If you’re struggling with adult ADHD, every day life can (and likely will) present you with various challenges. You may have difficulty managing work and personal relationships, meeting demands at work and at home, as well as taking care of your own health and well-being.
If you’re in need of some tips to help you manage daily life with your ADHD, here are five strategies you can start using today.
5 Tips For Struggling With adult ADHD
1. Stalk the clock
Becoming more mindful of the time will help immensely in managing your day-to-day symptoms of adult ADHD. When you start tasks or chores, make note of the time; write it down or say it out loud if needed. You can also stay aware of the time by always wearing a wrist watch.
Take note of areas in your home where you tend to spend a lot of time without realizing it, such as your garage, bathroom, or living room. Instead of relying on small appliance clocks that are easy to ignore (such as on the microwave or if the cable box), buy a large wall clock and place it in a highly visible location.
2. Get Intimate With timers and reminders
You have this handy little device with you wherever you go that you can use to set timers and when you start tasks. There’s a reason why it’s called a smartphone – because it’s smart to use it to help manage and make life easier. Use your phone to set reminders and alarms. One of the biggest mistakes I see with clients struggling with adult ADHD, is not taking advantage of the full potential of their phone and using it effectively.
3. Priorities aren’t just for your parents
Keep a written list close by for tasks and chores, and be sure to list them by priority: the most important things get done first. For lower priority tasks, schedule them after your higher priority tasks are complete. Set a reminder to review your priority list each morning, before you check voicemail or email. When you receive tasks from others, schedule them right away according to your priority list, rather than theirs.
4. time sucks
If you find yourself checking email, gossip sites (i.e., news), blogs or social media too frequently (more than 3 times daily), uninstall or move app shortcuts around to make them harder to access. For websites or computer games, delete shortcuts or bury the shortcut in a folder so it’s more difficult to get to. Forcing yourself to take an extra step or two, might be just enough time to give yourself so you can rethink if what you’re about to do is going to be helpful.
People with adult ADHD are notorious for underestimating how long it will take to complete a task or get somewhere. When figuring out how long it will take to complete a task, add 10 minutes onto the time to allow yourself extra time to get things done. Plan to arrive at work functions and other functions 10 – 15 minutes earlier to avoid being late.
While there is no cure for adult ADHD, there are many things you can do so you don’t find yourself battling adult ADHD all the time. By developing healthy habits, you’ll find that handling daily challenges will become second nature. Be realistic about the time frame it will take you to develop these habits. It typically 12 to 18 months to develop a new healthy habit. Another common mistake people with adult ADHD make, is not allotting enough time to develop a healthy habit.
Life is too short to spend it struggling with ADHD. If you find that you can’t manage your life and relationships, work, and your own well-being are suffering, find an awesome therapist you like and trust to help you sort things out and move From surviving to Thriving.
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists reduce stress, increase fulfillment and enhance performance so they can move From Surviving To Thriving.