ADHD- What is Time Blindness?

ADHD – What is Time Blindness


If you have ADHD, you may have a hard time keeping track of time. For example, if someone asks you what time it is and you have to look down at your watch, did that count as being able to tell the time? Perhaps not. ADHDers can learn to manage their time by breaking down tasks and making plans for following through with task completion.

What is time blindness?

Time blindness is a common symptom of ADHD. People with ADHD have difficulty planning, organizing and completing tasks, so they often don’t finish things on time. With time blindness, time is often categorized as now, and not now. This creates difficulty for the ADHDer to conceptualize future planning. Time blindness can be a symptom of ADHD or it may coexist with other symptoms such as forgetfulness or disorganization.

ADHD and Anxiety People with ADHD are more likely to have anxiety disorders than those without ADHD. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). People with ADHD often have a hard time managing their emotions, which can lead to feelings of worry or fear. These feelings can activate the nervous system and the brain’s fight or flight response decreasing executive functioning even further making it more difficult to manage tasks and plan ahead.

Examples of time blindness

Time blindness is a symptom of ADHD that affects the way you perceive and manage time. It can occur in one or multiple ways. For example, you may have difficulty keeping track of time, scheduling events and tasks and completing them on time.

You might be able to get things done on time and meet deadlines most of the time, but only by working late into the night or even taking work home with you at night. Or perhaps it’s harder for you to plan ahead—you’re more likely to wait until the last minute before starting an important project or task because it’s easier for you than planning ahead would be.

The effects of time blindness can be frustrating and embarrassing. If you’re struggling with this symptom of ADHD, consider these strategies to help you manage your time better:

How can you deal with time blindness?

Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to deal with time blindness.

  • Break down tasks into smaller steps. If you find yourself struggling to keep track of your time, break down large tasks into smaller pieces and set reminders for yourself throughout the day. For example, if you have a project to complete over the course of several days or weeks, try setting a reminder every hour on the hour until it’s done—this way, even if you forget what time it is when starting a new task (or taking a break), your phone will keep reminding you of how much time remains before another reminder comes along.
  • Use technology to help. There are many apps available for smartphones that allow users to schedule reminders and alarms for themselves in order to stay on top of their schedules: Google Calendar is one such tool which works across all operating systems; however there are also apps specific to each platform such as Timely (iOS) or Alarmy (Android). These apps vary greatly in terms of functionality and price point but they all offer similar features like notifications about upcoming events and due dates as well as integration with other apps such as Evernote so that all relevant information can be accessed quickly through one central location rather than searching through multiple applications separately.* Learn how much energy we really have left after work because using up too much energy during off hours could lead us back into exhaustion again tomorrow at work which defeats.
  • Don’t give up. Creating good time management habits takes time, try not to give up if you forget something or decide that you are unable to complete something on your calendar. Start over or move the item you cannot complete to another scheduled day and time. The goal is consistency not perfection.

ADHDers can learn to manage their time by breaking down tasks and making plans for following through with task completion.

You can also learn to manage your time by breaking down tasks into smaller steps and making plans for following through with task completion. To help yourself stay on track, use a calendar or planner and schedule your time, set reminders for when things are due and make sure you have everything you need before beginning an activity. Also find ways to make your tasks more interesting so that it won’t seem like such a chore!


Time blindness is a common symptom of ADHD. It can be frustrating for ADHDers to have this difficulty because they know that time is important and that it’s something we all use every day. However, with proper support and awareness of the condition, people with ADHD can manage their time so that it doesn’t get away from them.

Melixa Carbonell, MA, LMHC, ADHD-CCSP, NCC is a clinical mental health provider with a private practice specializing in anxiety, ADHD, and life changes.