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24. Time Management

Time management refers to the ability to use one’s time efficiently and effectively. It’s not just about allocating minutes and hours to tasks, but rather understanding the value of time and making conscious decisions on how to use it best.

Why It’s Challenging

For many, time slips away without notice, or tasks take longer than anticipated. Factors like distractions, procrastination, or even cognitive challenges can make time management seem daunting. Many neurodivergent individuals, especially those with ADHD, can find it particularly challenging due to differences in executive function and perception of time.

Supporting Ourselves and Others

Understanding and respecting that everyone has their unique rhythm is the first step. Offering tools and techniques tailored to individual needs can make time management an attainable skill rather than an overwhelming task.

Practical Steps to Enhance Time Management

  • Visual Aids: Tools like planners, calendars, or even apps can be instrumental. Visual representation of time can make it easier to grasp and manage. This also aids those who might find processing visual information a challenge.
  • Timers and Alarms: Setting specific intervals for tasks using timers or alarms can help break tasks into manageable chunks. This method, known as the Pomodoro Technique, can be useful for those struggling with organisation.
  • Priority Lists: Instead of a to-do list, create a priority list. This allows for a focus on what’s essential, helping in managing multiple tasks more effectively.
  • Breaks and Downtime: Incorporate regular breaks to refresh the mind. Understanding one’s own rhythm and respecting it can be a game-changer in how effectively time is used.
  • Reflect and Adjust: At the end of the week, reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Adjust strategies as needed, making time management a dynamic skill rather than a static rule.

Examples

  • Colour-Coded Calendars: Assigning different colours to types of tasks can visually simplify a packed schedule and aid in quicker decision-making.
  • App-Assisted: Apps like Trello, Todoist, or Notion help in organising tasks, setting reminders, and even collaborating with others.
  • Time Journal: Keeping a journal of activities can offer insights into where time goes, helping in making informed decisions in the future. This practice can also support individuals who face challenges with background noise distractions.

Daily Change Summary

Time is a constant, but our perception and management of it can vary widely. By understanding our unique challenges and strengths, we can adopt strategies that work best for us, making every second count.

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