way. Using a GPS can help you get somewhere quick and let people know your ETA. Be sure to know the details of the area, because there can be two streets with the same name in one area or names that are very similar. You don’t want anything getting in your way!
Let people know you are working on your punctuality, don’t expect them to just accept this as who you are. People don’t like being stood up, they like punctuality, and they need to be reminded sometimes that you are making your best efforts.
Always Have a Timepiece
Whether it is a watch, a pager, or a locket, always have something on you that can tell you the time. Make sure that you know how to read and understand an analog clock should you ever be in the position where you don’t have your specific timepiece and the only thing available is a clock with no numbers.