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Time management can be a significant challenge for individuals with ADHD. It can be challenging to focus on tasks and prioritize responsibilities when our brains are wired to be in constant motion. The issue of time management is compounded by a phenomenon called temporal discounting, which is particularly prevalent in individuals with ADHD.
What is Temporal Discounting?
Temporal discounting is the tendency to discount the value of things, opportunities, and experiences that will only occur in the future. This makes it difficult to feel the weight of our future selves or experiences because our brains are so focused on the present moment. This can be especially problematic for people with ADHD because we tend to have a “Now or Not Now” perception of time, which means we don’t think about the future.
How to Manage the ADHD Compulsion to Temporal Discount?
To manage temporal discounting, it’s important to set up our lives in a way that relies as little as possible on our faulty executive function. This means using external tools such as timers, calendars, and reminders to help us stay on top of our tasks and responsibilities. We also need to be mindful of our money decisions and how they may impact us in the future.
Your Future Self is NOT okay With Your Temporal Discounting
Think about the downstream impact of temporal discounting, as it relates to money, health, or relationships. By putting ourselves in the shoes of our future selves, we can begin to imagine what that version of ourselves will be forced to deal with if we don’t make changes now. We can create a strong narrative around what could happen to that person if we don’t change, which can be a powerful motivator.
How to connect with your future self to change your thinking
Different modalities can help us connect with our future selves, such as recording a message to ourselves or creating a future self vision board or life movie. Writing can also be an effective tool to journal our hearts out and write ourselves notes from our future self.
Another strategy to address temporal discounting is to break down larger goals into smaller, more manageable tasks. This helps to reduce overwhelm and allows us to see progress over time, which can be a powerful motivator. By focusing on these smaller tasks, we can build momentum and create positive habits that will help us reach our larger goals.
It’s important to recognize that change takes time, and we need to be kind to ourselves throughout the process. Celebrating our successes, no matter how small, and learning from our mistakes is crucial to building resilience and improving our time management skills. By practicing self-compassion and self-care, we can improve our ability to manage our time effectively and build a brighter future for ourselves.
Temporal Discounting can be Managed – Even for ADHDers
In conclusion, temporal discounting is a common issue for individuals with ADHD, but it’s not insurmountable. With the use of external tools, a focus on breaking down larger goals, and the practice of self-compassion and self-care, we can improve our time management skills and build a brighter future for ourselves. Remember to put yourself in the shoes of your future self and think about what that person will be forced to deal with if you don’t make changes now.
By developing the same level of care and tenderness for ourselves that we have for those we love, we can set ourselves up for success.
Do You Struggle with Temporal Discounting? Get Help From An ADHD Coach
If you resonate with the challenge of temporal discounting, and you want support with getting aligned or connected to the needs of your future self, then consider working with me 1-1. I’d love to help you explore your beliefs and discover a way to change your habits for the long term.
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