People who use time well don’t take it for granted. They struggle too.

I learned something new about time last year, walking the neighborhood with my non-ADHD spouse.

“People who are not time-blind must feel disoriented if they lose track of time.” I was feeling the cost of time-management struggles at home and work.

“Not me,” she said. “I love losing track of time when I’m writing my novel. I just don’t get to do that often because I have too many things to track.”

Turns out I was wrong about both assumptions. I was not, am not, time blind.

I prefer the term Time Illiterate.

Even with the most accurate eye exam, you have to wear the glasses, or the eye patch before you can learn to read.

I devote daily energy to up my time game. A pocket task list (at the time a major step!) has grown into regular practice at time estimation, prioritization, and accuracy checks to see progress. I use timers, schedules, and pay special attention to commitments made during conversations about tasks and time.

The Payoff(s)

As with handwriting, time skills improve slowly. But the struggle pays off. It turns out that working on these time skills lights up the same structures in the brain that are required for all other executive functioning skills – the ones ADHDers are typically weak on.

The present moment is much more pleasurable when I take my diagnosis seriously, follow the treatment, and – most importantly – actively work on my own recovery. And struggle to use time well, just like everyone else.

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