Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, aka ADHD, is a well-known mental health disorder. People with ADHD are known to have difficulty concentrating or are easily distracted. In most cases, they also have trouble staying still for a long time.
Here are 5 ADHD life hacks that can help you with your daily life:
- Life planning equipment is your best friend
- Use your hyperfocus to your advantage
- Choose something you enjoy doing
- Allow your brain some leeway
- Consider medication: it’s an option
Although ADHD symptoms are common among most people, only those who are suffering from the disorder are the ones who struggle with the simplest daily tasks.
Life Planning Equipment Is Your Best Friend
If you have ADHD or know someone who has it, then you should know why I’m talking about life planning equipment. Having ADHD puts the term “forgetful” to a whole new level. Your memory can be completely unreliable at times, and at others you can remember things as clear as daylight.
To help yourself keep up with tasks and schedules, people usually use planners and schedules and all that fancy and colorful stationery stuff. But there’s one thing that doesn’t come naturally with an ADHD brain, and that’s organization.
Some people even shudder at the mention of a planner or a schedule, but to keep track of things when you keep forgetting them or just losing yourself in time, you need a plan. You can avoid meticulous life planners and hour-by-hour schedules and set yourself with something flexible that you can deal with.
Make to-do lists and check them frequently, set timers and reminders on your phone, write down something you don’t want to forget, and use sticky notes. These steps should be able to help you organize the majority of your tasks without stifling you, or making you panic.
Use Your Hyperfocus to Your Advantage
One thing about this attention deficit disorder, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the attention, it’s the way it’s divided or drawn that can’t be regulated with an ADHD brain.
So, what does this mean? It means that when someone gets your attention, there’s a chance that you could enter a state of hyperfocus that will prevent you from paying attention to anything else. The problem is, sometimes you’re hyper-focused on the tree branches outside the window, rather than paying attention to what’s going on inside the classroom.
Finding a way to direct this hyperfocus quirk can be life changing. Imagine yourself having a superpower that you can wield however you like, using your hyperfocus whenever you need. It’s still a double-edged weapon, but if you know how to wield it just right, you can be the master of your brain instead of trying to keep up with it.
Choose Something You Enjoy Doing
With an easily distracted brain, something has to really grab your attention in order to keep your focus on it. So choosing a profession or a major that you have no interest in can make your life difficult, and even unsupportable.
Choose carefully when you’re in a position to do so, and strongly consider changing if it’s something that you can’t keep up with. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself pouring all your energy into keeping your brain from straying away from the tasks at hand, instead of progressing with it or potentially advancing in it.
People find themselves in the same position they’ve been for years while others come after them and get promoted or move on to the next level. And when they start wondering why they find out that’s because they’re not in an element where they can give their best potential and show their merit.
Allow Your Brain Some Leeway
Don’t stress your brain more than it can take, we all know how burned-out brain cells look, and it’s not pretty. Asking your brain for more than it can take isn’t going to do you any good, and it’s doubtful that your work will even progress better.
There’s a technique called the Pomodoro Technique, and it’s suggested by ADHD specialists often. It mainly consists of working for a set time and resting for a smaller amount of that time, they usually use a ratio of 20 minutes work then 5 minutes rest, but you can set whatever time that helps you progress and keeps your mind from stressing out.
This technique is known to be a success among people with ADHD, especially in exam prepping or while doing homework. You just need to start early, in order to finish the task on time you have to keep count of how long it will take you to accomplish it.
Consider Medication: It’s an Option
It’s understandable if you’re reluctant when you hear the word medicine. But, considering this option with your doctor or therapist and seeing if they recommend medication for you is a good idea.
It’ll not only keep your mind on the game throughout the day, but it will also help you progress and give your all into what you’re doing without the usual interruptions and wandering from your mind.
Usually, ADHD medication isn’t prescribed to heal it or permanently make it better. It’s the kind of medication that helps you sustain a “normal” lifestyle as long as you take them. This can be something positive and negative at the same time, negative because the medication won’t make any permanent changes in your body no matter how long you take it.
The sunny side is that you can control this intake however you like. You can choose to take it during the week and give your body a break on the weekends. You can take them on days when you really need to stay focused like exams or interviews and go without on other days.
ADHD medication isn’t a cure, but it can be something that will improve your lifestyle, and some say that they can show you your life under different colors.
I Can’t Focus on Anything, Does That Mean I Have ADHD?
The answer could be yes and could be no. ADHD needs to be diagnosed by specialists, so even if you have all the symptoms you can’t assume that you have ADHD.
People are born with ADHD brains, so if you have the problem, you’ve probably had it for a long time. If you had trouble focusing since you were a child, couldn’t sit still, and kept losing track of what the teacher was saying in class, then there’s a possibility that you have ADHD. If it’s something that you’ve started to suffer from recently, then it’s probably not ADHD.
ADHD is also hereditary so if people in your family have it, then there’s a chance that you inherited it too. Still, you need a specialist’s input to really be sure.
I’ve Never Been Hyperactive but I Have All ADHD Symptoms, What Does That Mean?
ADHD can be without hyperactivity; some call it ADD. In fact, most girls with attention deficit disorder don’t show signs of hyperactivity. That’s why they’re under-diagnosed compared to boys.
Boys with ADHD are more turbulent and known to be troublemakers, that’s why their comportment and grades catch the attention of adults more. Girls who show no sign of hyperactivity and are always sitting there spacing out don’t draw attention. They’re called “Les Filles Reveuses,” the dreaming girls, and statistics have shown that they’re less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than boys.
Of course, there are exceptions to this. We can’t generalize, but the most important is that ADHD isn’t defined or diagnosed by hyperactivity.