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  • Writer's pictureDrew Kellough

5 Tips for Managing Adult ADHD

Leave your shoes on!
5 Tips for Managing Adult ADHD

Managing ADHD as an adult can be challenging. The demands of adulthood can make it difficult to stay focused and motivated, and ADHD can make these challenges even more frustrating.

As a mental health therapist, I've helped many clients with ADHD learn how to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Here are five tips that have been helpful to my clients:

Tip #1 - Leave your shoes on

Whether it's right after work, after dropping the kids at school, or after your first cup of coffee, leave on the shoes. ADHD can cause your brain to associate shoes with work and productivity. Or it can associate the lack of shoes as time for rest.

Tip #2 - Make a checklist

Checklists matter because the ADHD brain can feel disorganized and at times cluttered. Make a checklist of the tasks you'd like to get done in a day. Start simple, there's no limit to your checklist.

Tip #3 - Break down your tasks into smaller goals

When you're thinking of making your checklist and completing tasks, it can be helpful to break those tasks into less intimidating goals. For example, if I have to clean out a closet, I could be specific about the smaller goals that need to get done like getting the old clothes off the top shelf.

Tip #4 - If you get bored, mix it up

If your brain is losing steam, and you feel like you can't finish your task, try being productive in a different way. If I am cleaning the closet and I am losing focus and getting bored, I can try doing something like taking out the trash, or texting a friend who I forgot to answer yesterday. Small productive interruptions can actually help boost us into completing bigger tasks.

Tip #5 - Give yourself (and your ADHD) a break

Lastly, plan in some small breaks for yourself as you're working through your tasks. If you try and get everything done in one sitting, chances are that you will lose energy before you finish. Scheduling in small breaks throughout your day can give your brain the dopamine it will need to finish your task list.

Give these tips a try as you're learning to manage your adult ADHD

ADHD makes productivity challenging, and the shame that accompanies not being as productive as we would like can make it feel even more challenging.

"The longer your ADHD [goes] untreated, the greater the likelihood it [will] link up with an anxiety disorder."

- Dr. Russel Barkley, Clinical Psychologist and retired Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at The University of Massachusetts Medical Center

If you would like to begin counseling services to focus on managing ADHD, contact me through the form below.


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