ADHD hacks! [article]

There are thousands of articles that will tell you how you can “hack” your life to be more productive, happy, successful, etc. Furthermore, it seems like the Internet is awash with hacks that claim to help people with ADHD manage their lives. But what does “ADHD hack” really mean?

A life hack is a simple recommendation that is specific and easy to implement. Oftentimes, an ADHD hack is merely a common sense piece of advice. While there is nothing inherently wrong with advice, a hack is supposed to help with a specific problem. I find most so-called hacks to be far too general, difficult to actually use, or even just plain false! To help you separate the weat from the chaff, I have combed through a number of websites with ADHD hacks and compiled the most useful ones below (sources listed at the end):

Set timers

If you need a break, and you decide that you can spend 30 spare minutes playing video games, set a timer for 25 minutes. It’s too easy to lose track otherwise, and you may find that hours have gone down the drain.

Block distractions

Block distractions: Try to block out sensory distractions when you’re doing a task that requires focus. Pick a quiet spot away from windows and monitors when you need to hunker down. Earplugs are helpful, and so is white noise.

Associate tasks

Associate tasks: What do you do if you keep forgetting your wallet or your keys? Well, I bet you never forget to wear shoes. When you take your wallet out of your pocket at night, instead of placing it on the table by your bed, put it in one of your shoes.

Take notes and keep moving
Do not answer your phone

Keep a pad of paper by your keyboard at work or at your desk at home. When you have a persistent thought that’s not associated with what you’re doing (e.g., “Call the plumber,” “What kind of tree is that outside?”, “I should wear more red.”), write it down and make a plan to think about it later. This will let you acknowledge the thought and move on.

Stay off the phone until you have written down your plan for the day. Technology is wonderful, but it can destroy your productivity if you let it. Use paper and pen to make a daily plan of everything you’d like to get done. This creates a visual of your goals, allowing you to envision what the day will look like before the allure of technology can interfere.

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