Ask the Experts

Dear Organizing Coach: How Can I Become More Conscious of Time?

Picture this: you’re on your way to an important appointment, when suddenly you realize (yet again) that you haven’t given yourself nearly enough time to get there. Sound familiar? Time management is tough when you don’t feel the passage of time — a common pitfall for adults with ADHD. Here’s how you can become more in tune with the ticking of the clock.

Q: What is the trick for people who don’t feel or see time passing to make sure they’re on time for appointments? —atlmom

Dear Atlmom:

Hang analog clocks!

Yes! You heard me. My NUMBER ONE TOOL for learning about time is a good, old-fashioned analog clock. Simply put, an analog clock with hands lets you see time move — and where you stand in relation to the rest of the day. Analogs also help you understand how long it takes to complete a task and how much time you have before you need to go to another activity.

Seeing time move is a building block of time management and estimation. So hang a clock in every room of the house you use (including the bathroom) so you can see the passing of time. Wear an analog watch as well.

[Free Resource: Keep Track of Your Time]

Another trick: Say your time-planning strategies aloud to yourself. What does that look like? I had a client once who would say things like, “I have to pick my husband up at the train station at 6:30. It’s 5:45 now and it takes me 10 minutes to get there. What time should I leave to get to the station on time?” Just by talking it out, time consciousness can work its way into your brain and stay with you.

If you want more tips for time management, check out our one-hour “It’s About Time” video, chock full of tools to get you time managed. You can find it at Good luck!

Organization guru Leslie Josel, of Order Out of Chaos, will answer questions from ADDitude readers about everything from paper clutter to disaster-zone bedrooms and from mastering to-do lists to arriving on time every time.

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