5 Tips for Managing Adult ADHD

For some people, setting up a routine and tackling priorities can be done with regular practice and hard work. However, others may still struggle no matter how many organization apps, planners, or reminder notifications they have to stay on top of their tasks. The culprit for some of these people is adult ADHD. This mental health condition affects attention, memory, and motivation, among other symptoms. Here are a few ways you can manage ADHD in your adult life. 

  • Finding Treatment That Works

Managing adult ADHD can be a smooth process when you have the right support. While finding helpful medication is often the first thought people have for tackling their focus and motivation struggles, it’s important to remember there are a number of successful treatments that could be more effective for your needs. Because every case is different, it’s crucial to look at a person’s specific difficulties and needs in order to focus on the right priorities. 

The online therapy resource BetterHelp has information on how you can develop healthy coping skills, like setting up a scheduling and task system that focuses on your deadline difficulties. Finding the right system of treatment can take time, so don’t be discouraged by the trial and error system. Instead, feel encouraged that you’re one step closer to finding something that works for you. 

  • Avoid Procrastination

A significant struggle many people with ADHD have to work through is a lack of motivation or focus. This can lead to putting off tasks until the last minute, which can increase stress and pressure. While some people find that they work better under this type of pressure, it can weigh heavily on a mental health state if they’re too reckless. 

Therefore, it’s important to find ways around procrastination that still provide a sense of urgency and necessity. One practice is to set up other goals ahead of your deadline. For example, if you have a report due at the end of the month, set up smaller deadlines every week to complete it before that time. You can even ask friends or family members to ask you about your progress or regularly provide your manager with updates so these deadlines hold more weight for completion. 

  • Thinking Ahead

Trying to get ahead of your schedule is a common goal for most adults – being prepared, developing a timeline, etc. But for individuals with ADHD, this process can be even more difficult because of troubles with memory, focus, and organization. In order to stay on top of your schedule, you need to take precautionary steps to ensure you’re on time and pacing yourself. One way to think ahead is to give yourself more time than you think you’ll need to complete a task; give yourself two hours for a grocery run, plan for an extra half hour to get ready before an event, or set aside extra prep time before cooking. 

Many individuals with ADHD find that setting timers and reminders can help them to stay focused on tasks because it gives them a closer deadline. If they set up a 30-minute timer, they’ve established an end goal before getting started on the task. This can also be helpful for impulse control and prioritizing tasks. Try to establish a task list or goal before your day to get ahead of wandering thoughts or hyper fixation. 

  • Simple Systems

Developing a structure that works for your mindset is incredibly important for managing adult ADHD. Not only can this influence how well you can organize tasks and a schedule, but it can also help you complete “simple” daily tasks. It’s not uncommon for individuals with ADHD to forget regular tasks that involve hygiene, eating habits, or appointments. In order to ensure you’re staying on top of important tasks, including a daily routine, you need to develop simple systems that can help to remind and encourage you to complete them. 

Break down your processes into “bite-sized” pieces. This can not only help you to view the task as a linear progression, but it can also improve your self-confidence to see boxes checked off on your to-do list. Having a calendar, planner, or filing system for your bills and appointments can help you to keep everything you need in one area. Setting a reminder on your phone to check these periodically will also give you the opportunity to look over the information repeatedly. Finally, giving yourself small rewards for these systems can give you the necessary motivation to complete them. 

  • Finding Support

Managing adult ADHD doesn’t have to be an independent battle. Instead, having others support you and help your progression is a great way to stay motivated and focused. As mentioned earlier, this could work by involving friends, family members, and mental health care professionals in your regular tasks to ensure you have someone helping you stay accountable.  

Having a quality support system can also be a great way to vent your frustrations, get feedback about your thoughts and concerns, and validate your feelings. Being able to express yourself in a safe environment without the fear of being judged is incredibly important to maintaining positive mental health. Talking to your support system about your struggles with ADHD can help you to put challenges into perspective and continuously learn more about treatments and methods that can improve your daily life.

This post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

Recent Articles

Related Articles