Before I learned the skills to better manage my ADHD, I was constantly late. For everything.
It was a running joke in my family. My dad used to call it ‘Dana Time’ because I was always 10 minutes late.
I guess I should be grateful they made fun of it, instead of being angry at me. But regardless of how they reacted, I was always embarrassed and ashamed that I consistently was the last to arrive.
You see, I would try. I’d really, really try to get there on time.
But either I’d get distracted or think I had enough time to do one more thing before I left the house or I couldn’t find my car keys.
And inevitably, I’d be late.
Then I figured something out. The one tip to help me stop being late with ADHD.
The One Tip To Help You Stop Being Late
Know how much time you TRULY need to get ready and out of the house.
Yep. That’s your tip. Know how much time you REALLY need.
One reason you’re always late is you’ve been guessing how much time you need.
If it truly takes you an hour to get ready, but you believe it takes you 45 minutes, guess what? You’ll be late!
No guessing. No assumptions. You have to time yourself. Use your timer and track yourself for a couple of days. (Be cautious about using the timer on your phone. That can often lead you down a distraction rabbit hole.)
Seriously, if you want to stop being late with ADHD, you can’t guess on this one. You have to KNOW.
Having an accurate idea of how much time you need to get your ADHD self out the door will make a big difference.
Most people don’t realize how much time it takes to do all the things they must do before dashing out the door – including making and eating your breakfast, brushing your teeth, finding your shoes, letting out the dog, etc.
And meetings or appointments? You better get clear on how long it takes you to wrap up what you’re doing and get where you need to go. Even if it’s logging into a Zoom call.
Same for getting home from work. You need to know for certain how long it takes you to shut down your computer, leave the office, get to your car and drive home at the end of your day.
If you’re guessing, I’ll bet it takes you longer than you think. Which is why you get home late from work and catch grief from your family.
There you have it. If you’re serious about learning how to stop being late with ADHD you need to use your timer and know how much time you really need to get out the door.
Some more tips on being on time:
- Have I mentioned the importance of timers? These are easy to have in your pocket or all over the house, and this one is a great if you need visuals.
- Blog: Your ADHD Relationship with Time
- Episode 57 of Kick Some ADHD: Stop Wasting Time with the ‘Would I’ Code