Strategies to Help with Time Management
Many neurodivergent people, whether they’re autistic, ADHDers, or AuDHDers, struggle with time management. This is not due to any personal failing on their part, although many mistakenly beat themselves up for it. Rather, it is due to a different kind of brain. Different, but not less, as Temple Grandin says.
Stuck in a rut
For many, transitioning from one activity to another is one of the hardest things to manage when it comes to time. Once they start doing something, especially something that’s really interesting, it can be nearly impossible to get unstuck on their own and go on to something completely different. They could really use Time Management Coaching.
Does this sound like you?
When you’re really focused, it can feel like your attention is riveted with rivets of steel, not some flimsy aluminum rivet. How can you pull yourself away from something so compelling? And what makes it so very difficult for you, when you see others transition from one thing to another with apparent ease?
It’s not poor attention.
You actually have a tremendous attention span for the things that capture you. You could spend hours and hours happily leaping down one rabbit hole after another in search of knowledge, or sorting and re-sorting your favorite objects, or engaged in a game that makes you feel like a hero. Why wouldn’t you want to pay attention to these things? You’d be a fool not to.
But, what are you forgetting?
Are you skipping meals? Late for work or school? Staying up so late that your health suffers? Maybe you have less time to spend with the people who are most important to you. If your health, education, career, and/or relationships are suffering because of the time you devote to the things that draw you in, it’s time for you to take control of your own time.
You want to change.
When you’re completely absorbed in something, it’s not so easy to just stop doing it and go on to the next thing on your to-do list. This is not because you are weak. It’s because the pull of your interests is strong. You have a powerful brain, but you can be the master and direct your brain to focus on what you decide is important. If you believe that your relationships or career are on the line, you can make the changes necessary to manage your own time transitions.
A Life Coach can come alongside you and work with you to reach your goals. It won’t be easy, but it is something you can do. No one can just snap their fingers and magically will themselves to want to wash dishes instead of organizing their collections, but anyone can learn strategies to make it easier. A Life Coach can help, but you’re in the driver’s seat. There’s nothing wrong with spending a lot of time exploring your interests, but you, and only you, can decide when you need to make a change and implement strategies to help with time management in your life.
You need a plan & strategies to help with time management.
You can get from one place to another, but not by simply wishing and hoping that transitioning would come easily to you. Instead, you need strategies to help with time management get you from Step 1 to Step 2 using small stepping stones. You might think of these stepping stones as Step 1.1, Step 1.2, Step 1.3, and then finally landing on Step 2. If you need support, your Life Coach can help you brainstorm.
For example, if Step 1 is researching your area of expertise and passion online, and Step 2 is going to bed to sleep for the night, you need some incremental steps. It would be hard to just turn off your computer and go straight to bed while your brain is still bubbling with fascinating facts.
Take baby steps.
Your first stepping stone after Step 1, your Step 1.1, might be to transition from researching your passion online to choosing one of the books and print articles you probably have on the subject. Turn off your computer about an hour before you want to go to bed, and transition to reading printed material on the same subject. It won’t be too difficult to make this transition because you’re still on your favorite subject. You might want to read for 20 or 30 minutes.
Choose things you enjoy.
Your next stepping stone, Step 1.2, might be an evening beverage. They used to say that drinking warm milk or chamomile tea was a good bedtime beverage, but I don’t know anyone who actually drinks that stuff in this day and age. Maybe you do, and maybe you love it, but only you can decide. Choose a calming beverage that you enjoy.
People also used to say to avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening. Again, this has been the best advice of your grandparents’ day. Some of the advice from the past holds up, but not all of it. For example, I know neurodivergent people who find that consuming caffeine in the evening, rather than keeping them awake, actually helps them to sleep. Listen to your own body and what is the most comforting or soothing for you. It might not be a beverage, it might be a light snack, or time spent doing yoga or meditating to classical music. Whatever you find relaxing would be a good next stepping stone for you.
After this last stepping stone, Step 1.2, go on to your usual bedtime routine of tooth brushing and everything else you do to prepare for bed. That’s your Step 1.3.
Finally, it’s time for a good night’s sleep, your Step 2. It wouldn’t have been easy to go straight from your computer to bed and expect to relax and go right to sleep. By using stepping stones, you created a natural flow from Step 1 to Step 2, with all of the mini stepping stones in between. This brought you gradually but purposefully in the direction you determined for yourself.
Listen to your own needs and trust yourself to know what’s best for you. A Time Management Life Coach can provide you with strategies to help with time management, but you’re the boss. Don’t just mindlessly go through a series of steps that someone else created for you, not even the ones in this post. Find the stepping stones that work for you. The first ones you try might not hit the mark exactly, but keep refining your plan until it’s useful for you.
When you get the stepping stones right, you’ll be able to decide for yourself when you want to go to bed, or do a particular chore that you’ve been putting off. You’ll be able to create stepping stones that you can use to move from the thing that sucks you in and keeps you stuck, to the things that you want to have time for in your life, including self care.
You deserve it.
You deserve to make your self-care a priority and plan out your transitions to create the life you want. You’ll always have your passions to pursue tomorrow, but you will be the master of how much of your time every day you choose to spend on them.
You’ve got this.
Learn Strategies to Help with Time Management from A Life Coach
Are you ready to start creating the life that you want? Our Life Coaches can help you learn strategies that are tailored to you to help with time management. Take control of your time with time management coaching at Adult Autism Assessment by following these steps:
- Reach out with any questions or email [email protected] for a free consultation.
- Schedule your first appointment for time management help.
- Start making your self-care a priority and use your time how you want.
Other Assessment & Life Coaching Services we Offer
Our Life Coaches off more than strategies to help with time management. At Adult Autism Assessment we also offer dating coaching and choose-your-own-adventure life coaching. Additionally, we offer assessments for ADHD, ASD, and SPD.