Tips for Adults with ADHD
The following are tips designed to help adults with ADHD at work, at home, or at school.
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- While at your desk, minimize distractions. Keep only what you're working on out in front of you, and get clutter off your desk.
- Repeat to remember. Repeat back what someone has said. This may help you remember multi-step instructions at work. It may also help you remember what your friend said, and they will feel like you are listening.
- Focus on one task. This may help you get started on a project you've been putting off. Set a timer for 15 minutes. If you can't continue the project after 15 minutes, stop, give yourself a break, and finish later.
- Delegate! If you can afford to hire people to help you do things like yard work and housecleaning, do it!
- Be realistic. If you know you can't wipe down every cabinet in your kitchen, for example, choose the ones that need the most attention and focus only on those.
- Organize at home with a "launch pad". Identify a table or bookshelf near the door you enter to your house as your "launch pad" or "landing pad". Put a container or basket there to catch keys, glasses, papers, wallets, and other important items. Pocketbooks, brief cases, backpacks, and papers can be stored there to help provide a smooth take-off in the morning.
- Try the 10-minute pickup. Each night try to spend 10 minutes quickly going through the house seeing how many items you can pick up and put away. Set a timer. Take a bag, basket or container and go through the house picking up items and dropping them off where they belong.
- Observe others. You may be able to learn a great deal by watching others do what you need to learn to do. Try selecting "models" in the workplace or in your personal life.
- Identify a supportive friend or spouse to serve as your volunteer coach. Review and discuss your steps and goals with your coach. Hopefully, your volunteer coach will help monitor your progress and provide support along the way.
- Use prompts as helpful reminders. Prompts can help you remember to do something or say something. Types of prompts can be visual (a post-it note), verbal (someone telling you to be quiet), physical (a vibrating phone alarm), or a gesture (someone pointing to their nose).