Roses are red,
violets are blue.
But then why are they violets and not bluets?
And roses can be... Squirrel!
This is the guild page of the ADHDers Guild, the guild for those of us who belong to homo sapiens inattentus species, have custom artisanal brains 🙃😂 and are using to help manage the issues of motivation, distraction, and other impairments that come with our condition.
This wiki will be used to collect helpful tools and recommendations to manage ADD/ADHD submitted by the guild members.
Accommodation Ideas for School & WorkEdit
|Location Related||Personal||Support from Colleagues|
|Desk in the Corner||Noise Cancelling Headphones||Tasks being Broken Down for you|
|Quiet Bureau or at least Cubicle with walls and a door||Deadline Extension/ Customized Deadlines for Subtasks (daily/weekly) / "Fake" Deadlines to create feeling of urgency||Guidelines on Priority Level for Tasks|
|Office with Small Amount of People||Emotional Support Animal||Sample Tasks with Walkthrough/ Task Templates|
|Alternative Distraction-Reduced Testing Space||Audio-Recording||Ticket System (see here)|
|Sitting Ball||Breaks as Needed||Emails over Phone Calls|
|Desk Bicycle (see here)||Flexible Attendance/ Flextime||Drop in Advising|
|Multiple Screens when Working with Several Data Sheets Simultaneously||Let you get up and work out whenever you want||Phone Calls only coming in between time (x) and (y) on day (z) of the week|
|Provide healthy snacks||Have smoking break without smoking||Asking for a Peer to Work with You on all your work items|
|Home Office - change of scenery helps||Extra time for paperwork||Believe you a task is hard for you when you say so. Especially if it's not supposed to be hard. Same with believing you some task is easy for you when you say so.|
|Control over your direct environment to some extent||Permission to leave emotionally loaded situations abruptly||Check in without shame why you're behind schedule and listen to what helps even if it sounds ridiculous|
|Ergonomic Chair and Desk Setup (reduces distracting physical discomfort)||Getting notes ahead of class||Don't ever question your coping strategies|
|Personal White Board||Coaching with an ADHD specialist||Get educated about what ADHD but ask what exactly applies to you|
|Provide Sticky Notes and Pens (en masse)||Audio Aid (someone reads test questions to you)||Getting a summary of all the relevant studying material|
|Set up a Labeled System for Paperwork and Tools||Weekly written feedback and directions|
|Sitting in the front in class|
|No distracting machines near by (coffee kettle, shredder etc.)|
|Ability to control the light (false ceiling or light diffuser - like photographers - or putting up colorful umbrellas for cubicle work spaces)|
- Try a
New Way to Get Around. Learn riding a unicycle, rollerblades or skateboard.
- Try new
Food. Find a new recipe, or add a new twist to a recipe, or if you can afford it, go to a restaurant you've never been to. Try Monthly Baking Challenges in Habitica.
Learn Something New(e.g. Spanish, crocheting, a new stitch, etc.)
Explore, if you have a part of your city that’s kind of like an urban maze, pop yourself over there and wander! Combine with Geocaching, if possible.
- If you are having a hard time
Figuring Out What to Do, you can make a list of things you like to do, and hang it up somewhere you'll notice.
- Look up
Decision Fatigueto name your issue. The latter means, that once you've put that effort into making decisions, any further decisions get harder to make.
Torn Between Two Decisions:
- Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. On one side write the title e.g. 'stay in college and get degree' and on the other side the title 'quit college' and underline those titles. Now spend some time writing down the obvious consequences of those two distinct options; you will find that one will call out to you as being the best option for you to pursue. Then sleep on it. Next day, review what you wrote, make any new comments or tweaks to it. Then sleep on it. Third day - it's decision time - and then really enjoy throwing all your energy into making whichever option you chose work out to the best of your abilities.
- Flip a Coin to explore your gut feeling about the options at hand.
Overwhelmed By Choice(e.g. "My professor is letting us do a presentation on anything we want and while that sounds great I have come up with like 20 different topics in 2 days and everything is interesting and the lack of structure here will be my doom!!!"): Make a
Numbered Listand use a
Random Number Generatorto pick one item. Don't waste mental energy on
Decisions That Don't Matter.
Lower Your Standards, like if you're hung up on whether you should shower first or clean the litter first, and it's too tough of a decision, eliminate one of the tasks completely: wear a hat to hide the greasy hair, or clean the litter when you get home.
Go With the First Ideathat doesn't seem "bad." This can be different measures, like if something sounds currently unpleasant to eat, or not something you feel up to doing, etc. Might just be whatever is "easiest." Impulsive and perhaps not great, but at least action is taken.
Focus on Something Elseuntil forced to make a decision that's usually based on what's easiest. Again, with the food example, that often means just forgetting to eat until you need to just shove the easiest thing in your mouth. If you're lucky, something better comes up, like your roommate making dinner and offering to share.
Find a Substitute, for example, faced with "how do I continue cleaning my room?" you instead start cleaning the bathroom.
- Find a way to
Get Someone Else to Decide, or at least give input. Let your friend/the waiter of a restaurant recommend a dish. It creates a more productive situation and adds external structure. It also could help jumpstart the brain, as you might find it easier to decide after hearing the other person's thoughts, even if your choice doesn't match theirs.
First Appointment Seeking a Diagnosis:
Brain Storm your Symptoms: Use the Table of Content of this page, the diagnstic criteria of the DCM and ICD for cue words. Write each cue word on a separate sheet and brain storm where you encounter them in your everyday life. If nothing comes to mind go into every room in your house/at work and see how each issue applies to that room (e.g. bedroom decision making: what bedsheet to choose?, kitchen decision making: what to cook?). Think of examples outside of home/school where you encounter those problems, too, and try to remember how they affected you during childhood.
- Learn about typical ADHD impairements: Executive Functioning, Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, Time-Blindness, Sensory Processing Dosorder - especially regarding auditive information.
- Compare your "normal" with what you consider "normal" in others.
- Prepare a list. Write down your symptoms, examples of when those symptoms occur in your everyday life, and how they impact what you're doing. Do you remember having particular symptoms during childhood? How do the people around you describe you (lazy, organized, etc.)? How long have you been doing research on your symptoms, and what resources did you use? What potential other explanations for your symptoms exist, and what conclusions did you reach?
Track Yourself: How often do you get distracted while listening to other people? Chose an everday life situation and make a list of everthing that went though your head while trying to follow the talk. E.g. (x) disrupting thoughts and (y) distracting things from your enviroment. Note too: How long was that situation (2h)? How much sleep did you ahve taht day? Did the day feel normal overal?
- For subjective things like "I'm really struggling with this, it matches this person's experience, could I have this too?" the important conversations center around a discussion of pain points.
Be Honest and Don't Try to Tell Them What You Think They Want to Hear. A good clinician will be able to suss out the important parts.
What to expect
During the Assessement?
- There might be an IQ test to check whether your performance matches your cognitive potential.
- Questionnaires are very likely.
- Sometimes you have to do computer tests (e.g. prolonged monotone task, reaction time etc.).
- Conversations with the doctor are very likely (have your symptom list prepared!).
The diagnostic result is:
"You Don't Have ADHD"?
- Don't worry, you can still
Stay in the ADHDers Guildand receive support from us, if you feel like it's benefitting.
- Seek diagnosis for
Mental Health Issues which can Mimic ADHD, like ASD, Depression, Anxiety or Bipolar Disorder.
- In case, the
Diagnostic Result Feels Absolutely Wrongand you relate to the struggles that come with ADHD a lot, seek a second opinion on the matter with a clinic that has more experience on diagnosing ADHD (especially the female phenotype of ADHD requires a lot of diagnostical experience). Gather more evidence, like relevant journal extracts over the years from both yourself and your family, assessments/documentation from your psychologist or ADHD coach, specific testimonies from teachers, even going to the extent of recording and visually graphing out important data (like your attention/impulsivity/hyperactivity levels during the day over several months, etc) and then armed with this, go back and appeal the outcome. Also, let them check your IQ, if they haven't yet, because while your ADHD symptom levels might still be in the normal range, they might be beneath the scores of what would be expected from someone with your cognitive potential. Then the gap between potential and performance might be more telling than performing within the normal range.
Don't Let Doctors Boss You Around. Always get a second opinion or third or fourth. Not until you get someone who gives you what you want, but until you find someone who validates you, listens, and helps you find your people. You're not alone; others who are struggling with what you are, are going through the same things. When you find the right diagnosis, you'll find the others whose stories mirror your own and know you're not alone.
ADHDers Describing Their SymptomsEdit
Executive dysfunction is...
- "the fact that I wrote a really long detailed response to this several hours ago but couldn't make it make enough sense and then I didn't send it because I went down a rabbithole on the NIMH website..."
- "like having a million bouncing balls in my head, and I can only carry them in one hand. Every time I want to do a task, I have to scramble around to find the bouncing balls I need (which could be information, memory about how to do something, thoughts, feelings, whatevr) and I'm constantly dropping the ones I've gathered and getting distracted by the ones that are irrelevant to the task. It's exhausting and chaotic and sometimes I get so tired I just give up the task entirely."
- "like having a bunch of marbles. the marbles are rolling everywhere but you just can't...care. You know you should gather them up. Maybe find a bag even if there is a hole in it (meds) but you'll do it later. Yeah. Later."
- when "there is a thing you need to do. It's important to do it, and you know this. Not doing it will result in bad things and bad feelings. You don't want that bad stuff. You want to do the thing. But now it's several hours later and you have still not gotten your body or mind to cooperate, nor do you know how so much time has passed. Like... The organizer knows what needs to happen, and writes up the orders for the team to follow; and the team is completely capable of following all of those orders; but something is preventing the orders from making it to the team, so they just keep doing whatever else."
- when "there are dirty dishes. You want to make them clean. You know how to clean dishes; you do it almost every day. You tell your body to stand up and walk into the kitchen. Three times. Your legs don't move. The fourth time, your legs move. You stand and walk toward the kitchen. You walk through the doorway. You have no idea why you are in the kitchen. You see the refrigerator. You open the refrigerator. There is food. You get some. You go back to the couch to eat it. You realize you were going to wash the dishes. You tell yourself you will wash the dishes as soon as you are finished eating, so you can wash this bowl and spoon you're using as well. You sit down. You start to listen to an audiobook while you eat. Six hours later, you realize you never did the dishes. You tell yourself to stand up and walk to the kitchen. Your legs don't move."
- like "I told myself yesterday I was going to go through those three boxes and waddle it down to two. I told my partner this morning I was going to do it. That was at nine. It is now two and I have not done more than glance at them. Now it is seven. They are still not touched. I guess I will have to do them tomorrow."
- when "I have a important task. I know its important. I can sit there all day, reciting the consequences for Not Doing the Thing. It could be a worldsaving thing. It could be a Thing that stops the universe from imploding and I still would not be able to Just Do The Thing!"
- "like finding a really reallly cool shiny bouncy ball in your favorite color and suddenly all the other balls stop bouncing. You don't notice the other balls anymore, even the important ones like, "it's time to use the bathroom". It's really cool to get a break from the noise and chaos, and focus on one thing instead of a million, and sometimes you get a lot done, but it can be just as disabling because...well...using the bathroom, eating, and calling your mom are just as important as whatever you're hyperfocusing on."
- "time for the marble game. Why would you be focusing on anything but the marbles if you're playing marbles?"
- when "the thing you are paying attention to is the only thing that really exists. Everything else is veiled, if not forgotten entirely. There's no real sense of time. Other things around you, if noticed at all, barely register and are quickly dismissed. It can be like wearing earphones: you've got your music or podcast or whatever right in your ears, and everything beyond that is drowned out. It takes a lot of sound to get through, and when it does, it usually irritates you because it's interrupting what you're focused on."
- when "you read an email from your boss: What are the possibilities of doing a retreat on death and grief for the youth at church? You write down a few memories of things that were done with your youth group when you were young that has helped. You do a google search on youth group death resources. You do a google search on youth group grief resources. You do a google search on worship and death/grief. You open Word. You pull out your Bible and concordance and hymnal. You do a few more google searches. Ten hours later, the cat climbs on your lap and yells in your face that it's suppertime. You realize you are hungry, thirsty, and need to go to the bathroom. You haven't done any of the housework you planned to do today. You were going to go to the store. Oh, well. You will take care of things as soon as you send a reply email to your boss with attatched documents containing your brainstorming, three different retreat outlines, complete worship plans, complete study plans, suggested menus for group meals, possible venues, a service project suggestion, and suggested and alternate group bonding activities."
- "reading the whole guild chat instead of doing my schoolwork which is already overdue."
- To determine the
Baseline of your Symptoms: rate your ADHD symptoms daily for one month using an app like
MySymptoms(check here for more info), or an
(Excel) Spreadsheet. Calculate the average rating of each symptom. You may consider using the Pain Scale for your rating (adapted to ADHD symptoms rather than pain, of course) and bring the chart to your appointment. This can help convey to your doctor the impact the symptoms have on your everyday life. It also allows you to track the effects of any new medication regimens you choose to follow.
Emotion Regulation & OverwhelmEdit
Noise Cancelling Headphones/Earbudsor the opposite:
Music on Very High Volume.
- Listen to highly
Energetic Music(upbeat rhythm, metal, etc.) or
- Try to get
Somewhere Dark and Quiet, where you can feel enclosed without being crowded, possibly under a blanket on an uncluttered bed, next to a quiet person/animal/big ol’ plushie on the couch, on the floor in a clear corner where you can put your back against a wall for
Grounding. If you're at someone's place/outside you could head to a bathroom or side hallways/roads.
- Get under a cozy
Touch Soft Thingsor other textures you like (e.g petting your cat 🐱😉).
Focus on Something Elsethat is cognitively demanding (e.g. try to remember tons of digits of pi, reciting the alphabet backwards, thinking of three good things that happened that day).
Read Fictionto retreat back into your head where it’s (mostly) safe.
- Play some
Simple, Repetitive Phone Gameslike sudoku.
Breathing Meditations, e.g. "Breathe In, Breathe Out, Calming, Smiling, Present Moment, Precious Moment." Breathe in or out with each phrase as you say them in your head.
Leave the Situationas soon as possible and
Shake Your Limbsas if to get rid of the feeling of overwhelm. Walk outside in a quiet neighborhood, park or natural area.
Fidget Toysprevent and help manage overwhelm (e.g. Dimpl Clip, Tangle Fidget, a folding fan, especially if you live somewhere hot). They are discreet too!
- Use your favorite
Scented Lip Balm and Hand Creamto help block out bad or strong smells with a familiar, soothing smell.
Be Prepared: have a specific bag with its own
Designated Coping Toolsthat never leave it, so they don't get left behind. Have it ready to grab at home and take it with you any time you know in advance you're heading to a loud, crowded, hot, busy, etc. place.
Snacks & Water, because hunger or dehydration add to sensory overload
Cold Wateror even just rinse your face with cold water for about 45 seconds for a nice cooling effect.
- Dealing with
Paralyzing Anxietywhich leads to
Excessive Procrastination: When all else fails, and if it's just the one task out of many, the best thing overall is to get someone else to do it, or at least get it started for you. It can even help if someone does only the first steps, like opening the envelope or pulling up a website. Example: Have someone help make phone calls. This person dials the number and puts the phone on speaker, this way you can both answer the questions.
- Dealing with
Unproductive Coping Techniques/Avoidance Behavior(e.g. gaming): add a grey (never due) daily to your list for the unproductive coping activity. Grant yourself 30 minutes for doing the thing and only tick the daily if you actually stop the unproductive coping after those 30 minutes. It's a little bit like acknowledging that something is overwhelming but not letting it take over.
- This study came to the conclusion that
High-Intensity Exerciseactivates brain networks involved in emotional processing.
Put Events Into Context: Will your actions in the situation matter to you/the people present tomorrow? Will it matter in a week? A month? A year? 10 years? This usually
Helps with Anxiety. Another way is to
Picture the Worst-Case Scenarioin as much detail as possible (what will happen, when, where, what exactly people will say). Oftentimes what we fear the most is the uncertainty and not the consequences themselves, and clarifying what would actually happen helps reduce that uncertainty. You might also reduce uncertainty by asking someone who was present for
Distraction Using the 5 Senses: Name 5 things you see, 4 things you physically feel, 3 things you hear, 2 things you smell and one thing you taste.
“Anger-Time”: Give yourself a specific block of time dedicated to processing your anger (e.g. allow yourself to go all out at 4 p.m., but not right now).
Physical Exertionhelps you calm down when overwhelemed. If you have a
Dogthrow a ball for it until the feeling goes away, or until you're too tired to keep throwing it. Or have a
Pillow Fightwith your couch.
Tell your Brain to Stop. Just stop. Whenever it's freaking out about the thing not being done on time? Stop. Breathe. Stop freaking. It's okay. Stop. And continue doing the thing, shushing your brain whenever it starts freaking out again. Similarly to the Thought Stopping Technique.
Angrywrite down these feelings, all the things you want to tell someone,
Write a Letter, but then you can crumple it up (tear it, burn it, whatever makes you feel better) as a way to get those things off your chest or
Redirectthat anger energy into something else, whether physical activity like exercise or bike riding, or a hobby where you can get messy (try angry charcoal drawing!). Engage in
Repeated Ventingto patient friends.
Make a Playlist about it! Music and specifically making playlists can be a good mechanism for processing and confronting more intense emotions. A
Creative Taskthat will give you a framework to help you deal with those emotions head-on and think through them.
Find Something Icy Cold to Hold to Calm Down. An ice pack on top of the head can help with anxiety attacks.
- If a
Task Feels Draining and You've Been Stuck On It For Quite a While, you might want to evaluate it. Maybe it isn't worth doing? Not saying, give up on your dreams or whatever, but sometimes "*our* dreams" are actually someone else's that we think we "should" be doing.
- Daylio for mood, symptoms and period tracking (available for both Android and iOS)
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
- Interactive Self-Care Guide by jace_harr. Great flowchart that walks you through taking care of yourself on a bad executive function day. WARNING: Might include wording categorized as profanity according to the Community Guidelines of Habitica.
- 750Words for typed journaling.
Cashinstead of credit cards. It helps to visualize the amount of money you spend and serves as a physical limit for purchases.
Online Shopping: Save the product in your
Cartand wait for at least one day before purchasing it. After waiting for one day you might lose interest in said product.
- Save things you want to a
Wishlist(e.g. Amazon, Pinterest, etc.) before purchasing. Chances are you'll soon forget you ever wanted to buy them (out of sight, out of mind).
Take a Picturewith your phone of the product you want to impulse-buy with your phone. Taking a picture often satisfies the impulse for long enough that you get out of the store, forget about it, or both.
- Get a
Container for Paperworkso it has a designated place to sit until you do it once a week.
- Mint is a free budget tracker and planner (available for both Android and iOS)
- Use a
White Boardto organize thoughts.
- Always carry a
Notepad and Pento catch task lists, random thoughts, ideas, goals, doodles etc. Some people find initial brainstorming and planning all flow out easier on paper. After examining and sorting out what you've written, create a digital copy if necessary. Use the notepad as your external working memory: "If it's not written down, it doesn't exist." Regarding notetaking at work, if something goes wrong, you can show that you wrote down your tasks and did them as asked or passed them on to someone else. It covers your back. In short: carrying a notebook shows you care about the work. You'll work better and you'll look good to the bosses. Consider
Learning "Shorthand" (or Developing Your Own)for
Fast Note Taking(e.g. use lots of arrows, like ct → [name] means contact, and a little up down ^ shape arrow means tomorrow).
- Make your notes more visible using
Index Cards or Sticky Notes. They're also great for studying.
- Use Pill Organizers for medication. If you're uncertain whether you already took your pills or not, and the pill isn't in the box anymore, you obviously did.
- Cue Your Behavior by linking actions with each other based on:
- time ("If it is 3 o'clock, then I will sit down and write for 30 minutes")
- timing ("If I brush my teeth, then I will take my medication")
- negative behaviors ("If I'm tempted to avoid work by web surfing, I will close the browser")
- positive behaviors ("If I listen to this inspirational song, then I will clean the house")
- negative thoughts ("If I start to shame myself for procrastinating, I will point out two times when I didn't procrastinate")
- positive thoughts ("If I meditate for 5 minutes, then I will make that phone call").
- Write out a really
Simple Routine on a Sticky Noteand sticking it to your bathroom mirror. Or wherever you are doing the routine.
- Once done with homework, sometimes it just feels like too much to put your stuff back in the bag, so put the backpack, folder, planner and all the other
Schoolmaterialin a somewhat neatish pile on the floor of your room in front of the door so you can’t leave without it, and put it all in your bag in the morning.
- Google's Keep notes app. One thing likeable about Keep is that you basically throw in a bucket of random notes and total chaos, but when you add reminders to them, they show up nicely organized in your
Google Calendar. (available on Android, iOS, and web)
Line's Keep– integrated in the free LINE messenger app. (available on Android, iOS, and Windows)
- Microsoft OneNote is set up like notebooks and is good for tiered bullet notes (e.g. class notes, story writing, and video game notes). It also has a mobile app that syncs up with the desktop version, which is great if one forgets to charge the laptop for class and needs to see one's notes. (available on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS)
- Tody keeps track of when chores need to be done. It's a bit more visual on that side than Habitica. (available on Android and iOS)
- Memorix can set reminders, pin memos to one's phone notifications, has color coded sections and a password protected section, and can be backed up in case the phone dies. (Android only)
- ColorNote - Like Sticky Notes, but sorted and you cannot lose them. You can create checklists, but plain Text is also useful from time to time. (Android only)
- Omni Notes on Android (available from f-droid.org and Google Play)
Apple Notes and Reminders
- Agenda is a place to write down all your thoughts, ideas, notes, and meeting minutes. Because it can automatically specify the date and time for each note as you write them, you can find them easier when you look back and build on them later. More importantly, you can assign notes to specific calendar items, like meetings, so that when you want to look back at an event, you can check out when and where it happened, who was there, and what you wrote about it. The app is compatible with
Fantastical 3(see Time-Management) &
Things 3. (available on iOS and macOS)
- Euki for period tracking.
- Todoist - huge capabilities to make long and overengineered filters to segregate to-do lists. (available for Android, iOS and web)
- TickTick for reminders, but it has more functions to offer. (available for Android, iOS and web)
- Notion - Write, plan, collaborate, and get organized. (available for Android and iOS)
- Regularly keeps track of periodic activities, like getting a haircut, that don't occur daily or weekly; when one comes up as due, put it into your "To Do" list in Habitica. (Android only)
- In WaterDo you can have your daily goals being represented in the form of bubbles, once you complete your task you could pop the bubbles and raise the water level. Was shared in the Tavern from a blog post.
- Things 3 has a clean interface and the ability to hide notes away when not need but bring them back easily. The To-Do list can also include your calendar items so you can plan your lists ahead of time without jumping back and forth between apps. Being able to see and do everything in one place makes it easier to ensure you put them in and complete them. (available on iOS and macOS)
- CARROT To-Do gives you a virtual cat to feed once a day and pet. There's a lot of good unlockable content for certain levels that you reach, gives you access to other parts of the app or more time to get stuff done. If you don't complete any task for a day or two, she gets angry. Completing 3 tasks improves CARROT's mood and turns the background from red back to blue. (iOS only)
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
- Monica for social interactions (see Social Life)
Password Keyringcomes with the free version of Avast (a security suite). It works fine 95% of the time (occasionally getting slightly confused, but no major issues) on both Windows and Android phone. The odd thing for Android is that its features are all individual apps, but it lets you have the password keyring without having to also use up all the space with the various other parts if you don't want them all.
- LastPass for password storage.
- LastPass for passwords.
- Set reminders using the Habitica-App.
- Listen to
Audiobooks, Podcasts or Musicwhile cleaning. Bonus if it's something that makes you feel powered up.
- For household stuff, have a
Sheet Pinned Next to the Kitchen, nicely designed with daily tasks and a week plan for stuff you only need to do on certain days of the week. So, in Habitica you only have "do household" as daily and you still have the specifics where you're not distracted. You could also use vinyl
Chalkboard Stickers/ Tapes/ Wall Tattoosfor that purpose. They come in different shapes like horizontal or vertical monthly planner templates, weekly planners, note pad, reusable item labels, or castles etc.
- Do Cat Litter the right way.
- Using the
Pomodoro Method for Cleaning:
- Start with a break. Grab a timer, get out of the messy/stressful area and set it for 10 minutes. Move around and do a little exercise. Do whatever kind of movement makes you happy. Dance to music, do jumping jacks, stand still and pick up your knees one at a time, or walk around the block (low-impact exercise is just as good as high-impact for this step).
- When the timer goes off, pick the area you want to use the most and set for (x) number of minutes. (x) is how long you feel like you can maintain that energy at the moment, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes works for me but it varies by my mood. This is how long you will work on cleaning that specific area. Note: the chosen area is specific, like "the top surface of my desk" but as you clean, you might end up cleaning the space around the area too. This is fine! When you realize you have widened the area, just go back to the chosen spot. It might let you end up with more done than you expected (or not). When straightening a specific area, have a box for "things that go somewhere else" that you can deal with at the end. Otherwise you end up in the wrong room trying to put something in a different area for 10 minutes instead of focusing on whatever you picked as your current goal.
- When the timer goes off, see if you want to keep going or want a break. ALWAYS give yourself a break if you want it! Use the timer and either relax or do more enjoyable energy-spending activity.
- When you finish the chosen area (or need to do something besides clean), choose the next task. You could pick another area to clean, run an errand, work on homework, etc. This way you are making steady progress on your tasks and getting enough breaks to keep it from being too overwhelming.
Declutteringyour home in case of an anxiety inducing amount of mess:
- Start with the floor because you have to be able to move around freely for cleaning.
- Choose a well-defined area you're going to address (e.g. that 1 square meter at the door). And move clockwise once you finished this area. Move from top to bottom when cleaning shelfs etc.
- Cover the areas you're not going to clean NOW with bedsheets/towels/etc. to reduce visual overwhelm and anxiety and to enforce the idea of only cleaning this particular square meter you chose.
- Have a box (or multiple boxes for each room in your house) where you put things that belong in a different room but are not part of your current defined cleaning area. If you don't have enough boxes just put those things on the floor of the room it belongs in. Don't waste your time trying to find the ideal place for such objects, just put them somewhere and come back to them later.
- Set a (kitchen) timer to (x) minutes and start decluttering the chosen area until the timer goes off. Make a short break afterwards and set the timer again.
Marie Kondo for Decluttering and FlyLady for Maintenance. KonMari is good for simplifying the decision making process and works well when you can hyperfocus on the cleaning process, but you might need better structured long-term solutions. Marie Kondo has a lot of routines for maintaining the order in her space, but she doesn't set it out step-by-step. This is because every person will need to develop individual routines, but most people with ADHD work best if someone tells them what to include in the routines, then they can rearrange the steps. Figuring out what to include in the routines is often the extra step that makes the whole system fall apart. So for BIG jobs and maintaining the progress made, you could use techniques from Flylady.
Fast Breakfast Solutions: Prepare your breakfast in the evening the day before; cereal with milk or orange juice; raw veggies with cream/ tzatziki/ hummus/ other dips; protein bars. If making coffee in the a.m. is too much work, get a programmable coffee maker or buy premade coffee.
- Fast cooking with Mug Meals
- No Cook Meal Items for when your brain refuses to adult.
- Use your
Habitica Dailies Like a Schedule, complete with rough times. Include regular meals in your dailies. That helps getting into a routine where one activity leads to another.
Healthy Snackslike dried fruits and veggies, nuts, granola bars etc. at hand.
Losing & Finding ThingsEdit
- Use a
Key Ring with a Chainfor your wallet.
Give Everything a Place and Keep Everything in Its Place. Put your important stuff in the same spot every night, e.g. a beautiful bowl near the door (call it the “launchpad”). The spot shouldn't be one that "makes sense" but one where you actually put/look first when trying to find said item, e.g. store your pens on the ground, if that's where you usually find them (because that's where you usually put them, because that's where you usually use them). The spot should be easily accessible, too, because Executive Dysfunction doesn't like large numbers of steps and thus even opening a cupboard door might be one step too much for you to be consistent in using the cupboard-spot. Put the thing On the cupboard instead of inside it.
Labelthe spots with a label maker. Use
Washi Tape and Drawer Separatorsto outline where things should go.
Reduce the Amountof things you have.
Several Copies of the Same Thing, like a phone charger for each of your rooms.
- Consider setting up
Task Stationsfor items that all are needed for certain tasks (e.g. a launchpad with your keys and wallet at the door). Everything for this task should be within an arm's reach.
Clear Containersso that you know what's inside without opening them.
Remembering your Keysin case, you are living on your own: always lock the door after coming home (and let the keys in the lock). This way it is impossible to leave the house without remembering the keys.
- Make the items
Biggerand thus easier to find by attachung something to it.
- Make a short
Listof things that you should always have with you, and make it extremely easy to check that you have all of them. E.g. let all of these things have different textures. Make it a habit to check all of them before leaving the house.
- Get a
Inner Voiceis important. After someone found a "lost" thing, tell them: "You're great at finding things." They might respond: "no one has ever told me that before". Say it to your kids; say it to yourself!
Organization & StructureEdit
- Watch the Webinar by Susan Pinsky for
ADHD-friendly Cleaning and House Organization Advice(it's free and without spam).
Organize 365by Lisa Woodruff (audiobook on ADHD and organization). Nothing groundbreaking, but solid advice and systems. One thing she suggests is that people with ADHD need to follow ONE organizing method at a time. You're never going to get anywhere if you keep switching. Do one program all the way through (or for a set amount of time). Then, if you want to, you can switch to another system or incorporate another system.
- Establish a
"Laundry Tower": a cupboard where you put clothing you've already worn but which does not need to be washed, yet. It's a step above the floor or The Chair, but unlike those methods of laundry segregation, a cupboard can be closed and keep the space tidy.
- Some of the
Reminders Functionof smart phones allow the linking of reminders with GPS (e.g. reminder to take out the trash that pops up as a notification when the phone GPS sees you get to the spot you've designated as "home")
- Recipe Keeper can import recipes or add recipes of your own and change the portion size on demand. It has an integrated shopping list to which you can add ingredients from the saved recipes. There is a meal planner as well and you can set multiple timers while cooking. You can search recipes by ingredients (it looks like it's possible to search for multiple ingredients at the same time). If understood correctly, you pay only once for an upgrade rather than having a subscription. There’s a free Android/iOS/Win 10 app, but to use the app on several devices you need the upgrade. It looks like it costs the same for each system.
Evernoteto save recipes into a separate notebook and tag them.
- AnyList for synchronized grocery shopping. You can put present ideas there, too. (available on Android and iOS)
- Attach Tile trackers to your belongings and locate them using your phone. They come in different shapes like key rings or card shaped (for your wallet). You can get some decent deals for them on eBay or find a similar product. (available on Android and iOS)
UFYH appfor cleaning and organizing. It's got timers similar to pomodoro, and cleaning tasks organized by how long they should take or how difficult they are. (available on Android and iOS)
- National Food Holidays informs about things like the National Burrito Day or National Deep Dish Pizza Day and might
Give Ideas For Cooking. Recommended in the 🍲 Culinary Institute of Habitica Guild. (also available for iOS)
- Magic Home Inventory by Robert Papp allows you to make an inventory of all your possessions and their location in your house. This helps with finding things you need but forgot where you have them, and prevents double purchases, since you can always check what you already have while being in the shop.
TimeR Machineto give you meal reminders. Get a reminder 3 hours after you eat to "consider" eating, another reminder an hour later telling you it's meal time, then many many alarms in half hour intervals after that that just say "food" with an increasing number of exclamation points after it. The app has a voice telling you exactly what you should be aware of which is startling and effective in equal measure.
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
- FlyLady has some sort of Live Stream for cleaning to increase accountability (premium membership required though).
Fidget Toysor just a
Pen- one with a cap, so it doesn't make that clicky sound but you can pull it off and put it back on. You could use one with sort of
Gripwhich is nice to touch to address stimming urges.
Set a Timerto bounce around the room a little.
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
- GoNoodle - has things like Fresh Start Fitness, Flow and IR (indoor recess) channels. It's FREE. The GoNoodle Plus is for educators and schools, which includes curriculum-based resources.
- Use a Pill Organizer (see Forgetfulness).
- To figure out the right medication/dose
Ask the Peoplearound you to
Note Any Changeswhen medicated versus when not.
Rate your symptomsfor a month before and after starting medication (if possible) to see how they are affected (see Diagnosis).
- There are genetic tests to figure out the right medication (like Genomind), but keep in mind that their informative value is rather limited as research indicates.
- If you are experiencing side effects, try to
Vary the Timing when You are Taking Your Meds: take them 30 minutes before the meal vs. 15 min. vs. take them with your meal vs. 15 min. after your meal or 30 min. See whether side effects appear if you
Take Your Meds with Certain Types of Food(e.g. carbs, proteins etc.).
Overview - Common Medications and their CharacteristicsEdit
This overview was not written by a doctor or medical professional! Always consult with your doctor before taking any medication!!! Also, if you feel you need to stop taking a medication, call your doctor first, to make sure that it doesn't need to be tapered off (some meds can cause problems, if stopped, abruptly).
Note: IR = Immediate Release. ER = Extended Release. SR = Sustained Release.
|Agent||Levoamphetamine & Dextroamphetamine||Methylphenidate||Methylphenidate||Atomoxetine||Lisdexamfetamine|
|Duration of Action||. Taking it with a meal accelerates administration to the bloodstream.||Usually ~12h (possibly). Taking it with food decreases and decelerates administration to the bloodstream.|
|Before Trial||Check forand be careful in case of Anorexia Nervosa, Bipolar Disorder, Depression or Tourette. Check with other drugs.||Check for. Check with other drugs.||See Concerta.||Check for. Click link for more. Check with other drugs.||Check forand be careful in case of Bipolar Disorder, Depression or Tourette. Check with other drugs.|
|Indication||Also used for narcolepsy||Stimulants don't work/cause side effects; combined ADHD + Anxiety or Depression Treatment||Also used for Binge Eating Disorder|
|Addictive?||Risk to develop an addiction isif used as prescribed. It's significant if used in much larger daily doses.||Shouldn't be if handled||See Concerta.|
|Pros||Lower risk to forget to take the meds (1 pill/day)||Lower risk to forget to take the meds (1 pill/day)|
|Cons||Needs several weeks to take effect|
|Other names||Mydayis||Metadate, Equasym, Medikinet XL||Adaphen, Addwize, Artige, Attenta, Cognil, Focalin, Inspiral, Medikinet, Metadate, Methylin, Penid, Prohiper, Tradea, Tranquilyn, Rubifen||Axetra, Axepta, Attera, Stramox, Tomoxetin, and Attentin||Elvanse, Samexid, Tyvense, Venvanse|
- MySymptoms has a reminder function that allows you to track your type of medications and their dose, as well as the time you take them, plus non-medication related things like meals, exercise, sleep quality, etc. It also has a function of tracking customized symptoms, including their duration and severity. It might be helpful when trying medication for the first time: rate your ADHD symptoms daily for one month before trying medication to establish your base line, then track the same symptoms for one month on medication. The app doesn't calculate the mean value for your symptoms - you'll have to do it manually or use a spreadsheet. (available on Android and iOS)
- MediSafe is flexible, allows snoozing or skipping reminders, and comes with fun sounds. It can be used as a meal reminder. (available on Android and iOS)
- There are alarms that tell you to take your meds (literally, it's a man yelling "take your meds")
- If you are struggleing with focus during meditation try doing
Yoga Nidra and/or Body Scanmeditations. While you start to get into, picture yourself in your head doing whatever physical activity you love/want to do. When you first start doing these kind of meditations, do a small itty bitty movement of the body part you are scanning.
- Do you craft or color? Use your
Craft to Center. Maybe you are more the kind of person who DOES things mindfully rather than BE in mindfulness. Even just focusing more on an activity than you usually do is practicing mindfulness. Doing one thing physically (i.e. fidget, playdough, crochet) while doing one thing mentally (reciting affirmations, thinking through a problem) is a mindful / meditation strategy, too.
- Meditate with the
TV Onif silence is giving you a hard time.
With Other Routineslike showering.
- One Moment Meditation is literally that: a timer for one minute meditation (up to three minutes if you include warm up and cool down). It's just a moment to get the squirrel thoughts off their various trees and thus helps with brain buzz. (available on Android and iOS)
- Headspace has a free trial that basically lasts forever. The trial gives you the Basics, which is one course for beginners, as well as a random free meditation each day. (available on Android and iOS)
- Smiling Mind is completely free, and has a bunch of meditation programs, including sleep, study, and bite size ones. (available on Android and iOS)
- Stop, Breathe, Think is mostly free. (available on Android and iOS)
- Calm has a variety of meditations for different topics, with even more available with premium, including celebrity readings designed to put you to sleep. (avaliable on Android, iOS, and web)
Rewards & MotivatorsEdit
- For some people rewards only work if they are
While they Work on the Thingthey don't want to do. E.g. folding clothes to music works, but getting chocolate as a reward for folding clothes does not work. Studying with a friend on an essay works, but hanging out with a friend as a reward for after finishing that essay won't do.
Fun Activitieslike playing games and watching Netflix or YouTube videos to relax.
Something Unusuallike Bubble Tea or
Eat Out. Works with
Drinkslike Hot Chocolate, too.
Real Life Benefit of Getting Things Done: it's a reality check that time spent faffing around is costing time doing the basics, and that you need to earn your time sitting and gaming, because much of that is just dodging stuff. The kick you get from not being such a shambles is propelling you forward; let your motivation be driven from the tiny wins building into slightly bigger wins - and so on.
- If rewards don't really work because you have the freedom and capability to break your own rule at any time
Get Other People Involved. Give some money to e.g. your partner and let them buy a surprise for you with that money once you finish the task. The reward being a surprise adds to the excitement of getting it. Sometimes it can be even simpler: tell people around you when to give you positive reinforcement, they tell you "Good job", and that... works?
Make Plans with other Peoplefor the evening. It helps to do more because you'll have things to talk about.
Travellingas a reward for finishing mammoth-projects.
- Try to
Make Doing the Thing Fun. Try staying on one leg while doing stuff. Gamify it. Make it a competition: you vs. your partner/sibling/etc., you vs. your Habitica Party, you vs. the other challenge participants, you vs. the pomodoro timer!
- Add some
Alternate Reward Activitiesto your Habits. These are things that you want to do in theory but always end up passing over for less healthy or fulfilling options. It's essentially just a reminder that you have things that you want to do and that feel good afterwards, because somehow ADHDers frequently forget such things exist. So for example, have "read before bed" as a trivial, positive-only Habit. As bedtime approaches, you might usually check Habitica at least once, which prompts you to remember "Oh! I could read a little before going to sleep, and that always feels nice!"
Rewards As Deadlines! For example, have a rule that you can't start a movie after 830pm. Then say: "I'm going to clean the house today, but it has to be done by 830 so I can watch that movie I want to watch, and it's already 755!". Soon you might find yourself running around the house, tidying up. So it's more like "I have to do X before Y" rather than "if I do X, then I get a piece of chocolate".
Rely on Current Urges: Like "I have to do one more X before I can drink water", or "5 minutes more study before I can go pee", or "I'm hungry, I'm going to have an apple- wait, no I'm not, not until I've folded my laundry".
Rewards That Are Not Enticing Enough to Get Now. E.g. if you get bored with your wallpaper very quickly changing it is an incentive but it's not so important that you're tempted to cheat. So, once you get to work on time for 4 days (not in a row, let's be realistic here) you can change your wallpaper. Or buying the next book in the series in case you refuse to pay full price on Amazon, you could resist the urge to buy a Kindle version Now.
Spiteis a great motivator. E.g. being willing to expend significant energy to avoid buying from Amazon.
- Write down all your tasks for the day on little slips of paper, fold them up, and then
Draw the Tasks From a Jar. Also, put in some short and easy self-care things in there like, get a glass of water, take a stretch break, send a text to a friend, snuggle a cat. Just small things that break up the day with something positive and healthy. This generates a sense of novelty and choice which is very helpful. And it's a great visual of what you've been able to accomplish as the collection of papers dwindles. Possible modification: draw three items at a time and choose the one that you feel most able to work on.
- Write down a bunch of tiny (e.g. stickers etc.) and a small number of large rewards (e.g. 10$) on single paper strips and
Draw one Reward From a Jarper completed subtask. This adds a surprise component to the rewards. Add competition rules: "If task x is completed in y minutes you can draw 3 paper strips instead of one or you can draw one paper strip from the special prizes jar."
- Start a
Token Systemfor yourself. Chose 1-2 very specific things to work on (e.g. writing, physical activity). Then make pretty specific rules about what kind of wordcount and step count you need to earn tokens each day, as well as some bonuses for hitting milestones and streaks. (Occasionally you can set unrelated goals for that earn tokens, but with the rule that those have to be set in advance. You can't just say "oh I did something cool I get tokens now".) There could also be penalties for not reaching daily goals and bonuses for going above and beyond. Finally, set down a list of rewards and how many tokens they cost. And keep a written tally of the tokens because otherwise you'd lose count. It can be pretty cool to have a bowl full of pretty stones to help visualize your accomplishment.
Collection Toys(e.g. Lego) to represent bigger projects. Hand over one piece per completed pom/subtask this way there's an immediate reward and one at the end of the project (=completed collection toy). Similar things:
Card Gameswhere you hand out one new card per task,
Moneywhere you'd hand out 1 Cent/10 Cents per completed subtask,
PC/Phone Gadgetsor one volume of a
- If possible try to
Physically Attach the Reward to the Thingin question. For example, if you keep forgetting your keys, attach something rewarding to them, you'll get a literal treat but ONLY if you remembered your keys.
Constantly Questioning whether you have ADHD or are just Lazy?Here's some food for thought: People who are just lazy or not trying hard enough aren't troubled with looking out or exploring an ADHD diagnosis. They don't "suffer" from their own behavior and might be quite satisfied with their lives. It's those who wonder constantly, "Why can't I just do this?", "What's wrong with me?" "How can everyone else, who I know I'm more intellectually able than, succeed and I fail?", "I do this system everyone is raving about (bullet journal, pomodoro, mindfulness, cozi, etc), that they claim will sort it, but it never does..!" Those who recognize something isn't right, and never has been, but cannot properly overcome it, no matter what they try, who always feel they should be able to do better, and hate themselves because they just can't. These are the folks with ADHD.
- On a
Bad Executive Functioning Day: Avoid thinking about it too much, be cautious about criticism and try to keep a balanced awareness that we all have flaws, that that's okay, and that nothing is necessarily 'final' or 'unchangeable' so long as we're here. Change can mean a wide variety of things, not just "do better at this thing by this same method with these same circumstances." Change might be getting better at the thing. It might be finding a different method. It might be finding a way to adjust circumstances. It might be accepting a different outcome than originally desired (for example, cleaning 2 dishes instead of 10 is still an improvement). Or it might be straight up accepting something as a weak spot and working around that, whether that means letting a thing be or changing something else in your life to accommodate that.
Self-Compassiontechnique asks you to think of how you would talk to a friend or a child; you would NEVER tell a child or a friend that they're lazy or a screw up! You would sit down and cheer them up and be there for them to the best of your ability. Treat yourself the same. Be gentle with yourself and cut yourself some slack, understanding your limitations really helps.
- When you're
Stuck on the "You're just lazy/no good/a failure" Spiral, it helps to just... Go Down Another Spiral. A Tumblr post described this with the John Mulaney bit about "throwing yourself off your rhythm." Do something you know full well you will hyperfixate on, with the full intent of hyperfixating so hard you stop hyperfixating on the bad feelings.
- Put up a
Wall of 'Nope'every time you start feeling negative about stuff you've done or not done etc. If that stuff involves other people, make sure to get in touch and apologise straight away (or as soon as possible) and explain briefly that you've messed up then try to make good on the situation wherever possible. Next thing, focus on core basics: food, drink, sleep, anxiety level. Sort it out - take a break for half an hour. Then if it's late and you're tired, just sleep. If you're not tired or it's nowhere near bedtime, then pick the most tolerable thing you need to do, and spend a few minutes on it. Most times you'll at least get a little done - and sometimes you'll settle into doing more. Then rinse and repeat until you've dug yourself out of that scenario. Give your brain zero chance to settle into some kind of negative emotional binge. Don't dwell on negative things. Your Wall of Nope could be thought of being built of bricks called things like 'I'm doing the best I can right now,' 'I'm a nice person,' 'I will be kind to myself,' etc.
- Catch your thoughts of laziness or inadequacy and
Actively Talk Back, i.e. tell yourself you're not being bad because what you're working on now needs to be done too. Or you that you need a break or else you'll burnout.
- At times it's hard to not feel stupid even if you know you're not. It's hard to not feel guilty because of the lack of concentration. But you probably know for 100% that
It's Not a Lack of Effort. You're motivated to do it. That's just a fact. Let this fact get you up and try again.
- Messing up isn't what matters. What matters is
Knowing Where You Went Wrongand knowing that you can't change the past but you can improve next time, and most importantly, knowing that it is not your fault. Accidents and mistakes are completely human.
- Add a daily task that is
"List Daily Satisfaction". At the end of the day, take a second to think about what you DID get done. Often turns out the day wasn't the waste it seemed to be. Write 3 things you did well and 1 thing you could have done to make it better. It's a great, easy way to see your successes. In the mornings, it's "I'm grateful for..." And "What would make today great?".
Maintaining Relationships with People who are Supportive and Understandinghelps deal with the screw-ups. It's important to have people in your life who don't demand you to perfect anything but encourage you to do as well as you CAN. Don't mess about with people who have one-strike-you're out policies regarding mistakes or meltdowns.
Resist Perfectionistic Tendenciesbecause they're often counterproductive and harm your mental health. Don't stop that fight just because someone might be disappointed.
Be Kind To Yourselfwhen you screw up and can't do anything. Check out these Challenges.
- Not exactly advice, but some food for thought if you're
Not Feeling Smart: Dr. Ned Hallowell says - ADHDers have a Ferrari engine brain, but bicycle brakes. Our difficulty tends to be in control, not power. As a group, we ADHDers ARE smarter than average - we have a lot of brain power. We just have trouble controlling it, so it does what it wants. The problem is NOT that you are not smart, nor that you are lazy. The problem is that the "owners manual" that people have been trying to give you for your brain all your life, is for a DIFFERENT MODEL OF BRAIN than you have. It is all about figuring out how to work with your brain, instead of fighting it!
- And remember, no matter how bad you feel about messing things up due to your ADHD or any other involuntary affliction, Kim Kardashian chose to play poker with mirrored glasses. You might be upset sometimes, but always remember that
You are NOT Kim K.wearing mirrored sunglasses to a game of poker <3.
Stay Away From People Who Think Intellect and Hardworkare your best qualities or who value you only for those things. Hanging out with people who just think you're a good and worthy person might be healthier.
- Passengers on a Bus - Acknowledge your inner critics without letting them take over. Imagine your life is a bus and you are the driver. Your inner critics are unpleasant riders. You can't kick them off the bus, but you don't need to let them steer.
- 🌱 Develop a Growth Mindset - You are not a fixed set of traits. You can grow and change. Practice interpreting your abilities in terms of learning instead of limits.
- Self-Compassion for Procrastinators - When you procrastinate, you probably don't speak kindly to yourself about it. Would you talk to a friend that way? Probably not. So, when you find yourself putting things off, try treating yourself as a friend.
Sleep Hygiene & Waking UpEdit
- Avoid Blue Screen Light before sleep.
- Try drinking Coffee before going to bed (in case you're unmedicated) because it might calm you down.
- You may be able to take
Melatonin Supplementsto manage Delayed Melatonin Release in ADHDers - but please consult with your DOCTOR first!
SmartWatchesare nice if you share your bed with a partner but you have to wake up at different times. Your alarm in the morning won't bug your partner and vice versa if you use the vibration function of your watch. And some SmartWatches use a pulsing pattern so it's more likely to grab your attention.
- Not serious advice but... have kids as cute little alarm clocks! They work well in regard to consistently force you out of bed, but be warned the time set function is severly broken. Even after years of adjusting they still tend to go off a few times a night.
- Pick a
Teayou really like and only drink it at night (lavender tea has a natural effect making one a little sleepy). It triggers you to get sleepy once it becomes a habit. The same is true for
Set in Stone Evening Routines: always follow one and the same routine (e.g. have an alarm about half an hour before bed time where you stop using your electronical devices, put on sleep clothes then brush teeth after tea and after that go straight into bed even if you stayed up until 4 a.m. and don't feel sleepy). To increase accountability get others involved:
Read a Book to a Friendas part of your routine. Reward yourself for following the routine. And
Don’t Beat Yourself Upfor bad sleeping habits/not following routines: "I want to practice to feel sleepy and want to sleep" is a better start than "I want to go to bed".
Build a Routine. First ask, whether you're a morning or an evening person and focus on said routine (e.g. morning) like twice the rate of the other one. Work on both gradually so neither was too hard, and built on your strength. Add ONE thing into the routine each day, paying attention to where the best place in the routine it fit. On the days you add to the morning routine, still PRACTICE what you have put in place for the evening routine, and vice versa. As a morning person, you might need more practice with each stage of the evening routine before you add to it. Example:
- Day 1: make tea first thing when coming downstairs.
- Day 2: Add put away clean dishes while tea water boiling to morning routine
- Day 3: Turn off tablet and read book for 30 minutes before turning off light.
- Day 4: Add feed dogs while tea steeps to morning routine
- Day 5: Add make eggs or oatmeal after feeding dogs to morning routine
- Day 6: Add play particular word game just before turning off tablet to evening routine
- Day 7: Add wash breakfast cooking dishes and any dirties from previous day to morning routine
- Day 8: Take the five tasks currently in the morning routine and mentally (and on paper) group/practice them as "AM Kitchen Routine"
- Day 9: Add lay out clothes for the next day before playing word game to evening routine
- Day 10: Add Get dressed before doing kitchen routine to morning routine
- There are apps that can make you physically get up and take a picture or scan a bar code before you can turn the (VERY obnoxious) alarm off, puzzle alarms etc. E.g.
Alarmywhere you have to solve equations before it stops ringing, and you can't open the calculator. Or
- Alarms that track your sleep cycle and wake you up at the lightest point in your cycle (e.g. Sleep Cycle available on Android and iOS. Editor Note: Those apps lack scientific foundation, see here and here but tracking your sleep might give some insight regardless and for some people the apps work).
- SleepTown to reward yourself for sleeping. (available on Android and iOS)
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
- Sleepyti for scheduling your sleep.
- Change your settings to Dark Mode if you're using Mac OS 10.14 and up or Windows 10 and up.
- Use Dark Mode to reduce blue light.
- Say "Thank You" instead of Apologizing
- Here's a report from a guild member: "I swear the best thing about my partner finding out that I have ADHD is that she has convinced herself that giving me a
Hugfor doing a thing is 'positive enforcement.' I told her that it's not necessary for it to be a hug, but she's having so much fun she will not stop. Lol." See whether a
Partner or Friendis willing to do the same.
Not Interrupt Other Peoplewhen they are talking or to
Not Talk Too Much, try these:
- Put your hand near your mouth, and like half cover it. Sometimes just a finger is enough as if you
Shush Yourself. You could play it off as thinking, if someone asks about it.
- Physically kind of
Bite Your Tongue or Hold It with Your Teeth. Not hard, but enough to keep it from moving and focusing on that could help divert you and miss your chance.
- Before opening your mouth, bite your tongue and
Think, "What are my key points?"That pause will help you focus and deliver a better point/question/story.
- Chattiness could be just a type of verbal fidgeting. Have
Something Tactile to Fidgetinstead.
Chewing Gum or an Mint, if you can get away with it. Something to manipulate the mouth.
- During meetings make a little
Chart of How Much Each Person Talks, to make sure you don't take a disproportionate amount of time.
- In personal conversation, if you catch yourself rambling try to
Loop Back To the Other Person by asking them a question.
- Take a deep breath or two, and stay silent until you think of a good
Open-Ended Question, that's related at least in theme to what you were blabbering on about (e.g. "What's your opinion on X?", "What's your story?", "Has anything like that ever happened to you?", "What's new in your world?" "What are you passionate about question?", "What do you love to do?").
Conversation Tennis. You've got a ball-gun for a brain but it's not impossible.
- Put your hand near your mouth, and like half cover it. Sometimes just a finger is enough as if you
- Don't be too self-aware about
Talking Muchbecause it
Could Be a Huge Advantage. You build a network at work just by chatting and asking the right questions at the right moment. Cutting off people is something to work on, sure, but "you talk too much" tends to be said by talkative people. Introverts might be glad when others do the talking.
Stay Focused During Conversationsby
You're a News Reporter Looking for a Story. People are interesting! Pre-prepare ideas before meeting someone. Write down topics like reporter interview questions. Read it again just before you see them so the things you want to ask them about are fresh in your mind. (DON'T REFER TO THE LIST WHILE TALKING TO THEM OR YOU'LL LOOK LIKE A WEIRDO.)
- going into a conversation with a new person with the goal of learning one thing that person knows or can do that you don't. You learn some cool things that way. And then you have something to talk about to the next person.
- treating every
Conversation as a Challengeto see how much you can learn about the other person or seeing
Conversations as a Game. Rules of the game: receive points for learning about the other person and for everything you say under 10 seconds long.
- pausing and thinking, what you can ask that will
Make This Person Say Something That Interests You(more).
- The concept
Emotional Pocket Changecan be part of a leadership class. The point is to make sure leaders have “enough pocket change” with the group to cover mistakes. The basic idea is that in every interaction we give and receive a baseline amount of emotional pocket change. The starting amount depends on the situation and how the other person perceives us and how we perceive them. It’s based on how much trust there is to start with. How much credit and benefit of the doubt the other will give us based off whatever they know about us and their past experience with “similar people” and vice versa. You get more pocket change when you do things that strengthen the connection: show up on time if it’s work, remember anniversaries if it’s a romantic relationship etc. you lose pocket change when you make mistakes. How much depends on how it impacts the other person but if you tap out, or go into the negative, you could find yourself renting a remover truck to move on. In other words the relationship changes or ends. Note: This recommendation was posted in the Autistic Adventurers' Guild.
Explain ADHD struggles to non-ADHDerswhen not knowing how to phrase it
- visit ADHD Alien or something similar print one of the comics out, hand it to the non-ADHDer and run out of the room. The running is optional but may be beneficial (?!).
- have them watch at least one episode of "How to ADHD" per week with you, if it's a close person (they can choose which one looks interesting to them, but you watch it together - for the commentary). Small, bite-sized pieces of information with a week to reflect and figure out how to apply before the next one.
- If you're going into couples counseling make sure it doesn't feel like the goal is to “fix” you. You've rather got to work together on your issues as a couple. Maybe going to councelor with ADHD experience might help.
- Be aware of the
Signs of what Others Perceive as Not Listeningor inattentiveness such as looking around, getting a random thought, fidgetting. (For fidgetting, try to get larger shoes so you can fiddle your toes secretly or tense mescles that aren't easily viewable.)
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
- Monica helps you organize your social interactions with loved ones. Create profiles regarding the people around you (your colleague's child's name, your brother's birthday, the last topic you talked about with your grandmother, etc.).
- Keep a
Personal Wiki(Syncthing or Dokuwiki, something like that). Instead of using it for planning, you can use it for knowledgebasing: a way to map your knowledge to make it more accessible and help you build relations between things.
Get organizedto the best of your ability, but don't worry about making your system perfect. It's supposed to help you, not take up 90% of your time.
Someone To Talk To, a sounding board of sorts.
Talk to your Teachers. They may not be your sounding board but you can ask them to help you with accountability and any topics you might be struggling with. (Pro tip: office hours create nice intermediate "deadlines" that push you to work in smaller chunks. Try to go to each one.)
Micro-Pomslike “work on the task for one minute” or
Micro-To-Do Listslike “turn on the computer,” “open the file,” “read one sentence,” etc. if you have a hard time initiating a task.
- Finish a task, get a
Reward, whether it's watching an episode of a show you like, or getting a cookie. Place a gummi bear at the end of each paragraph and eat it once you've read the paragraph.
Respect the Good Day: If you have a
Burst of Energyone day, make sure to not do TOO much, because you'll have to recover from draining your energy over the following days.
- To make
Task Initiationeasier, especially for
Long-Term Projects, always stop at a point where things are still going smoothly and you know what to do next. If you stop only when you hit a wall, picking up the task next time will be much harder because you know that a difficult sub-task is awaiting you.
- Whe studying, try rephrasing the text and
Taking Noteson the subject
Full of Curse Words, Memes, Slang, etc.It helps get the general concepts through your brain while also producing some hilarious sentences, which in turn helps to remember even better.
- Get together some
Study Buddies: a group of people who would stay at school/uni after the last class and just work on things in the same space. It might be distracting at times when the topic of conversation drifts away from the study material, but the net effect is that you're forced to sit down and work for a few hours every evening.
- Your school is providing a
Recording Devicefor your classes to accommodate your distractibility, but due to some sort of problem (e.g. your parents don't know about your ADHD diagnosis), you have to
Keep it a Secret. Here's how: don't keep it a secret; "sell" it to the problematic people instead. Make up a credible reason to have such a device. Tell the people around you, that your school is trying new teaching methods and the recording device is one of those methods. All students received such a device from the school and are supposed to use it while studying at home.
- Make sure to fill in your classmates when they visit you, so that they say they also have such a device. If that isn't possible, tell your parents (or whoever the problematic people are) the school is running a Blind Study on the new method and your friends seem to/might be in the control group and you're not supposed to mention the device to prevent bias...
- The problematic person is of the opinion that it would be too expensive to give such a device to all students...? No problem: Such studies/trials are expensive, of course they can't afford to give the device to everyone... you just happened to be one of the lucky ones who got chosen for the trial (you don't know either, why they chose you of all people... it's probably a randomized sample or something)
- This can be easily altered to fit whatever will arouse the least suspicion with the problematic people. You could also say something along the lines of you "took part in a research panel the university did, looking into the different ways personal technology can be beneficial as part of the learning environment" - of the students who took part you were one of the randomly selected few who get to try out the devices in class and report back on their pros /cons.
- A study found out
Low-Intensity Exercisetriggers brain networks associated with cognitive control and attention processing.
- It's often easier to
Write Down Everything You Have in Mind Unfiltered, the way it currently comes to you, rather than making perfect sentences from the beginning, from scratch, and then forgetting where you wanted to go or losing the nice words you were thinking of.
- Creating a
"Parking Lot" or "Brain Dump Page"(in BuJo-jargon) outside of Habitica. Keep a list and put everything that comes to mind in there. It helps to not react to every little interruption because there's a place to put those random tasks and thoughts. Review the list every few days and break really big tasks into smaller steps. The steps need to be small enough that you know exactly what to do. Then you can actively decide what goes into your Habitica task list. That feeling of choice really helps and it prevents your Habitica list from being clogged up a zillion things that aren't what you need to be doing now.
Tell a Person to Tell You to Do a Thing. Not to remind you later, just tell you right then.
- Does your school have
- Work with
Different Senseswhile studying:
Visual: try concept maps (example), different colored paper for different topics, doodles in your notes, memes, sticker etc.
Hearing: read out your material and record it then listen to it. Listento educational songs. Etc.
Smell: study topic x always with a cup of coffee around, and topic y with a perfumed towel etc. Then try to bring said smell to your exam – even if that doesn’t work, using smells while studying might help during an exam, just try to recall the relevant smell.
Tactile: write with certain pens with different grips or try to make a 3D model of the topic – concept map with towels? Take pictures of the result to replicate the 3D model when repeating the subject. Try to think of something within the topic-to-be-learned that can be touched. Or try associating topic x with texture x etc.
Taste: chewing gum flavor x for topic x etc.
- "I'm going to read everything I need to before the exam." But here's the truth:
You Don't Need to Read Everything!!If the problem is not starting, "everything" is not the goal! "Something" is the goal! Find at least one thing, one paragraph or small topic, that you know you can cover before the exam. Take the pressure off and just do that one small topic. Even if it's not ideal, it could be a starting point or it could mean you get one question right that you would have gotten wrong if you got too hung up on reading everything to read anything.
Changing the Contextfor studying, go somewhere different to read - walk around the park reading your text, sit in the bath or on the stairs, stand in the kitchen or on the stationary bike in the gym etc. Study in a coffee shop to get away from internet.
Catch Up When You're Behindin classes, going back to the textbook and reading the chapter summaries can be a good place to start. Based on them, evaluate what you feel you know and what not. Then go back and read the parts I didn't know. You can do that maybe one chapter per day or take two days per chapter and work some of the practice questions. Ask your teachers for
Past Teststo practice. An ASAP Science Video recommends to
Work Backwardsin such a case: do the tests first. It can help you learn better, because it forces your brain to come up with an answer and then you'll know exactly how much you don't know.
Stop Trying to Reach Hermione Grangerlevels of academic perfection, and to focus on balance and restraint and working strategically with your limitations instead of pretending they don't exist. It's okay for your definition of personal success to include "learn to manage my ADHD better".
Doodlein the margins of your notes and have a bunch of different colored pens to make things pretty and more appealing to actually pay attention and take notes.
- Ask your teacher to
Pre-Supply Lecture Slides. Print them and take minimal notes on them.
- When you don't know how to
Start Writing a Paper/Presentationand/or how to
Organize your Thoughtsfor it
"brain dump"things. Just bring it on paper the way it comes to mind. No organization, no thinking about wording, just write down the content that you want to present. You're a rocket-car not a one-thought-at-a-time car, so do it the rocket car way. Once the content is on paper, you can start organzing.
Change the Way the Task is Started. With the last example of writing a paper: if you can’t start typing, push away the keyboard and turn on Voice Dictation and just start talking out loud at the computer like explaining the topic to a 5 year old. If nothing else, this gets some very basic content into your document quickly, which you can edit later. Or if you can’t start reading textbook chapters, hunt down an audiobook version you can listen to while you're exercising etc, or maybe the book has accompanying videos to watch.
Get Really Curious & Excited About the Task. Sounds silly, and totally depends on the task. But if you just sit and think about all the nitty gritty details for a while, you might latch your curiosity onto something intriguing about some part of it.
- See this Reddit thread for tips on
Coping with Online Classes. And here's and article about ways teachers can improve online learning for ADHDers. It might not be helpful for everyone since not all of us are teachers, but it can be extremely validating to read all the reasons about /why/ online classes are hard for us.
- Use some sort of
Random Number Generator(like a Discord bot that selects one item from a list, or a dice roller if the list is already numbered) choosing from several fun, difficult, and neutral tasks then immediately do whatever it says. A game of chance, with both good and bad outcomes! As long as you shuffle everything that needs doing into your deck soon enough, they usually get taken care of in good time. The most important bit, is starting the chosen task (good or bad) right away, don't try to grab several in one go and make a schedule out of it.
- White Noise (available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, web, and pretty much any other convenient device)
myNoiseis app where you can find different sounds that helps you if you are in a noisy environment or in a very quiet one... Or maybe if you are meditating or just relaxing. (available on Android, iOS and web)
- Forest - grow trees by Staying Away from Timesink Apps/Websites. (available on Android, iOS, and as a more limited browser extension)
FocusKeeperyas a pomodoro timer. (available on Android and iOS)
- Speechify can be used to upload PDF articles and have them read aloud to you. It helps a lot for getting through the readings. (available on Android, iOS, macOS and web)
- OffTime manages access to apps. Makes you wait for 5 to 15 min to access an app, so that you do it intentionally not implusively or unconsciously going down rabbit holes.
- BeFocused for timing Pomodoros.
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
- Noisli - set customized, calming background noises for Better Focus
- My Noise offers a wide variety of awesome sounds. You can combine multiple sound generators to work in a single window, e.g. the Binaural Beats generator (using the 6Hz - Theta | Fantasy preset) combined with the White Noise & Co. generator (using the Speech Blocker preset).
Therapy, Coaching & ComorbiditiesEdit
- EMDR can alleviate depression and anxiety and thus improve symptoms accompanying/entangled with ADHD.
- Look for
Self-Help Groupsin your area.
ADHD Coaching. An accredited program for ADHD coaches would be the one through ADDCA (Attention Deficit Disorder Coaching Academy). They have a list of many of their coaches on their website (AACC and above). Many coaches do some cut-rate or probono coaching, so you might still be able to get some help, even if finances are tight. Most coaches do phone/online coaching, which is necessary, because so many places have few, or none. You can also contact user , if you think it might help (via Habitica, or at firstname.lastname@example.org). She suggested it herself in the guild chat. She is not a therapist, but she is a nurse and an ADHD coach. She is very experienced in doing “the school thing” having 3 bachelor's degrees herself. She’ll be happy to offer whatever support she can, even if it only ends up being a virtual shoulder to cry on. (As a mom, she unofficially "adopts" people, all the time). You may contact her, to ask for other coaches' contact information as well.
- Need to go to a
Psyche Hospitaland are scared...? According to the testimony of the guild members those hospitals are "weird" but they "aren't actually all that bad". You could look up pictures of the building etc. and reviews on the internet - though keep in mind that people often tend to only write replies when they weren't satisfied with a service (Negativity Bias).
- Check out whether your university has an
Onsite Psychiatrist. Though it is also important to consider that on campus psychiatrists don’t usually specialize in ADHD specifically, so they may not be aware of all the accommodations to ask for or all the symptoms to include in their write up (check Accommodations.
Replace Dopamine-Seeking Behaviors Which Prove Toxic(i.e. binge-eating, internet/social media addiction, drinking/drug abuse etc.) you could
- give yourself a little lee-way to
Be Impulsive Every Once in a While, as long as it's not seriously harmful, just to get it out. Like impulse buying stuff at dollar tree instead of cvs.
- belt obnoxious songs,
Singing"all I want is you" and "I love tofu" all day everyday. Days n Daze have got a song for basically anything you could be mad about!
Caffeine in Low Amounts(think the amount in dark chocolate or a small coffee). It could help avoid other dopamine-seeking behaviors.
- play certain
Phone Gamesthat have a high feedback loop but also can't be played forever (e.g. Numberzilla, Pixel Color, ATOMAS or Data Wing which only takes a few hours to get all the way through it, but has a touching story told through racing around as a data packet for an operating system.).
- create a habit called
"Scrolling = Walking", which means you are allowed to keep mindlessly scrolling around on your phone/social media as much as you want, but you have to be walking on a treadmill while doing it!
- engage in
Creative Projects. Keep multiple going at once so that you're never super invested in any one of them in particular.
Exercise. Do like 90 seconds of jogging in place/jumping jack/poor form push ups.
Do New Things(i.e. trying a new recipe, going to a book club or craft group, or a new restaurant).
Find a Job that Suits Your ADHD.
Talk to People A Lotto prevent boredom. Make good (i.e. interesting) friends.
Do the Oppositeof whatever you think you want to do. If you're stressed and trying to become one with the sofa, get up and do a few stretches. If you feel like yelling at the family, go in for a hug etc.
Express Creativity in a Really Intense Way! Dancing is one great way to do this, or multimedia art with, like, ripping paper or throwing paint or crumpling paper balls. Express, instead of avoiding.
Puzzles/Sudokuto challenge your brain while keeping it busy.
Delete the App(e.g. social media) and replace with a non-toxic, less predatory on keeping you using the app, one, if necessary.
- get through my
Alarms in a Different Room, so you have to get up and interrupt what you are doing.
- have another thing that isn't as bad as the thing you want to avoid (e.g. smoking) but make it JUST AS FORBIDDEN... and then on days when you gotta crack and take an L, you go to the less bad forbidden thing instead and forget about the thing you want to avoid.
- replace with Habitica ;).
- give yourself a little lee-way to
- Online therapy with BetterHelp. It’s kind of expensive though - there are different price plans (e.g. $260 a month). You get a weekly hour-long video or phone call session and unlimited messaging. You can easily switch therapists until you find one you like. Note: This recommendation was posted in the Autistic Adventurers' Guild.
- Clear Fear helps with anxiety issues. This recommendation was posted in the Autistic Adventurers' Guild.
- Calm Harm has suggestions for other activities when you feel like self harming. Note: This recommendation was posted in the Autistic Adventurers' Guild.
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
- Free lectures and worksheets for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to address things like anxiety. This recommendation was posted in the Autistic Adventurers' Guild.
- Anxiety Alliance
- Autistic Adventurers' Guild
- The Black Ribbon and The Dark Night Guild focus on depression
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Compulsive Overeaters and Co.
- Chimney🚬Sweeps - quit smoking (or any addiction)
- CPTSD - recovering from an adverse childhood with toxic parents or other forms of prolonged trauma
- Digital Addicts Anonymous
- Life Basics - if you struggle with everyday life tasks & Executive Functioning.
- Maladaptive Daydreaming - for the space cadets
- Mentally Ill
- The BodyFocusedRepetitiveBehavior Guild - e.g. nail biting, skin picking etc.
- Therapy Homework
Time-Management & ProcrastinationEdit
- Use the
Pomodoro-Methodbut with different intervals than usual: 10-3-10. This Pomodoro Timer allows to customize productivity and break times. If you click on Kitchen Timer, then close the pop up timer setting box, you will see an alarm symbol with <Ding> written next to it, and to the immediate right a drop down arrow. Pick anything you like and then hit <Preview> to hear the sound. Keep going until you find one that you really like! There are gentle, cute and funny sounds to chose from.
Kitchen Timersto "feel" time passing. If timer sounds are too intrusive for you, try Special Needs Timers.
Sandglasses/Hourglasses Help to Start, because it's not a monolithic commitment to "finish the task," but rather "work on the task at least this long". If it works well, you work on it until you're done. If not, the sandglass keeps you on track until time's up because you check it unconciously before getting distracted.
SmartWatchescan be used as timers. If you don't like the sound of timers, just let them vibrate.
Constant Alarm Snoozing: This isn't the most elegant solution, but if you absolutely positively can't stop yourself delaying the alarms the first time they go off, or you aren't near your meds etc. as the alarm goes off... Instead of hitting snooze,
Dismiss the Alarm and IMMEDIATELY Create Another Onefor the future. Use a small interval of time, 1-5 minutes preferably, for things like meds which have a strict schedule. Do this every time you delay. Eventually (or immediately), setting new alarms becomes more effort and annoyance than just doing the thing. And even if it takes you 4 cycles, you've only lost a max of 20ish minutes.
- Bujo (bullet journalling) for short- and long- term planning. Don't fall for the pinterest/blogger BuJo trap, read the actual book. It doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing but functional. Stencils are fun for preparing how you want it to look or just spicing up your vanilla style after the thoughts are out. Can be combined with Habitica as a way of attaching goals and reward infrastructure. See BuJo Habitica Guilds: Planner Addicts of the Papery Kind and Bullet Journalers. Recommended brands: Simple Elephant Planner, Moleskine
YouTubecan remind you to take a break every few minutes. You can turn this feature on and set the length of time between breaks from the settings menu.
- When there's just too much to do, use a Prioritization Chart.
- Choose a 'Priority A' task (the thing that is going to get you in the biggest pickle if not done soon) and then spend the 10 minutes
Re-Engagingwith it (Where is the stuff for it? Is there anything you need to get to do this thing? Make the space ready to do that thing) but don't tell yourself to do it. Just mentally and emotionally prepare for it. Then go do something else (eat something, have a break etc) - and the next time you feel like you're watching your life tick away (i.e. the "I need to get on with stuff" feels) restart the same timer, but this time do stuff on that thing.
Lift-Off Method: when you have that frustrated feeling, like you know you have to do it but you're running into the wall of awful, count down from 5 and the second you get to zero, drop whatever it is you're doing and launch yourself into the task like a rocket.
One goal, one sound; no overlapping.Set only one or two alarms ("get ready to do x" and "do x") so you don't fall into auditory insensitivity. "If I have 5 alarms, this alarm can't be that important!" rinse and repeat until you've shut them all off. Train yourself to react to one very specific ringtone. Example, have a "Travel" ringtone that means "leave for class NOW."
- Brili Routines gives you stars in the app if you complete a task within a certain amount of time, similar to coins in Habitica. Helps with building routines and is more visual than Habitica.(available on Android and iOS)
- aTimeLogger is a time tracker that helps figure out how long it takes you to do things. (available for Android and iOS)
- aCalendar - Works well with Google Calendar (Android only)
- Time It is similar to Brili but the way in which it displays the time for each task is more visual (a round clock divided into sections rather than just a timer). It is a free app and good for all ages. Another difference from Brili is that when one task times out, it automatically goes to the next task rather than waiting for the user to swipe it. Depending on what you're looking for, it might work better than Brili for you.
- BellTower to help keep track of time. You can set it to chime every x minutes and it has nice reminders.
- AMdroid syncs with your calender. Makes you scan a barcode in another room to dismiss the alarm. Offers different profiles for different activities.
- Fantastical 3 keeps your schedule easy to read, and the natural language input feature means that you don't have to think about what you're putting in. Just type it in as you would say it, and all the relevant information is there automatically.
- 30/30 for task timing.
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
Calendars- personal calendar (color coded with class, work, extracurriculars, etc.) and a family calendar that syncs with the family so that you can coordinate on things
- A software called Bitrix24 which is free in its most basic form, helps manage your time, projects and goals.
- RescueTime tracks how you spend your time on your digital devices. Everything you do is automatically categorized so you can quickly see the time you spend on specific apps, websites, and projects.
- HowToADHD Toolbox
- Qovo - a project management service with a Pomodoro timer (in Japanese).
- The Instant Gratification Monkey - Learn why procrastinators procrastinate and how to beat procrastination
- The Procrastination Equation - Learn the specific causes of your procrastination, then practice techniques to address them.
- Observe Your Procrastination - When we procrastinate, our minds can go in unhealthy directions. This challenge helps you identify your thought patterns. You'll learn how observing reality differs from speculations about the future, value judgments, and unhelpful conclusions.
- The Procrastination Matrix - Are you putting off tasks that are important but not urgent? Do you instead choose tasks with immediate rewards? Map how you spend your time to understand why some tasks get postponed.
- Listen to
Audiobooks or Pod Castswhile driving, cleaning, showering etc..
"Sugar leads to Hyperactivity"? → Forward this video.
Websites, Software & ExtensionsEdit
- Install Tab for a Cause to make something positive out of your 99+ open tabs. Every time you open a new tab you'll see a screen with some non-intrusive adds (at the bottom of the tab). The extension collects money for charity through those adds. You can choose whom you want to donate to. It has an integrated Notes- and To-Do-list function. (Might prevent distraction, too.)
- OneTab condenses all the tab links into one which can be opened from there. Keeps the browser running smoothly since browsers like to use tonnes of memory.
Pocket Appsaves any links. It works on any platform, is searchable, most articles can be read offline, and it removes ads and other extraneous parts of web pages.
- You can use
IFTT or Share functionon Android to create to-dos, and re-save articles to other apps.
- Form History Control - Auto-save text entered in any form while typing to allow fast recovery when disaster strikes (e.g. saves Habitica guild posts you were writing in case of internet disconnects etc.).
Weight Issues (Section Hidden by Default)Edit
- When you’re bored,
- When you’re stressed, try to
Get Up and Moveabout (pacing works). If you can’t get up, try moving somehow, even stretching.
- Shop around for
Healthier Snacks, that might meet the same needs your current ones do. Avoid buying unhealthy snacks.
Don't Shop when Hungry.
- Have an
Alternative Activityfor those times you'd otherwise eat. Sketching? Knitting? Writing? Exercising? Meditating?
Build Exercise Into your Routines: walk instead of getting the bus or get out of the bus one station prior to reaching your actual destination.
Change your Reaction to Feeling Down. "I don't feel great, I'll walk to the library to do my study/ go for a swim" instead of eating.
Eat Enough Food During the Day. This cuts down on cravings for dessert and other less nutrient-dense foods.
- Focus more on
Overall Healththan weight (vitamins, minerals, exercise, self-care etc.).
Proteins and Fibersmake you feel full but don't add on many calories. Try to eat more snack vegetables and protein rich foods. Chick peas are a good plant based source for protein. Nuts are good, too. Experiment with the steam-bags in the frozen veggie section. You'll likely find at least one kind that you really love and that can be a staple for you.
Don't Be Afraid of Fats. Cooking with minimal fats and avoiding transfats is fine, but if you are eating low-fat processed foods you're probably taking in a LOT of sugars to replace the flavor and if you're not allowing yourself a little bit of seasoned oil on vegetables, not only are you likely to eat significantly fewer veggies, but you're not going to absorb enough of the fat soluble vitamins in those veggies (A, E, K, and for mushrooms D). If your body doesn't get the nutrients you need, it may signal to you that you need to eat more.
- StepsApp to track goals relating to physical activity; it can give me a quick display on your Apple Watch without making it all about calories burned.
- For all who have a
Desk Job and have Trouble Sitting in their Chairlike "normal people"... Buy a Desk Bicycle. The trick is too not cycle too quickly...
Interruptions at Your Workplace: give colleagues/clients a certain
Time Slotthey can come to you with questions, ask them to
Visible List/Ticket Systemof your current tasks on a whiteboard, clipboard, or something similar. When people walk up, point them to the board and tell them to add their request on the list. Start with some tasks you already finished, so they can see them being crossed off. If they think their task is urgent, tell them to negotiate with people ahead of them, unless it's genuinely your job to decide priority. You need to be nice about it, perhaps explaining that with X done, there are a lot of tasks floating around, and you want to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. (Or have a
Shared Work Flow Chartlike Trello or Kanban). (Nice Firefox Extension for Trello: Strelloids).
- Ask your manager to let you
Be The Official Note-Taker in Meetings, which will both keep you engaged, and make sure the notes are detailed enough for you to remember what was talked about.
- If you
Work From Home, make sure to have a separate area for working and recreation. Wake up at the same time and go through your usual work day routine. Get dressed, like you would if you'd head to work. Simulate commute by getting on a treadmill for 15 minutes to "walk" to your workplace or walk around the block. These things help to shift into "work mode".
Reading Recommendations Edit
|Title||Author(s)||Short Summary - What does it help with?|
|Taking Charge of Adult ADHD||Russell A. Barkley|
|Driven to Distraction||Edward Hallowell & John Ratey||The revised version of Delivered from Distraction. It is kind of like an ADHD manual with complete explanation in every aspect. Each chapter is only about 10 mins long.|
|Focused Forward||James Ochoa||Dealing with the constant let-downs of a life lived with undiagnosed (and even diagnosed) ADHD gives people a type of generalized PTSD which he calls emotional distress syndrome (EDS) and that's what causes us to have emotional regulation problems like when just one more thing goes wrong and you kinda spin out/panic attack/get way angrier than you want to/get depressed.|
|Understand Your Brain, Get More Done||Ari Tuckman|
|More Attention, Less Deficit||Ari Tuckman||Recommended by a therapist (who also has ADHD) ...It’s a book that is separated into small chunks, and you can bounce between the things you need, and ignore the things you don’t need to read then. It’s very ADHD friendly.|
|Achieving Success with ADHD||David B. Sachar||If you still can't stand reading a lot and prefer more practical suggestion.|
|Thriving With Adult ADHD||Phil Boissiere||It is a pretty simple and short book (147 pages, including references, index, etc.) that has many exercises to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and how to improve. There's a challenge affiliated to reading this book.|
|ADHD Stole My Car Keys||Rick Green & Umesh Jain|
|You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!||Kate Kelly & Peggy Ramundo|
|Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD||Susan C. Pinsky||Explains how to set up your home, so that you'll be able to keep it clean.|
|Transforming ADHD||Greg Crosby & Tonya Lippert||Educates about what ADHD is/does with the inclusion of post-2000 and some post-2010 studies and provides exercises and challenges to help better control attention, action, and regulation.|
|The ADHD Advantage||Dale Archer|
|The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success||Peg Dawson & Richard Guare|
|The Gifted Kids' Survival Guide||Judy Galbraith & Jim Delisle|
|Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD||Mary V. Solanto||It has some exercise sheets to target executive dysfunction. Maybe there are a few things that are new to you. It’s rather aimed at professionals to treat adults with ADHD than ADHDers themselves though. (Table Of Contents1, TOC2, Session Overview).|
|The Hidden Brain (Podcast)||That show has a great deal of useful information, and is broadcast on a number of public radio stations in the US.|
|Why Will No One Play With Me?||Caroline Maquire||For developing social skills. Although the book is aimed at a younger audience, the activities can be modified for any age.|
|Atomic Habits||James Clear||For building good habits (the 1% repeated compound your improvement idea). The author offers talks, too.|
Recommended Blogs & Podcasts Edit
|ADHDHomestead||Offers some insight on parenting with ADHD|
|ADHD Alien||Comics about life with ADHD|
|The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green||It's super relaxing and interesting and will probably help your anxiety :)|
|ADDitide||Episode 3 was really informative for extra meds info ADHD Medications: Minimizing Side Effects and Using Meds Effectively (Apple Podcast) (if you don’t have Apple Podcasts, it’s probably available on most other podcast platforms too).|
|Translating ADHD||Introduces strategies like the 6 Factors To Action checklist for when you're putting off a task for no good reason and are feeling analytical|
|The Awkward Yeti|
Habitica Extensions Edit
- Main article: Extensions, Add-Ons, and Customizations
|Habitica All-Yellow Tasks||Browser (except IE, Edge)||If different colored tasks overwhelm you and dark red tasks intimidate you, use this style to make all tasks yellow, unless they are completed, not due (grey), or rewards.|
|Habitica Lite + Email||Browser||A Script that allows you to manage your tasks via email or in a simple, fast loading web page that works in any browser. It can create tasks from Google Calendar events.|
|Habitica SitePass||Browser (Chrome, Opera)||A website blocker that plugs into Habitica and limits you from visiting distracting websites of your choice. You can opt to visit these sites by spending gold.|
|Habitica Pomodoro SiteKeeper||Browser (Chrome)||A fully customizable Pomodoro timer with website blocker and mobile notifications.|
|Habitica ToDo Chrome Extension||Browser (Chrome, Opera)||Provides users with a shortcut to add current webpages to their To-Do list. No more 😊 for your tab-count!|
|HabitRPG Calendar||Browser||Takes your To-Dos from Habitica and displays them in calendar format. This might help in visualizing time and hence fight the effects of time-blindness.|
|Hide Habitica Columns||Browser (Except IE, Edge)||Hide/remove any distracting task columns. Customized to respond to any number of columns removed.|
|Shrink Your Habitica Tasks||Browser (Except IE, Edge)||Makes the task list look shorter and less overwhelming by hiding Task Notes until hover. It eliminates the search bar, too.|
|Tags Always Visible||Browser (Except IE, Edge)||Displays your tags permanently above your tasks and lets you use them without needing to click on the "Tags" button. Reduces necessary steps to use the tag function and helps overviewing your tasks.|
|To-Do Overs||Browser||Create To-Dos that are automatically re-created upon completion. Helpful for irregular reoccurring tasks such as doing laundry etc.|
|Chrome Extension or Firefox Extension||Browser (Chrome, Opera, Firefox)||Monitors browsing habits to motivate users to stay focused. Users lose Health Points for lingering on bad websites, and gain Experience Points and Gold Points for using good websites. The Extension also allows users to set the hours and days of the week that need to be productive and integrate browsing habits with Habitica to improve overall productivity.|
|QuickToDo||Windows||A simple Windows application that allows users to quickly add To-Dos to Habitica without having to visit the website or use the mobile apps.|
|Zapier||Browser||Integrate Habitica with any other Zapier Integration Apps, like Google Sheets, Rescue time, Evernote, Trello, Github etc. and either perform actions in other apps based on information occurring in Habitica, or vice versa.|
Problems Sticking with Habitica? Edit
Ask the ADHDers Guild for help! What is causing your disinterest? Here are some prompts:
|Habitica feels like a chore||Forgetting to check Habitica||No more shiny new things||manually creating reccuring tasks|
|need to re-organize tasks|
Start Small: try to totally clean out your calendar by just planning to do nothing, and only reimplement to it what comes naturally to you to do, so you get a baseline of activities you can refer as achievements on a daily basis (strategy to build up self-esteem) and put the "extras" on top (to make some further progress whithout bad impact on your self-esteem, because you "didn't really need to do it" in the first place). Note: This recommendation was posted in the Autistic Adventurers' Guild.
- If you feel the need to re-organize all your Habitica Tasks but can't get started attempt to
Change Just One Task Per Day.
- Add a weekly/monthly to
Review Your Tasks. Trim or consolidate your list so that it's easier to complete all Dailies in one day. Or
Change Due Date Frequencyso that it comes at more convenient times.
- Use simple
Mini-Taskslike "put away five pieces of laundry" and "put dirty clothes in baskets" instead of large absolute tasks like "do all the laundry" so you neither get bogged down physically by laundry being out of control, nor exhaust your whole energy on just one task, nor surrender before the intimidating size of the task without ever starting to do anything. The tasks can be as small as "boot computer", "open file", "search in file where you left of last time", "read one sentence" etc. (read about the Theory of Optimum Arousal).
- Add tasks for recreation (reading, gaming, TV, etc.). Self-Care is important to stay energized!
- Check the Short or Long Habitica Extensions list to see whether there's anything handy that could reduce overwhelm/workload that is caused by Habitica itself.
- Reduce/quit challenge and/or guild participation.
- Design your
Dailies Based on the Worst Probable Day, not the best. If you have too many difficult Dailies you're not going to be able to check them all on a regular basis, which is discouraging and also not habit forming in the way you want it to be. You'll be able to tell if your Dailies are too big if you aren't hitting them on a regular basis. Anything you don't actually do on a regular basis should be scaled back to whatever easier version of it you can think of, or discarded entirely. The Best Minimum Daily is
"Make it a Non Zero Day". It reminds you that you don't have to go through ALL of the boxes, or take a Full Shower with the soaps and the shampoos and the face wash. Half a box is still better than zero boxes, warm water still feels nice. You might want to check the challenge in the Habitica Triplers guild.
- Here's an example on how a member of the guild uses Habitica.
Time yourself doing things for several weeks, so that when you build your routines, you build doable routines. You'll know how long those tasks take you, so you're not tempted to try to do a 30 minute task in ten minutes.
- Add a daily for checking Habitica.
- If you're using the Habitica app you can set
Remindersfor your tasks.
- Prompt logging into Habitica by linking it to other actions of your routine (e.g. check Habitica every time after brushing your teeth, before switching on the TV, etc.)
- Explore potentially interesting guilds.
- Play the different classes.
- Switch your party if it's inactive, too chatty, not chatty enough, deals too much/not enough damage, or is otherwise bothering you. Check the party roster too.
- Complete quests.
- Try gamifying your tasks; check out gamified challenges and guilds or role playing guilds.
- Use your collector's drive! Collect all Achievements and stack them. Challenge yourself on stacking achievements (e.g. stack X perfect days until DD/MM/YYYY). Hatch all of the pets and grow them into mounts. Purchase everything in the Enchanted Armoire.
- Be Habit City's Next Top Habitican: activate the costumes function for your avatar and start the Cosplay. Do you need more fancy armor and shiny pets…? Consider a subscription.
- Play Habitica on hard mode.
- Immerse in the Habitiverse: lead a guild, become a challenge creator, contribute to Habitica.
Addressing Missing Features
"My life isn't going the way I overthought it would."
I now return you to your .