The Keep: Index > The Armory > ADHDers Guild


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Pixel Art Guild Banner showing Habitica characters fighting distracting squirrels. Click to see more art from the artist.

Description


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 Habitica 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.
Also, the guild mascot's name is Fidget (read chat in the link from bottom to top).
October is ADHD Awareness Month! Check out the memes!



Accommodation Ideas for School & Work[edit | edit source]

Location Related Personal Support from Colleagues
Desk in the corner Noise-cancelling headphones Break down tasks into bitesize chunks
Quiet and private bureau, or at least a cubicle with walls and a door Deadline extension/Custom deadlines for subtasks (daily/weekly)/"Fake" deadlines to create feeling of urgency Guidelines on priority level for tasks
Office with a small number of people Emotional support animal Sample tasks with walkthrough/templates
Alternative, distraction-reduced testing space Audio recording Ticket system (see here)
Sitting ball, Rolling foot massager Breaks as needed Communicate via email rather than phone calls
Desk bicycle (see here) Flexible attendance/ Flextime Drop-in advising
Multiple screens when working with several data sheets simultaneously Exercise breaks at your discretion Limit phone calls to a particular block of time
Healthy snacks Smoking breaks without smoking Work with a peer on your tasks
Home office/Change of scenery Extra time for paperwork Believe your evaluations of task difficulty (especially when they differ from their own evaluations)
Partial or complete control over your own environment Permission to leave emotionally loaded situations abruptly Check in on your progress and listen to what helps without judgement
Ergonomic chair and desk setup (reduces distracting physical discomfort) Getting notes ahead of class Don't question your coping strategies
Personal whiteboard 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 Flexible deadlines (e.g. within the week of the original due date, giving them heads up, or a 24-hour grace period) Weekly written feedback and directions
Seat in the front in class Digital access to presentations/handouts
No distracting machines nearby (coffee machine, kettle, shredder etc.) Alternative assignments (e.g. giving a presentation instead of a paper)
Ability to control the light quality, color, and intensity (false ceiling or light diffuser - like photographers use - or colorful umbrellas for cubicle work spaces; blackout shades) Personal note taker for classes
Color lights


Boredom[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Try a New Way to Get Around. Learn riding a unicycle, rollerblades or skateboard.
  • Repair Something
  • Try new Food. Find a new recipe, add a new twist to a recipe, or if you can afford it, go to a restaurant you've never been to. Try the Monthly Baking Challenges in Habitica.
  • Learn Something New (e.g. Spanish, crocheting, a new stitch, etc.). Start with a smallish project. With smaller projects there's a short turnaround between starting the new thing and then being able to finish, allowing you to quickly start another new thing.
  • If sewing feels too complicated, a craft that can fill the same entertainment slot is called Diamond Dotz. It's basically a sticky sheet of cloth with a pattern on it, and a bunch of sparkly dots that you stick to it to make the picture.
  • Explore! If you have a part of your city that’s kind of like an urban maze, pop yourself over there and wander! Also, try Geocaching, if possible. Even if you don't find the treasure, it's still not frustrating because you get so much exercise by doing it and find cool new places. You can create your own caches, too!
  • 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.
  • Try Climbing. There are a lot of guildmembers who seem to enjoy it.
  • Set aside an exciting activity you can do in one day. No longterm goal setting, just One Thing to Really Shake Up Your Routine. The more different from your routine, the better! For example, swim in a river or move your furniture to create a dance studio and record dancing videos! It's nice because it gives you that energizing excitement back, when things like playing the guitar or working out just might seem way too boring and tiring in that moment.
  • If you Crave Adrenaline in an Unhealthy Way, to the point you consider engaging in dangeroues actvities, have a full conversation with yourself discussing the effect it would have on your family and friends if something were to happen to you!

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • MeetUp: Find groups in your area that are doing things that interest you.



Decision Making[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Look up Analysis Paralysis and Decision Fatigue to name your issue. The latter means that once you've put that effort into making decisions, any further decisions get harder to make.
  • When 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 (external website) to explore your gut feeling about the options at hand.
  • When 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 List and use a Random Number Generator to pick one item. Don't waste mental energy on Decisions That Don't Matter. Alternatively, write all alternatives on paper stripes (one piece of paper per option), crumble them, put them in a box, shuffle and draw one.
  • Don't be afraid to Lower Your Standards. For example, if you need to shower and clean the litter before going out and you're hung up on which to do first, try eliminating 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 Idea that doesn't seem "bad." You may use different metrics for this depending on the situation, like if something sounds currently unpleasant to eat, or not something you feel up to doing, etc. It might just be whatever is "easiest." It's impulsive and not always great, but at least you are taking action.
  • Focus on Something Else until you are 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.
  • If you can't pick what to listen to while working, Schedule Your Work Listening by Day of Week. E.g. use Spotify: Monday - a daily playlist, Tuesday - a playlist from your library (usually least recently played that fits the mood), Wednesday - your focus playlist, and so on.
  • If you have a hard figuring out which task has what Level of Priority, try categorizing your tasks using the Eisenhower Matrix or the Pareto Principle.
  • If the Eisenhower Matrix doesn't work for try to use a more ADHD-Friendly Task Matrix. Instead of 'urgent vs important', categorize all you To Do's by 'fun vs easy' (lol). Anything productive--however minor or irrelevant--can go on here, including self-care, so we've got, e.g.:
    • Fun & Easy: going for a walk, playing violin for 15-30 minutes, watching TV with subtitles in a language you're trying to learn, keeping up with Habitica etc. :)
    • Fun but not easy: reading a research paper/chapter, baking/cooking food from a new recipe, investing time in new or potential friendships...
    • Easy but not fun: answering routine emails, routine cooking, writing in your journal, mundane life admin tasks like groceries & cleaning...
    • Neither easy nor fun: writing up your research, revising your writing, sending overdue & complicated emails (like the one you need to send to my supervisor explaining why you dropped off the grid for a week, or to student services asking about a waitlist for ADHD/ASD assessment)...

Apps[edit | edit source]

Android

iOS

Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]



Diagnosis & Talking To Parents[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

For your First Appointment Seeking a Diagnosis:

  • Brainstorm Your Symptoms: Use the Table of Contents of this page, the diagnostic criteria of the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and ICD (The International Classification of Diseases) 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. issues with decision making could look like this in the bedroom vs. the kitchen: what bedsheet to use and 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.
  • Check the videos How To Know if You Have ADHD by How To ADHD (+ for Girls), nigahiga and TotallyADD. Also check how to distinguish ADHD and Bipolar Disorder.
  • Check the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale of the WHO. See here for translations of the self-report scale. Also check the "Old Versions" folder because some of the scales used to contain longer lists of symptoms.
  • Learn about the Prefrontal Cortex and typical ADHD impairements (external websites): Executive Functioning, Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, Time-Blindness, Sensory Processing Disorder - especially regarding auditory information -, Ego Depletion, Delayed Sleep-phase Disorder.
  • 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? Choose an everyday situation in which you needed to pay attention to others, and make a list of everthing that went though your head while trying to follow the talk. These may include disrupting thoughts as well as environmental distractions. Note too: How long was that situation? How much sleep did you have that day? Did the day feel normal overall?
  • For subjective things like "I'm really struggling with this, and it matches [someone else'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.
  • Look up symptoms from multiple sources and see if you have some. Not all, just some. Also Share the List of Symptoms With Someone Who Knows You Well. Things you don't think you do often, you might do and not know it.
  • When the doctor starts with "ADHD doesn't exist", you can say "Even if it's not ADHD, these symptoms do make it impossible for me to get my life in order. I need to find out what it is."
  • Consider Seeing A Child Psychiatrist. They are used to accepting adults with ADHD, whereas it's a rather new thing to many general psychiatrists. You can start there to figure out your next steps.
  • The Australian national information service Healthdirect gives some suggestions on people and places to start with when attempting to get diagnosed (your physician, local health district services, community health centres, etc.). Also check the Service Directory on the Website of ADHD Western Australia. It lists a bunch of different ADHD specialists (incl. psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, workplace advocates, etc.) along with their contact info and locations.

What to expect During the Assessement:

  • There might be an IQ Test to check whether your performance matches your cognitive potential. Note: A high IQ or high school grades don't say anything about the presence/lack of ADHD, because ADHD doesn't affect cognitive abilities. ADHD is not just about how well you function. It's about how much effort it takes to function at your cognitive level.
  • Questionnaires are very likely.
  • Sometimes you have to do Computer Tests (e.g. Quotient System, prolonged monotone tasks, reaction time etc.). Note: Neuropsychological Tests on Their Own Might Not Be Enough for a Diagnosis.
  • Conversations with the doctor are very likely (have your symptom list prepared!).

If the diagnostic result is: "You Don't Have ADHD":

  • Don't worry, you can still Stay in the ADHDers Guild and receive support from us, if you feel like it's beneficial.
  • Seek diagnosis for Mental Health Issues which can Mimic ADHD, like ASD, Depression, Anxiety or Bipolar Disorder.
  • In the case that the diagnostic result feels absolutely wrong and you relate to the struggles that come with ADHD a lot, it may be a good idea to Seek a Second Opinion on the matter with a clinic that has more experience on diagnosing ADHD (especially as the female phenotype of ADHD requires a lot of diagnostic experience). Gather more evidence, like relevant journal entries 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: there are others out there who are going through the same things and struggling with the same issues you are. When you find the right diagnosis, you'll find the others whose stories mirror your own and know you're not alone.

How to Talk To Your Parents, if you suspect you have ADHD:

  • Try telling them what you're feeling.
  • Ask Them for Advice On Things to Try to Help You Work Easier. Even if none of their suggestions work or you've tried them all (or don't want to try them for whatever reason), the main goal is to show that you do want to work more effectively (because sometimes outsiders perceive ADHD as laziness which can be suuuper hurtful and is obviously inaccurate). After that maybe try bringing up getting tested.
  • If one of your barriers is Feeling Unable to Explain ADHD and what it's like, there are lots of YouTube videos or websites that are fantastic for helping neurotypical people understand what it's like. You could also ask a health professional for brochures to give to your parents. (See Social Life for more tips or check the Challenge section below.)
  • Explore Your Parents' Stance on the Topic of ADHD by casually mentioning it in a non-diagnostical context, like "Oh, weird, YouTube is recommending ADHD videos to me" or "Last time I went down the Wikipedia rabbit hole, I ended up on the article on ADHD, don't even know how I got there lol" and see how they react. A lot of people (at least if they are dismissive of the disorder) will comment on the ADHD topic ("ADHD isn't real" etc.). This will give you and idea of how safe it is to bring up the issue.
  • If your Parents are Skeptical about an ADHD Diagnosis see if it might be possible for you and your parents to get an appointment with a mental health professional just to talk about what an ADHD diagnosis entails, how to get one, what happens after getting the diagnosis (not only getting access to meds, but also accommodations at school for example, possible referral to an ADHD coach, etc., and perhaps most importantly, learning more about yourself), whether you have to go on meds after getting a diagnosis (answer: no), and how meds work etc. (e.g. if your parents think ADHD meds are too intense, they might have a misconception about them, thinking you'll be more hyperactive when taking stimulants, while actually stimulants tend to calm down ADHD brains).
  • Talk to your School's Mental Health Office, if there is one. You might get accommodation even without a diagnosis.
  • Make an Appointment With a General Therapist/GP/Family Doctor (assuming that your physician isn't misinformed about ADHD and believes things like "it's only a kids thing and you will grow out of it" or stuff like that...). It might be lower pressure for both you and your parents to speak to a familiar doctor first, rather than immediately being put on a waitlist to get a diagnosis or making an appointment for more specialized treatment. A GT/GP/FD could still refer you to a specialist after the appointment, if needed, and they could convince your parents to seek a diagnosis for you.
  • If your Parents Really Don't Want You to Get a Diagnosis, do you have another guardian around who could convince them? Or a teacher or guidance counsellor at school?
  • If it Turns Out You Definitely Won't Be Able to Get a Diagnosis (or not yet): don't give up! Keep learning about ADHD and how your brain works and keep trying to implement ADHD-friendly strategies in your life that can help you out! (If those strategies work, they might serve as a argument to convince your parents that you actually have ADHD! Why else would those strategies work, if not for you having the squirrels...?)

ADHD Assessment Scales[edit | edit source]

Click button on the right to unfold the section:

ADHDers Describing Their Symptoms[edit | edit source]

Click button on the right to unfold the section:

Boredom[edit | edit source]

Boredom or a Lack of Dopamine are what make me...

  • "[try] solo skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, hang-gliding, climbing, rappelling, motorcycling, boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, capoeira, judo, diving... I have always been involved in extreme sports and martial arts (this was even one of the indicators used to help my ADHD diagnosis). When I am on an "adventure" what I feel is not euphoria; on the contrary, I feel an extreme calm and tranquility and that fascinates me. I feel that I am present, without any medicine, and no other thought passes through my head."
  • "willing to eat just about anything (unless it's spoiled or prepared in unhygienic conditions)."
  • "want to be doing new and random things. Stuff like climbing rocks, rolling down hills, riding fast bikes and going on roller coasters. (...) I don’t crave it all the time, but sometimes I’ll get random surges of energy and feel the need to do something like that. It feels good to do those things, though, and it clears my head."
  • "[read] the news [because it supposedly] counts as an adrenaline producing activity these days. Before the [2020] pandemic, I used it that way sometimes - I'd read something guaranteed to make me angry and it would give me enough of a jolt to get moving."
  • "[ask] myself 'why do I put myself in these situations?' just last week, while jumping off a 25-foot rock into a glacier-fed lake. :) I do like the rush of adrenaline from doing something exciting. Additionally, I think there's a mild feeling of success that comes from looking at something a little challenging/unnerving and just doing it; sometimes that feeling of success is hard to come by for an ADHDer. I find it a lot easier to jump off a very small cliff than to send a very small email....which is what I need to go finish doing now...."

Executive Dysfunction[edit | edit source]

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, whatever) 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."
  • "[telling] 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."
  • "[having] 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!"
  • "[being] frustrated that people don't understand how I can be so bad at certain things they consider to be basic and yet so good at things they consider to be hard, because there seems to be no way of explaining that the world for me isn't divided in easy/hard but in boring/interesting, and a boring thing no matter how easy will be extremely hard for me, while an interesting thing, no matter how hard, will feel easy. And no matter how many times I try to explain it people just stare at me in amazement/disbelief. "Why are you choosing something harder when you could choose this that's easier?", because it ISN'T easier for me...I have no interest in it and it is SO hard to focus on it then..."
  • "that I'll be sitting there knowing exactly what task I SHOULD be doing (for example, studying) but not doing it. And while I'm unsuccessfully trying and trying and trying to get myself to do it, I won't let myself do any other useful things that I could have filled that time with either, like exercising. So at the end of the time... I've done neither."
  • "Monday: Bad. Dragging, unproductive, can't focus on work, can't get moving, spend hours watch TV that I turned on to do a quick workout.
    Tuesday: Amazing. Productive at work, use breaks for quick chores, get stuff done. Still watched TV but that was a documentary on a work related subject. Don't even want to get distracted by the phone. Last time I had a day that productive was... *checks Pixels*... January 7. Before that, I can't even remember.
    Wednesday: Meh. Getting by with effort.
    It's like very occasionally, I get visited by a Working Brain Fairy. What do I need to put under my pillow to get it back?"
  • different from laziness. "As an actual lazy person, I'm here to tell you that ADHD is different. When I'm being lazy, I deliberately avoid doing something I don't want to. Maybe I'll get someone else to do it, or decide it doesn't really need to be done, or I'll get to it after I do something fun. It's my choice.
    ADHD stops me from doing things I want to do. There could be a button with Push For World Peace and Chocolate on it two feet away from me, and on a bad brain day it would be left unpushed. This tumblr post has a really good cartoon on the difference between laziness and disorder."
  • "like I'm on autopilot. I'm not actually making the decision to procrastinate instead of doing a chore, the decision making part of my brain was offline and I just "did something else". I'm not lazy or being unfair, I'm literally not choosing for myself. The more unpleasant or tedious the chore, or the more nebulous or lacking in detail, the harder it is to be mindful or present and attack it. Everything I do with alarms, todo lists, sticky notes, rewards etc. is to increase the detail and reduce the perceived unpleasantness so I can increase my chances of being mindful."
  • "[when] I crave adrenaline, but I often don't have the executive function to get myself to do things that would give it to me :( Like I used to be on a snowboard team in highschool and it was great because I just had to show up at the bus and we would go to the mountain, I love going as fast as I can (safely, of course!). But as an adult, I've only gone up like 3 times on my own because it's so much planning."

Forgetfulness[edit | edit source]

Forgetfulness or an impaired Working memory are...

  • "like my ideas and thoughts are sand and i'm trying to gather it with a fork... Other times I can "see" the idea fade until I can't remember what I was gonna say... Or the inner chatter becomes completely incoherent and I just plain freeze... so frustrating!"
  • the reason "I dislike voicemails so much, (...) (my voicemails are) all over the place, I forget main infos... gah!"

Hyperfocus[edit | edit source]

Hyperfocus is...

  • "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?"
  • "[like] 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 attached 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."
  • "rambling. I go on tangents all the time and often forget what the point of what I was saying was supposed to be in the first place.”

Sensory Processing Issues[edit | edit source]

Auditive

  • "When I was a kid I could not handle sudden loud noises. I quit going to fireworks shows by the time I was ten or so, and I had to learn to ask ushers at the local children’s theater if there were going to be guns fired or something in the play. Every time they went off, I would immediately start crying and just panicking."
  • "I've always been unable to handle loud noises (and sudden ones are the worst!). As a child I'd plug my ears at the first sound of thunder or fireworks and my fingers wouldn't come out until well after the noise had stopped. ... One of the things that bugs me the most is motorcycles, if I even see someone getting on one I just tense up and feel like I'm on fire. Sometimes I get totally overwhelmed in crowds and when multiple people are speaking in a smaller group I can get panicky."

Homeostasis

  • "I experience some extremes with overheating and smell - of ordinary things like perfume - to the point I might throw up. ... I have 3 types of blankets of different thickness in my bed because I frequently have to adjust warmth."
  • "For me a meltdown looks kind of like a panic attack (crying, breathing fast) but all of my senses go into hyperdrive and if it's a bad one I have to close my eyes and plug my ears. I've gotten better at preventing them but when they happen it feels embarrassing because like why am I crying? A dog barked and it was hot."
  • "My feeling of hunger is either 0% or 100% and it can change from one to the other within 5 minutes."
  • "I also get irrationally upset when I'm already having a bad sensory day and the store is out of the food I need."

Olfactory

  • "I have a pretty strong sense of smell and taste and get grossed out easily."

Proprioception

  • "I am fairly clumsy but in odd ways. I am constantly hitting my hips on doorknobs, chairs, edges of tables, that sort of thing. One time I accidentally rammed my thigh into a side table while I was playing with a dog."
  • "I don't have problems with clumsiness frequently, but I do seem to have a talent at injuring myself spectacularly when I DO."
  • "I tend to run into walls and doorframes a lot."

Tactile

  • "I can't eat certain foods, wear certain clothes, go certain places, have my hair a certain way, smell certain things. My friends understand it but my parents especially don't understand the food things, I'm just 'picky'."
  • "I can't stand my clothes or hair feeling "wrong"/uncomfortable, hate getting wet or 'icky'."

Visual

  • "My entire life I’ve been really sensitive to sunlight; I often wear sunglasses on overcast days because it’s still bright out even though the sun is hidden. The last time I got an eye exam I had to wear both the doctor-provided sunshades and my sunglasses to drive home."
  • "I used to be ... terrible with the schoolcanteen because of the crowds and lights."

Squirrels[edit | edit source]

"When people tell me ADHD is like a dog that goes "squirrel!" I always roll my eyes...
I like the squirrel analogy for that one ADHD "feature" that a lot of people have... but really that analogy is missing so much! Here is a small compilation of other dog VS squirrel scenarios to help us slowly understand ADHD ;)

  • Sometimes it's more like a dog that sees 15 squirrels at once and just ends up not moving because it doesn't know which to chase. He ends up looking like he blew a fuse or like the screen froze.
  • Sometimes the squirrel is just SO INTERESTING that the dog doesn't see anything else. He'll stare and not move, keeping all his focus on it, even forgetting about essential needs like drinking or eating for a little bit.
  • Sometimes the dog is actively chasing a squirrel and hits a metal pole straight on...
  • Sometimes the dog is just too tired and will look the squirrel with the corner of his eyes... no focus anywhere else, but no action either... Just look at it and keep looking at it. Maybe it will be chased if I keep thinking about it and not doing it... Maybe I'll chase it when it's closer...
  • There's a squirrel in a tree. I'm a dog, I can't fly or climb tree, but I'll still keep jumping half a foot up for a half hour, giving myself this impossible goal of reaching the laughing squirrel... because it looks so dang chasse-able!



Apps[edit | edit source]

Android

  • 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 a Pain Scale (external website) 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.


Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

Challenges


Emotion Regulation & Overwhelm[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Use Noise Cancelling Headphones/Earbuds or the opposite: Music on Very High Volume.
  • Listen to highly Energetic Music (upbeat rhythm, metal, etc.) or ASMR.
  • 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 old 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 Weighted Blanket.
  • Touch Soft Things or other textures you like (e.g petting your cat 🐱😉).
  • Focus on Something Else that 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 Fiction to retreat back into your head where it’s (mostly) safe.
  • Play some Simple, Repetitive Phone Games like sudoku.
  • Try 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 Situation as soon as possible and Shake Your Limbs as if to get rid of the feeling of overwhelm. Walk outside in a quiet neighborhood, park or natural area.
  • Fidget Toys prevent 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 Cream to help block out bad or strong smells with a familiar, soothing smell.
  • Be Prepared: have a specific bag with its own Designated Coping Tools that 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.
  • Bring Snacks & Water, because hunger or dehydration add to sensory overload
  • Drink Cold Water or even just rinse your face with cold water for about 45 seconds for a nice cooling effect.
  • Dealing with Paralyzing Anxiety which 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 Exercise activates 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 Scenario in 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 feedback.
  • 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.
  • Schedule "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 Exertion helps you calm down when overwhelmed. If you have a dog, throw a ball for it until the feeling goes away, or until you're too tired to keep throwing it. Or have a pillow fight with 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 (external website).
  • When you're angry, write down these feelings, all the things you want to tell someone, Write a Letter, but then crumple it up (tear it, burn it, whatever makes you feel better) as a way to get those things off your chest, or Redirect that 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 Venting to patient friends. Make a Playlistabout it! Music and specifically making playlists can be a good mechanism for processing and confronting more intense emotions. Try a Creative Task that 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.
  • Reevaluate the Tasks that Feel Draining or that You Feel Trapped In. Maybe they aren'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.
  • Listen to the TED Talks Daily Podcast called "It's OK to Feel Overwhelmed" about the challenge of putting pressure on yourself to be productive and the feeling of being overwhelmed by your own pressure.
  • Work with a Partner to help with when you lose control of you temper - let them say a Keyphrase like "step on the brake" to make you stop, relax and breathe then continue.
  • Allow yourself Days Where You Have Zero Expectations for yourself. No plan, no guilt if things don't get done. If you want to spend the day on the couch scrolling through your phone, do it.
  • Try to Separate How You Feel Physically or Emotionally From Your Actions. For example, when you're feeling sad, you can continue feeling sad while brushing your teeth. The added bonus is that the sad is more likely to go away if you're exercised, clean, and fed. And if it doesn't, at least you won't be stiff, smelly, and starving while you're sad. Another example is anxiety to go outside: Due to anxiety your heart rate is in the cardio range and breathing is fast and your stomach is queazy. Are you still physically able to hike? Yep. OK, then go for a hike. It's not that different from deciding that a light hike is worth it despite an injured ankle and a sore knee.
  • If you have a very low day to the point you can't get out of your bed, instead of beating yourself up for staying in bed all day, Think about What's Great about Staying in Bed in order to charge yourself for getting up the next day (or hour).
  • Explore Littlespace/Age Regression as a form of relaxation. Essentially, let the more childlike tendencies fully out, almost completely acting younger than you are (e.g. listening to Disney songs or cuddling your plushies). It's a nice way to let go of stress and other negative emotions. Some people prefer a toddler-like mental state, others a bit older, but putting yourself in that mindset definitely helps. Check these examples for more ideas.
  • Try the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique to calm down when anxious. First, let your lips part. Make a whooshing sound, exhaling completely through your mouth. Next, close your lips, inhaling silently through your nose as you count to four in your head. Then, for seven seconds, hold your breath. Make another whooshing exhale from your mouth for eight seconds. There are recommendations to repeat this cycle four times.
  • Use Lavender Essential Oils help to calm down.
  • Look up Grounding Techniques to use until you feel your breathing return to normal if you're hyperventilating.
  • On bad days, Take Care of the Basics:
    • Basic hygiene: get dressed, brush teeth, fix hair, wash yourself.
    • Basic movement: walk around the house, stretch any muscle group, dance to music, etc.
    • Health check: take your meds, eat literally anything with protein or vitamins, drink water or juice, use the bathroom, take a nap.
    • Improve your immediate environment: let sun in, remove dishes from bedroom or wherever you sit, clear a spot in the place you are currently sitting, turn on a pleasant noise like music or a podcast/video or a background noise you like etc.
  • Prepare for Bad Days by making 3 kinds of tasks for yourself: the bare minimum type, the ones that help get the ball rolling. Like brush teeth, bathe, that kind of thing. Get crystal clear and honest about habits that sabotage you or make you feel like crud and get you off to a day of nothing. Like starting the day with social media, surfing or email. Lastly, come up with 1 or 2 tasks that are really meaningful or lead to really meaningful outcomes.
  • When you are used to pushing yourself to the brink on a regular basis to appear neurotypical, giving 140% starts to feel like 90%, and 90% starts to feel like 40%, and 40% starts to feel like -35%. Just like driving in the city feels like slow-motion after driving on the highway for a long time, perception changes by adapting to the conditions. Look for Objective Indicators, like a speedometer, to estimate the speed at which you are going instead of using your gut feeling! That being said, you are not a machine that needs to work on one single level of power and productivity 24/7. Check the following How To ADHD videos: How to Cope When Everything's Awful and You're Not Okay, How to Stop Beating Yourself Up Over Mistakes, Why Perfectionism Isn't Perfect - and How to Overcome It.
  • To have a better grasp of what actually bothers you and how it does so, if you don't have this skill already, google the List of Feelings by the Centre For Non Violent Communication, print it, keep it beside you, review it often and look up words you don't know.
  • In case of social anxiety Check If Your Thoughts/Predictions Are In Proportion to the Situation or if they're irrational. Writing this out/typing it can help to sort out your thoughts a bit:
    • To help identify these thoughts, these questions might help: what does this situation say about you? What does this mean for your life/future? What would others think of you? What is the absolute worst that could happen?
    1. describe the situation. When? Where? What?
    2. what feelings do you have when you think back to this situation? Rate them on a scale of 0 to 100% (example: I feel fear at 80% and guilt at 50%).
    3. a. dump all the (negative) thoughts that appear in your head when you think of the situation (including the aforementioned emotions) on your piece of paper/phone notes app/word doc/your kitchen wall/whatever.
    4. b. what seems to be the most important and prominent (negative) thought? Write it down.
    5. can you think of any arguments that support this Main Negative Thought? (example: I have experienced a very similar situation in the past and this did not go well and im afraid that this situation in the present also wont go well etc.)
    6. can you think of any arguments that go against this Main Negative Thought? (example: this situation is not the same as the similar situation in the past. The person from the past situation was a big jerk and had NO right to treat me like that. The person/people involved in the present situation is way nicer, which means that the present situation wont be as bad as the one in the past).
    7. take a look at all those arguments that support or go against the Main Negative Thought. Based on all that stuff, can you think of a more balanced, more neutral and more realistic thought/prediction to replace the Main Negative Thought? What kind of effect does this New Balanced Thought have on your emotions? Rate them on a scale of 0 to 100% again (for example fear is now down to 50% and guilt at 20%).
    8. if you would encounter this kind of situation again in the future and keep the New Balanced Thought in mind, how would you feel? Would you feel slightly more relaxed? Would you feel slightly more confident to face the situation? etc.
  • Distinguish Between Productive and Unproductive Emotions. Road rage, i.e. becoming upset about other drivers, is not productive: there is nothing you can do about it. Becoming upset about breaking something is productive because it will help you learn how to be better. It's our built in training mechanism. Road rage is hooking into one's urge to control, it's a waste of emotional energy. If you do have a blanketed urge to dominate everything (pesticides and fencing and erradicating), you'll burn yourself out because it is impossible to dominate everything. Upsetting mistakes, on the other hand, hook into one's urge to be better. It means, there is something that can be fixed.
  • Write Down Your Thoughts And Emotions at the time you have them. It has the advantage of being low requirement and not relying on an other human beings understanding what you are going through. Once you are done, you can either Keep The Piece of Paper and read it later to think, while being calm, or you can Give It to Someone to read to talk about it (friend or professional). Or you can Destroy The Piece of Paper to visualize the negative feelings being destroyed.
  • Oftentimes our anxiety stems from uncertainty, we fear "some vague worst case scenario" but never actually sit down to Picture That Worst Case Scenario In All Detail which makes us think that what we’re facing is huge, when in fact, when you write things down, you might end up realizing that you only have to go through just two topics per day for your exam preparation - which isn't all that much…?! So, picture that huge worst-case-scenario-monster and ban it on paper by writing down what the monster actually consists of.
  • Check out this video on Amygdala Hijack if you struggle with emotional outbursts and look for further resources to handle the reaction, if you need.
  • A Feeling Wheel or Chart helps people figure out the right word for what their feeling. Check charts for positive and negative emotions as well. If you still struggle to identify what you are feeling, distinguish between emotions and feelings: "While emotions are associated with bodily reactions that are activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain, feelings are the conscious experience of emotional reactions. Originating in the neocortical regions of the brain, feelings are sparked by emotions and shaped by personal experiences, beliefs, memories, and thoughts linked to that particular emotion. Strictly speaking, a feeling is the side product of your brain perceiving an emotion and assigning a certain meaning to it" (source). And if that doesn't help either, look into possible reasons why you don't know what you feel and Alexithymia.
  • Practice Feeling Your Feelings in a safe place. Like go to the loo, lock the door, "am I sad? Okay, gonna dwell on that feeling for five breaths, then gonna let it out. Am I angry? Nope? How about worried?". It helps keeping you in touch with where you're "at" and it helps keep the pressure in the emotional box low enough to prevent explosions.
  • Having Acupuncture every week might help staying calm and relaxed. There are also Acupuncture Pens to use yourself, for example whilst at school if you feel like you're going to "explode". (Acupuncture is a medical treatment in a way and there might be reverse effects and counterindications, so please consult with your doctor if it's a suitable option for you)

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • Daylio for mood, symptoms and period tracking (available for both Android and iOS)

Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]


Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

Guilds

Mastering Emotions (DBT Skills)


Finances[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Use Cash instead of credit cards. It helps to visualize the amount of money you spend and serves as a physical limit for purchases.
  • When Online Shopping: Save the product in your Cart and 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 Picture with 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 Paperwork so it has a designated place to sit until you do it once a week.
  • Some reading material: Budgeting 101, A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make the Perfect Budget and How to Make a Budget – and Stick to It. (Recommended in the KOA Guild)
  • Automate Your Savings. If you aren't already, that is the easiest way to save while taking your brain out of the equation. You can auto withdrawal from one account to another every so often.
  • Automate Your Bills.
  • Freeze Your Credit Cards in a block of ice to tackle your spending problems.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • Mint is a free budget tracker and planner (available for both Android and iOS)

Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • You Need A Budget (YNAB) helps you to learn manage your budget. It gives you a better idea of where your money is and where your want it to go and less about being strict with the numbers. Your transactions from your banks get automatically imported into the budget app, so you know how much you have and how much you can spend/save. You can get YNAB for 34 days for free (and the tech support team can be generous with giving you more time if you have any issues). One of the "rules" of YNAB is to Embrace Your True Expenses, which means setting money aside for surprise expenses every month/paycheck. And it doesn't have to be a lot, it could be $30 here, $10 there. The point is to have a lump sum of money ready to go so that if those expenses do come around, you are ready. There's a YNAB Guild in Habitica.
  • Rena-Fi offers finances related support specifically aimed at ADHDers. They have occaisional free webinars and some other free content.


Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

Guilds

Death and Taxes
Financial Discipline Guild
YNAB Guild


Forgetfulness[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Use a White Board to organize thoughts.
  • Always carry a Notepad and Pen to 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 (external website) 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 Note and sticking it to wherever you are doing the routine (e.g. your bathroom mirror).
  • 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 School Materials in 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.
  • To Store All Your Amazing Ideas in an organized manner, you could try the following:
    • Have a Couple of Note Folders in our phone.Put it in the right category/text folder when noting it down.
    • For quick ideas have a Checklist App on your phone where you write down the thought. For bigger ones or those you actually work on, use a Bullet Journal Without the Planner Part. So, just 4 index pages (containing keywords and the page numbers where notes can be found) and then numbered freedom.
  • Never Carry Two Things, e.g. a bag AND a scarf (put the scarf in the bag!). When the things you want to bring cannot fit into the bag, make sure to Connect The Two Items so you cannot easily lose one. For example, if you have a larger luggage peace and a smaller handbag or backpack, let the handbag or backpack sit on your luggage. If you carry two bags, keep both bags on the same side of your body, so you can scoop up all the bags in one go without forgetting one of them.
  • Have One Bag/Backpack For Each Activity so you only have to worry about grabbing your wallet, phone, keys and water rather than everything else you might need.
  • Keep Helpful Things In the Trunk of Your Car/Locker At Work (i.e. rain gear, an extra jacket, extra tools, duct tape, a first aid kit, an extra pair of shoes, etc.).
  • Use Really Garish Containers/Bags. It's easier to forget about a grey/black bag than a bright orange one.
  • Add reminders on your digital devices, LOTS of Reminders! You can use the intelligent virtual assistant of your phone (e.g. Siri) to quickly add reminders ("Remind me on the ___ at 3 pm that I have an appointment in three days"). A series of reminders for just one event could look like this:
    • 1 week ahead (to prepare, if it's really important).
    • 3 days ahead (so you can change the appointment if you accidentally planned something else that day).
    • 1 day ahead (for good measure).
    • 1 or 2 hours ahead (so you still have enough time to mentally/physically prepare and arrive on time).
    • 10 minutes ahead (especially for video chats/phone calls, so you are not caught off guard).
  • Ask doctors and others offices for an Appointment Card and stick it to a physical calendar on your entrance door (as a reminder and to make sure you don't lose the card).

Apps[edit | edit source]

Note-Taking

  • 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)
  • HackMD is a collaborative markdown knowledge base.
  • Workflowy is a simple way to organize your work using text-based nested lists.
  • SimpleMind is a service where you can make giant mind maps on your phone/PC super easily and is recommended to anyone who has trouble organizing their thoughts! You can can write down all aspects and jump to the next without having to explore every one immediately or losing your train of thought. It's probably great for school and planning too. (available on Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS)

Android

  • 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)

iOS

  • 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 is great for period tracking.


To Do Lists

  • Todoist has huge capabilities to make long and overengineered filters to segregate To Do lists. (available for Android, iOS and web)
  • TickTick can be used for reminders, but also has more functions to offer. (available for Android, iOS and web)
  • Notion can be used to write, plan, collaborate, and get organized. (available for Android and iOS)
  • Toodledo is a comprehensive task management website/app that allows you to set a task's priority, context (school, work, personal, etc), goal it contributes to, due dates, when-to-remind-me-this-task-exists date, statuses (waiting, postponed, maybe-someday), and tags. Toodledo will crunch all those variables about the tasks and give you a shortened "hot list" of tasks to consider! You don't have to review all 100s of tasks, just the top 20 based on priority and due date and status. You can also filter by context. Basically, it is a tool for organizing a mega ton of different tasks, and yet still be able to drill down and find the tasks that interest you. You don't lose the tasks, they're just not in your face.

Android

  • 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. It was shared in the Tavern from a blog post.
  • Recurlog helps handling recurring tasks with different repetition schedules (e.g. repeat from due date or from last done date). Has a widget and visualization options. (Also check Habitica's To-Do Overs)

iOS

  • 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)
  • TaskMate is great for productivity and accountability.

Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • Monica helps organize your social interactions (see Social Life)
  • Password Keyring comes 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.

Chrome

Firefox

Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

  • Set reminders using the Habitica-App.
  • Use the Habitica widget.



Housekeeping[edit | edit source]

Cleaning[edit | edit source]

  • Listen to Audiobooks, Podcasts or Music while cleaning. Bonus if it's something that makes you feel powered up.
  • Get a Trashcan with a Basketball Hoop, for extra motivation points.
  • 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 Tattoos for 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 (external website) the right way.
  • Using the Pomodoro Method for Cleaning:
    1. 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).
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
  • Moving Places or Decluttering your home in case of an anxiety inducing amount of mess:
    1. Start with the floor because you have to be able to move around freely for cleaning.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
  • Tell someone you'll Send A Photo of your new room layout by 4 p.m.
  • To make cleaning/organizing/getting rid of stuff easier Split Up the Decision Making Into Steps, where the first step is to split stuff into 3 preliminary categories: definitely trash or give away, definitely keep, and maybe keep. Allowing for the maybe-step makes it much easier to get started, because you don't have to make the hard choices. Then, you sort through the trash/donate/give away things and figure out where they are going (or make someone else deal with this!), and pack the things you are definitely keeping. Now, knowing that you have already made significant progress, it should be easier to go through the maybe-pile. Sort it Based On Why It Wound Up in the Maybe-Pile instead of "definitely going away" or "definitely being kept". Ask yourself questions to help determine whether to keep these items. Was it something you only use infrequently? Something with sentimental value? Something that you have too many of? Optionally, you can pack these items away in an orderly fashion and put them in some sort of storage and you'll know that you want to keep them if you go back to get them.
  • If there are arguments in your household because you keep forgetting to do chores, ask your housemates how okay they are with "literally just having to Remind You of Chores forever because you actually can't remember"?
  • Put a Beepy Manual Alarm Clock Over the Chore (e.g. the trash bin), and set it to go off at the time you want to do the chore. To make the beeping go away you need to be standing over the chore and not doing something else.
  • When Putting Trash Bags In The Can, don’t only put one in the can but put in the Whole Package At Once. Then, when you have to bring out the trash, you only have to pick the bag at the top out without having to put in a new bag.
  • Mopping (for regular maintenance cleaning, not for incidental spills) for sure can't happen before Vacuuming because then the dirt just sticks to the floor and gets pushed around. Wiping Down Surfaces arguably should take place before vacuuming, lest you wipe dirt off the counter and onto your nice freshly vacuumed floors.
  • To reduce Ironing of Clothes
    • Hang them up warm out of the dryer or in the bathroom while you shower. If you've left the clothes in the dryer for too long, run the dryer on high for 10 minutes to heat them up again.
    • Try not to have clothes made of the types of fabrics that tend to wrinkle.
    • Use a handheld steamer.
    • Put clothes on hangers on the shower rail while they're wet instead of using a drying rack. The wetter they are when hung up, the more effective this is, and for some clothes with a bit of stretch in them or that have come out of the wash crumpled up, stretching them out fully while hanging helps too.
    • If you can't reduce ironing, do it while watching TV.
    • Take a hair straightener to the button side, the sleeves and collar.
    • Use the time you iron clothes for your meditation session.

Cooking Etc.[edit | edit source]

  • 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 (external website).
  • No Cook Meal Items (external website) 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.
  • Have Healthy Snacks like dried fruits and veggies, nuts, granola bars etc. at hand.
  • Use (frozen) Pre-Chopped Veggies to save time and energy.
  • Eat This Much automatically plans your meals for you based on some criteria you choose (e.g. the calory intake you are aiming for, vegan diet, and more if you sign up). You can customize the auto-generated meal plan to your liking. They have a small tutorial to explain the basic features.
  • Reduce decision making by Assigning Food Themes to Days, e.g. Fish-Friday.
  • First build the habit to Cook Your Own Meals before trying meal planning etc. because one cannot improve on a habit that does not exist yet:
    1. The most important aspect of habit forming is to "show up" to the habit. Make the habit obvious by Placing Ingredients and Supplies onto a Table before you need to cook. This way when the time comes, it's quite obvious what you should be doing.
    2. Take the Easiest and/or Quickest Recipes You Can Find. Scrambled egg and bacon with toast, some ready-mix or even frozen pizza topped with freshly cut extra veggies on it, for example. Even if it isn't overly healthy, as long as it is better than before and requires preparation you are on the right track.
    3. Cook easy meals that are the Most Enjoyable for you out of the selection of easy meals.
    4. Afterwards immediately Reward Yourself.
    5. Once you have done this cycle a good few times you might find that the 2 minute meal is virtually automatic. This is where you can Start Expanding to More Complex/Healthy Meals.
  • Reduce Food Waste:
    • Scrambled Eggs to Use Up Left-Overs: You can add all kinds of vegetables, cheese, pasta... If you're not sure when to add what, prepare an emergency plate where you can put stuff that's done too soon. Eggs come in last most of the time. Try expanding your spices to cardamon, thyme, rosemary, curry, etc.
    • Make Lettuce Tacos: put sweet canned fish onto salad leafs and add corn. Experiment with vinegar and oil seasoning.
  • Have a Cookbook Featuring Recipes With 5 Or Fewer.
  • A Slow Cooker is SUPER EASY to use - most of the time you just throw in your ingredients 8-12 hours before you want to eat. If you're a meat-eater, cheap cuts come out really tender and juicy, but you can find tons of recipes online based on whatever your dietary preferences are. It's really great if you're busy, never have time to cook, or don't know how to cook! It can take five minutes to throw in what will end up being several meals for a single person. If you're not sure, see if you can borrow one to try out!
  • Try Liquid Meals. They come in different flavours and you just mix and drink them.
  • If you forget to eat because you really want to accomplish certain things beforehand, Reframe Meals as a Productive Task Unto Themself and trying to think of them as some of the highest priority tasks in your day.
  • Don't Leave The Kitchen While Cooking if you tend to burn food. Do the dishes to occupy yourself or just stare at your phone. Put a TV in your kitchen or bring your laptop to make the cooking process more entertaining. Act Like You're On A Cooking Show, like a celebrity of your choice who's preparing a meal for the audience.

Losing & Finding Things[edit | edit source]

  • Use a Key Ring with a Chain for your wallet.
  • Give Everything a Place and keep it there. 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 necessarily "makes sense" but rather the first place that comes to mind when you need the item in question. For instance, you might 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 many. Instead, try keeping the thing on top of the cupboard rather than inside of it. Label the spots with a label maker. Use Washi Tape and Drawer Separators to outline where things should go.
  • Reduce the Amount of things you have.
  • Have Several Copies of the Same Thing, like a phone charger for each of your rooms.
  • Consider setting up Task Stations for 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 arm's reach.
  • Use Clear Containers so that you know what's inside without opening them.
  • For Remembering your Keys in case you are living on your own: always lock the door after coming home (and leave the keys in the lock). This way it is impossible to leave the house without remembering the keys.
  • Make the items bigger and thus easier to find by Attaching Something to It.
  • Make a short List of things that you should always have with you, and make it extremely easy to check that you have all of them. For example, you might make sure all of these important items have different textures. Make it a habit to check all of them before leaving the house.
  • Get a Waist Bag.
  • Inner Voice is important. After someone finds 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 & Structure[edit | edit source]

  • Watch the Webinar by Susan Pinsky for ADHD-friendly Cleaning and House Organization Advice (it's free and without spam).
    • Whenever you find yourself thinking "Ugh, it’s so annoying when this happens!" STOP! Examine That Thought! What's the annoying thing exactly? Which part of the thing is making it annoying? Can you think of any improvements you could make to your current system to make it less annoying? Here are some examples for annoying things:
      • Hate dragging the vacuum cleaner through half of the house to vacuum clean your bedroom? Buy a small Handheld Vacuum Cleaner.
      • Consider Whether a Container REALLY Needs a Lid (e.g. laundry basket). And what about your wardrobe needing a door…?
      • If trash piles up in your room Have 4 Different Trash Bags Right In Your Room (paper, plastic, organic materials and general waste) to spare yourself the way to the kitchen. Put The Solution In The Problem Area for optimal accessibility!!!
      • Reduce steps by Increasing Visibility: For regularly used objects stored in containers, use clear plastic boxes. Make sure that labels on folders with important paperwork are actually visible and can be read with one glance. Try to avoid stacking objects or placing items in several rows, store them vertically or in wide, flat containers instead of deep containers or on different levels
      • Annoyed by the fact that you can't carry the pile of 50 dishes in your room to the kitchen at once to the point you just.... don't get them to the kitchen? Get a Tray to put them on so you're able to get multiple dishes to the kitchen in one go. If worse things comes to worse: put a dishwasher in the bedroom.
  • Organize 365 by 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.
  • Be Resourceful in finding containers! Use carboard boxes from shoes, (thoroughly cleaned) plastic food packaging, etc.

Digital Clutter[edit | edit source]

  • Dealing With Emails:
    • The book "Getting Things Done," by David Allen, suggests three ways: Delete, Action, and Reference. If you have no use for it, delete it. If you have to do something about it, put it in an "Action" folder. If you have any reason to look at it later, put it in "Reference." The ultimate goal is to not have your inbox be a storage space!
    • Have Separate Email Accounts: one for the important things and one for the "spam" (i.e. newsletters, promotions, etc.)
    • Use Auto-Filters for Your Email Inbox. Some providers have an option in the settings where you can create rules to manage your inbox. Rules can be things like "if sender has xyz in their email address, move to folder xyz". This saves some time. And if you feel like going through some of your mail, you can focus on a specific folder.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • Some of the Reminders Function of 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.
  • Use Evernote to 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 App for 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)

Android

  • 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.
  • Use TimeR Machine to 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. The alarms don't even require any input (one ding then they move on) to not interrupt you too much in case you're being productive at the time and don't want to stop.


Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • FlyLady has some sort of Live Stream for cleaning to increase accountability (premium membership required though). It sets up routines step by step (something new every day or two) and tosses in ways to respond to perfectionistic tendencies and distractions, sends email reminders, cuts up big jobs into manageable steps, etc. Flylady has podcasts and a Facebook support group (and a Habitica guild, see below). For parents, if you search "flylady camp gonna wanna fly", there are good suggestions for stuff to do with kids when they are home.
  • Unclutter Your Habitat(might contain expressions which are prohibited by Habitica’s Community Guidelines) has some great resources, and a lot of tips on cleaning with executive dysfunction. It tends to be centered around depression, but it's really the same techniques. The app was described as having a somewhat "yelling" tone; if that’s what you need to get started, go ahead. If that’s not your cup of tea, try FlyLady instead, it has a similar philosophy.
  • DeSeatMe helps you to see if your email is used as a method to sign in and assissts in cleaning up your online presence. (Note: recommended in the ExtraBoost Guild)

Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

Challenges

Organise Your Digital Photos (Continuous)
:floppy_disk: :sparkles: Spark Joy! • Pixel Edition: Digital decluttering the KonMari way! (Permanent Version)

Guilds

Decluttering Devils
FLYbabies - using the FlyLady method
Horrible Housekeepers of Habitica
Make Your Home Sweet Home
Slobs Anonymous
ExtraBoost Guild - runs digital decluttering challenges.


Hyperactivity[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Use Fidget Toys and Stimming Utensils, either from stores like Stimtastic and Therapy Shoppe, or found/made yourself. Some stim products include Chewing Jewelry, which can be something like a necklace with a part that's made of silicone and meant to chew on, and Boinks, a small tube of stretchy plasticky material sealed on both ends with a marble inside that is great for when you need to silently fidget. For inconspicuous fidgeting that also helps cool you down, use a Hand Fan in summer and for inconspiciuous stimming check out CalmStrips, Koosh Balls or Silly Putties. For clicking fidgets try Dimpl Clips, Mugen Puchipuchi, Pop-Click Tops on bottles or Cord Locks. If you can't find any fidgets in your country, check YouTube for DIY Fidgets. Or just try fiddling with a Pen - ideally one with a cap that you can pull off and put back on so it doesn't make that clicky sound. You could use one with indented words, or a grip that is pleasant to touch, to address stimming urges, or learn to spin your pen in class.
  • Set a Timer to bounce around the room a little.
  • Learn to Knit or Crochet.
  • Something as simple as a Jump Rope or a Hula Hoop might help you out.
  • Invest in a couple of Weights.
  • Look into Military/Marine-Style Workouts. Many of those exercises have no equipment or space requirements aside from one's own body. You can get quite intense with bodyweight exercises. Animal Flow is another intense bodyweight workout.
  • Try one of the "Cross Stitch" Apps which are just colouring the squares in letter by letter by tapping on/swiping over them. It's something to get lost in brain wise, but does require some movement from your hands so it's not totally sitting still. Maybe any puzzle apps which involve sliding stuff around can help with excess energy.
  • For a bath you could get some Bath Toys, or even just different sized rinsed out tubs (like yoghurt pots and stuff) with the task being to pour water from one to another. So like you're doing a thing with your hands but not doing anything complicated or important for your brain (ie. not a stressor or task/chore).


Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • 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.


Hyperfocus / Hyperfixation[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • A good way to try reducing hyperfocusing on hobbies is Setting Timers at Regular Intervals, say 30 or even 15 minutes just to remind yourself of the passage of time and give you cues to evaluate what you're doing.
  • To deal with hyperfocus hangover immediately Get Away From the Spot Where You Were Doing The Task, take care of the basic physiological needs you might have neglected while hyperfocusing, and find some smaller task to help you change gears. You might like to choose self-care things that still feel productive enough that you don't feel bad about doing them after wasting a whole day, like showering, making a nice healthy meal etc.
  • Pick a "Closure" Activity to put your mind to rest and help you stop thinking about The Task all the next day. If you are hyperfocusing on reading a book, you could write a short summary or reflection on what you read or just put the book back in the shelf instead of just leaving it on the table. For big school projects you could spend a few minutes making a basic roadmap of your next steps and when they need to be done. Such routines could help signal to your brain that you're done with The Task for now but can come back to it later.


Medication[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Use a Pill Organizer (see Forgetfulness).
  • To figure out the right medication/dose ask the people around you to Note Any Changes when medicated versus when not.
  • Rate Your Symptoms for 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: compare taking them 30 minutes before the meal vs. 15 minutes vs. with your meal vs. 15 minutes or 30 minutes after your meal. See whether side effects appear if you Take Your Meds with Certain Types of Food (e.g. carbs, proteins etc.).
  • While medication helps to improve focus, it may not redirect that focus to the right tasks, and you will have to Meet It Halfway by Making Intentional Efforts not to spend time on things that you shouldn't be focusing on. It takes a lot of work to develop the discipline that you need to work on what you need to be working on.
  • ADHDers report that Magnesium Supplements* reduce medication side effects and makes stimulants last longer. Aside from anecdotal evidence, multiple studies have reported lower levels of magnesium in those with ADHD and supplementation was found to reduce symptoms in ADHD and comorbid disorders. One study suggests a genetic defect in Magnesium transport in those with ADHD or ASD. And there are reports about stimulants depleting magnesium from the body. Magnesium deficiency as well as ADHD are also linked to PMS, so you might experiece positive effects from supplements in this aspects as well. There's also a potential link between magnesium deficiency and POTS and/or Low Blood Pressure, Fatigue Syndrome, Migraines, Fibromyalgia and Hypermobility/EDS. Unfortunately, magnesium levels are very hard to asses by blood tests and researchers suggest an alternative approach to identify deficiency. *Magnesium glycinate or L-threonate are recommended for supplementation; not oxide because of its bad bioavailability; see this website for a comparison of different types of magnesium supplements. When choosing a product, keep in mind that transdermal magnesium absorption (e.g. magnesium oil/cream/salt bath) has yet to be confirmed. *Note: Please speak with doctor before taking supplements!
  • At least one study reports low levels of Vitamin D in ADHDers and also reduced ADHD symptoms in case of supplementation. Note: Please speak with doctor before taking supplements!
  • If you feel Physically Exhausted when taking meds, it could mean you haven’t eaten enough during the day or are dehydrated.
  • Have a glass of water and your Pill Case on Your Nightstand to blindly fumble for it when the alarm goes off in the morning (optional: and then go straight back to sleep).
  • Get a Keychain Pill Holder online or from a pharmacy or "survival store".
  • ADDitude article on Does Stimulant Medication Cause Addiction?.
  • Addressing Appetite Loss when on meds:
    • Have a Container Full of Snacks that you keep with you wherever you go. As much as healthy snacks are encouraged, when you're not really eating at all, pretty much any food you can get into you is better than none at all, even if it's not the most nutritious. It's nice to have some stuff that usually makes you happy when you get to eat it too!
    • Set Alarms to go off every hour or two to remind you to have something to eat. It can be small, like a handful of almonds, fruit snacks, or a banana, or if you feel up to it have something more substantial like a sandwich. Have at least a little something to keep your energy and blood sugar up.
    • Keep easy to prepare or ready to eat food at hand. You'll more likely eat it if it's low effort. Frozen meals are good for this. If you have enough time/energy in the morning, pre-making lunch can help or boiling a bunch of eggs over the weekend and have them in the fridge for when you're hungry but don’t want to cook or think (they keep for while). If you have the money, takeout is an option too.
    • If you have issues with eating above and beyond your ADHD (Disordered Eating, etc.), it's a good time to get some extra help. Talking to a therapist can really make a difference, as well as contacting the NEDA crisis chat.
    • Take Advantage of When Your Medication Wears Off, so if you didn't have a lot earlier in the day, you can make up for it a bit later.
    • Make sure the Things You Do Eat Are Filling (like use full fat milk instead of skimmed).
  • Just because a Certain (or Any) Medication Doesn't Work for You, this doesn't necessarily mean you don't have ADHD. There's lots of factors (like for example food allergies) that can mess up your metabolism, and make your meds ineffective: here is an interesting video about that topic.
  • In case you react badly to coffee and tea and are concerned about stimulant medication, a guild member (not a doctor) explained: "Caffeine in Tea or Coffee Acts (...) Different on the Brain Than Stimulant (Medication) (...). The negative effects you want to avoid may not even occur. (But) overall in the non-med route, get the basics down (nutrition, sleep, emotional intelligence etc.) and from there, there'll be less work for meds to do."
  • When you take medications, make sure your Doctor Follows Up on Effects. They should ask if and to what extend the meds do what they are supposed to do, and they should also show an interest in potential side effects. If the doctor doesn't ask themself you can initiate that conversation.
  • Meds obviously help with a lot of ADHD symptoms, but they do not heal you. It’s important to Keep Up With Therapy too. Either a psychologist. If it’s affordable, but even a support group can be great help. Finding coping mechanisms and learning to adapt to situations is super important too! What if a pandemic happens and you can’t get your meds for a bit?
  • Ask your doctor about an Adjustable Dosage. On days you do not work or study, you have a base dose because you cannot just not take it without bad symptoms. On days that are ADHD challenges, you have an additional dose to help you out more.
  • There are reports that ADHD can get much worse in perimenopausal women. If that's the case, then it might be worth looking into Estrogen Replacement Rather Than Stimulants.
  • Fish Oil/Omega 3 is reported to help ADHDers. You can use Linseed Oil instead of fish oil.
  • ADHD Medication Side Effects No One Should Tolerate according to ADDitude.
  • To address neck pain or increased tinnitus caused by tension due to ADHD medication, try Neck Stretches for the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle, which ever kind works for you, if you google that, a bunch should come up. 3-5 mins a day might do the job, set it up as a habit. It will take time for the stretches to take effect.



Overview - Common Medications and their Characteristics[edit | edit source]

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).

Notes:

  • ADHD Medication and Treatment Reviews on ADDitude
  • The difference between types of medication explained by a guild member (not a doctor): "Dexamfetamine stimulates the production of dopamine in your brain, while methylphenidate decreases the reuptake of dopamine. 'Reuptake' here means that instead of the dopamine (acting as a neurotransmitter) nicely traveling from neuron 1 to neuron 2, it has trouble bridging the gap between those two neurons (the "synaps"). It stays in the synaps, and eventually gets sucked back by neuron 1 (you can imagine that if this reuptake mechanism works a bit too well, this can be a bit inconvenient... xD). Methylphenidate blocks (some of) the gateways through which neuron 1 sucks the dopamine back up, thus allowing the dopamine more time to find its way to neuron 2. This also means that for some ADHDers, dexamfetamine works but methylphenidate doesn't. (...) The nonstimulant med (...) atomoxetine (Strattera) decreases the reuptake of norepinephrin (aka noradrenaline), and bupropion, which decreases the reuptake of both norepinephrin and dopamine. (...) The stimulant meds are generally a lot more effective though (or well, they give a more noticeable boost to your executive functioning, while the nonstimulants give more of a long-lasting low-level support to your brain). The effect durations are only an average/expected estimate though, so it could be slightly different for you. (...) And the side-effects of all these meds are different (and differ from person to person) as well, of course, so talk to your doctor about that and to see which meds are right for you."
  • "The 'meth' part means 'has a CH3 hanging off it somewhere' - two things being 'meth-' doesn't mean they're very similar at all, chemically speaking. There are definitely amphetamine-based ADD meds, though - Adderall is one of them. (...) In terms of amphetamines and methylphenidate, they seem to be pretty different in terms of what they're doing in the brain, though they have very similar effects. Think aspirin and paracetamol: different chemicals and different mechanisms of action but they'll both treat your headache (and the different mechanisms of action mean that there are edge cases where one is dramatically better than the other)."
  • IR = Immediate Release. ER or XR = Extended Release. SR = Sustained Release.
See/Hide Overview
Adderall Concerta Ritalin Strattera Vyvanse Guanfacine
Stimulant?
Agent Levoamphetamine & Dextroamphetamine Methylphenidate (Dex)Methylphenidate Atomoxetine Lisdexamfetamine Guanfacinhydrochloride (Phenylacetyl-Guanidin-Derivative)
Duration of Action 4h IR, 12h ER, up to 16h in case of longer ER (Mydayis) (external website) 8-12h (external website) 2-4h IR, 5-8h SR (external website). Taking it with a meal accelerates administration to the bloodstream. IR. Usually lasts ~12h (possibly 5h-21h - external website). Taking it with food decreases and decelerates administration to the bloodstream. up to 12h (external website) 10-17h IR, approx. 17h (range 10h-30h) ER, in children: 14h ER (external website)
Before Trial Check for Cardiovascular Diseases, Glaucoma, Anxiety, Thyroid Issues and Drug Abuse History and be careful in case of Anorexia Nervosa, Bipolar Disorder, Depression or Tourette. Check Interactions with other drugs (links to external websites). Check for Cardiovascular Diseases, Glaucoma and Drug Abuse History. Check Interactions with other drugs (links to external websites). See Concerta. Check for Symptomatic Cardiovascular Diseases and Glaucoma. Click link for more. Check Interactions with other drugs (links to external websites). Check for Cardiovascular Diseases, Glaucoma, Anxiety, Thyroid Issues and Drug Abuse History and be careful in case of Bipolar Disorder, Depression or Tourette. Check Interactions with other drugs (links to external websites). Check for Low Blood Pressure, Pregnancy/Breastfeeding, medications that inhibit or induce CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 enzymes, medications that affect the heart, medications that cause sedation. Lowers alcohol tolerance (exernal website).
Indication Also used for narcolepsy Stimulants don't work/cause side effects; combined ADHD + Anxiety or Depression Treatment Also used for Binge Eating Disorder Stimulants don't work/cause side effects; combined ADHD + Hypertension Treatment; combined with Stimulants to Reduce Rebound Effect
Addictive? Risk to develop an addiction is insignificant (external website) if used as prescribed. It's significant if used in much larger daily doses. Shouldn't be if handled properly (external website) See Concerta. rather not (external website) rather not (external website) not a high risk of abuse or dependency (external website)
Pros Lower risk to forget to take the meds (1 pill/day) Lower risk to forget to take the meds (1 pill/day) Lower risk to forget to take the meds. More effective than Strattera but less effective than stimulants (source).
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 Afken, Estulic, Intuniv, Tenex

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • 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").
  • Cronometer tracks micronutrients (vitamin, mineral, and protein intakes). (available on Android, iOS and web)


Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • Check "treatment" of your ADHD with and FDA approved game.



Meditation[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • If you are struggling with focus during meditation try doing Yoga Nidra or Body Scan meditations. While you start to get into it, picture yourself doing whatever physical activity you love/want to do. When you first start doing these kind of meditations, do an itty bitty movement of the body part you are scanning.
  • Do you craft or color? Use your Craft to Center. Maybe you are the kind of person who finds it easier to DO 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 Television On if silence is giving you a hard time.
  • Combine Meditation With Other Routines like showering.
  • Having a 'Go To' Visualization also helps, e.g. pretending to be tiny and sleeping inside of a flower.
  • Try to relax intentionally, especially your shoulders and back, and unclench your teeth. With Physical Relaxation (e.g. Progressive Muscle Relaxation) comes the release of mental tension.
  • We spend about half of our awake life daydreaming or "mindwandering" in the DMN, the Default Mode Network. Not paying attention to the present situation but thinking about "what if", what you could have said, what the world should look like, what you might do, creating a "virtual" version of yourself, the version you want to be or the version you think you are. Mindfulness and meditation are supposed to break this state. You want to Return to the Present Moment and become real by acting accordingly. Or become more realistic by just focusing on the present moment, and not how many times in the past you've been annoyed or delighted by something similar. This "not being in Default Mode" trains the prefrontal cortex of the brain (the part that controls things ADHD is bad at - executive functions and stuff) and inhibits the amygdala (strong emotions like anxiety and anger). Long story short, mindfulness trains your ability to regulate emotions. This is connected to how you feel your body. Doing a bodyscan positivly affects emotion control. Alternatively, if you find yourself in a spiral of regret use Radical Acceptance, a DBT skill. You think about the thing that happened that you work you could change, and then you repeat in your mind something like "this event happened because of all the events before it" or "the present moment is perfect".
  • A scientific approach is the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction MBSR. It uses daily exercise: body scan, gentle yoga, sitting meditation, walking meditation and breathing techniques. This is combined with "mild group therapy". It seems to be a very successful treatment for depression and the like. You want to be aware of reality as much as possible in your daily life, outside the exercises. Meditation Means to Perceive Reality As It Is.
  • Mindfulness Can Be Dangerous For Those With Mental-Health Problems. Borderline and PTSD were named explicitly, the symptoms can potentially worsen even through a simple body scan. Maybe ask a professional for guidance. Mindfulness is effective, so there are side effects like spiritual crisis. Willoughby Britton researches this.
  • Some Smartwatches could help with meditation: they have built-in breathing exercises showing an animation of breathing in and out and vibrating every time you need to breathe in, hold your breath and breathe out. The physical stimulation could help to keep your attention on the breathing exercise and not wander off to something else within a few seconds.
  • Pema Chodron's Tonglen Meditation makes you focus on a specific thought/feeling and build empathy and compassion for yourself and others. It feels more active than sitting quietly trying not to think about anything. There are free videos on YouTube if you Google Pema Chodron Tonglen. She also explains meditation in a very relatable way.
  • A great way to monitor and manage energy levels is to take frequent breaks and Calm Your Nervous System And Evaluate Your Physical Symptoms. Take a break after every major task or in a specific time frame. Sit comfortably and fully relax your body. Take slow deep breaths. Once you relax take stock of your body. Possible symptoms of having expended too much energy: lightheaded, weighted feeling, headache, mild nausea-like feeling, drawn towards taking a nap, foggy thinking, increased forgetfulness. Signs of having enough energy to get up and do something could be: reading isn't enough entertainment, action ideas pop up and an urge to get up and do them, head and shoulders feel relaxed. Often times the act of relaxing will recouperate your energy after some time. Engage in a recreative activity for 30 minutes and then reevalute your energy levels again.
  • Do Yoga Instead of Meditation because it gives you things to do while you concentrate on your breath.
  • Chel Hamilton has a Meditation Minis Podcast of guided visualization of about 10 minutes each.
  • Here's a TEDtalk on using mindfulness to better engage with negative habits/impulses.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • 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. And comes with a lovely Australian voice. (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)
  • Down Dog Yoga gives a lot of options to customize a routine for you, there are video demonstrations to follow, and you'll never get the exact same routine twice, so it helps the "need for novelty" that so many of us deal with.
  • Serenity. (available on Android and iOS)
  • Simple Habit offers free guided meditations and its subscription is cheaper than the one for Headspace. It even has a lifetime subscription so you can choose to only paid once, and even better, there is a half off the lifetime subscription. (available on Android and iOS)
  • Atom has really short beginner meditations. But it only gives you one a day, so that might not be enough depending on what you're looking for. (available on Android and iOS)

Android

  • MeditationGame: Guided meditations are shown as text on your phone screen and there's relaxing music in the background. And you can also move a ball of light over the screen (interactive meditation yay! might help some ADHDers to feel slightly less bored while meditating).
  • Lojong allows you access to their entire library in exchange for watching ads sometimes, if you can't pay. (available in Spanish and Portuguese)


Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • 7cups has a ton of guided meditations to pick from. It just takes some work to find ones you like.


Rewards & Motivators[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • For some people, rewards only work if they are Instant or received While they Work on the Thing they don't want to do. So for example, 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 Activities like playing games and watching Netflix or YouTube videos to relax.
  • Have Candy or Something Unusual like Bubble Tea, or Eat Out. Works with Drinks like Hot Chocolate, too.
  • Real Life Benefit of Getting Things Done: it's a reality check that time spent faffing around is costing time spent doing the basics, and that you need to earn your time sitting and gaming, because much of that is just dodging the stuff you don't want to do. The kick you get from not being in 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 your partner, a friend, or family member, 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 just... works?
  • Make Plans with other People for the evening. It can be encouraging to get more done so you'll have more things to talk about.
  • Travelling as 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 Activities to 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!"
  • Use Rewards As Deadlines! For example, have a rule that you can't start a movie after 8:30pm. Then say: "I'm going to clean the house today, but it has to be done by 8:30 so I can watch that movie I want to watch, and it's already 7:55!". 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". It is often helpful to set a timer upon noticing the urge so you don't become so engrossed in the task that you forget to take care of yourself too.
  • Ephemeral 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.
  • Spite is a great motivator, like 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 like: get a glass of water, take a stretch break, send a text to a friend, or 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 rewards (e.g. stickers) and a small number of large rewards (e.g. $10) on single paper strips and Draw one Reward From a Jar per 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 System for yourself. Chose 1-2 very specific things to work on (e.g. writing, physical activity). Then make pretty specific rules about what kind of word count or 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 that also earn tokens, with the rule that these goals have to be set in advance. You can't just say "oh I did something cool so 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 or other tangible record of the tokens to make sure you don't lose count. It can be pretty cool to have a bowl full of pretty stones to help visualize your accomplishment.
  • Use Collection Toys (e.g. Lego) to represent bigger projects. Hand over one piece per completed pom/subtask so there's both an immediate reward and one (the completed collection toy) at the end of the project. Similar rewards: Card Games where you hand out one new card per task, Money where you'd hand out 1 Cent/10 Cents per completed subtask, PC/Phone Gadgets or one volume of a Book Series etc.
  • If possible, try to Physically Attach the Reward to the Thing in 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.
  • A Note on Habitica's Punishment System: here's the thing about punishment for learning and motivation. If adding a task to your Habitica Dailies isn't motivating you to do the thing but you continue to punish yourself by not checking it off, then you're just being cruel to yourself. It's not helpful or kind to continue to use punishment if it's not working. In fact, it can make the task even harder because you now have guilt and other negative emotions associated with the task. It's suggested to figure out why you've been unable to do it, and then address that issue. If you really would like the keep the task, then turn it into a habit instead.
  • Reward yourself by adding a certain amount of money to your "Treat Yourself" Budget for the month.

Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

  • If you struggle to set up Custom Rewards for yourself, you could check the Sample Custom Rewards page. If you can't figure out what gold value to assign to your rewards, consider Setting the Prices at 0 and see it as a "you worked so hard here's a prize" thing, then put things like "make a cup of hot chocolate" or things that you might feel guilty doing had you not felt like you earned them.


Self-Esteem[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • 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. This article suggests that laziness does not exist, that there is always an underlying cause that needs to be handled first. Many are rooted in health, be it physical or emotional. Tending this need is very efficient, but often labled as laziness. Doing nothing but beating up yourself over not being able to start that one task before taking time for your blocking needs... is not so efficient. And harmful, as it drains you even more. For identifying these underlying needs, feel free to visit the guild Pillars of Happiness.
  • 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.
  • A Self-Compassion technique 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. Another way to express kindness towards yourself is to Visualize Your Doubts, Anxieties and Insecurities as a Scared Round Small Cartoon Bird. It cries out when you're stressed or feel like you're not doing things "correctly" or good enough, but instead of yelling back at it or locking it away you take a moment to picture cupping it gently in your hands and using a gentle voice to soothe it. You could also make a List With the Most Important Things in Your Life. The first thing you write on it: "me".
  • 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 Wrong and 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 Understanding helps 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 Tendencies because they're often counterproductive and harm your mental health. Don't stop that fight just because someone might be disappointed.
  • Be Kind To Yourself when 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 Hardwork are 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.
  • Start a "Grateful" Page for every month, tracking down stuff that made you feel good helps in the long run!
  • Remember, your worth as a person is not linked to your productivity. You Are Allowed to Simply Exist and Feel Good About That.
  • Create a Habit Called "Do Something Imperfectly" to tackle perfectionism. Basically: every time you feel down/guilty about not doing something 110% correctly, tell yourself you did a good job and check off the habit!
  • Leave Notes On Mirrors of Positive Quotes or Nice Things People Have Said about you.
  • Do a Good Deed. Go around the shop's car park and put trolleys in the trolley bay. Buy flowers and give them to an old lady you see in the shop. Fill a bag with things for a homeless person, give it to them yourself or leave it with someone who knows the homeless in your town. Write an encouraging "You Can Do It!" note and put it in the book you got from the university's library for the next person who lends the book.
  • The dirty secret of getting older is that No One Has Their Act Together and actually feels like a fraud! That's also a scary realization once you realize people in leadership positions are also winging it. This is like we've all been issued a dog that is permanently leashed to our hips. Some people have dogs that are well behaved and super obedient. They can often forget their dog is even there because the dog is totally in sync with them and moves with them effortlessly. But dogs, just like our bodies, have varying degrees of obedience and willfulness, passions and fears. And these urges and behavior can be in direct conflict with our goals.
  • A saying that helps when you're stuck in the "you're not doing enough" mindset is "I am a human BEING, not a human DOING".
  • Read this Twitter Thread on rumination (it comes in handy, bite-sized 150 character Tweets for easy reading with squirrel-brain and you don't need an account to read it). Install a Rumination Armchair at home, i.e. have a spot that is specifically and exclusively dedicated to rumination. You are not allowed to ruminate anywhere in your house except for this armchair and you are only allowed to sit in the chair for a maximum of 15 minutes per day.
  • Focus on what you did do by having "Done"-List instead of a "To Do"-List.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • WoeBot works as an AI that can help you track your mood patterns, provide you with all sorts of Mindfulness/CBT tools and can tell you stories related to emotions and how to deal with them. These tools can help you challenge negative thoughts, keep track of all the positive things happening around you and more. WoeBot was developed by a team of psychologists from Stanford. Its not really explicitly for ADHD but for depression, anxiety, managing emotions, general mental health & self care. You can set it up to check in with you at a certain time every day. Studies (yet to be cited here) show that people who try this app can see improvements in mood patterns in a little as two weeks and there were positive reviews of it in the guild.



Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

Challenges

  • 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.



Sensory Issues[edit | edit source]

Olfactory/Smell[edit | edit source]

  • A trick medical staff uses is to Scent Medical Masks with e.g. mint oil, if they are dealing with something smelly. A scarf or any cloth will do if you don’t have a mask.
  • Put Vanillin In the Vacuum Cleaner Bag to make your home smell like vanilla after cleaning.
  • Set a Scented Candle in the room where the bothersome smell is.

Auditory/Sound[edit | edit source]

  • You can help people who experience auditory sensitivity by understanding that their responses are driven by the sensory traffic controller in their brain. The child’s (or adult’s) responses are not naughty or difficult behavior. They are having difficulty processing the sounds that they are hearing in the environment.
  • Have ear defenders or noise-canceling headphones available to use in situations that might be noisier (e.g. cafeteria, firework event, shopping center).
  • Reduce the sound distractions in the environment when you need to work and focus, this could be by turning distractions off or using headphones.


Sleep Hygiene & Waking Up[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Avoid Blue Screen Light (external website) before sleep. As a common-sense test, if a screen is lighting up your face, it is too bright, and you should dim it more. (You might need additional software to do that).
  • Try drinking Coffee (external website) before going to bed (in case you're unmedicated) because it might calm you down (external website). Taking "coffee naps" might also work, i.e. drink a cup of coffee, then immediately lay down for a nap. Wake up in 20-30 minutes feeling amazingly refreshed.
  • You may be able to take Melatonin Supplements to manage Delayed Melatonin Release in ADHDers (external website) - but please consult with your DOCTOR first! Keep also in mind that it can be somewhat tricky make it work. In short: you must take melatonin at a time when there’s no melatonin in your body for it to work. But the issue is that you don’t know when that time is. Especially in people with sleep disorders (be it insomnia or the common Delayed Sleep-Phase Disorder in ADHD or even the Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder) melatonin has a life of its own, behaving in a non-standard manner and not following the typical release patterns which makes it hard to determine when exactly you should take the melatonin pill. It can take up to 2 months of administrating melatonin everyday at the exact same time to catch that one moment when melatonin is lowest in your body (see Wikipedia).
  • SmartWatches are 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. Their accuracy as medical devices is being questioned, though It seems they are good at counting steps but not physical activity level. They can give a good idea of the basic heart rate but not of the important nuances (same is true for sleep tracking). Accuracy in assessing stress levels depends on ideal conditions, like, as long as you sit down and don’t move too much you’ll receive accurate results, but that’s not exactly how life works... And energy expenditure is being underestimated for some tasks while it is overestimated for others; thus a meta-analysis concludes: "we would be hesitant to consider any device sufficiently accurate" (though, accuracy is better if it’s a "multisensory and triaxial accelerometry device with heart rate or heat-sensing technology" – however, this isn’t consistent across all types of activities either). Performance when it comes to measuring blood pressure needs yet to be tested.
  • 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 Tea you 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 Friend as part of your routine. Reward yourself for following the routine. And Don’t Beat Yourself Up for 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 the corresponding routine at twice the rate of the other one. Work on both gradually so neither becomes too hard, and built on your strengths. 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 in the morning.
    • 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.
  • If you have a brilliant idea right after going to bed, Make a Voice Note to act on in the morning.
  • Place not only your phone in a way that means you have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm, but also A String of Alarm Equipped Devices (e.g. clocks and old phones) at different areas to guide you to the bathroom or kitchen. And have a physical note at your destination to tell you what to do (prepare the note the day before).
  • Have a Lying in Bed Starting 10 p.m. task. From 10 p.m. you must stay in bed and are not allowed to do any activity that requires you to leave your bed (except toilet, drinking water and other life necessities), but while in bed, you can read, watch TV, call someone, meditate etc. Just stay where you are.
  • Get Blackout Curtains and a Lamp You Can Turn On/Off in Bed.
  • Find a guided meditation, an ASMR video or a sleep story of your choice. Something Calm and Sleep-Focused with Words can help you stop thinking about other things.
  • Plan a Pleasant Morning so you actually want to get up.Set two alarms fifteen minutes apart for the morning. You wake up at the first alarm and get 15 minutes of something simple and enjoyable, like listening to music, before you have to get up.
  • Get yourself a New Mattress, if you regularly struggle to fall asleep. Don't underestimate the negative effects of an old one (not talking about health effects or anything). ADHD is often comorbid with Sensory Processing Disorder and we might just be noticing something that is off about worn-out mattresses.
  • Wear Socks, not the ones you wore during the day, but a set of fluffy socks specifically for sleep. There's some science behind this. Please note that not all types of socks work, and you might have to try a few different ones; even seemingly warm socks might not do a great job regulating body temperature. Putting a Hot-Water Bottle at your feet might do the trick as well.
  • Try different Body Postures to fall asleep, e.g. if you always try to sleep on your back and it doesn't work, try lying on your stomach instead. Additionally, you could do a Butterfly-Hug which is a method of self-administered Dual Attention Stimulation (DAS).
  • When thoughts are racing but you need to sleep, Daydream about a Story Where People Go To Bed.
  • Have a Lamp Alarm Clock for waking up and sleeping.
  • Watch the free webinar Sleep Solutions for the ADHD Brain with Mark Stein, Ph.D.
  • Use a Sleep Mask to block out light and thus influence melatonin levels.
  • Wear Amber Tinted Sunglasses in the evening (even indoors) to block blue light. Such glasses are sometimes used to treat insomnia and delayed sleep phase disorder (see Wikipedia).
  • If you can't fall asleep, get up and do some Exercise Until Your Muscles Feel Tired (e.g. quick round of bodyweight exercises), then go back to bed.
  • Don't Brush Your Teeth in the bathroom, do it in the living room or bedroom. You'll have to use a bit less toothpaste.
  • Consider adding the supplement Valarian Root before you go to bed, it might better your sleep.
  • To wake up easier, it could help to Simulate Daylight, because it decreases melatonin release. "Standard laptops generate about 200 nits. A good tablet or smartphone between 500 and 600 nits. Rugged laptops can generate as much as 1,500 nits, as can modern 4K HDR TVs. […] The sun generates between 10,000 and over 30,000 nits" source, so you'll need a 10,000 Lux or nits lamp for a proper simulation.
  • If you can, aim to go to bed and wake up within a 90 Minute Time Span each evening and morning.
  • Have a routine Series of Activities That Are All Dopamine-Inducing But Each Requires Less Sensory And Cognitive Engagement Than The Previous One with each step having a duration of 20 minutes (set alarms!). For example, start by disengaging with your computer. Then play some sort of tabletop game with blue filter on. Then watch a short video or two, then it's paper-and-pencil puzzles like crosswords or sudoku. Move on to reading. With the next alarm put down whatever you're holding and turn off the light. When the light is off practice grounding and breathing exercises. If you usually have 20 minutes at each step and you end up getting to bed late, you can do an abbreviated version of your routine with 5 minutes for each step and it will still help get your mind in the space it's learned means sleep. Your body might not get there at the same time as your brain, but one is better than neither.
  • If you tend to gravitate towards lying in bed all day long start Putting Boxes and Random (Big) Things on Your Bed after getting up and making your bed. They have to stay there throughout the whole day so that the space is taken up and you're unable to comfortably lie down. Your bed should only be used for sleeping, so that your brain doesn't associate it with anything other than that.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • 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. Alarmy where you have to solve equations before it stops ringing, and you can't open the calculator. Or AMdroid (see Time-Management).
  • 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 helps building a regular sleep schedule. You tell the app when you want to go to bed every day and when you want to wake up and if you go to bed/wake up in time the app builds you a random building for your virtual town. It's from the same people who made the Forest app. (available on Android and iOS)
  • Radio Alarm Clock Apps switch on the radio when the alarm goes of and play whatever is currently on the radio. Could help waking up, if you need a surprise element for your alarms.
  • I Can't Wake Up Alarm Clock has a shake option to turn off the alarm, but there are also other tasks that you can set up such as scanning the barcode on your toothpaste, or mental tasks such as answering math questions. (available on Android and iOS)

Android

  • The recent versions of Android added Focus Mode under Digital Wellbeing. It shuts down all apps on the blacklist you set up, and you can set up a schedule for it to kick in. Set it to turn on at bedtime and remain on until you need to leave your house in the morning. You can also turn it on manually, and turn it on for a set period of time. You can use it alone or in combination with Forest. Some people do better when things shut down without them having to make a choice every time.
  • ShakeIt Alarm can only be turned off by shaking your phone vigorously, tapping it lots, or yelling into the microphone, until it's satisfied (usually about 30 seconds). You can set it to one of these actions or have it randomize each time. Such early exercise might boost your energy. You can also make the app send a message to a person of your choice in case you don't manage to turn the alarm off on time, so that the person can wake you up instead. If you have roommates, however, be courteous and maybe try some other options first.


Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • Sleepyti for scheduling your sleep.
  • 10% Happier has sleep meditations.
  • f.lux is a software that makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. f.lux will do the rest, automatically. (available for Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS and Linux)

Chrome

  • Change your settings to Dark Mode if you're using Mac OS 10.14 and up or Windows 10 and up.

Firefox

Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

Guilds

Early to Bed and Early to Rise
Naps of Power: Habiticans for Better Sleep


Social Life[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Say "Thank You" instead of Apologizing (external link).
  • 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 Hug for 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 Friend is willing to do the same.
  • To Not Interrupt Other People when 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 ask yourself, "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 Fidget instead.
    • Use 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?").
    • Play Conversation Tennis. You've got a ball-gun for a brain but it's not impossible.
  • Don't be too self-aware about Talking A Lot because it Could Be a Huge Advantage. Imagine building a network at work just by chatting and asking the right questions at the right moment. Cutting people off is something to work on, sure, but "you talk too much" tends mostly to be said by other talkative people. Introverts might be glad when others do the talking.
  • Stay Focused During Conversations by
    • pretending You're a News Reporter Looking for a Story. People are interesting! 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 Challenge to 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 Change can 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. 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 moving truck to move on. In other words, the relationship changes or ends. 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. Note: This recommendation was posted in the Autistic Adventurers' Guild.
  • To Explain ADHD Struggles to Non-ADHDers when 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 (?!).
    • if you're close with the person, have them watch at least one episode of "How to ADHD" per week with you. they can choose which one looks interesting to them, but you watch it together - for the commentary. These videos are great to give you small, bite-sized pieces of information, and spacing them out to one per week gives you time to reflect and figure out how to apply what you've learned before the next one.
    • If someone says "everybody is a little ADHD depending on the circumstances", tell them "Yes! Except I do it all the time." And if they say "that's just normal behavior", tell them "Yes, but in abnormal quantities in my case".
    • Just Mention Specific Challenges when they're relevant to the situation, and Do NOT Bring Up ADHD. E.g.: "Sorry, I don't always have a great memory for details", when you whip out a notebook to write down directions to somewhere. It's less accurate than "like many ADHD people, I have an atrocious working memory", but you don't have to explain or justify. People might get confused by why you need to write down the name of a book they just recommended or why you need to set a timer for everything, but they can't really argue with "this helps me to function".
  • If you're going into Couples Counseling, make sure it doesn't feel like the goal is to "fix" you. Remember that this kind of therapy is there to help you work together on your issues as a couple. Seeking out a counselor with ADHD experience might help.
  • Be aware of the Signs that Others Perceive as Inattentiveness such as looking around, sharing a random thought, fidgeting. (For fidgeting, try to get larger shoes so you can fiddle your toes secretly or tense muscles that aren't easily viewable.)
  • To Handle Interruptions Throughout the Day, like if you've set aside some time to clean but someone calls to chat, but it's not a situation where you can say you'll call them back (and they usually talk for about an hour), use Flattering to instantly slip away from the situation, if needed. Say something like "see I love talking to you, and that's a problem! Why are you so great! I am weak and must focus, but talking to you is too amazing, I must go immediately".
  • Dealing with Friends/Relatives/etc. Who Don't Believe that Problems are Caused by ADHD:
    • If the relationships with your partner or parents etc. get too abusive or damaging to your soul, get out of the relationship. Break-up or move out to protect yourself. For romantic relationships, check whether your partner shows any signs of changing their behavior. If not, ask yourself whether you can see yourself bearing with that behavior for another 1, 5, 10 years. If not, than you might be just dragging out the inevitable by staying with them and thus wasting your time and effort to no avail.
    • Try to create/find a space that is only for you and gives you a secure feeling.
    • Make a minimum task list for bad days which all parties agree on this being enough on a bad day with you deciding if it's a bad day or not. They'll have to trust you, even if it's been weeks of bad days. Repairing takes time.
    • Prioritize chores not on the minimum list. What is getting on your family's/friend's nerves the most if it isn't done? Make sure to tell them which tasks you'll only prioritize for them, because you don't rate them this high.
    • Discuss the distribution of tasks. Are there tasks that are easier on you than others? Any chance you could be put in charge of those while the people around you do the other jobs...?
  • Discuss Difficult Things via Text (hand-written, messenger or even email). You can put your thoughts in order, think about what the other party said, and edit out spur-of-the-moment hurtful comments before you hit send.
  • To remember other people's names Ask for Their Business Card (if they have one).
  • To phrase things that bug you(r ADHD) about the behavior of another person So They Don't Feel Offended (or at least that offended): use "you" only to address their concious decisions and use "your brain / instincts / ..." for the subconcious reasons of actions that bug you. So instead of "You're ignoring my needs" it would be "I know you're valuing my needs very high as soon as you remember the thing, but I noticed your brain doesn't remind you that the thing exists on stressful days if it's something your brain doesn't rate as important when you're not invested by yourself." And use I-messages rather than you-messages. You could also try to Praise Each Other More Than Correct. For example, you could say "I liked how our dinner went today" instead of making bad dinners a topic of conversation every time they happen.
  • Make yourself Regular Appointments to Check In With Friends to avoid losing contact with them.
  • Be Honest And Let People Know What You Need And Feel Like. Set up expectations before things happen, give a "spoiler alert" when you're feeling a good or a bad day. Hints Don't Work, be direct. Ask for the same honesty from your surroundings, tell them, you won't get offended.
  • Be Patient With Others. We learn to "deal" with our quirkiness all day, but some people take time to get used to it and react appropriately. Just keep having open and honest discussions and give them time.
  • Walk Away and wait for things to die down after arguments and Come Back To Talk About It. Even if you REALLY like to stay away from them, it's often not the best idea, because you and they don't learn from the mistakes made.
  • If you struggle keeping in touch with people or replying to messages in a timely manner communicate to the people you're closest to that you have that problem so when it shows up they don't mistake you for not caring. Another strategy is to Not Open The Message Until You Are Committed To Say Something Back. Doesn't matter what the response is. Like, "Hey, I'm gonna respond in a bit. Love you though." Even if it's a simple message that they sent. You might find it easier to respond later if you already responded, and even if you actually DON'T respond later, the fact that you acknowledged their message takes away from that dread of like "I still didn't respond!!!"
  • A One Page Miracle is a paper divided into all the important categories of your life where you just write what you want for yourself and you can use it to keep in touch with people among other things. In the money section you could write something like "I will wait a day before ordering stuff online" or "I check my bank account daily". And on the friends' section, you list your ten friends that are the most important to you and write out how often you want to see each person (e.g. at least monthly, or bi-yearly). Make it a habit to go over you OPM weekly and see if ther is something this month that you can do to see some of listed people at the same time - a dinner- or can you plan one of your bike rides with one of them. You coul even invite them on a mutual grocery shopping excursions.
  • To say something without interrupting the person who's speaking Raise Your Hand To Signal You Have Something To Say.
  • If you are spending too much time on social media but can't stay away from it entirely because you use it for work as well, have Two Separate Social Media Accounts (and maybe only quit the private one - no messaging friends etc.). You could also decide on time frames during your day where you take 30 minutes to use social medai for work and you don't use it outside the designated time.

ADHD Awareness[edit | edit source]

Click button on the right to unfold the section and to read what ADHDers want people to understand about ADHD:

  • Even if someone doesn't have the stereotypical symptoms like fidgeting a lot, they still have ADHD!
  • ADHD isnt just a switch that can be turned off. We cannot control our ADHD traits, we can only manage them. For example, we cannot make ourselves NOT see every word in print in the room we're in; we CAN and have learned to filter out those words that aren't relevant to what we're doing. We can't make ourselves remember what we're doing long enough to walk into the next room, but we CAN develop a habit of telling ourselves why we're going into the other room before and after we walk through each door, which increases the chance that we will remember. All of these work-arounds require energy, and they only work if the people around us cooperate and support us in keeping our routines, talking to ourselves, constantly writing things down, repeating them, and so on.
  • We really do try, and we too would like it if our brains weren’t hardwired to screw up our ability to concentrate.
  • It would be great if more people knew about the emotional disregulation that comes with ADHD. A lot of us seem to have disproportionate reactions to things, whether it's getting overly excited or overly upset. ADHD can make us feel things much more strongly than neurotypical people do, and that can make it hard to make and keep relationships of all kinds! Please, be patient, specially with emotional instability (e.g. rage outbursts appearently coming from nowhere). Most of us are still learning how to deal with it and it's common for ADHDers to have traumas about being rejected because of that. People who suffer from ADHD will be very, very very grateful with some support and comprehension!
  • Yes, we are intelligent. Yes, we can do the work in class. Yes, we are (mostly) well behaved. That doesn’t mean we don’t struggle with less structured work. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect most aspects of our life. And it doesn’t mean we don’t have ADHD.
  • A lot of ADHDers struggle to find motivation, and use it to do things. Even when its something we want to do. The reasons to do the thing are there, but the motivational fire isn't strong enough to do anything with it. It can be frustrating to people around us, and seen as just "being lazy". But in reality, we're trying to do it. We just can't get ourselves to.
  • The day humanity collectively recognises that being "high-functioning" doesn't mean that a person doesn't actually have [insert literally any mental illness/disorder/divergence] will be a good day. Even if someone with ADHD and/or something else is accomplished, others can't see the internal (and interpersonal for that matter) turmoil they grapple with every single day to be a "high-functioning" state of being...
  • If someone you know says they have ADHD, but all you see is, let's say, their depression or anxiety, that doesn't mean they don't have ADHD, because (1) they just told you they do and (2) there's a good chance that at least part of why they have that mood disorder or anxiety is because they grew up with ADHD, along with the personal and interpersonal strife that it can bring on. End of the day, be kind, and believe people when they open up to you.
  • For neuro-typical people it seems everyday tasks (e.g. taking a shower) are as easy as just saying "I need to do this" where as for us its like an adult trying to convince a toddler to do ANYTHING. The toddler only does what they want to do unless the adult can convince them otherwise. Somedays you feel so stressed by tasks that everyone else can do easily that you can get even more upset. And then you are so upset and down on yourself that you don’t do anything! Then you feel guilty and like this is such a "first world problem" and your family wants to know why you just can’t "pull up your boot-socks and just do it!"
  • ADHD isn't even a bad thing. There are several benefits to having ADHD, such creativity and innovative thinking. Science has even showed that ADHD has been beneficial in humanity's past as it served as an adaptation that helped us survive (which is why it's so common). Modern environments such as school can make it really hard for ADHDers to focus and be productive because they really diminish our ADHD strengths and aggravate our weaknesses.
  • ADHD isn't just about constantly getting distracted or being hyperfocused. Oftentimes it is like needing to take in every detail of the environment we're in.
  • If our day consists of house work, a medium sized project and tidying outside. We might need an hour break to recover from each one, so those 3 things may take a day, or even longer, because we can't swap focus readily, nor move onto the next thing once we've finished a big big thing without a breather. On that note, interruptions may be the death of a project.
  • We're surviving, thriving in some aspects, but thriving to "normal" standards can easily lead to burn out.
  • A big problem in understanding ADHD might be that people don't understand behavior. There is no behavior without reinforcement. Your brain is constantly "rewarding" you for the things you're doing. Even when you're doing things you don't particularly enjoy, you're still getting a sense of satisfaction out of it. Because when you do things that are beneficial to you, your brain is wired to release chemicals to get you to continue to do those things. Those little reinforcements are what shape our behavior. They are literally what keep us moving. It's our Operating System. Our code, really, and without it we have no behavior. And in ADHD sometimes those signals are muted. Or they just turn off. And then you're sitting on the couch unable to really move. Our language might be limiting the way we discuss ADHD. When we try to explain it and use words like "enjoy" or "satisfaction," people might act like we're whining because something isn't fun. But it's not about fun. It's consciousness with no reinforcement.
  • ADHD isn't just being hyper and/or distractible. It's taken several of us some decades to even suspect we have ADHD because we could never relate to the whole "disruptive in class, out of control, can't focus to save their live" portrayal of ADHD or the symptom lists almost invariably based on how it presents in young boys. Indeed, we might even have thought our focus was above average because when we can focus, we tend to hyperfocus and become utterly indistractible, and whenever we'd think about focus, that's what would jump to mind--not the countless hours we've spent reading the same sentence over and over again. For some of us hyperactivity and distractibility might even be some of the most minor and manageable symptoms, especially if compared to crippling executive dysfunction, or the emotional dysregulation, or the way lack of stimulation feeds depressed mood, or how our heads are just too loud and too busy at any given time. Knowing all those other sides of ADHD might've helped the late-diagnosed ADHDers figuring things out a lot sooner, and not had to live a long time of our life thinking we're stupid, lazy and incompetent--because how else could we just keep failing when we were doing all the right things that everyone else advised and working so hard we lived in a constant state of burnout? How else could we fail so much at the things we wanted so badly to do? Finally having the words to identify and describe the things we'd been struggling with our entire life, and realizing that yes, they were legitimate struggles that most people don't have to deal with, was one of the best things to happen to us. It helped us finally find the strategies that help us get things done and it helped us understand that no, we're not a lazy failure.
  • Medication doesn't solve all the problems and that symptoms don't magically disappear when we take medicine.
  • Simple tasks are being perceived as multiple-step procedures, for example loading the washing machine consists of: sort washing into loads, open machine, put a load in, close machine, open drawer, put in washing powder, close drawer, set programme, press start. These tasks might be only one step in the mind of NTers - put clothes to wash - but we need to break them down and reduce steps where possible.

Gifts for ADHDers[edit | edit source]

Click button on the right to unfold the section and to read what gifts ADHDers would like to receive.

  • Different Rubix Cubes since it requires a lot of fidgeting.
  • Something We Can Carry With Us. Losing track of things is a really common symptom of ADHD, so a gift that can help remind us of someone wherever we go means a lot.
  • A Tally Counter - the analog ones are best because they double as a fidget, but it's also easier to lose count with those ones because the buttons are so satisfying to click.
  • Those intricate designs Adult Coloring Books are helpful to calm down and find your focus. Bonus points if it's a swear word coloring book. Nothing like fighting a bad day by beautifully coloring the word ☠☢⚠☣ for half an hour 😌👌.
  • Something like a self-made "book" with Custom Gift Vouchers that we can redeem with the gift giver when we finish a hard task. Or alternatively, gift vouchers to receive help with some mundane tasks (like writing an email or making a phone call).
  • A Habitica Subscription! 😁
  • Timer Caps for Pill Bottles, really would help prevent forgetting if you took your needs for the day or double dosing.
  • A good Tool to Fidget with might be nice too since some people past their 20s might be embarrassed about going out and buying a Fidget Spinner or a Fidget Cube, but for the self-conscious adult, maybe even go with a Compact Bluetooth Keyboard. Not only does it serve a function, but most mobile devices have some sort of switch access which lets you map different keys to tap or swipe in specific ways. That way you keep ALL your fingers moving while using your phone/tablet.
  • Can't go wrong with a gift of Chocolate. It has magnesium, which is helpful for ADHD brains.
  • Otherwise, as with any gift, one pays attention to the expressed preferences of the potential giftee. If one has ADHD, one writes down gift ideas immediately. 😉
  • Listen to What The ADHDer Really Needs or Wants instead of trying to make them suit the gift giver's version of them, because some ADHDers made that experience with their surroundings (but that's probably not an ADHD-specific experience).
  • ADHDers are said to be creative people, get them something to engage in their favorite Creativity Activity or introduce them to a New Activity (because we get bored really fast and often seek out new things to get at least a little bit of dopamine in our system).
  • A Tangible Timer - possibly a windup, so it's more interactive than just pressing a button if it were on an electronic.
  • A Planner that is detailed and structured yet customizable! There are websites where you can customize a year planner. It's like $50 for one, but for some people it's definitely worth it!
  • Wireless Headphones so you do a task/walk around and get audio stimulation without being distracted by cords!!
  • Gift Cards - this is one of the most perfect gifts for an ADHDer because you have a premade limit so it's harder to spend your cash recklessly on impulse buying, or it could be for going out to eat so you don't get overwhelmed in the kitchen on a certain day that's already been not so great.
  • Bluetooth Trackers (e.g. Chipolo or Tile) that can be attached to keys, wallets, bags, airpods etc. Basically anything an ADHDer tends to lose. Saves so much time!
  • There's clock called the Time Timer that visualises how much time is left. You can set it to up to an hour and easily see how much time you've got left.
  • Cleaning the ADHDers House or Motivating Them for School or Work Tasks. It helps if there's someone else there to keep on task. It does need to be a situation where if the ADHDer gets distracted the gift giver won't get angry or annoyed, that would not be helpful at all.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • Use the Slowly app to have virtual penfriends. (Note: This recommendation was posted in the Tavern)


Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • 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.).



Studying[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

Also check Tips for Work, because they tackle similar difficulties.

  • 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 Organized to 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.
  • Find 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.)
  • Try Micro-Poms like "work on the task for one minute" or Micro-To Do Lists like "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 gummy 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 Energy one day, make sure to not do TOO much, because you'll have to recover from draining your energy over the following days.
    • If you know you have slow and low energy days after being super productive, you could include preparing things to make those days easier, kinda like preparing a pitstop for yourself. Decide your meals ahead of time, prepare some comfy clothes to lounge in or that you feel good in if you have top leave the house, make a list of low-energy activities that can bring you joy, like watching nostalgic movies or shows, taking a relaxing bath etc.
    • If you don't want to restrain yourself on Good Days, you could add a "Super Productive Day!" Daily that's never due, with a checklist what not to forget (e.g. self-care and breaks) on such a day.
  • To make Task Initiation easier, especially for Long-Term Projects, always stop at a point where things are still going smoothly (external website) 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.
  • When studying, try rephrasing the text and Taking Notes on 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 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 Device for 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 Exercise triggers 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 Academic Coaching?
  • Work with Different Senses while studying:
    • Visual: try concept maps (external website), 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.
  • Try Changing the Context for 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.
  • To Catch Up When You're Behind in 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 Tests to practice. An ASAP Science Video recommends to Work Backwards in 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.
    • Reduce Your Course Load Next Year, maybe even retake some classes to put in the time and work to actully learn that material. Better to slow down and move at your own pace instead of rush to the finish line and trip up and injure yourself.
    • Ask Your Classmates For the Summaries They Used to Study for the Exams. Those usually include the crucial points written out in a conprehensive and compact way.
  • Stop Trying to Reach Hermione Granger levels 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".
  • Doodle in 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/Presentation and/or how to Organize your Thoughts for it
    • Practice Brain Dumping. Just put 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 organizing.
    • 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. Even 15-20 minutes of waffling nonsense is bound to have at least 1,000 relevant, useable words in it and if you run out of time and have to submit an incomplete paper you are MUCH more likely to get partial credit - they can see that you had good ideas, and they can't give credit for what they can't see. Or if, for instance, you're struggling to 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.
  • To deal with distracting thoughts, Capture then Process them at a designated time (see this article). Have a Habit called "captured instead of acted". Then have a section in your To Do's called "Captures" (i.e. make sections in your To Do list by having tasks with header-formatted titles that you just never check off) and after creating a to-do with the thought, use the option "send to bottom" to move it down to where your Capture section is. Upon completing your dailies and priority To Do's (another section), process the captures and act on them if you want.
  • Make a focus Playlist Which Is 29 Hours Long if you can't stand hearing things repeat a lot and it prevents you from becoming very familiar with the songs.
  • Binaural Beats, White Noise, Brown Noise or Pink Noise are noises at different frequencies that supposedly have effects on brainwaves. You can find hours of it on YouTube (or special apps, see below).
  • If reading takes you ages, on Wikipedia you can turn on Simple English. It’s meant for people not fluent in English but it can be useful for ADHDers, because it cuts out everything but the important points.
  • Have a Template for Essays. My introduction is "This paper will argue that X. This argument will consist of A, B, & C." I then put subheadings A, B, C, Conclusion, & References on the paper. That way, when I learn something form lectures or readings, I can put them straight under the sub headings.
  • To get past the blank page, Type Random Rambling. "OK, so I need to write this thing and I have no idea how to start it but it needs to explain how whatsits are important to the life cycle of thingamabobs. We need whatsits to... " Eventually you get to the beginning at which point you delete everything that comes before it.
  • Turn your paper writing into a Fanfic: imagine that for some reason, this was one of the subjects that needed to be taught at Hogwarts as a new widespread Muggle's Studies Integration program that was now required by everyone to take. School budgets being what they are, of course the original professors are now tapped to teach some of these courses in addition to their regular classes. Naturally Snape is in charge of this particular course and is giving this essay test that Harry (i.e. you) is struggling now to take. And after wracking his brain for nearly the whole test, he finally figured out something to write in answer.
  • If you are stuck writing, turn on Voice Dictation in your document, turn away from the screen, and Imagine that Your Mum or 3 Year Old Niece is Standing There and they’ve just asked you what you're writing about. Answer them out loud (even using their names to make it real to your brain) and explain the basic points of the essay/task in really simple terms and what they mean, and tell them all about the bits you already know, and talk about the parts you don’t know which you’ll need to do more research on. Then when you finally turn back to the screen there’s a block of dictated text sitting there, and (no matter how rambly) at least it’s something you can start working with. What might get you stuck on a blank document is the feeling you are talking directly to your professor. They’re already an expert in the topic (which is intimidating) and their job is literally to judge whatever you write (so whatever you put in there BETTER be no less than perfect). But imagining you're explaining it to someone who knows nothing about the topic (like your mum or niece) Takes Away the Pressure.
  • Get a Body Double if you can; someone who sits with you as you tackle tasks that might be difficult to complete.
  • Connect Tasks You Need To Do With One of Your Interests. For example, you have a high school physics assignment due, but you're more interested in biology. Research how physics is applied in a biological context. How do organisms use physics mechanisms to their advantage (e.g. birds can determine which direction to go to using a quantum physics-y mechanism to detect the earth's magnetic field)?
  • If you absolutely can't focus on anything it might mean you overexerted yourself on previous days: for example you might have been hyperfocusing for hours on end without breaks. On those days just rest. Sleep a lot, just go with the flow, if you want to read a book or magazine, do that, if you want to watch some Netflix, allow yourself that. But Don't Let It Go Beyond One Day of good rest; if you allow yourself to sleep in and take naps multiple days in a row for some people it might start depressive behaviors.
  • Look Up Study Hacks on YouTube. For example Evidence-Based Revision Tips and The Retrospective Revision Timetable.
  • Make the situation just a little different to give you a cue: Change The Color of Your Lightbulb when you study, have a few posters around your desk that smile at you and tell you to go back to work.
  • To Write An Essay write an introduction that looks like this: "This paper will argue that X. This argument consists of A, B, and C." Then make sub headings for A, B, C, and Conclusion. Delete the sub headings before submitting the essay. So you don't have to write all of your references at the last minute, make References Page and copy and paste all suggested resources there with yellow highlighting. Whenever you use one of the references, remove the highlighting. If you choose not to use that resource, delete it from the list. At the end of the essay, there should be no references with highlighting, one way or the other.
  • Make a Cheat Sheet even if you don't intend to use it because creating one requires the use of elaborte learning strategies which are known to have a positive impact on learning (there is some science behind that). The cheat sheet must be short (max. one DIN A4 page per topic) and well structured (so that you can hide it from the teacher and retrieve information fast without anyone noticing ;D). To meet these two criteria you have to actively think about the things you learn (= deep-learning) and looking through your notes and writing things down again serves as a good repitition of the learning material. The result could look like this. To study for an exam, only use your cheat sheet to learn a topic and not your original notes. Highlight things that are giving you a hard time and copy the cheat sheet from memory (use the headers as prompts).
  • Build a Spreadsheet with each class on its own row under a "header" of coursework and again under a "header" of homework, and everyday of the semester has its own column. Coursework is what is needed for the class on a specific day, like read this chapter or watch these videos, and homework is placed on the day that it is due. Now, you can just look at your week and see how much you need to have done all on the same screen without trying to find the syllabus for each class or have to "zoom-in" on your calendar.
  • If you're writing a thesis
    • Sign Up for Conferences, Seminars, Online/Twitter Mini-Events, 3 Minute Thesis Contests... Anything where you'll have to present your work. This gives you the beautiful, precious gift of a mini-deadline as well as a record of what you've done AND "academic cred". Win/win/win!
    • Make BACKUPS. Keep at least one, daily. On your university computer's hard drive, their network backups, and the Google Drive auto-updating copy. Don't be the horror story from the '70s of the woman whose supervisor lost the only copy of her thesis on the last check before submitting. She'd lost the handwritten copy and never graduated.
    • Use a Program to Keep Track of References (see Websites, Software and Extensions section below for recommendations).
    • Also, keep a .pdf Copy of Every Paper you read. Download it from the journal, scan it, whatever. Keep a little file pile, because being able to check it quickly will also save a lot of time and frustration.
    • Don't see your early steps of your work as "faulty" that need to be fixed when reviewing it while writing everything up at the end. Think of it as Getting What You Have Now Over the Finishing Line. You always do your best work late in the project (because you've spent years learning, a.k.a. the point), so take what you have and let it be the foundation for the best kind of thesis in the world: a submitted thesis.
  • Listen to Video Game Soundtracks while studying. They are designed to engage the mind and promote immersion without distracting from the gaming activity itself, and sometimes using boss battle or combat music from video games can help to inject a sense of external urgency and impending doom. Great for recreating the anxiety of a looming deadline. To some people, this would be too distracting/distressing, so your mileage may vary! "Epic Orchestra" Type Music (e.g. L'Orchestra Cinematique and Frostudio Chambersonic) and Lofi (Low Fidelity) Music are also worth a try.
  • If you can find a way to Tailor An Essay Question Towards A Special Interest, you'll have a much easier time.
  • When writing essays, Break Down the Word Count into Intro, Sections of the Main Body, and Conclusion Right Off the Bat. Then break down the essay question into questions and answer them with bulletpoints. Do your reading to answer each specific question. "I'm answering five questions with 300 words each" is a lot less daunting than "write a 2000 word essay"!
  • Read things out loud in a Weird Voice or Accent (e.g. Micky Mouse) because it's funny and things that made you laugh are easier to remember. If you need some inspiration watch this short 100 Voice Impressions Marathon video.
  • Try just sitting on the floor and Spreading All Your Stuff Out Around You.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • White Noise (available on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, web, and pretty much any other convenient device)
  • myNoise is 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)
  • Brain Waves for binural beats. (available on Android and iOS)
  • Forest - grow trees by Staying Away from Timesink Apps/Websites. (available on Android, iOS, and as a more limited browser extension)
  • FocusKeepery as 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 impulsively or unconsciously going down rabbit holes.
  • Productivity Challenge Timer let's you set work sessions of 10-120 minutes and breaks of 1-60 mins. The paid version (not expensive) also has a contious mode that will start them automatically. Note: Recommended in the Tavern.
  • StudyBunny is a gamified way to keep you on task and track your progress. You can earn items for your bunny by studying. (available on Android and iOS)
  • Anki Flashcards can be a good low-stress way to add some memorization capacity to your studying routine. (available on Android and iOS, and web, if using Google Chrome or Opera)
  • Quizlet offers a number of tools, like flashcards and games, to help with studying. (available on Android, iOS and web)
  • Focus To Do is a pomodoro service with customizable intervalls. (available on most devices and as an extension)
  • Engross can be used for daily tasks. It has a timer setting, that has a thing that makes you tap the screen everytime you get distracted. The timer can be attached to a task. (available on Android and iOS)

Android

  • AppBlock, QualityTime and BlockSite block you from opening certain apps and visiting certain sites that you usually waste time on.
  • Automate helps controlling things on your phone based on things like time and location. It can make your device automatically change settings like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC or perform actions like sending SMS, e-mail, based on your location, the time of day, or any other “event trigger”. (Can also be used for Housekeeping etc.)

iOS

Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • 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).
  • Quia is a website that teachers and professors can use to create computer games for students. If you are in a class and your professor makes games for the class it’s free. There’s a second way to use it though, anyone can create a "professor account" doing so allows you to create your own games which you can then keep to yourself or share with friends. The owner of an instructor account has to pay for it after a 30 day free trial. It’s 100 dollars for a calendar year.
  • ADD/ADHD Intense Relief Isochronic Tones track by mind amend is available on YouTube and Spotify. You could put the volume on barely audible after 15 minutes and then play other music over top.
  • Online Stopwatch is a timer where you can set ADHD-friendly pomodro intervalls (15-5-15 or 10-3-10).
  • The recent version of MS Office applications like Word and Outlook will read your writing back to you. It's a great way to Find Missed or Misused Words When Editing. The function is in the menu under Review, Read Aloud. MS Word has also a great Reference/Bibliography Tool! It even saves them from a previous paper. It isn’t perfect and sometimes you have to edit them to be properly formatted but just wait and do that at the very end (because you can’t automate the citations/reference list anymore once you switch to manual editing).
  • Use Citavi or LaTex to keep track of your references. They let you build a bibliography and give every source a custom tag, but even just author/year and a big handwritten list will save you SO MUCH aggravation. Another really good free open source software for referencing is Zotero. You can use it to build libraries and sort references into folders. It has a web app, a desktop app, and also a google plug in that can be used to pull metadata straight from webpages to fill citation data. You can also select multiple references and it will build your bibliography in whatever style you need. Its got a bit of a learning curve but it's worth it.

Chrome

Firefox

  • Forest
  • LeechBlock is pretty easy to set up and you can have it block certain websites after 5 or so minutes every hour.

Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

Guilds

A Quiet Room
Academics (Unseen Academicals)
The High School Scholars
The Jobseekers
Young Adult- Unprepared


Therapy, Coaching & Comorbidities[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • ADHD is very commonly accompanied by other illnesses, but has been shown to really be the Underlying Cause of a lot of them. Which means, it might be best to treat your ADHD first and see if it has a positive impact on your OCD, anxiety, depression, BFRB etc.
  • EMDR (external website) can alleviate depression and anxiety and thus improve symptoms accompanying/entangled with ADHD.
  • Look for Self-Help Groups in your area.
  • The gold standard for ADHD is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with someone experienced with ADHD (you want to be doing worksheets and structured homework assignments, not just having the therapist talk you through the process) and ADHD coaching (not general life coaching, you want something ADHD specific) either concurrently or following the CBT. CBT is also the standard treatment for anxiety, it is great for learning to work on thinking patterns. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a specialised type of CBT for dealing with my trauma.
  • 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 @juujika, if you think it might help (via Habitica, or at susan@wildspace.com). 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 Hospital and 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 - external website).
  • 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.
  • To 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!
    • Make Music.
    • drink Caffeine in Low Amounts (or black/green tea/yerba mate/energy drinks) (think the amount in dark chocolate or a small coffee). It could help avoid other dopamine-seeking behaviors.
    • play certain Phone Games that have a high feedback loop but also can't be played forever (e.g. Numberzilla, Pixel Color, ATOMAS or Data Wing).
    • 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 Lot to prevent boredom. Make good (i.e. interesting) friends.
    • Do the Opposite of 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.
    • do Puzzles/Sudoku to challenge your brain while keeping it busy.
    • Delete the App (e.g. social media) and replace with one that is non-toxic and less predatory on keeping you using it.
    • get through my RPG/Mount-To-Be-Read Backlog.
    • set 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.
    • set a timer to go off after 15 minutes and force yourself to grab a glass of water. If you can walk into a new room, get the glass, and you're still not able to let it go give yourself another 15 minutes.
    • replace with Habitica ;).
  • Neurofeedback is said to help with impulsivity, focus, PTSD, depression and anxiety. Basically it’s supposed to train your brain to activate parts of your brain that are not active and damper parts of your brain that are active.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) has been primarily used for people with borderline personality disorder but the program is good for pretty much anyone struggling with mood+focus+regulation. It can be really helpful with emotion regulation, acceptance, and learning to be in the present moment. For people with linguistic rigidity, as is common in ASD, there might be an issue with DBT, so you might want to look for either an all-autistic group or a therapist who will do it on an individual basis.
  • Watch a video by Thomas Sanders called Dealing With Intrusive Thoughts.
  • Stop Maladaptive Daydreaming by Shifting Your Focus Onto Something In Reality. Like, if you're talking to someone you could repeat their words in your head and explain what they’re saying to you. Or if you're alone, look around and describe what you're experiencing with your five senses.
  • In your first appointment with a therapist they'll likely do a screening to assess your symptoms (and their severity). The Therapist Shouldn't Coach You Through The Screening. They are supposed to ask a question, give you the possible options for answers, then wait for you to respond. They should not tell you what to answer with or influence you to give a certain answer. This is illegal in some countries and if you were to go to someone like a neuropsychiatrist who can give you an official diagnosis, you could refute the bill for the screening if you feel you were coached through it. Another thing to watch out for is if you feel at all uncomfortable with your psychiatrist. You Need To Be 100% Comfortable With Your Mental Health Professionals in order to get the proper help you need, so if something feels off, even if you're not sure why, look for someone else.
  • After a crisis, if you're not happy with how it went, Pick ONE Thing To Do Better Next Time. "Next time I will call X and ask for help" or "next time I will call 911" or "next time I will Google until I have a first step" or whatever. Then when/if "next time" comes, you've already made a decision and can get going more easily. Every time there's a crisis you add another screwdriver until you have a whole toolbox.
  • If you struggle with nail biting, skin picking or other body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRB), watch the videos How To Stop Hair Pulling and Skin Picking part 1 and part 2. They give a really good rundown of how treatment (specifically therapy) for BFRBs works by introducing methods to identify how, when, why and where your behaviors happen, how to interrupt your behaviors and make yourself aware that you're doing them, and how to then decide if you actually want to continue with that behavior. If you don't liek horrible tasting nail polish, try nail strips instead.
  • If you are a "space cadet" and tend to daydream about elaborate worlds, you might be engaging in something called Maladaptive Daydreaming.
  • If Finding Local Professionals Is a Challenge, you can try looking more broadly as well because professionals offering telemedicine has become more common.
  • A printable self-care guide can be found here: Everything Is Awful and I'm Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up.

Apps[edit | edit source]

Android

  • 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. You can use the service even if you are not from the USA. 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 & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • Free lectures and worksheets for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to address things like anxiety. This recommendation was posted in the Autistic Adventurers' Guild.
  • Understood is oriented primarily to kids but is helpful for adults with a little tweaking.
  • Here are a few Lists of Crisis Helplines From All Around the World (incl. helplines for children): TherapyRoute Website, List on WikipediaHelplines in the USA by City.
  • The website Pyschology Today has a very useful Find a Therapist page for finding mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, the whole lot) specifically in your area. Just make sure you select your country/region first. It has loads of useful search filters as well, such as "issues" (so you could check "ADHD" here), "types of therapy", "language", "ethnicity served", and so forth. Very useful when you've got a specific need(s) to be addressed.


Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

Guilds

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
Everyday Ehlers-Danlos Battles - a common commorbidity in people with ASD. It causes hypermobile joints (check Beighton Score) among other things.
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 & Procrastination[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Use the Pomodoro-Method but 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.
  • Use Kitchen Timers to "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.
  • SmartWatches can 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 One for 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. Use printables or have a specimen to copy to spare yourself the set up. Stencils are fun for preparing how you want it to look or just spicing up your vanilla style after the thoughts are out. Use a binder style notebook, so you can add and remove pages at will. Keep your journal in a place where you regularly walk by in your house. You could track ADHD symptoms in it. Have one of those pens that clicks out into multiple colors, e.g. red = urgent. Don't allow any negative emotional baggage to attach to my planner, i.e. don't feel guilty for not doing all the things in the planner or for having a non-fancy planner. If you are the type to not use a notebook because it's just too pretty to be used, take an old, ugly, half-used notebook instead so there is less pressure to make it perfect and pretty. The BuJo can be combined with Habitica as a way of attaching goals and reward infrastructure or as a reminder to check in daily with the tool. See BuJo Habitica Guilds: Planner Addicts of the Papery Kind and Bullet Journalers. Recommended brands: Simple Elephant Planner, Moleskine, Filofax Binder RocketBook (basically the same as a normal notebook except that you use a special pen on it so it’s erasable and reusable, plus you can scan it with their app to send the pages to different cloud services, like Dropbox, OneNote, etc.) . Also, if you find BuJos not helping you there's no moral failing if a particular tool or method doesn't work for you, just move to another method.
  • YouTube can 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-Engaging with 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.
  • The 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."
  • Something that might work for people struggling to get stuff done - like work or schoolwork etc - just say to yourself "I am choosing not to do work/schoolwork/chores/housework" and then carry on with whatever you were doing. Make It an Explicit Choice, by saying to to yourself, either in your mind or even out loud if you have privacy, and then see what happens. This should undo the feeling of a lack of control that ADHD seems to give us. Being explicit about your choice won't necessarily change what you choose to do or can do, but it allows you to at least feel more in control of what you're choosing to do. Don't feel guilty over the activity you are doing, be happy with it- and if you're not - then you should find a quick spike in motivation shortly after.
  • If you just can't overcome the wall of awful for a very important task yourself and you can't ask any close person to help, ask yourself whether you can afford to "Hire" Someone To Do the Thing (Together With You). It might be an actual professional for the thing that needs to be done, a coach, or just the kid next door who’s fine to sit around in your apartment for x hours doing their homework and receiving $1 per hour for telling you to stay on task, or the old lady next door who doesn’t want to watch TV all by herself and agrees that you sit around with her while doing your thing (including a bit of chit-chat during your breaks). Kid and old lady might not even want money, maybe they’d be fine with a cake or you hanging out with them after completing your task.
  • Chronodex Diagram for time tracking.
  • Don't try to go from your go-to procrastination activity (like watching videos or playing video games) to a difficult task like studying directly but rather Put A Small 'Easy' Task In Between, like watering your plants or cleaning a small area in your house.
  • If perfectionism is causing procrastination: Make Mistakes on Purpose! And watch this How To ADHD video. If anxiety is leading to procrastination: Do you know of a way to deal with this? How can you make yourself feel more at ease? Do you maybe have a therapist to spar with about your anxious thoughts?
  • How are your Energy Levels? Do you need a nap? Or do you need to catch your breath for 30 minutes after doing a (mentally) exhausting activity? Motivation issue are often just an energy issue in disguise.
  • If you have a hard time doing a task that you associate with negative emotions, Become A Robot for 10 Minutes or so at a time. Pretend you are a robot that has been tasked with/programmed to doing one thing. Become emotionless for 10 minutes and do the thing. Then see how you feel afterwards, like see the progress you made and understand you did something despite the wall of awful. You could also ask Determine How Rational Your Anxiety Is, i.e. how proportional is your emotional response to the actual situation at hand?
  • Pull a "Mom" on Yourself - start talking to yourself like you would on one of your kids: "I know you don't feel like it, but it needs to get done. And you don't have to like it, just get up and do it NOW."
  • Read the article If It Doesn’t Suck, It’s Not Worth Doing. Here's the 1st sentence: "According to psychological research, the anticipation of an event is almost always more emotionally powerful than the event itself." Don't be a quitter, embrace the suck.
  • Sometimes if you are stuck trying initiating a task, it can be far more effective to Call It Quits If, After 15 Minutes, You Haven't Made Any Progress, and return to it another time when you're in a better mental state. You might get SO much more done doing some other productive task when this particular one isn't working - not to mention there's so much less frustration and self-loathing and "Oh dear, why can't I do this???" It's got its pitfalls for sure and it doesn't really work under crunch time, but it's a lot better than the "You're gonna sit here until you eat your broccoli!" approach to making progress.
  • If it's the breaks during your pom sessions which throw you off your task and you have a hard time getting back on track, Make Your Short Breaks a Different But Still Productive Activity. For example, if you're working at the desk, get up and do a small chore during your break; if you are doing chores, check Duolingo. Aside from that, Make a List of What You're Going To Do on the short breaks before starting your pom session.
  • Try Radial Timers. They beep every minute, and it's helpful to remind you that you should be working.
  • If you use a content blocker for your devices to stop procrastinating but keep unblocking it, make up some Crazy Unmemorizeable Password for the blocker and write it on a piece of paper taped in a really inconvenient location (and tell someone where you put the paper in case you forget where you put it! You might even ask that other person to create the password). That way you can still get to it if you need it, but hopefully it winds up being more work than just Doing The Thing. Alternatively, if you don't need your device for Doing The Thing, Turn It Off and leave it screen down and out of reach of you when you're working. You can even leave it in another room. Waiting for the device to boot up helps act as a boring deterrent that makes you less likely to turn it on because you'll need to wait for it.
  • If you tend to sit on the couch and automatically turn on the TV to procrastinate, Move the Remote to a Drawer in Another Room. It can break the cycle because it might be too much work to get back up and go get the remote.
  • Complain About The Thing - talk to a friend/family member about how you have a Thing and it's super frustrating and boring and rubbish, and you'll have to insert steps here and those are the worst and then... and then you've Planned The Thing and even somewhere in your head you might have Started The Thing, and that can get you over "the hump" as it were.
  • Common strategies recommended to neurotypical people to get things done might not work for ADHDers because they do not take into consideration that ADHD brains function differently. Read more about it in this article on ADDitude.
  • Wear Something Weird when doing the task... Sometimes you can get motivated by the outfit you're wearing.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • Excel Sheets
  • In Brili Routines you can say what task you want to do, how long it takes and when the routine should end. The tasks can be shuffled. Brili keeps track of the time and tasks and reminds you with beeps of the time passing. If you complete a task within a certain amount of time, you'll receive stars in the app, 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)
  • TimeTimer offers visual timers to "see" time passing. (available on Android and iOS and as physical timers).
  • Owaves helps organizing the whole day and set reminders to do your tasks in time. It allows you to put tasks on a clock - very visual! It can be used to supplement Habitica: use Habitica to know WHAT to do and Owaves to know WHEN to do it. (available for Android and iOS)
  • Tiimo was specifically made for people with ADHD and ASD. It's a visual planner and online calendar that helps with organizing and sticking to routines. It pops up as a subtle notification, which can be turned off. They offer a watch face which displays current activity. (available on AndroidOS, iOS and web)

Android

  • 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 calendar and sets alarms automatically based on appointments, e.g. you can add an alarm that looks for the word "work" in the calendar and set it to ring 90 minutes prior. Public holidays of the country you're in can be added as an exception to that alarm. The app can be set to make you scan a barcode in another room to dismiss the alarm (good, if you tend to hit the snooze button a lot). It offers different profiles for different activities.
  • DayWise mutes app notifications in a more nuanced manner (i.e. personal chat) and will only permit notifications during set times.
  • Routinery is another alternative to Brili.
  • Sectograph displays calendar entries on the clock widget of the phone. Looks like it can be used on a SmartWatch as a clock interface with calendar (see here).
  • TimeTune is an app for routines that is compatible with wearOS.

iOS

  • 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.
  • 3030 for task timing.
  • Alarmed can set multiple alarms for the same thing all at once. Includes pop-up reminder alerts with robust repeat scheduling, flexible snooze and full customization. And pop-up timers with custom messages, countdown / count up and timer queues.


Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • 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).
  • Use an hourly Chime App or Website (such as AwakeningBell) to stay aware of time passing.
  • FocusMate - for setting up consistent routines.
  • Stretchly schedules breaks for you to take. Microbreaks to get your mind fresh every 10 minutes and more long term ones every 30. You can customize the app to suit your needs. (Windows app).
  • TimePanther is a really easy way to keep track of time without having to do extra work. You just enter your activities and then press start and stop on the timer as you're doing those activities (you gotta remember to stop the timer though!). Unfortunately it's web-based only for now.
  • Offline website - you must disconnect from the internet to see it.
  • TheBigPic visualizes your schedules and tasks. (It runs on Flash and thus might close down)


Habitica Tools[edit | edit source]

Challenges

  • 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.

Guilds

Accountability Buddies!
Allies
Deep Dark Reds
Long-Term Goal Accountability 🎯
One Step At A Time
Pomodoro Playground
Short-Term Goal Accountability
The Dueling Grounds
Time Management


Unsorted Advices[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

  • Listen to Audiobooks or Podcasts while driving, cleaning, showering etc..
  • EMDR can help with driving.
  • If you are just learning to drive look for a driving Instructor Who Specifically Teaches People With ADHD/ASD (e.g. in Australia that might be someone who's working with NDIS). Video games may help with learning, too. A lot of video games that let you drive try to simulate what roads are like close enough to reality. Sure, it may be weird to Drive Around Like A Normal Person In GTA, but if it works, it works! Some driving instruction places now have Virtual Cars That Have All the Same Controls a Real Car Has, and help you learn things like weather conditions. practicing in a not 2 tonne vehicle might help take some of the edge off, if you need that.
  • "Sugar Leads to Hyperactivity"? → Forward this video.

Apps[edit | edit source]

Android

  • Pixart messenger uses XMPP encryption (a Jabber account) that works well and is encrypted so a server admin would not be able to read your messages.

Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • 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 ads (at the bottom of the tab). The extension collects money for charity through those ads. 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 App saves 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 IFTTT or Share function on Android to create to-dos, and re-save articles to other apps.


Firefox

  • 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 disconnect etc.).


Weight Issues (Section Hidden by Default)[edit | edit source]


Gaining Weight[edit | edit source]


Losing Weight[edit | edit source]

  • When you’re bored, Drink Water.
  • When you’re stressed, try to Get Up and Move about (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 Activity for those times you'd otherwise eat. Sketching? Knitting? Writing? Exercising? Meditating?
  • 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 Health than weight (vitamins, minerals, exercise, self-care etc.).
  • Proteins and Fibers make 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.
  • Analyze Your Eating Behavior before you start any dieting program. Write down what you eat, when you eat and in what context you eat. Then Identify the Worst 20% of Your Behaviors, i.e. the worst "food sins"/dieting mistakes you commit. Possible candidates: only consuming short-chain carbohydrates, no proteins in some of your meals, no "voluminous" foods (e.g. veggies) in some of your meals, snacks are too easy to grab etc. Once you got the most problematic 20%, change them, and only them. If your breakfast was French toast (short-chain carbs), just add a bit of plain yogurt (protein) and a cucumber to it. It's easier to keep up small changes in the long run than radical changes.

Fitness[edit | edit source]

  • Group Classes can really help you stay with the exercise program. Lots of places are doing Online Video Classes to keep their members in shape and that would be a good way to find out if their style works for you.
  • 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.
  • Try Warrior Workouts, they are somewhat intense but anything that focuses on explosive movements is hard to get bored with.
  • The Best Exercise Is The Exercise You Will Actually Want To Do. It doesn't have to be the common running around the block or the gym, it could be a team sports instead or headbanging or gooing for a walk.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • Workout/Diet Apps like MyFitnessPal can be really helpful for telling if you've eaten enough in one day, and help you break non-eating habits. It can scan bar codes, which makes entry easier, and it can save recipes for frequently cooked meals.
  • The Walk Game - A 500 mile thriller where every step counts. It's time to walk for your life!
  • Zombies, Run! - Run in the Real World, Become a Hero in Another. Only a few have survived the zombie epidemic. You are a Runner en-route to one of humanity’s last remaining outposts. They need your help...
  • Minecraft Earth.

iOS

  • StepsApp to track goals relating to physical activity; it can give you a quick display on your Apple Watch without making it all about calories burned.

Websites, Software & Extensions[edit | edit source]

  • EnergyUp is now (April 2020) free. They have hundreds of exercise videos, most about 30 minutes, with new workouts uploaded daily. They even have workouts that can be done in a chair. (The site has no ads or other nasty internet things)
  • Planet Fitness workouts usually show how to do the exercises the easy way and the normal way (depends on the trainer), so you can choose the intensity. They stress going at your own pace, stopping when you need to, and doing what you can.


Working[edit | edit source]

Recommendations[edit | edit source]

Check Tips for Studying, too, since they cause similar difficulties.

  • For all who have a Desk Job and have Trouble Sitting in their Chair like "normal people"... Buy a Desk Bicycle. The trick is too not cycle too quickly...
  • Interruptions at Your Workplace: give colleagues/clients a certain Time Slot they can come to you with questions, ask them to Email you instead of approaching in person and check your inbox every 1-2 hours, or consider having a Visible List/Ticket System of 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 Chart like 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".
  • Join an Online Group Work Session, so you feel you work alongside other people (e.g. brain.fm online session - youtube search: Brain FM Group Focus Session - or some other platform, there are HEAPS of options to choose from out there with live or replayable sessions thanks to the big WFH push, on Zoom and Youtube etc. The onscreen timer might help to keep you on track).
  • If you work at home, Instead of Sitting at Your Desk, Put a Wooden Board Across the Handlebars of Your Treadmill and Put Your Laptop on That, playing around a bit with screen heights and keyboards etc first so you don't get a sore neck. With a cup of coffee and a big bottle of water on hand, walk at a slow but steady 3km/hr the whole time. Amazingly, this seems to keep the restless/hyperactive part of the brain fully occupied, leaving the productive parts free to actually Do The Thing! The slow walking speed doesn't interfere with typing. Also, as you have to physically stop the treadmill before you could just run off and do other things, it is MUCH easier to squash all the usual distraction impulses. The same thing could be done sitting on an exercise bike with the laptop strapped onto the handlebars, or using one of those mini-crosstrainers or mini-cycles that can go under a desk, or even standing on a physio/homemade balance board at the kitchen bench.
  • There's a Rule of 20s For Screens: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If you're staring at a screen all day, this will reduce eye strain.
  • There’s a great "Traffic Light" Technique To Inform Others About Your Availability: get 3 cups of different colours, stack them together and turn the stack upside down on your desk, and the cup on top tells other people which mode you’re in - red for "Focusing, please do not disturb", yellow for "Talk to me if it’s important" and green for "I’m available to chat".
  • When working with a Standing Desk make sure to have something soft under your feet, like an Anti-Fatigue Mat or a Soft Carpet. They can be good for your back and your feet.
  • Since ADHD makes Prioritizing so hard, make sure you get deadlines and Check In Frequently. Start asking your key stakeholders "If I only did one thing for you today, what should it be?" Remember to over-communicate with your manager.
  • A rule of thumb for Delegating Tasks: "if the task can be done by someone else, delegate. If you are the only one who’s able/in the right position to do the task, do it yourself." See this article for more ideas on what tasks should be delegated.
  • Idle Games (video) can be a hit or a miss, but it might be something worth trying, if you are struggling with boring work tasks. (of course, stay away from anything with micro-transactions)
  • If you are looking for life advice or Advice on Picking a Career Path, consider three things: What you hate - avoid that. What gives you joy - look for that. And what you can do to bring joy to other people in the context of the first two things. The long term will work itself out.
  • It might help you to Take A Look At the Space You Work (maybe the whole room, maybe just a single table). Is it hard to find things? Is it so cluttered that there's no space to put down an extra item? Does it have the right amount of ambient noise for you? Do you need to add a space for water or crunchy snacks? Is the chair comfortable for you and can you easily change your sitting position? Do you like the lighting color and intensity?
  • Choosing a career will be easier when you know what you're really passionate about. To find a profession that suits you, you could read an article about Core Values or do a Quiz that links your educational background and interests to actual jobs.
  • Here is Reddit post for a schedule to work from home with ADHD. It can be printed, imported in your Google calendar etc.
  • When anxiety is hindering starting a task at work make Very Bad First Drafts/Attempts At Tasks. So, for example, if you have to write an -mail to a lot of senior people asking them to please pay their -squirrel- invoice already, it'll start "Yo, Bossmen! You're receiving this because we invoiced you in March, and it's now June. I know COVID's meh but pay us, yeah? No love, me." Then let it sit for a day or so in the "drafts" folder (with no addresses - that's a crucial step to prevent accidentally sending it) and the second draft can become "Dear Partners. We have not yet received your membership payment for 2020. It is now more than three months overdue. If the current crisis is causing problems, please let us know and we will work something out. With best regards, me." It's much easier to run through something that exists and add the Es (Expand, Elaborate and Ettiquette) than it is to do a "clean" draft straight onto the blank white page.

Apps[edit | edit source]

  • Are you the type of person whom it months/years to finish a full-length non-fiction book...? Then Blinkist might be an app for you. It gets to the core info in under 30min reads!!


Reading Recommendations[edit | edit source]

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 a complete explanation of 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 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 with 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 Has some exercise sheets to target executive dysfunction. Maybe there are a few things that are new to you. It’s aimed at professionals to treat adults with ADHD rather than ADHDers themselves though. (Table Of Contents1, TOC2, Session Overview).
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 developing sustainable and lasting habits (the 1% repeated compound-your-improvement idea). It's a fairly easy and engaging read, as the author uses a lot of stories to illustrate his points. He offers talks, too. There's an Atomic Habits Habitica guild.
Wait, but Why? Blog Offers advice on career choice and procrastination; includes worksheets.
Rock Steady (Comic) About life skills management for Bipolar Disorder, but super useful for any disorder of regulation.
The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD
Chimp Paradox Steve Peters Offers insights about impulsivity. The author has a TED talk, too.
Everything you need to completely clean with ADHD Black Girl, Lost Keys Book on cleaning with ADHD.
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics Audiobook. The guy who wrote it is very ADHD-like (not sure if he has it or not) so it's nice hearing him explain meditation and how it helps him and others who don't feel like they would benefit or doubt their ability to "successfully" meditate.
The Disorganized Mind Nancy A. Ratey A book about ADHD self-coaching.
How ADHD Affects Home Organization: Understanding the Role of the 8 Key Executive Functions of the Mind Lisa Woodruff Might make a good companion to the Konmari books, since understanding our ADHD brains specifically are likely to help those of us who simply can't exist as minimalists maintain some kind of order beyond the initial clean-out.
Learning the R.O.P.E.S. for Improved Executive Function Patricia Schetter Is clearly written for clinicians working with autistic and ADHD youth, and the text (and even the layout) are as dense as one might expect, but it has some very good graphic organizers and notes on thinking, problem solving, time management skills, and so on. A lot of it is built nicely on parts of CBT. The book is recommended for any adults trying to teach organizational skills to neurodivergent children. However, for someone who is not hyperlexic and/or does not have a background in education and/or psychology, it's suggested to go through it with people who are in the field or who are hyperlexic, because it is just a LOT of information presented in a solid block of text broken up only with organizational charts that are clearly in need of some clip art and spacing design.
The Relationship Cure John Gottman & Joan DeClaire On marriage and relationships. Based on authors' research.
Order from Chaos: The Everyday Grind of Staying Organized with Adult ADHD Jaclyn Paul
Is it You, Me, or Adult ADD? Gina Pera It's aimed at the partners of ADHDers who don't have ADHD themselves. The first part is about symptomms and the second one about managing a relationship/family in case a partner has ADHD. Approved by Dr. Russel Barkley.
Every Tool's A Hammer Adam Savage It's full of ADHD hacks (whether he meant it that way or not).


Recommended Blogs & Podcasts[edit | edit source]

Title Content
ADHDHomestead Offers some insight on parenting with ADHD
ADHD Alien Comics about life with ADHD
The Hidden Brain Has a great deal of useful information, and is broadcast on a number of public radio stations in the US.
Hacking You Executive Functioning Masterpost
The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green Super relaxing, interesting and will probably help your anxiety :)
ADDitude ADHD Experts Podcast Episode 3 was really informative for extra medication info.
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 Educational for people to have fun while learning things about the human body and some mental illness.
Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast Has a Money Management Series, among other things.
Dani Dovan ADHD Comics. Can be followed on either Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.
Adulting with ADHD Podcast.
ADHD - Not Just For Kids (YouTube) A 40 minute documentary on Adult ADHD. It's affirming and interesting and you might even learn some new things. The tone is refreshing because it is pretty positive, like it's factual, but hopeful. It talks about research, ADHD experiences, ADHD treatment (including video games scientists are working on that improve executive functions while you play??) the whole thing about ADHD being super common in prisoners etc. Watching on 1.25x speed at least is recommended but other than that it's pretty ADHD friendly! (might not be available in some countries)
Neurodiversity An article on neurodiversity.
B's Get Riches Personal finances blog (from an unemployment perspective). (Contains Strong Language!)
The ADHD Good Life Podcast
How To Properly Build Your Habit YouTube video. The whole course is very good, but the linked video is considered to be the most important video of the series: properly building the habit so that starting the task costs less and less energy because it becomes more and more automatic.
Small Things Often The Gottman Institute is real good for relationship science and resources.
ADHD reWired Has a great episode on using themes to help with ADHD. There are also episodes where Eric Tivers interviews a few people from his coaching groups, and they address a particular struggle they’re having while the other folks help, not just ways to get around their walls of awful, but also some of the emotional stuff that goes on behind the scenes. It reads like an ADHD-focused therapy session that you get to be a fly on the wall for.
Einzelgänger YouTube channel on stoic and tao philosophy to aquire a healthy philosophy of life.
The School Of Life YouTube channel that explores the great questions of emotional and psychological life to develop emotional well-being.
Hacking Your ADHD Podcast with short, awesome episodes.
ADHD Actually Blog.
Black Girl Lost Keys Blog.
ADHD sucks, but not really TEDx Talk by a cognitive neuroscientist with ADHD (and a PhD) named Salif Mahamane.
Attention Deficit Disorder Association Informs about strategies and solutions to overcome the challenges of Adult ADHD. Offer free webinars to their members (becoming a member is free of charge).
ADHD Management Youtube channel based in the UK, sharing useful tips, information and lifestyle strategies for adults with ADHD.



Habitica Extensions[edit | edit source]

Main article: Extensions, Add-Ons, and Customizations
Name Platform Description
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 Costume, Background, Pet, and Mount Changer All Clients Save 5 favorite appearances for your avatar and equip all components with just one click! No need to search in your inventory! For more detailed instructions, see this Trello card.
Habitica Highly Customizable Navbar Browser Want the option to hide practically anything in the navbar? Use this style! Lot of customization options to give you the ability to hide any button in the header other than the sync button or the user menu button (though you can hide anything under the user menu other than the settings and logout buttons). Use this style as a tool to customize what you want to be able to see/access in your Habitica experience!
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!
Habitican Randomizer All Clients Do you have too many pets, too many mounts, too many backgrounds? A new third party tool at your rescue! The Habitican Randomizer can equip a random pet, mount, background and have other amazing features!
HabitRPG Calendar Browser Takes your To Do's 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.
Hide System Messages in Party on Habitica Browser Hides system messages (i.e. skill casts, quest progress, avatar transformations) in your party.
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 Do's 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 Do's 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.
Habitica - Batch create sub-tasks Browser Let's you add checklist items easily. Just have a text document for regularly repeating To Do's with their usual sub-tasks (e.g. doing taxes) and copy the To Do's plus sub-tasks into the tool.
Habitica Streamlined Header Browser Hide party members and your own avatar in Habitica header to make it more compact and streamlined. Responsive design so it also works on smaller screens/windows. Increases screen space for your tasks.
Phobia Protection Extension Browser (except IE, Edge) Aside from hiding phobia triggering content, it provides the option to hide distracting animated items (e.g. equipment, pets/mounts and backgrounds).
Color Options for Habitica To Do's Browser A style that has some options for changing the color scheme from the typical blue-to-red that stresses some people out to a number of schemes enumerated in the style's description (some remove some or all progression of color, some just change the shades that progression has). Note that it requires Stylus or xStyle and probably won't work with other style extensions.
Integromat Browser An integration service similar to Zapier to connect Habitica with other services. No coding required!
Google Apps Script Integration A collection of Google Apps Scripts that allow you to auto accept quests, auto Cron, schedule casting party buffs, bulk attack boss with skills, bulk buy from the Enchanted Armorie, schedule To Do's to be created, bulk remove Habitica Generated Emails, play as subclasses, and use custom potions like Experience Potions, Mana Potions or Anti-Potions etc.
Gnothi Integration Shows correlations between Habitica tasks and which tasks have the most impact overall, e.g. "Sleep is most affected by caffeine and exercise." Gnothi is a personal journal which uses AI to provide insights and resources; the Habitica integration is one feature. See this Reddit Thread for some more info. There's a guild for discussing this tool: Gnothi. Made by Habitica's creator lefnire.
Habitica Dark Mode Browser Change the User Interface to something more comfortable to the eye, especially at night, with one of these styles: Helix's Habitica Dark, DeepDark Habitica, Athelinde's Dark Habitica Style or Another Dark Habitica Style by citrusella.


Problems Sticking with Habitica?[edit | edit source]

Root-Cause-Analysis
Ask the ADHDers Guild for help! What is causing your disinterest? Here are some prompts:

Workload Forgetfulness Disinterest Missing Features
Habitica feels like a chore Forgetting to check Habitica No more shiny new things Manually creating reoccurring tasks
Constantly dying Boring
Overwhelmed Not Noticing tasks because they all look the same
Need to re-organize tasks

Addressing Workload

  • 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 to as achievements on a daily basis (strategy to build up self-esteem) and put the "extras" on top (to make some further progress without 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 daily set to repeat 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 the Due Date Frequency so that it comes at more convenient times.
  • Use simple Mini-Tasks like "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 (external website) 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.
  • Are you stuck in a "I can't do this recreational/fun thing until I do this productive thing" trap where you absolutely can't make yourself do the productive thing, so you just don't do anything...? Make the Phrasing Gentler, putting an emphasis on "After I do x, then I do y," rather than, "I CAN'T do y until I do x." Or, Break Out of the Trap by dropping the self-imposed rule altogether: "I don't care if the x prerequisite isn't done, I'm doing y anyway." Best example ever heard was a person saying to their therapist that they struggle to make sandwiches so they don't eat, and the therapist says "so why don't you buy grated cheese, then just eat a slice of bread, a handful of cheese and a lettuce leaf? All the same to your stomach!" Sometimes it's better to just do half the job without having to domino them into perfectly efficient batches.
  • Give yourself Two "Treat Days", one where you get to do hobby things all day guilt-free and one where you rest - sleep in, lounge on the sofa, read a book... nothing high-effort, no chores. You are resting!
  • Shorten your Habitica task lists by Creating Multi-Purpose Tasks, like this.

Addressing Forgetfulness

  • Add a Daily for Checking Habitica.
  • If you're using the Habitica app you can set Reminders for your tasks. Try setting the alarm tone to something startling/sudden (i.e. Mambo No. 5 from "please set in the trumpet") or mildly embarrassing (i.e. an outdated meme song like Raining Tacos) to get you to jump up and deal with it.
  • 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.).

Addressing Disinterest

Addressing Missing Features

  • Request a feature with this Google Form.
  • See if someone is willing to create a Third Party Tool, a specific customization, quests, specific gear/backgrounds. If you'd like some personal Habitica art (guild banners, something for your profile) you could ask in the Pixel Power Guild.
  • If you need dividers for your Habitica task lists, look up bullet journal dividers, take a screenshot and crop it, then use a website that lets you make the background color transparent, and uplaod it somewhere/to an image hosting site. Then you create a new Habit (without the plus/minus symbols) and enter ![list divider](URLofYOURimage.jpg) as the Habit title. The result could look like this. If you prefer your divider to be blank, just enter &ensp;.



Endnote[edit | edit source]

"My life isn't going the way I overthought it would."

I now return you to your regularly scheduled diversions.

posted by @peteball


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