Is your relationship with time fractured?


Is your relationship with time fractured?


An inconsistent relationship with time can invade many areas of an individual’s day to day experience. The effects can be disastrous in the workplace, in relationships and can play a significant part in one’s self-efficacy (a belief in their ability to perform and succeed)   It can affect an individual’s sense of self-worth and foster negative thoughts such as guilt and shame.

Frequently my clients share with me that they are tired of apologizing for being late, adding to the already stressful feeling of running late.  They intend to get there in time, but got stuck behind a truck, an old driver, or having a bad run of traffic lights (…yet again). When an individual feels shame, they feel disconnected from others, not worthy of belonging.

It can also shape or even taint other people’s opinions also of the individual as well,

“My friends don’t even expect me to be on time anymore, and you know, they are right…”

“I was passed over again at work, time management again seen as on ongoing weakness”


Being consistently late can send the following messages that you’re

  • disrespectful of other people by not valuing their time commitments
  • Lazy or  being “flakey”
  • Disorganized
  • Unreliable
  • Not committed or interested


These labels can further reduce an individual’s feelings of self-worth. Little wonder anxiety creeps in. Is that what we really want? How is it that history tends to repeat itself and you are running the same 20 minutes time and time again?

Here are a few reasons how Executive Function challenges (often seen in ADHD) can impact one’s relationship or sense or time. Inconsistencies if the following areas of

  • Inhibition
  • Attention management
  • Emotional regulation
  • Working Memory


Inhibition can play a role. By this I mean that there is often a temptation to “just do one more thing before I leave the house”. So by not inhibiting that urge precious time is lost, and one is running late, yet again.


Attention management can be seen in literally not noticing the time.  Perhaps the individual is intensely interested in reading a book, looking at something on the computer, or watching TV.  Suddenly you’re supposed to be somewhere in 15 minutes but it will take 30 minutes to drive there…because you’re late, there are no parking spaces left, and the clock is still ticking by….


Emotional regulation can also effect performance and the management of time. Often reported to me is the fact that someone hates getting somewhere early as they are really afraid of being bored when they get to their destination and there is time to spare. Motivation also might be at play here.  It is often easier to arrive at a place you are genuinely interested in going to compared with somewhere that is of limited interest or attending something that can be interpreted as a chore (even if it is important). It is interesting to observe that Uni students will often unintentionally run late to get to lectures, but are never late to get into an exam for example. Lectures can feel like a chore and there is no significant consequence if it is missed at that exact time. Motivation to attend can be inconsistent. “I can always catch up later”…but sometimes that later doesn’t happen.  The stakes are just too high (and the consequences very scary) to miss an exam so motivation is high.


Working memory can effect time management also.  Common examples of this are “I forgot I had an appointment”, “couldn’t remember the time for the job interview or forgot it altogether”, “Couldn’t find my car keys, or my wallet or my work ID badge”, “forgot to set my alarm clock and slept in …again”


We specialise in helping people discover their executive function strengths and challenges. We can share some easy strategies and reminder systems that really work. This may help our clients move forward with a positive perspective and greater self-awareness.

To find out more about how Connect ADHD Coaching can help you address your relationship with time, click here and head for the “referrals “tab if you want to hear more about what we do.


Today is always the best way to start a new way to moving forward to the life you deserve to live. Connect ADHD Coaching may help as we focus on the underlying neuroscience combined with our expert coaching skills and Psychoeducation, using our unique models, tools and also current aps to support people who are ready to move forward.