TIME management vs. TASK management

by Tina

When I think about actually being able to manage time, I’m perplexed.  Can one truly manage time?  Doesn’t it simply keep passing by regardless of how we use it?  If I could manage time, I know there have been many occasions that I would have put the clock on “stop” for a bit so that I could catch up.  Of course, I can see the turmoil this could cause overall, but that is how I see the management of time.

Rather than managing time, we are actually in control of managing our tasks during the time we are given.  Yes, this can be quite challenging with the pace of society today; however, we must remember that we determine the particular task(s) we work to accomplish in a given time.  There may be more tasks added to our plate by others or other tasks we remember needing to be done during our scheduled time.  Discipline must prevail here.  Rather than immediately taking on the task either assigned or recalled while working on the task at hand, write down the task(s) in a particular place so that you can schedule the time to work on it/them after you’ve completed your work on the task at hand.  This will allow you to continue working on your scheduled project without forgetting about the new task(s) to be done.

We with ADD/ADHD are so easily distracted.  When we are given something to do or recall something that needs to be done, we tend to immediately begin that new task.  Often we leave behind our work-in-progress that was scheduled during this time.  In the end, it’s likely that we end up with a few projects started without any actually completed.  This can cause much overwhelm and stress.  It’s important to schedule time for tasks to be done as well as to respect the time you have allotted to each project in order for things to get accomplished.

At times I do wish I could truly manage time; however, I don’t believe I would want to live with the chaos that could result.  It’s much more productive to try to manage the tasks I have to do by giving them realistic time in my schedule.  (And yes, there is another blog post to come regarding “realistic time.”)  I feel much better when a task is completed versus just started along with several other incomplete projects.  Motivation to complete other tasks increases when I actually see a project come to a close.

What’s your opinion on time management?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Grant

Having been recently diagnosed at age 42 (after my daughter was diagnosed and recognised similar tendencies) I can relate… I actually have to use an online task manager to keep track of all the half finished tasks to be done… those around me don’t understand… I rely on the 1 or 2 occasions a week when ‘Hyper Focus’ randomly comes to visit to get 4 days work done in 4 hours, and thus catch up (at least partially). Your site has helped me gain some perspective into how I should be managing things vs them managing me.

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Logan Marshman d

Students organize their time and energies in relation to situated tasks, events, and locations accountable to both physical and social boundaries.

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Tina

Hi, Logan.

Thanks for your input. I agree with you 100% and wish that others could understand this point at well. I hope you visit my site again soon as I plan to write more often now.

Tina

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melissa

Tina, I love this perception shift….what if we started managing the tasks instead of focusing on the time? I look forward to your “realistic time” blog and I hope you hyperlink your mention of it in this article, because I tried to click on it right away, not realizing at first that you had said…”to come later”. My challenge is not only giving the tasks their own time slot, but determining the amount of “real” time it will take for each thing, that plus I have to mix it up, 5 minutes of dishes, 10 minutes of this, 15 minutes of that, back to dishes..etc, etc, etc.
thanks for your dedicated “time” to this issue! :)

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Tina

Hi, Melissa.
Thanks so much for reading and for your response. The “realistic time” blog post will come this week. I’m so glad you found this post helpful. And I totally understand the challenge of trying to determine how much time each task will take. It can be very frustrating to think a task will take 30 minutes only to find yourself in the middle of the task an hour later….right?! There ARE ways to work around this.

Take care of you.
Tina

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