Common Scenario: You have a few minutes before your next appointment and you think, "Great, I can send this last email, it will only take a couple of minutes." Then suddenly you realize a couple of minutes turned into thirty and now you're running late. Another common scenario is promising yourself to work on an organizing project over the weekend, thinking it will only take a couple of hours to complete, but after working on it for the whole day, you are still only half way through.
If these scenarios rings true to you... believe me, you are not alone!
Here are two strategies on beating the time trap:
1) Add time to your projects - A good rule of thumb is to double the time you think it will take. So if you think something will take ten minutes, expect twenty. If you think something will take two hours, give yourself four. I know the longer you think the project will take the more daunting it may seem to double the time. However, this gives you the necessary buffer, just in case. If it doesn't take that long, then you have extra time and who doesn't want that! But if it takes even longer after you have doubled the time, then it's time to analyze what else may be going on. Look at possible distractions you can eliminate, tasks you can delegate to save time, and any other roadblocks that may be preventing you from getting your tasks done within the time you have scheduled. You may just simply need to add extra time in the future. But at least now you have a more accurate time frame.
2) Think small rather than so big- We really want to believe we can organize the garage within just a couple of hours, but in most of our realities that just isn't going to happen. Breaking a large project down like organizing a garage into smaller time intervals can make the project a lot less overwhelming. So instead of saying you are going to organize your garage today, think I am going to work on my garage for one hour today and then re-evaluate where I am in the project and schedule another one hour session for later in the afternoon or as soon as possible. The key here is keeping track of where you left off, so you can continue later without thinking too much about it.
It's easy to think you have time for one more thing or to think you can get more done than you really can. But once you are more aware of how long tasks really take, you can start taking back control of your day!
Be sure to check out our ADHD and Time Management Board on Pinterest for even more ideas!
Until Next Time...