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for Attention Deficit Disorder Adults

Bonnie Mincu

Senior Certified ADHD Coach

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There’s NOT time for one more thing….

If you’re like most people with ADD / ADHD, you probably struggle with being on time.

There are many different reasons that individuals with ADD can be chronically late for meetings, appointments or social events.   One common reason for many people is believing there’s time to fit in “one more thing.”

It could be trying to fit in one more task before leaving, or one more errand before getting to your destination.

The problem comes when you believe that “thing” you want to do will take a far shorter time than it ever could in reality.

Does this happen to you?

You need to arrive at a doctor’s appointment at 2:00.  (In fairness to the doctor, that really means you should get there by 1:55.)

It’s 1:50, so you think you have time to run down the street and pop into the drugstore to buy something you need. But by the time you get to the drugstore, find the item you need on the shelf, wait in line at the check-out counter and get back to the doctor’s office, it’s likely to be several minutes after your 2:00 appointment time.

You may pride yourself in getting there on time, but you actually didn’t – because you tried to fit in one more thing.

The same thinking might throw you off at home as well.  You should be out the door to meet a friend for lunch, but decide at the last minute to clean the kitchen counter… which then leads to five more minutes of putting things away and deciding what to defrost for dinner.

You end up 10 minutes late, when you could have been on time.  The “one more thing” meant your friend had to wait for you.

There are two faulty assumptions in “one more thing” thinking.

The first assumption is that being on time means squeaking in right on the dot.  In many professional or business situations, it would be more comfortable for the other party if you were a couple of minutes early.

The second assumption is that the “one more thing” will take about two minutes.  In reality, almost nothing does!

  • Try this:   Pick a task you might typically try to fit in when you have a few minutes to spare.  Then time how long the entire thing actually takes you.   Chances are, that “two-minute” task took at least ten.

Next time you catch yourself trying to fit in one more thing, look at your watch and ask yourself if you REALLY have at least ten minutes to spare.

FREE REPORT:  11 Reasons for Lateness

Getting rid of the “one more thing” habit could help cut down on some lateness, but there are a number of other potential late triggers as well.



What is the most common thing that makes you late?

Please comment and share below.

Author: Bonnie Mincu
Senior Certified ADHD Coach, Founder of "Thrive with ADD," Bonnie has been coaching adults with ADD / ADHD traits since 2001. She has developed numerous training programs to help with the challenges of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.



    Hi Bonnie,

    Thank you for this post, it resonated with me. Some people just seem to arrive right on time to the point they ring the doorbell just as the clock strikes the hour… I used to wonder how they did that! Do they hide around the corner for ten minutes and then walk up to my door as if they just arrived? Now I’m just too busy trying to be on time, while trying to maintain some self-respect if I am late, to spend too much time wondering anymore 😉 I almost always arrived early or more likely late’ish, but almost never right on time. When I invite people over I always tell them ‘come anytime after _____’, because I’m usually still organizing something, drying my hair, getting dressed, or whatever, until sometime after the time I invited them for. It used to stress me out so much when people would arrive early! Okay, it still does, unless I know them very well and I know they won’t mind sitting in the living room occupying themselves while I finish whatever it is I am trying to finish.

    It happened a few times that when I went over to a friend’s place for supper they spent almost no time in the kitchen after I arrived… how do they do that? Even though I try to build in extra time for everything, I am still there putting the lasagna together or mashing the potatoes, setting the table, pouring the drinks or any myriad of possibilities. I hosted a gathering for around 20 family members and friends for Thanksgiving one year. I made the big mistake of using all new, interesting recipes that I thought everyone would love, including the vegetarians – it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get all the food ready and we had so many leftovers that everyone left with some food, but at least most of it was good. I vowed that the following year would be much simpler, and it was, but it still took longer than I wanted or expected to be able to sit down to the meal and I didn’t have quite so many people or recipes.

    Some things that either were, or are still, a challenge for me living up here in the North country is allowing time to get all the snow and ice off the car and to throw salt or sand down on the walkway and driveway – it’s like a surprise each time! Seasonal changes are always a challenge, even now, i.e. we wake up to the first serious snowfall of the season and all we want to know as we’re scrambling to get out of the house is where are those boots, gloves and coats and why do they smell funny? (aka don’t waste time worrying about tomorrow when you already have so much to take care of today)… and did I put the snow tires on the car yet? Or as things warm up – where are the rain boots? we’ll look ridiculous still wearing our winter boots!

    When I took public transportation, figuring out how much time I should allow for buses or trains that might not show up for some mysterious reason was a challenge, especially when I needed to transfer from one bus, train or Metro to another, and worse when there was inclement weather and buses might be running late.

    Thanks again,


    Paula, you must be a writer! I love your evocative description of how bewildering it is to figure out how other people arrive right on time for dinner parties. (Actually, when I’d arrive early, I WOULD wait in the car until at least the time on the invitation!) And, as the annual Thanksgiving hostess, I also have the experience of cooking taking longer than I expected. (Though some recipes that I’ve been making every year now go pretty quickly.)

    Next time you have to shovel snow off the car, TIME IT! Then you’ll likely remember how long it took and will factor it in, in the future. For those unpredictable buses, leave some extra time, unless you absolutely MUST get somewhere by a certain time. Then leave LOTS of extra time and figure sometimes you’ll be early. Getting places early with a smart phone means that’s extra time to go through email, or do something entertaining.

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Bonnie, there are no words to express how deeply I’ve been affected by your blog! I’ve only read a few things, but they have created such a complete mind shift that the tears shed have washed away my struggles forever!

For the first time in my life I feel understood and hopeful that I can put some tools and systems in place to help me overcome!”

—Michelle near Seattle

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