Time Blindness

Living in Wonderland Today

I could never warm up to Alice in Wonderland. It was too crazy, too frantic. Time in Wonderland seemed troubled; topsy turvy. Characters rushed around and a sense of haste predominated. It’s not unlike many households today. We live at a frantic pace.

For example, do you find yourself chronically late or overwhelmed when given a project because you do not know how long it will take? Do you feel constantly rushed? Does your child struggle to complete homework, procrastinate, or fail to get ready even with constant reminders?

Everyone has likely experienced the effects of making errors in scheduling, but there are others who just don’t get ‘time’. The phrase coined to identify this behavior is time blindness. It means a person is unable to sense the passing of time and it can make nearly every aspect of a person’s life more difficult.

While technology has provided aids to assist the task of reading, writing, or doing math, the ability to manage time or meet deadlines for many remains challenging not only for that individual but for those who live, work, or play with them. Tardiness makes others feel less valued and is often interpreted as inconsiderate, disrespectful, and just plain rude. Tardiness can make enemies or at the least  ruin reputations

For example, a mother shows up for a doctor’s appointment on the wrong day.  Of course, she could reschedule but the cost for this error is great. She lost time at work and likely pay. By taking this time off, she leaves her workplace short-staffed. Maybe she had to arrange babysitting for this appointment, something she unnecessarily had to pay for only to have to reschedule and face the same situation again. All of this would likely lead to negative self-talk coupled with feeling stupid and embarrassed. All of this could happen just because the mother mishandled the scheduling of time. As the white rabbit says, “I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!” “I’m late, I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say ‘hello, goodbye,’ I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”

Being able to shift perceptions (disorientate) readily, an innate characteristic of the dyslexic or ADHD mindset, is the root cause of time blindness. The Gift of Learning, by Ron Davis, explains how disorientation is not just limited to visual input but can affect a person’s sense of time. I have had clients express their sense of time as though walking through a dark tunnel with no light in sight. Imagine living your life like that and the potential anxiety created from living in the unknown. 

From dyslexia-works.com (Davis Facilitator Suzanne Buchauer)

When a person readily disorients, there is no consistency in assessing how much time goes by. There is an inconsistent impression made and the person’s world speeds up or slows down in a way that is out of control, says Davis. This is determined by the speed of their internal clock. The Davis programs address disorientation and use creative and tactile means to introduce the concept of time. Faithful use of the client’s orientation tools when facing situations involving time allows the person to input accurately so awareness of time passing by is more spot on.

Besides reducing stress. effective time management can achieve a better work-life balance, greater focus, less procrastination, and more productivity. One of the key benefits of time management is greater time freedom. When you have greater time freedom, you can focus your time on setting and achieving your biggest goals.  Greater time freedom also ensures you have more time to spend with family and friends. You have more time to deepen relationships and pursue new hobbies.

What would you do with an extra few hours in a week?