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Time blindness and ADHD

Productivity

Noisli Blog - Time blindness

Have you ever found yourself losing track of time, missing appointments, or struggling to estimate how long tasks take?

You might be experiencing a phenomenon known as time blindness.

Many of us are constantly battling with our sense of time, often feeling like there’s just not enough of it.

Understanding time blindness and its underlying causes can provide valuable insights into managing our schedules better and living more productive lives.

Let’s delve into this topic and explore ways to overcome time blindness.

What is time blindness

Time blindness refers to the difficulty in accurately perceiving the passage of time. It basically means that your perception of time is off.

However, it’s more than just occasionally losing track of minutes; it’s when you face a consistent challenge in estimating time intervals and managing time-related tasks.

This phenomenon can affect anyone, but it’s particularly prevalent in neurodivergent individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Time blindness and ADHD

Recent studies have shown a strong correlation between time blindness and ADHD. People with ADHD often struggle with executive functions, including time management.

If you suffer from ADHD, you may find it difficult to accurately assess the duration of tasks and activities.

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This can result in chronic lateness and a feeling of being overwhelmed. You may completely lose track of time and enter into a state of hyperfocus, neglecting other responsibilities, missing appointments, and even forgoing meals or sleep.

How to fix time blindness

Overcoming time blindness requires patience, understanding, and consistent effort. Here are some practical strategies to help manage time blindness:

1. Develop routines and schedules

Establishing daily routines and using visual schedules can provide a sense of structure, making it easier to track time and manage tasks. Use tools like planners or smartphone apps to set reminders and alarms.

2. Break tasks into small actionable steps

Large tasks can feel overwhelming, leading to procrastination. Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps and allocate specific time slots to work on each step. This approach makes time feel more tangible and allows you to check time more frequently.

3. Use timer and alarms

Set timers for various activities or tasks. This not only helps in staying on track but also provides a sense of time passing. Working in sessions by using e.g. the Noisli Timer also allows you to schedule your breaks so you don’t burn out and make time to rest, stay hydrated and eat.

4. Plan ahead and use Time blocking

Time blocking is a straightforward productivity method in which you pre-determine when you will be engaging in specific activities. The fundamental concept is to allocate designated time blocks in for specific tasks or projects throughout your day.

5. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, can improve overall awareness, including awareness of time. Mindfulness exercises enhance focus and can help in better estimation of time.

6. Seek support and accountability

Share your goals with a friend, family member, or colleague who can provide gentle reminders and encouragement. Accountability partners or body doubling can offer valuable support in situations where you feel overwhelmed or need some extra help.

7. Consider professional help

If time blindness significantly impacts your daily life and productivity, consider consulting a mental health professional, preferably one specialized in neurodiversity and ADHD. They can offer personalized strategies and therapies tailored to your needs.

Avatar photo Written by Sabine Staggl

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