Where Does the Time Go?
Do you have a "schedule" set up, but wonder where the time goes on days like these? You're note alone!
Individuals with ADHD type behaviors can have difficulty with temporal awareness-or sense of time. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, in fact, you may be able to use it to your advantage! Here are some tips that can help make better use of time. Even if your temporal awareness is good, days without structure can skew this concept.
First, you must use some sort of TIMER. There are many options out there, so do some investigating and figure out what works best for you.
- USE MUSIC as a timer for short tasks: if you know you need to focus on a task for a short period of time, set up a playlist with songs to last that amount of time. When the music ends, you can move on to another activity.
- Use a VISUAL TIMER: Some do better with a visual timer. You can find many online or in app-form. Time-Timer is a great one. You can also use the timer on the stove or microwave, an egg timer, whatever works for you!
Next, you must be able to estimate time. We often times think a task will take much longer than it actually does (or we don't give ourselves enough time to accomplish something!). It's a great idea to work in blocks of a task or chunks of time, just be sure to leave yourself enough time in the long run to get it all done.
A great way during this time is to work on Mondays to set up a schedule for the entire week-specifically what assignments will be completed on what days.
As we're all spending alot more time at home, it's a great time to notice the little things about your environment that may need a little love and attention. Here are some suggestions to consider for your room/workspace at home:
- Step up a COMMAND CENTER/"LAUNCH PAD": it's one place to put all your essentials (think phone, backpack, wallet). When you have a designated space for your important items, it makes finding them easy and efficient!
- Get things off the Floor: use some time to set up some well-placed hooks and shelves to help with de-cluttering your floor and making things easier to find. Things like towels, sports uniforms, books, headbands are all great things to make use of hooks and shelves.
- "ZONE" your space: create different zones, or areas with different purposes, make space for things like work/studying, crafts, music etc.
- Use Storage Containers: use baskets or bins with a designated purpose
- Elicit Help! Do you have a family member who is organized or keeps their room very neat? Ask them for help if you need it!
When you are working in your designated space, don't forget about using things in the environment to help you keep you focus! Think about adding headphones, soft background music, a diffuser and don't forget to use that timer!
Cite Source: Tyler,A. (2020). Thriving with ADHD: A Workbook for Teens. Rockridge Press, Emeryville, CA
Here are some functional activities to easily do around the house that will continue to build your child's executive functioning skills:
- take time to "clean sweep" any school binders you have at home.
- Make unit folders of material they might need for exams
- Use "to-do" lists for any chores or schoolwork that needs to be done for the day.
- Make a schedule for the day/week to make things more manageable.
- Break assignments down into chunks.
- Use a timer or set specific blocks of time to work on specific schoolwork (i.e.: 20-minutes of math practice)
- Cooking and baking are great ways to use Executive Functioning skills
Games are also another way to use executive functioning skills in a fun way!
- Simon Says
- I Spy
- 20 Questions
- Card Games: UNO, Memory, Solitaire, Rummy, Spoons
- Board Games: Blurt, Scattergories, Monolpoly, Scrabble, Boggle, Chess, Jenga, Life- really any board games will do!