Time Management for ADHD Kids

It’s no secret that I have ADHD. Anyone who knows me in real life could probably guess that in a second. My parents have it, I have it—heck, if our dog wasn’t a dog, I’d say she has it too. My mom somehow seems to find a way to concentrate and get things done on time, but for my dad and I, time management can be a real struggle. (There’s an inside joke in my family where if you want my dad to show up on time, tell him to come a half hour early. Unfortunately, it’s kind of true, and even more unfortunately, I seem to have inherited it as well.)

I get distracted easily, and when I lose focus, things take a lot longer. Most of the time, I have a cut-off point where after I’ve finished a certain amount of work, I’m too tired to do anything else. Usually, that means too much homework = no motivation to write. And that’s without the various vortexes of the Internet to take up my time.

Add that onto the fact that I have trouble sleeping sometimes (see: ADHD, anxiety, etc.), and mornings are especially hard for me. That’s why my morning schedule is supposed to look like this:

7:00 AM: wake up and stretch

7:05 AM: shower OR wash face and spray hair before brushing (thou shalt not brush curly hair when dry or else the Afro God will grace you with his presence)

7:20 AM: get dressed

7:25 AM: breakfast

7:40 AM: Brush teeth and put in contacts

7:45 AM: diffuse hair and put on makeup

8:05 AM: leave for school

But in reality, looks more like this:

6:50 AM: stumble out of bed, smack alarm clock until it stops making noise, and trip into bathroom

6:55 AM: trip into the shower OR stare at bad state of face in mirror for a couple of minutes, then wash, then begin process of wetting hair and combing through every tangle because YOU CAN FEEL THEM, DAMNIT

7:15 AM: get dressed in between fixing makeshift hair turban; try not to fall and wake parents

7:20 AM: haul self downstairs for breakfast and groan at brightness of kitchen lights

7:25 AM: eat breakfast in between staring listlessly into bowl, thinking about how tired you are OR go on tumblr/twitter while attempting not to spill food on self

7:40 AM: go back upstairs and take far too long to brush your teeth

7:45 AM: struggle with contacts

7:50 AM: blow-dry hair; marvel at how much hair you have and how long it takes to dry even after using patented hair t-shirt turban thing

8:00 AM: after attempting to make hair look good, give up and move onto makeup; realize just how many blemishes are on your face and attempt to cover them

8:10 AM: hurriedly run downstairs, grab backpack and leave house

The struggle is indeed quite real.

Somehow, I’ve managed to survive with this half-assed “time management” thing, but I’m in my senior year now and things are getting a lot harder. Suddenly, everywhere I go it’s UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY UNIVERSITY! OH LOOK, IT’S UNIVERSITY! TIME TO PLAN YOUR ENTIRE FUTURE OUT, SO DON’T SCREW IT UP! So now I have to think about a) where I want to apply, b) what programs I want to apply to, c) what career path I want to take, and d) scholarships, because I probably can’t go away to university without one. Then there’s also the problem of me trying to find a job—a year and a half and counting!—because I want to save up some money, and that takes up almost as much time as actually having a job would. And that’s without considering my writing, Internet-ing, blogging, TV-watching, and trying to keep up some semblance of a social life.

And I know that once I get into university, things are only going to get harder. I’ve been stressed to the max for the last few weeks and frankly, I can’t deal with it. I’ve never been able to, really. Things need to change, and fast. So that’s my goal for this year: learn how to actually time manage and balance stress without succumbing to it.

(Easier said than done, though.)

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