Folks challenged by the executive functioning skill of time management really struggle with estimating how long tasks take. Since their brain doesn’t register the passage of time, they are often guilty of underestimating how much time they spend getting something done. This inability to properly estimate time causes them to be late and miss deadlines.
The answer to the problem lies in developing the self-awareness connected to time passing and using external support tools to monitor that. To develop the skill needed to make an educated estimate, you need to actually time the activity. The more you practice timing something, the more realistic you become about the space of time you need to allot.
I found a really useful time tracking software program to keep track of how much time I spend doing things like answering e-mails, preparing for presentations, returning client phone calls, and doing data entry. It’s called Freckle Time Tracking. It’s an easy to use time tracking software that helps you see where your time goes.
Looking at my pattern of time use, it helped me decide to hire someone to do my data entry. My time is better spent on other activities. If your work requires you to bill in increments of time, Freckle will even produce an invoice that let’s your client know exactly what you were doing during those minutes you’re charging them for. My bookkeeper uses it and feels much nicer to pay her bill than the one I recently got the just said 16.5 hours equals $920! I had to wonder just what took up those 16.5 hours.
Freckle gives you a free one-month trial. You can find them here. Getting control of your time starts with knowing just where it is going. Then you can estimate the time needed for task completion and then your future estimates will actually be in the ballpark.
Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.