A Practical Guide for ADHD Moms on Time Blocking

The Constant Struggle of time management

Time, often elusive and slippery, can pose a significant challenge for ADHD moms navigating the complexities of daily life. However, there’s a practical solution to this struggle – the strategic use of time blocks. This method provides a structured approach to your day without feeling overly restrictive, offering a way to tackle tasks efficiently.

The ADHD Mom’s Challenge

The demands of motherhood are vast and varied, from changing diapers to handling tantrums and preparing meals. This constant barrage of responsibilities can be overwhelming. So here’s a method you can try to take control of your time amidst the chaos.

What is Time blocking?

Time blocking is a practical tool for managing your day effectively. This technique involves dividing your day into distinct chunks of time, each dedicated to a specific task or set of tasks. This approach helps create a sense of structure and order, allowing you to focus on one aspect of your day at a time.

Colourful time blocks

Understanding the Essence of Time Blocking

The concept is straightforward – instead of facing an endless to-do list, you break your day into manageable segments. This provides a clear roadmap, making it easier to navigate through your tasks without feeling overwhelmed.

How to Implement Time Blocking

1. Identify Time Drains

Before embarking on time blocking, identify activities that often consume more time than necessary, such as excessive social media use. One way to identify these is to conduct a time audit. By recognizing these distractions, you can allocate specific blocks to tackle them and regain control of your time.

2. Plan Strategically

Plan your day by assigning specific tasks to particular time blocks. This method transforms your role from a passive observer to an active participant in your daily activities. For example, I use my most productive time (after 8pm when my toddler is in bed) to focus on the most brain-intensive tasks.

3. Flexibility is Key

Recognize the unpredictability of life, especially with children around. Incorporate flexible blocks into your schedule to accommodate unexpected events and maintain adaptability. Just because you missed a few time blocks, do not get disheartened, may be adjust the rest of the time blocks to squeeze in those tasks that you missed.

4. Embrace the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique, a variation of time blocking, involves focused work for 25 minutes followed by a short break. This rhythmic approach keeps your brain engaged and productive. Many times, I have mentioned how much I love Pomodoros to gamify my tasks. You can learn more about my article on Pomodoros to see how they can be applied to get more work done within the time blocks.

5. Break Down Tasks

Rather than viewing tasks as monumental mountains, break them into smaller, more manageable components. Each time block becomes a stepping stone toward achieving larger objectives.

Time blocking importance graphic

1. Tackling Distractions

Disable non-essential notifications to minimize interruptions. By curbing distractions, you create a more focused environment for effective time management.

2. Negotiating Screen Time

Set boundaries with screen time, treating it as a reward for completing designated time blocks (Gamifying, again!!) . Or you could even indulge in other screen free activities to get a boost of dopamine. This negotiation ensures that leisure activities don’t impede your productivity.

3. Resisting the Comfort of the Couch

Designate specific time blocks for breaks, ensuring that leisure activities, like relaxing on the couch, are reserved for designated periods rather than becoming constant temptations.

4. Strategic Snacking

Plan designated snack times within your time blocks to prevent frequent breaks solely for snacking. This helps maintain your energy levels without disrupting your schedule, while also making sure you get in some food without forgetting about eating the whole day and then binge eating later on.

Time Block Example

Establishing Time Blocking as a Routine

Achieving success with time blocking involves incorporating them into your daily routine consistently.

1. Morning Review

Start your day by reviewing your time blocks. If mornings are chaotic, even the previous night would do. This serves as a briefing, providing you with a clear plan to face the day’s challenges.

2. Celebrate Achievements

Acknowledge and celebrate the completion of time blocks. Treating yourself after achieving specific goals reinforces the habit positively.

3. Adaptability

Life is dynamic, so be ready to adjust and adapt your time blocks based on the changing nature of your day.

4. Accountability

Share your time-blocking journey with a friend or family member to maintain accountability and add a social element to your time management strategy.

Time for Review displayed on a laptop

Final Thoughts on Time Blocking…

In conclusion, mastering time blocks is not the end, but a new beginning. The consistent application of this strategy empowers you to conquer time and emerge victorious in the daily battle against chaos. Embrace the structure, conquer your tasks, and let time become your ally on the journey of motherhood.

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