Get Organized: Tips For Living With Adult ADHD



Strategies for Adults Living With ADHD

May 11, 2021

If you’re one of the 11 million adults in the United States with adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you understand how hard it can be to avoid distractions, stay organized and work efficiently. With treatment and behavioral changes, you can learn how to handle ADHD to increase productivity and fulfillment. These simple, effective strategies can help you manage symptoms to focus and thrive.

How to Deal With Adult ADHD

Inattention, impulsivity, disorganization, restlessness, overactivity, lack of focus, behavioral control difficulty and other symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder typically emerge early in life — often before age 12 — and evolve as time goes on.

If you’re older than 18 and experience these symptoms, you’re not alone. ADHD is one of the most prevalent childhood disorders, which continues beyond adolescence for many adults. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates ADHD’s lifetime prevalence in U.S. adults between 18 and 44 is just over 8%. While children with ADHD are more likely to struggle with impulsivity and hyperactivity, adults with ADHD are more likely to experience memory problems, restlessness and lack of mental focus.

Even though you may find that evidence-based treatments like medication and psychotherapy go a long way to help you manage your condition, learning effective behavioral strategies can give you the power to control your ADHD symptoms in the moment. Here are five tactics you can use daily.

1. Get Organized

If you often spend your day trying to figure out where to start but wind up getting very little done by dinnertime, a new organizational approach might be in order. Organization helps you manage activities and time efficiently, removing distractions and potential frustration from your day.

One strategy for a more organized lifestyle is to start writing down a schedule for yourself every night for the following day. Beginning each morning knowing what to expect gives you control over your responsibilities and activities. The act of crossing out completed tasks boosts a positive sense of accomplishment.

Whether you have to go to work, run errands or tackle household chores, it’s helpful to write down your top priorities so you can start your day strong and refocus when you lose momentum. Create a habit of checking your schedule at consistent times throughout each day — first thing in the morning, a second time at midday and once more in the early evening to see if you need to complete any lingering items before bedtime.

To maximize your chances of success, cluster similar tasks together under the same time umbrella. For example, answer emails and return phone calls once in the morning and once in the afternoon, instead of throughout the day. Also, make sure you create a bit of space in your day to allow for unexpected obstacles.

How to Create an Organized Home for Adults With ADHD

Home organization and tackling clutter can feel intimidating for most people, particularly those with ADHD. Due to distractibility, decision-making and difficulty with categorizing, adult organizers with ADHD benefit from a targeted approach:

  1. Focus on only one area or room at a time.
  2. Schedule specific cleaning and organizing times in your planner — plan to spend only 30 minutes to an hour on each task.
  3. Categorize boxes for items as you organize — toss, donate and keep.
  4. When you fill a donation box, make an appointment for that action. Schedule a day and time to take those items to the donation drop-off point.
  5. If distraction continues to interfere with your goals, hire a sympathetic professional organizer for extra help.

How to Stay Organized With ADHD

To maintain the progress of added structure and your newly decluttered space, follow these tips to make organization a habitual ADHD management tool.

  • Use a planner: Use a calendar, planner notebook or smart device to record all activities and appointments every day.
  • Schedule your organization: Add tasks to your planner as actionable appointments. For example, pencil in 15 minutes to tidy up the living room at 7 p.m. every day. Designate 30 minutes to clean up the office as part of an ongoing decluttering project.
  • Create a “home” for items: Once you determine where an item belongs, consider that location to be its home. For example, place a tray near your entry to hold your keys, sunglasses and wallet — and always return those items to that spot.
  • Use color coding or labels: For work or personal items, color-coded, labeled storage containers and files can prioritize items by topic or importance.

2. Follow a Routine

Once you’re comfortable organizing your daily schedule, establish an overall routine that helps your day run smoothly, no matter what may crop up. Get used to dropping your keys into your entry tray the moment you walk through the front door. Hang up your jacket in the closet before walking into the living room to sit on the couch. Evaluate your behavioral patterns to develop routines that work for you.

Build routines by developing protocols to tackle regular chores with less effort. To feel less scattered and more accomplished when you go grocery shopping, create a standing list of weekly staples and take a few minutes before you head out the door to add whatever else you may need for the current week to your list.

Routine-Building Tips for Living With ADHD

Building a pattern of repeated behavior takes time and practice. These tips help routine become second nature.

  • Follow a mail routine: Make a system to check and sort mail on specific days and times of the week. Designate an area or container to hold important mail like bills, checks and insurance information.
  • Create a routine for chores: Schedule regular chores like laundry and dishes at set days and times every week.
  • Use electronic notifications and reminders: Use electronic devices, apps and smart technology to your advantage. Make it a habit to set reminders for appointments and meetings the moment you schedule them. Add notifications for routine responsibilities like taking medications or placing trash outside for pickup.
  • Make an exercise routine: Fitness increases the availability of dopamine in the brain, which is often at lower levels than usual for people with ADHD. Exercise also reduces anxiety, improves memory, reduces compulsive behavior and improves executive function — the skills used to organize, plan and remember details.

3. Make Big Tasks More Manageable

If you have to complete a long assignment or an overwhelming project that requires multiple steps and great attention to detail, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps that are easier to accomplish.

Use a detailed checklist or write out your task’s separate components to create a step-by-step roadmap that helps you stay on course from start to finish. Initially, it’s not necessary to put these actionable items in order or even get them all down on paper. After you’ve gotten started and have some momentum, you can add items and put your list into alphabetical or chronological order.

Time Management for Adults With ADHD

Organization and routine set the foundation for better time management, but it can feel overwhelming to start a scheduled project. Sometimes you aren’t quite sure how to begin, or the full scope of the duty seems immense. Whenever you experience these mental or physical roadblocks, commit to working for short amounts of time using a timer method.

Break up large projects into smaller tasks. Instead of one big, daunting project to “clean the entire living room,” create separate tasks like this:

  • Task #1: Collect dishes from the living room and place them in the kitchen sink.
  • Task #2: Remove items that do not belong in the living room and place them in their homes — toys go back to kids’ rooms, shoes go into the closet.
  • Task #3: Vacuum the carpet.
  • Task #4: Wipe down tables and surfaces with polish or cleaning spray.

The next time you need to start a substantial project, try this exercise:

  • Set a timer for 10 to 15 minutes to do only one of the defined tasks.
  • For those few minutes, keep your attention focused on that task alone.
  • When the timer chimes, decide if you have the energy to continue on that task or, if completed, start a new one for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
  • If you still feel motivated, reset the timer and continue working in short intervals for as long as you can.
  • If you’d like to rest, that’s OK — stop the activity and try again later or the following day.

4. Minimize Distractions

When you have personal or professional work that requires a higher level of concentration, minimizing distractions can help you keep your focus for longer stretches of time. Declutter and simplify your surroundings at home to remove distractions and improve focus.

Simplification helps at work, too. Improve your concentration by completing existing projects before starting new ones.

Improve-your-concentration

Avoid overscheduling and learn to say no to new tasks or responsibilities. Saying no to unnecessary tasks gives you the time and focus to say yes to crucial ones.

How to Deal With Adult ADHD at Work

What distracts you the most at work? Social media? News alerts? Email? Texts? Your messy desk surface? Noisy co-workers?

Distractions at work are a common challenge for employees with ADHD. Be honest with yourself about what causes your primary distractions and curtail those diversions using these tips.

  • Turn off notifications: Route calls to voicemail. If you can, turn off message notifications. Check your messages at set times during the day.
  • Use noise-canceling headphones: Headphones are ideal for busy or loud environments.
  • Choose a quiet space: Request a quiet office space or cubicle.
  • Listen to music: Play music or a white noise machine. Research shows that music structure helps the ADHD brain stay on a linear path and address timing deficits. However, not all music works the same way. Loud songs with lyrics can have a distracting effect on some adults with ADHD. The best music options for the benefit of concentration are classical composers and soothing instrumentals.
  • Adjust your work schedule: Start work earlier in the day or stay later than usual when it’s quieter at the office.
  • Maintain a clean desk: Keep your workspace clutter-free to prevent visual distraction.

5. Respect Your Limits

If you start each morning feeling optimistic about how much work or activity you can incorporate into your day, you’re not alone. Many people overextend themselves by taking on more tasks than they can handle or underestimating the amount of time they need to get things done.

Nothing creates more pressure than committing yourself beyond your limits day after day. Failing to deliver on your promises, whether you’ve made them to your boss, family, friends or yourself, can take the wind out of your sails and leave you feeling even more scattered than usual.

Learning how to live with ADHD involves recognizing when you’ve reached your limit and need to remove tasks from your plate. When you take time to understand and respect your limits, you empower yourself to commit to less and deliver more often.

Professional Help for ADHD Management for Adults

Here at Advanced Psychiatry Associates, we know that ADHD is a complex disorder that affects each adult uniquely. If you’d like some guidance to find the strategies and solutions that fit your life, our experienced, compassionate team is ready to help.

We understand how to deal with ADHD in adults and have dedicated our time and training to providing comprehensive care for our patients. Advanced Psychiatry Associates offers the largest full-service facility in the Sacramento region and provides medication management, therapy and counseling, transcranial magnetic stimulation, ketamine treatments and lab services all in one place for your convenience. Call our office in Folsom, Calif., or schedule an appointment online today.

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FAQs

What helps adults with ADHD focus?

ADHD Quick Tips: 11 Focus Boosts When Your Brain Won’t Cooperate

  • Close the door. This is not a metaphor. …
  • Find your frog and take one tiny bite. …
  • Use a fun pomodoro timer. …
  • Mix up your tasks. …
  • Anticipate future obstacles. …
  • Schedule some 10-minute movement sessions. …
  • Give belly breathing a shot. …
  • Look for the jet stream.

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What should adults with ADHD avoid?

Adults and children with ADHD may feel better if they limit or avoid the following:

  • Sugar. Eating sugary foods can cause blood glucose spikes and crashes, which can affect energy levels. …
  • Other simple carbohydrates. Sugar is a simple ? or refined ?carbohydrate. …
  • Caffeine. …
  • Artificial additives. …
  • Allergens.

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How do adults with ADHD learn best?

Study Skills Develop a regular routine. Take frequent breaks. Keep up with work and do not wait until the last minute to study. Allow extra time for writing assignments to includes editing & rewriting.

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How do adults with ADHD calm down?

Keep Calm and Breathe Om: 7 ADHD Relaxation Techniques

  1. Acknowledge Your ADHD. Stop blaming yourself for forgetting chores or missing a deadline. …
  2. Exercise Your Options. Exercise is a potent stress-reducer. …
  3. Measure Time. …
  4. Create Boundaries. …
  5. Make Structure Your Friend. …
  6. Take Time to Play. …
  7. Remain Vigilant. …
  8. ADHD Relaxation Responses.

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Does caffeine help ADHD?

Even though caffeine is a stimulant, it’s not generally recommended as a treatment for ADHD because it hasn’t proved to be as effective as prescription medications.

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How do you break ADHD paralysis?

Breaking tasks down, noting your accomplishments, and making projects fun are some ways you can help avoid ADHD paralysis in the future.

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What is an ADHD meltdown?

Similarly, people with ADHD can also experience ‘meltdowns’ more commonly than others, which is where emotions build up so extremely that someone acts out, often crying, angering, laughing, yelling and moving all at once, driven by many different emotions at once ? this essentially resembles a child tantrum and can …

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When do ADHD symptoms peak?

The symptoms may peak in severity when the child is seven to eight years of age, after which they often begin to decline. By the adolescent years, the hyperactive symptoms may be less noticeable, although ADHD can continue to be present.

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What helps ADHD in adults without medication?

For those people who do not want to take the medication route behavioral therapy, nutrition and lifestyle changes, and/or brain training, among other natural therapies designed to improve focus and impulsivity may help alleviate some ADHD symptoms.

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What is ADHD burnout?

Coping with ADHD Burnout. Category: ADHD. Burnout is a feeling of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion. Burnout additionally involves negative feelings or anxious thoughts about the quality of our performance in areas such as work or school. It can be caused by dealing with untreated ADHD symptoms.

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What are ADHD mood swings like?

Symptoms of Mood Swings in ADHD

Switching from excited one moment to sad, angry, or anxious the next. Fluctuating between having trouble paying attention and hyperfocusing on an activity. Having bursts of energy and fatigue through the day. Feeling emotions intensely and having difficulty regulating them.

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What is ADHD paralysis?

ADHD paralysis is used to describe the overwhelm-shutdown process that can happen when you live with ADHD. When too many things are happening, or too many emotions are building, you may ?freeze? as a way of responding to the stress.

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What does severe ADHD look like in adults?

Adults with ADHD may find it difficult to focus and prioritize, leading to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans. The inability to control impulses can range from impatience waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and outbursts of anger.

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What is ADHD often misdiagnosed as?

Misdiagnosed ADHD Symptom: Problems at School

But problems in school can suggest a large number of conditions, including learning disorders, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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What is dating someone with ADHD like?

Adults with ADHD are good with people, creative, flexible, and calm in a crisis, all of which can be beneficial in any relationship. Adults with ADHD can be very engaged as they can hyperfocus on areas of interest, Roberts explains. ?This can make the start of a relationship a whirlwind.

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Why is it hard to date someone with ADHD?

Misunderstandings and miscommunications can create problems in any relationship, but communication difficulties commonly show up in relationships affected by ADHD. A lack of clear communication can make it challenging to understand each other’s perspectives, leading you into a cycle of conflict.

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What is ADHD masking?

If you hide your adult ADHD symptoms from other people, that’s called masking. Basically, you’re trying to seem more ?normal? or ?regular.? ADHD causes some people to act hyperactive or impulsive. It makes other folks have trouble paying attention. And still other adults have a combination of those symptoms.

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What is a body double ADHD?

But in the world of ADHD, a body double is someone who sits with a person with ADHD as he tackles tasks that might be difficult to complete alone. Many people with ADHD find it easier to stay focused on housework, homework, bill paying, and other tasks when someone else is around to keep them company.

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Does ADHD cause brain fog?

ADHD is one of several health conditions that can cause brain fog. Many ADHD symptoms mirror brain fog symptoms. Brain inflammation may be behind some of them. ADHD can also cause sleep disturbances that make brain fog worse.

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Tips for Adults with ADHD – Advanced Psychiatry Associates

Strategies for Adults Living With ADHD May 11, 2021 If you’re one of the 11 million adults in the United States with adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you understand how hard it can be to avoid distractions, stay organized and work efficiently. With treatment and behavioral changes, you can learn how to handle ADHD to increase productivity and fulfillment. These simple, effective strategies can help you manage symptoms to focus and thrive. How to Deal With Adult ADHD Inattention, impulsivity, disorganization, restlessness, overactivity, lack of focus, behavioral control difficulty and other symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder typically emerge early in life — often before age 12 — and evolve as time goes on. If you’re older than 18 and experience these symptoms, you’re not alone. ADHD is one of the most prevalent childhood disorders, which continues beyond adolescence for many adults. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates ADHD’s lifetime prevalence in U.S. adults between 18 and 44 is just over 8%. While children with ADHD are more likely to struggle with impulsivity and hyperactivity, adults with ADHD are more likely to experience memory problems, restlessness and lack of mental focus. Even though you may find that evidence-based treatments like medication and psychotherapy go a long way to help you manage your condition, learning effective behavioral strategies can give you the power to control your ADHD symptoms in the moment. Here are five tactics you can use daily. 1. Get Organized If you often spend your day trying to figure out where to start but wind up getting very little done by dinnertime, a new organizational approach might be in order. Organization helps you manage activities and time efficiently, removing distractions and potential frustration from your day. One strategy for a more organized lifestyle is to start writing down a schedule for yourself every night for the following day. Beginning each morning knowing what to expect gives you control over your responsibilities and activities. The act of crossing out completed tasks boosts a positive sense of accomplishment. Whether you have to go to work, run errands or tackle household chores, it’s helpful to write down your top priorities so you can start your day strong and refocus when you lose momentum. Create a habit of checking your schedule at consistent times throughout each day — first thing in the morning, a second time at midday and once more in the early evening to see if you need to complete any lingering items before bedtime. To maximize your chances of success, cluster similar tasks together under the same time umbrella. For example, answer emails and return phone calls once in the morning and once in the afternoon, instead of throughout the day. Also, make sure you create a bit of space in your day to allow for unexpected obstacles. How to Create an Organized Home for Adults With ADHD Home organization and tackling clutter can feel intimidating for most people, particularly those with ADHD. Due to distractibility, decision-making and difficulty with categorizing, adult organizers with ADHD benefit from a targeted approach: Focus on only one area or room at a time. Schedule specific cleaning and organizing times in your planner — plan to spend only 30 minutes to an hour on each task. Categorize boxes for items as you organize — toss, donate and keep. When you fill a donation box, make an appointment for that…

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Tips for Managing Adult ADHD – HelpGuide.org

Tips for Managing Adult ADHD – HelpGuide.orgadhdAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder can create problems in all areas of your life. But these tips can help you cope with symptoms, get focused, and turn chaos into calm.How to deal with Adult ADHD (or ADD)If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), previously known as ADD, everything from paying the bills on time to keeping up with work, family, and social demands can seem overwhelming. ADHD can present challenges for adults across all areas of life and can be tough on your health and both your personal and on-the-job relationships. Your symptoms may lead to extreme procrastination, trouble meeting deadlines, and impulsive behavior. In addition, you may feel that friends and family don’t understand what you’re up against.Fortunately, there are skills you can learn to help control your symptoms of ADHD. You can improve your daily habits, learn to recognize and use your strengths, and develop techniques that help you work more efficiently, maintain organization, and interact better with others. Part of helping yourself may also include educating others to help them understand what you’re going through.Change won’t happen overnight, though. These ADHD self-help strategies require practice, patience, and, perhaps most importantly, a positive attitude. But by taking advantage of these techniques, you can become more productive, organized, and in control of your life—and improve your sense of self-worth.Adult ADHD self-help mythsMyth: Medication is the only way to solve my ADHD.Fact: While medication can help some people manage the symptoms of ADHD, it is not a cure, nor is it the only solution. If taken at all, it should be used in conjunction with other treatments or self-help strategies.Myth: Having ADHD means I’m lazy or unintelligent, so I won’t be able to help myself.Fact: The effects of ADHD may have caused you and others to label you this way, but the truth is that you are not unmotivated or unintelligent—you have a disorder that gets in the way of certain normal functions. In fact, adults with ADHD often have to find very smart ways to compensate for their disorder.Myth: A health professional can solve all my ADHD problems.Fact: Health professionals can help you manage symptoms of ADHD, but they can only do so much. You’re the one living with the problems, so you’re the one who can make the most difference in overcoming them.Myth: ADHD is a life sentence—I’ll always suffer from its symptoms.Fact: While it’s true that there is no cure for ADHD, there is a lot you can do to reduce the problems it can cause. Once you become accustomed to using strategies to help yourself, you may find that managing your symptoms becomes second nature.Affordable Online TherapyNearly 3 Million people have turned to BetterHelp for professional online therapy. Take the quiz and get matched with a therapist that fits your needs.HelpGuide is reader supported. We may receive a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp through the provided link. Learn more.Tips for getting organized and controlling clutterThe hallmark traits of ADHD are inattention and distractibility—making organization perhaps the biggest challenge adults with the disorder face. If you have ADHD, the prospect of getting organized, whether it be at work or home, may leave you feeling overwhelmed.However, you can learn to break tasks down into smaller steps and follow a systematic approach to organization. By implementing various structures and routines, and taking advantage of tools such as daily planners and reminders, you can set yourself up to maintain organization and control clutter.Develop structure and neat habits—and keep them upTo organize a room, home, or office, start by categorizing your objects,…

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Adult ADHD: Organization and Time-Management Tips

Get Organized: Tips For Living With Adult ADHD Check Your Planner 3 Times a Day 1/16 Whether you have ADHD or just too much to remember, organizing tips can help you manage your time and activities better. Get into the habit of putting all your appointments and activities on a calendar. It doesn’t matter if it’s a day planner, a smartphone app, or just a plain old desk calendar. Keep it in one spot and check it at least three times a day. Make it a habit to check at the same times each day. Make a New “To Do” List Every Day 2/16 Each morning, make a list of the things you want to get done that day. Try to keep your list realistic, so you’ll have a good chance of getting to everything. Arrange your tasks in order of importance, putting the most important tasks first. Assign each task a specific time of day. Cross off each task when you complete it. Start Organizing — One Room at a Time 3/16 Don’t be intimidated by the idea of “getting organized.” Start by putting things back where they belong and throwing away things you don’t need.Tackle one room at a time — start with the easiest. Divide the room into sections if you need to. Schedule organization time in your planner. Use a timer to manage your work sessions.Ask yourself whether you want to keep items or toss them. If you’re not sure, put them in a separate box to go through later. Make Organization a Daily Habit 4/16 Don’t think of it as cleaning up. Think of it as following your organization plan:If you keep items, they should have a home. Use filing cabinets, labels, clear storage boxes, and over-the-door organizers.Take 10 minutes each day to pick up and return items to their proper places.If you take it out, put it back.Keep a box for loose papers and other mislaid items to be put away. Go through it at the end of every day. Keep Small Items Together 5/16 Place a small table or bookshelf near the entryway of your home. Put a tray or basket on top of it to hold important items such as keys, wallets, watches, glasses, and phones. You can also use this area to hold other items you want to remember, such as lunchboxes, briefcases, important papers, or outgoing mail. Have a Rotating Menu 6/16 Planning regular meals for the entire family may be a challenge. Create a “Top 10” dinner list or regular rotating menu of dishes that you can cook easily. Try to keep those ingredients on hand, or list the ingredients on index cards that you can take with you. Don’t carry the burden of feeding everyone yourself: Have a floating “free” night when you order takeout, or share the kitchen responsibilities with other family members. Follow a Mail Routine 7/16 Develop a system for checking and sorting mail every day. One idea is to create a special area to hold all important mail, such as bills, insurance information, checks, and bank statements. Review this pile at least once a week, sorting bills into a pile to be paid, and filing other important documents where they belong. Stop junk mail from…

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8 Tips For Living With ADHD As An Adult – Verywell Mind

8 Tips For Living With ADHD As An Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental diagnosis that involves issues related to attention, executive functioning, hyperactivity, and impulse control. Typically, symptoms emerge in childhood, but many people go undiagnosed until adulthood. The Center for Disease Control estimates that approximately 9.4% of children in the United States meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, but only 4.4% of adults have ADHD.This may be due in part to the fact that adults have developed coping skills to manage their symptoms and often have sufficient control over their environment to prevent symptoms from interfering. If you are an adult with ADHD whose symptoms are interfering with your functioning, these tips and strategies may help you. Figure Out What Works For You Countless books, blogs, and articles have specific and detailed suggestions for living with ADHD. Although well-intentioned, these suggestions often require the very executive functioning skills that ADHD interferes with. People with ADHD are often pressured to stick to schedules and systems that work for neurotypical brains. If you have difficulty sticking to a particular system, it is OK to let go of that expectation. Notice what tends to work for you, and lean into that. For example, many people keep their keys on a hook by the door, but people with ADHD might struggle to remember to return their keys to the hook or follow that organizational system. Instead of choosing the best location for your keys and trying to remember to put them there, notice where you tend to put them. Then, designate that location as the spot where your keys go. Notice what works for your brain, and create systems around that. Keep Things Visual One sign of ADHD is forgetfulness. If something is out of sight, a person with ADHD may not remember it. Visual cues can keep important things at the forefront. If you need a regular reminder of something, keep it in a basket in a location you pass regularly. Keep a schedule where you can see it. A whiteboard allows you to jot down what you need to remember each day. Determine Your Optimal Level of Stimulation Although ADHD is marked by specific symptoms, each person is unique and has different needs. Some people need background noise in order to focus on a task, though white or brown noise might be more distracting than music, a television show, or a podcast. Others might require silence to maintain focus. Through trial and error, figure out what works for you. Then, set up your work space to fit with those needs. Remember that your needs might change over time, so be flexible and change your system as needed. Remember That Your Brain Craves Novelty ADHD brains process dopamine differently than neurotypical brains. Because of this, people with ADHD will often find it easier to focus on things that are new. Regular changes to your environment or workspace can keep your brain engaged. People with ADHD tend to thrive in positions where they do a variety of tasks. This way, their duties vary and remain interesting and novel to the ADHD brain. When you notice that your routine is not holding your attention as it did before, make a small change to keep things interesting and keep your mind engaged. Practice Self-Compassion Many people with ADHD also experience anxiety and depression. People with ADHD often struggle to live up to neurotypical standards and keep neurotypical schedules. Even when these standards are not essential for functioning, society often punishes or ridicules people for diverging from them. If something works for you and is not harmful, that is OK. Know that you can follow different routines, and that is not a reflection of your value as a human. Practice being kind to yourself and letting go of expectations that do not serve you. Getting down on yourself for having different needs or brain functioning can be a vicious cycle, with people trying even harder to force themselves to meet these arbitrary expectations and becoming more upset with themselves when they…

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ADHD Coping Strategies You Haven't Tried Yet – ADDitude

ADHD Coping Strategies You Haven’t Tried Yet ADHD minds are creative minds. We see solutions where others see only insurmountable, exhausting problems. This is especially true when those “problems” are idiosyncrasies associated with ADHD. Case in point: An ADDitude reader recently shared with us this everyday life hack: Set your coffeemaker to brew at 7 am — and remove the pot. If you don’t get up, you will have a kitchen counter covered in java. Brilliant! Here, find a wide range of creative tips — straight from the ADDitude community — for handling the challenges that life throws at adults and parents living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). For Adults with ADHD: Best Tips For Disorganization I carry a colorful wallet, so I can find it quickly in my handbag. A few times a year, I get a clutter companion to help me sort clutter into four piles: “keep,” “toss,” “donate,” and “age.” I revisit the “age” items three months later, and make a decision then. I invite people over for dinner or a visit, so I have to clean up to get ready for them. [Get This Free Download: 11 ADHD Coping Mechanisms] I create a document “hot spot” for time-sensitive documents. I place up to five papers there, each representing a different task that needs to be attended to within the next 24 hours. I stay organized by hanging a list of tasks to do on the inside of my front door. I see it several times a day, including every time I leave the apartment. I attach electronic fobs to my keys and other important items. I press a button on the base unit and follow the beeps to my keys. I keep a small plastic baggie in my purse for receipts and another in the glove compartment of my car. [Take This Test: Are Your Clutter and Disorganization Out of Control?] I store items that are used together near each other, so I don’t have to run around to get the things I need to do a job. I keep wrapping paper, tape, scissors, and ribbons in the same closet. I clean up in stages. I’ll dust everything one day, clean the sink and toilet while my daughter is in the bath, and vacuum all the rooms on another day. I turn on music and keep moving while I clean and tidy up from room to room. I write important things down on brightly colored paper. It’s easier to find an orange or green to-do list if, and when, I misplace it. After I clean up my dining room table, I set the table, so that I won’t put stuff on it again. I write myself a note and stick it right in my pocket. When I reach for something in that pocket, I see what I need to do. For Adults with ADHD: Best Tips For Impulsive Moments I say the Serenity Prayer a lot. In situations in which I might be impulsive, I tell myself to “play the tape forward.” It makes a huge difference for me. My wife has been good at helping me be aware of my impulses. My biggest strategy is delay. I let a totally urgent impulse (usually a purchase) wait for a few days, up to a few months. If it’s really important, the “need” will still be there. I turn an imaginary key in my pocket…

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Making Life at Home Easier with Adult ADHD

Making Life at Home Easier When You Have Adult ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsiveness. The mention of ADHD may conjure up an image of a child bouncing off the furniture or staring out the window of their classroom, rather than working on their assignments. While ADHD is certainly more prevalent in children, the disorder also affects about 2.5 percent of adults in the United States.The hyperactivity of childhood ADHD usually subsides by adulthood, but other symptoms may persist. They can even trigger harmful behaviors, such as gambling and the misuse of alcohol or drugs. These symptoms and behaviors may be detrimental to a person’s social interactions, careers, and relationships.ADHD presents differently in adults than it does in children, which may explain why so many cases of adult ADHD are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Adult ADHD disrupts the so-called “executive functions” of the brain, which include:decision makingmemory organizationImpaired executive functions can result in the following symptoms:inability to stay on task or take on tasks that require sustained concentrationlosing or forgetting things easilyfrequently showing up latetalking excessivelyappearing not to listenregularly interrupting other peoples’ conversations or activitiesbeing impatient and easily irritatedMany adults with ADHD also had the condition as children, but it may have been misdiagnosed as a learning disability or conduct disorder. Adults who were inattentive children might have also gone undiagnosed because their behavior wasn’t viewed as disruptive (especially when compared to children who presented as hyperactive). The symptoms of the disorder might have also been too mild during childhood to raise any red flags, but they become obvious in adulthood when the individual is faced with increasingly complex life demands. If the aforementioned symptoms of ADHD sound familiar, you may want to consider checking them against the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale Symptom Checklist. Doctors often use this list to evaluate adults seeking help for ADHD symptoms. Doctors must verify at least six symptoms, in specific degrees of severity, to make an ADHD diagnosis.The following are examples of questions from the checklist. “How often do you have difficulty keeping your attention when you are doing boring or repetitive work?”“How often do you have difficulty waiting your turn in situations when turn taking is required?”“How often are you distracted by activity or noise around you?”“How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?”“How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?”“How often do you interrupt others when they are busy?”For each question, choose one of these five responses:NeverRarelySometimesOftenVery oftenIf you answered “Often” or “Very often” for most of these questions, consider making an appointment with your doctor for an evaluation.Living with ADHD can be challenging at times. However, many adults are able to manage their ADHD symptoms effectively and lead productive, satisfying lives. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may not need help from a doctor right away. There are various personal adjustments you can make first to get a handle on your symptoms.Exercise regularlyExercising regularly can help you handle aggression and extra energy in a healthy,…

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Coping skills and strategies for adults with ADHD

Coping skills and strategies for adults with ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that can manifest in impulsiveness, hyperactivity, inattention, or a combination of these characteristics. The symptoms can make some everyday activities challenging. Certain strategies can help adults with ADHD cope with and feel more in control of the challenges they face.These strategies include techniques that help people organize and manage their time, environment, tasks, finances, and stress levels. They may produce multiple benefits, such as helping people keep up with appointments and bills and enabling them to focus on and complete tasks.According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, ADHD affects approximately 4% of the adult population in the United States, which translates to about 8 million individuals. However, research suggests that less than 20% of adults with ADHD have received a diagnosis or treatment.This article discusses six coping strategies that might help adults living with ADHD. It also looks at the diagnostic process and explains the importance of seeking professional help.A planner can help people keep track of what they need to do on a given day. A person can record the dates and times of appointments, meetings, and other commitments in the planner and refer to it frequently.It also helps to make a scheduled routine. When doing so, individuals should allow more time than they feel is necessary for each task.Also, to stick to a schedule, it is best to avoid the distraction of checking phones and other devices often. A person can try setting an alarm to help them limit the amount of time they spend looking at their phone.The effort that it takes to organize a room, home, or workspace may reduce anxiety and increase productivity. A person can start by reducing clutter, which will make the endeavor easier. Then, they should ensure that they have to hand any necessary organizational tools, such as storage bins.Grouping similar things together helps make them easy to locate. It is generally also helpful to have a designated place for putting essentials, such as keys and wallets.A person looking to organize and manage tasks should first make a list of things to do on a given day after checking their planner. Then, they can prioritize the tasks based on importance and time sensitivity.The next step is to break down large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. A person should plan to work in small increments of time, such as 15-minute periods, with 5-minute breaks between them. Focusing on one thing at a time will increase the likelihood of completing a task, so it is best to refrain from trying to multitask.Distractions when driving pose a danger to anyone, but they represent a greater hazard to people with ADHD. It is essential to avoid talking or texting on a cell phone when driving. A person can remove the temptation and avoid noisy distractions by turning off notifications before starting their trip.People who find it difficult to manage their finances may benefit from setting up reminders on a calendar to pay bills before their due dates. Using online banking makes managing bills easier because it does not involve paper clutter. Such online systems also provide a record of the date a person pays a bill.When ADHD leads to disorganization and impulsiveness, it may result in unhealthy lifestyle practices that can increase stress, lower mood, and provoke feelings of not being in control. Measures that may help offset these effects include:Getting enough physical activity: A person should aim to exercise daily and spend some time outdoors.Avoiding sleep deprivation: Abstaining from caffeine consumption late in the day and aiming for a regular sleep-wake schedule may help people get more, better quality sleep.Eating a well-balanced diet: A nonnutritious diet may worsen ADHD symptoms, so it is important to include a healthy protein at each meal and eat several servings of whole grains per day. At the same time, people should avoid sugar and fast…

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