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As an adult living with ADHD, I often struggle with my time management skills. I have had to search, many times, for tips for time management.
Over time, I have learned many ways to help me manage my time and accomplish all (ok, most) of the things I need to get done.
I have developed many ways to improve my time management.
FIGURE OUT HOW YOU SPEND YOUR TIME
In order to manage my time, I have to look at how I am spending it.
I write down my schedule so that I can see what I am doing, when I’m doing it, and how long it takes to do each task.
Once I know how I am spending my time, I can figure out what I can actually accomplish in a day.
I look at what I am doing and find what I am allowing to suck away time I need for more productive tasks.
Then, I find ways to focus my time on the productive activities that I need to complete.
To keep my tasks organized, I make lists of everything I need to get done. That’s one of the skills I use for my ADHD anyways. You can read more about it in my post here.
I, quite literally, have lists for everything.
Once I have the lists created, I number the tasks in order of importance. The importance of the task could be determined by my schedule (something that must be done at a certain time) or task completion (something that has to be completed before another task on the list can begin).
Once I know what tasks have to be completed and when, I set a daily schedule. That way, I know what to do and when to do it.
GROUP SIMILAR TASKS
When I am creating my schedule, I try to keep tasks that are similar together.
This helps me to be able to work in one program or on one topic.
For example, I use Canva to create graphics. If I have several things to create, even for different projects, I can put those tasks together in order to get them accomplished more easily.
Having my tasks grouped together is just one of my tips for time management.
Timers help me to work more efficiently. If I do not set a timer, I will work on one thing until it is completed, even if that is not the best use of my time. Or, I will work on a task until I am completely burnt out. That’s not good because then I do not want to return to that specific thing to finish it later.
Timers help to break larger projects into manageable pieces.
They help me to move from one item to another and keep momentum going for my lists.
Typically, I set a timer for 30-45 minutes. Once the timer expires, I have three choices. I can reset the timer once and continue working on the current task, reset the timer and move to a new task, or take a break (no more than 5 minutes) before I continue to work.
I never work through more than two timers in a row before I take a break or move on to something else. This helps me to increase my productivity.
This article gives some good ways that timers help with productivity.
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
Breaks fit in with timers. When the timers expire, it is time to take a break.
I always try to take a break to avoid getting too tired. Working through a break can cause me to burnout.
Taking breaks helps me to be able to stay focused while I am working. I get more done by including breaks in my schedule.
When I plan out my schedule, I also plan out my workspace.
I ensure that I do not have anything that will distract me. Most of the time this means that I will work in my office or in the living room with music playing.
If I have the TV playing or videos on the computer/phone, I watch them instead of working. So, I have to be sure that I have my work environment ready for me to be productive.
I also have to be sure that whatever program I am using to complete my work is the only thing open on my computer. Email and Facebook tabs are very distracting to me, and I often forget to close them. When they ding, I “run” right to them, and that hinders my time management.
Getting rid of distractions in my work area is one of the best tips for time management.
WRAP-UP OF TIPS FOR TIME MANAGEMENT
My 6 tips for time management are:
- Figure out how you are spending time
- Organize tasks
- Group similar tasks together
- Set timers
- Take regular breaks
- Eliminate distractions
What are your tips for time management?
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