New Year Goals?  Bundle and Save 25%
Contact Us

Managing Time With ADHD: Strategies That Helped Me Develop Time Management and Stay on Schedule

November 10, 2023

ADHD and Strategies for Staying on Schedule

ADHD can be pretty hard to deal with, regardless of your age, whether you’re a teen, a child, or a fully-grown adult. I’ve dealt with managing my time my entire life, and it’s exhausting— You basically focus on the wrong things and forget what needs to be done. This is a huge problem in work and school, but through years of this painful hassle, I’ve found some strategies that helped me stay on schedule and develop time management skills! And today, I’ll be sharing those with you.

But first, let’s talk about what ADHD is.

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for the Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is ironic because the term is so long that I lose focus while reading it. ADHD is generally characterized by symptoms like (i) Hyperactivity, (ii) Impulsivity, and (iii) Inattention. People with ADHD have difficulty managing their relationships with others and, more importantly, their work or academic life.

For people with ADHD, it’s normal to face difficulties with their friends and family, staying organized, prioritizing tasks, and meeting deadlines. Now, ADHD brings some friends to the party— Frustration, anxiety, stress, and even depression. That’s not easy to deal with, so here are some strategies and tactics I use to help me with my ADHD:

Strategies for Managing Time with ADHD

Now that we know a little bit about ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), here are some of the strategies I’ve used to help me stay focused and more efficient with time for the past couple of years:

1. Breaking Tasks Into Chunks

I came across a method called “Task Chunking,” some people refer to it as “Task Segmentation,” too. I couldn’t find who came up with this masterpiece, but after doing some unhealthy amount of research, I found that Francesco Cirillo, an Italian author and developer of the Pomodoro Technique in the late 1980s, is one of the most well-known proponents of time chunking. So, how does it work? Well, it's quite simple.

  • For starters, you want to have a good reason for doing the task you want to do to help you stay motivated. You can write it on a sticky note or maybe on a whiteboard.
  • Then, you will divide your workday into 30-minute chunks and schedule a specific task for each chunk.
  • Focus on a task or a batch of related tasks for about 25 minutes. And then, to avoid burnout, take a 5-minute break.
  • Repeat the cycle for 2 hours and if you need to continue working, take a small break and then follow the same steps.

2. Create a Distraction-Free and Minimal Work Environment

People with ADHD generally have a messy desks, just like our minds. But, I found it extremely amazing when I switched to a more minimal work environment. For instance, my room has white walls and is well-lit, my table is clean, and my cable management is amazing.

Switching from a messy environment for my studies and work to a cleaner room has helped me stay more focused. I’ve been using Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones and have bought new furniture to help me stay more organized with my stuff to be more productive and efficient with my time.

3. Finding Interesting Activities

Apparently, having a high level of dopamine is a top priority for my brain. But that necessarily isn’t always a bad thing— It helps me enjoy my work because I am interested in it, but it can be a problem with my studies.

What works for me though, is to work in a fun way. I like to use Quizlet when studying; it improves the learning experience. I like listening to music when writing or studying; it’s just better with that. While some people use background noises such as White Noise, scientifically proven to help increase or just listen to the rain.

4. Giving Yourself Buffer Time

Sometimes, I have tons of stuff to deliver, but I get caught up in stuff like zoom meetings or calls and then run out of time to get things done. I've recently started giving myself some extra time or buffer time just in case something unexpected happens. I've noticed that my productivity levels are usually higher than normal once I'm done with all the meetings, and I usually get things done before deadlines.

Combining this with task chunking makes it more efficient, truly a game changer for me.

How Affirmations Can Help You

Affirmations are this wicked cool tool that can totally transform your life! They're these super positive statements or phrases that you repeat to yourself. Whether you want to feel more confident than a lion or get all jacked up to take on the day like a superhero, affirmations can help you do it! And they're awesome for keepin' you on track and stayin' motivated even when life throws you a curveball like a monkey wrench in your plans!

The magic of affirmations is that they can totally rewire your brain and help you see the world in a whole new way. By repeating affirmations regularly, you're teaching your brain to stay focused on the good stuff and stay motivated to achieve your goals. You can use our AI tool to create affirmation songs tailored to your needs or gift someone the tool. Ready yet? Check out Mindframe today.

But the thing is, you need therapy anyway. Therapy can help you identify any underlying issues contributing to your ADHD and overall mental health. Healthy coping mechanisms and practical skills are useful; the best way to get those is by going to therapy. You can try psychoeducation or behavioral therapy, but remember that it takes time and is slow.

Now let’s talk about some apps and tools I use to manage my work and school.

Building a Productivity System For ADHD

Having a productivity system is essential for everyone, especially those with ADHD. But, people often spend a lot of time building a productivity system and miss out on purpose. The idea here is that less is more. Let me share with you what I use:

1. Notion

I’ve been using Notion for quite a while now. All my notes, projects, ideas, and finances are on Notion. It’s super easy to set up, and you find many templates online to start quickly.

2. Todoist

Having a to-do list is essential for any productivity system, and Todoist works best for me. I like how you can organize your to-do lists into different categories and set timers for each.

3. Forest & IOS Background Noise

I combine the Forest app and iPhone’s built-in background noise system, which you can easily access from the control center when working on something. I’ll simply plant a tree, and if I leave the workspace to something distracting like Social Media, the tree dies. The concept is cute, though; you must take care of your little plant buddy.

4. Mindframe Affirmations

Stress is a major obstacle between me and productivity, and I’m sure it’s like that for most people with ADHD. I use Mindframe Affirmations to motivate myself and be a little calm. It’s beneficial for a ton of people. You can create a customized affirmation and choose background music and an artist. Check Mindframe out today!

We hope this guide was helpful to you.