Executive Function Spotlight – Time Management

The development of human cognitive abilities is represented by a variety of different skills. Often referred to as our “executive functions,” these skills act as a form of self-regulation and are an important part of how we interact with not only ourselves but society as a whole.

Of all the different executive functions, one of the most important skills is our ability to manage our time accurately. Time management refers to our ability to accurately notice, acknowledge, and respond to both the passage of time and how to utilize our remaining time to effectively complete our tasks or goals.

What Does Good Time Management Look Like?

Time management is a varied skill. There are many different features and aspects to managing our time that we need to be aware of and develop accordingly. Because it is one of the broader executive functions, it is also important to understand all of what time management entails as a skill. Some of the different features of effective time management include:

  • Understand and recognize the different ways that time passes (by the minute, hour, tomorrow, week, month, etc.)
  • The ability to complete tasks within a pre-determined amount of time.
  • The ability to arrive on time to events, appointments, and social gatherings.
  • The ability to increase work productivity when a deadline approaches without adding undue stress.
  • Deadline management and developing skills to avoid procrastination.
  • Make accurate estimations of how much time it will take to complete a job or project.
  • Prioritizing tasks as part of a larger workload, and budgeting sufficient time for those projects.
  • The development of accurate schedules to complete necessary projects within a given week.

Time is a finite resource, meaning once it is spent, it is gone, so it can be incredibly important to understand how to manage it correctly. Efficient time management is more than just a tool for productivity as well. Ultimately it can be the cause of our eventual happiness or our continued frustrations.

How Can I Improve My Time Management Skills?

Time management is a struggle for most people, with or without executive function disorder. But those with executive function disorder can have difficulty following and managing the concept of time. This makes it especially important to come up with a

If you are looking for ways to get better at managing your time accurately, these are some fantastic helpful tips:

  • Use a Timer – Set a timer for 25-minute work intervals with 5-minute breaks. This helps you concentrate for a specific period and then allows for a short rest.
  • Create a Weekly Board – Use a board to lay out your week. Note important tasks and deadlines. This gives you a visual guide for what needs to be done.
  • Set Labeled Alarms – Use your phone to set alarms for different tasks. Name each alarm according to the task it corresponds to, like “Study Math” or “Clean Room.”
  • Color Code Tasks – In your planner or calendar, assign colors to different types of tasks. For example, make all homework tasks blue and urgent tasks red.
  • Review Your Day – At day’s end, review what you’ve done in each block of time. This helps you understand how you’re actually using your time.
  • Talk Out Loud – Before starting a task, speak the steps out loud. This can help cement your focus and outline your plan of action.
  • Find an Accountability Partner – Regularly check in with a friend or family member about your progress. This external accountability can motivate you to stay on track.
  • Immediate Rewards – After a task is complete, have a small, immediate reward for yourself. This positive reinforcement can make task completion more satisfying.
  • Avoid Consecutive Misses – If you miss a task, make it a priority to complete it as soon as possible to avoid missing it twice. This helps you maintain consistency.

These tips can help not only those with executive function disorder, but anyone looking to improve their time management skills and get a better understanding of how to stay on task and motivated. For more support for executive function disorder, contact ADHD Training Center, today.

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