For years, employees have been thinking of excuses to explain why they are late for work.
But now there may be a valid reason you can use to get your boss off your back if you’re asleep – ‘time blindness’.
In a TikTok video that has now gone viral, a young user emotionally claims she yelled at a potential employer to ask if they make ‘accommodations for people struggling with time blindness’.
The chaotic philosopher, who claims to be neurodivergent, lamented the ‘culture where workers are cut off because they struggle to make time’ in his tearful TikTok post, which has been viewed nearly 5 million times.
Social media immediately accused him of faking it, with commenters urging him to ‘just use an alarm’. Others questioned whether time blindness would become ‘a new Gen Z trend’.
Yet, despite accusations that it’s made up, psychologists insist it’s real. They claim this is particularly common in people with ADHD.
Smriti Joshi, lead psychologist at AI mental health chatbot Wiser, told MailOnline: ‘Many factors associated with ADHD, such as difficulties with working memory and attention control, can contribute to a distorted sense of time.’
The user, Chaotic Philosopher, posted the video to TikTok and said he thinks businesses need to break up with ‘cut’ employees who ‘struggle to be on time’.
But some doctors say people don’t have to have ADHD to experience time blindness.
Sue Smith, psychotherapist and spokeswoman for the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), claims childhood trauma can also lead to feelings of time blindness and isolation in childhood or later in life.
According to Robert Common, a qualified psychologist and mental health expert, time blindness is used to refer to the inability to recognize when time has passed or how long a task may take.
As a result, sufferers often find themselves running for the bus, failing to meet deadlines or thinking a task will take ten minutes to complete when it will actually take you twice as long, he said.
The phenomenon is not defined as a medical condition, but some doctors use it as a way to talk about the idea of losing track of time.
According to Mr Common, common symptoms of time blindness include:
Losing track of time on a regular basis Not being able to keep appointments or keep to schedule Repeatedly missing deadlines Daydreaming Being preoccupied with a task or something else Not being able to attend to anything other than the task at hand that you can reasonably deliver Putting things off getting stuck in the present
Ms Smith added: ‘Symptoms can range from complete absorption in one activity to complete distraction, for example starting five tasks at once and becoming overwhelmed by the chaos.’
Mr Common warned that time blindness could be mistaken for laziness or stupidity. He said: ‘Employers may believe you’re not invested in the job or taking it seriously.’
Relationships can also suffer if you struggle to prioritize friends and family because it can be mistaken for being selfish or self-absorbed, she warned.
Mr Common added that children suffering from time blindness may be confused with intellectual or learning difficulties.
But there are suggestions for managing symptoms.
Ms. Joshi suggests mapping out your daily life and using visual aids like timers and alarms to remind you of upcoming tasks.
He said that practicing mindfulness is a good way to combat time blindness, as it can help you and focus your attention more on the present.
Family friends who are aware of your condition can help you keep track of time and even prompt you before an important meeting like a hospital appointment or job interview, psychologists say.
And, if someone you care about is suffering from this condition, Dr. Elena Turoni, a consultant psychologist and co-founder of the Chelsea Psychology Clinic in London, suggests empathizing with their struggles.
He said: ‘Although it can be frustrating, remind yourself that time blindness can be a real challenge and avoid being overly critical.’
However, she adds that if they are struggling, you should direct them to specialist help and perhaps suggest that they seek help from a therapist who specializes in ADHD.
If you don’t know you have time blindness, these symptoms can cause difficulties in your daily life, for example your employers don’t think you take your work seriously.
Mr Common also says the best way to support someone with time blindness is to be empathetic and promote self-compassion.
She added: ‘For children with ADHD, consider co-creating a schedule. Being there to help them prepare and stick to a schedule, promoting their interest but not allowing them to overdo it all, and using visible and clear reminders can also be helpful.’
However, social media users slammed those who claimed the condition after a TikToker claimed he suffers from time blindness and slammed the business for criticizing late employees who struggle to be punctual.
The user, Chaotic Philosopher, posted the video to TikTok and said he thinks businesses need to be broken up with ‘cut’ employees who ‘struggle to stay on time’.
In the clip, she talks about asking a potential employer if they made accommodations for her ‘time blindness’.
He said: ‘I just wanted to know if there’s accommodation for people who struggle with time blindness and being on time, you know.
‘They all started shouting at me and saying there’s no accommodation for time blindness and if you struggle to stay on time you’ll never get a job.’
After his claim about ‘time blindness’, he said he was told: ‘Your stupid generation wants to destroy the workplace.’
Looking upset, he added: ‘I think that a culture where workers are simply isolated because they struggle to be on time when we can see there are other solutions, yes, that culture needs to be broken.’
The chaotic philosopher didn’t find much sympathy after uploading the video to TikTok, before reposting it on Twitter, with commenters urging him to ‘just use an alarm’.
A user commented on the video and said: If you’re willing to accept pay blindness, I’ll accept time blindness. It only seems fair.’
Another added: ‘Someone clearly stepped into the real world for the first time that day and realized she wasn’t cut out for it.’
One woman, who said she worked as a manager and recruiter, said she understood there were delays from time to time.
But he added: ‘Life happens people – but when it’s a consistent problem, it doesn’t just affect you – it affects the whole team. Consider something for your colleagues.’
Others were less sympathetic, with one user noting that he could solve his problem by ‘setting the alarm’.
‘I have to make my own accommodation for this sort of thing. I set mine every night, alarms for everything, meal prep,’ explained another.
In another video, another user named Morgan Foley claims time blindness is ‘very real’ and says it leaves him struggling to keep track of time and complete basic tasks.
Another account called ADHD Love posted a video saying that time blindness comes in ‘two modes’.
‘Either I’m going to be late, no matter what I do. I can plan my morning, I can say five minutes to shower, eight minutes walk to the station. It will magically expand and take longer. Therefore, I’m late.
‘The second mode is when the anxiety goes away, it will actually help me stay on time. I’ll sit there and look at my watch until it’s time to leave early but I can’t do anything before.’
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