“7 Reasons Why You Need Analog Clocks”
Analog clocks are not outdated; they are powerful productivity tools for adults with ADHD who struggle with time blindness, deadlines, time estimation. Here’s how analog clocks help ADHD brains.
You take a look at the time and you’re confident you have plenty of wiggle room. Then, out of nowhere, you’re running late once again for work or an appointment or a deadline you’ve long seen coming. Time crept up on you with little or no warning — just as it did yesterday and the day before that.
Time blindness, or a lack of awareness of the passage of time, is a common difficulty among many people with ADHD. Research has shown that time awareness hinges on available attention dedicated to detecting it. Individuals who are easily distracted by other stimuli, as is the case with ADHD, find that the continuity of time is outside of their consciousness.
The solution, therefore, is to externalize time as much as possible. Instead of relying on an internal tracking system, people with ADHD need to literally “see” time. How? I recommend a good-old analog clock — or five.
Analog clocks may seem obsolete in this digital era, but with more technological distractions and demands competing for our attention today, I’ve found this low-tech solution can really help manage our ADHD symptoms, balance our schedules, and keep us sane.
Analog Clocks: Benefits for ADHD Brains
1. Accurately detecting the passage of time. The hands on the analog clock are constantly and consistently moving, giving you a true sense of how time works, and heightening your sensitivity to the true duration of minutes, hours, and days.
2. Ticking sound as aid. Hearing the ticking of the clock can also help you detect the consistent passing of time. Counting the ticks can help with pacing and timing of tasks.
3. 5-minute chunks. Clock faces show time in segments of five, which make an easy, effortless framework for organizing tasks. It also provides another way to think of and chunk up the passage of time.
4. Marking the hour. Many analog clocks can be set with a chime at the top of each hour to help you recognize the passage of each 60 minutes.
5. Parts to the whole. The visual of the clock forms wedges that look like a pie chart representing parts (minutes) to whole (hour) relationship. Viewing time as an hour pie chart helps to break down tasks into smaller steps more intuitively. This can help improve accuracy in estimating the time needed for tasks and in pacing yourself for task completion.
6. Discouraging procrastination. When you see how much time you have in the hour, you can recognize tasks that can be accomplished prior to the top of the hour. Commit to working on a task for 15 minutes and see how much gets accomplished in that quarter of the hour.
7. Progress check. If you have a set amount of time to do a task, one glance at the analog display shows you the start and stop times as well as the amount of time left. All in one quick glance. No need to do math calculations to know how much time remains!
So, consider it time to get an analog clock for each room in your house. Try out a variety of novel styles that will attract your attention and keep you informed of the time.
Analog Clocks: Next Steps
- Download: Keep Track of Your Time – ADHD Time Assessment Chart
- Read: Is Your Inner Clock Set to “ADHD Time?”
- Blog: “Your Concept of Time Is Not Broken, It’s Just Unorthodox”
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