Trouble staying attentive and focused are two familiar symptoms associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
When ADHD persists through childhood and into early adulthood and middle age, it can present many serious challenges that make coping with life situations a problem. You find it hard to stay organized, stay on task, start projects, and meet deadlines.
As life gets busier, your expectations from family and work get higher, making your condition even more stressful.
Fortunately, we now have several strategies to help you navigate this difficult time in your life.
Tips for Living with ADHD
Thanks to technological advancements enhanced ADHD coaching, you can now lead a healthier life and cope with ADHD symptoms.
Here’s what you should do:
You need to have or experienced severe ADHD to get diagnosed. We advise that you get diagnosed immediately if you think you may have ADHD. Make this your priority.
The sooner you get diagnosed and know your medical condition, the better prepared you will be. Moreover, it can have a positive effect on your life and how you feel about yourself.
Studies have found that people diagnosed with ADHD are always able to forgive themselves for any mistakes they might have made in the past. You will feel more in control of your current life once you know you have ADHD. Knowing you weren’t crazy and that you had a medical condition can provide a huge sense of relief.
Identifying Coexisting Conditions
Like with most health conditions, ADHD rarely travels alone. Therefore, there’s always the likelihood that you may have one or more underlying conditions accompanying your ADHD.
However, you shouldn’t feel alarmed by this. Knowing what other conditions you may have alongside your ADHD, if any, also allows you to treat each one more directly and independently. This gives you a better chance of treating any underlying condition/s and living your healthiest.
At other times, symptoms of one condition may be masked by ADHD symptoms or vice versa. That’s why you always need a professional ADHD Coach to help you through the treatment process.
A majority of people with ADHD have at least one coexisting psychiatric disorder, including:
- Bipolar disorder
- Personality disorder
- Substance use disorder
- Personality disorder
That’s why we always advise patients to be as detailed as possible when sharing their symptoms and concerns. Being honest about your symptoms and experiences allows your doctor to assess your condition more effectively and provide you with the best treatment possible.
Difficulty managing time is one of the most common conditions of ADHD patients. You can lose track of time easily, have difficulty following through on work projects, and underestimate the overall time allocated for specific tasks.
You can end up spending too much time on one task to the point that nothing else matters – a condition known as hyperfocus.
Such difficulties can leave you feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and exhausted. We highlighted some tips to help manage your time better:
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses – most people with ADHD admit that they take longer periods to start and complete tasks than other people. Start by recognizing the tasks you tend to handle faster than others and ones that consume more of your time. Taking a balanced look at all your strengths and weaknesses will give you the confidence and self-esteem to complete tasks
- Get organized – whether you’re preparing to run errands, tackle household chores, or go to work, writing down your top priorities can be very helpful. Try creating schedules for everything the night before to help you start your day strong
- Use timers – always allocate yourself a limited amount of time to perform each task within the set deadlines. Get into the habit of using timers to notify you when the time is up for each task. A timer also gives you an audible signal to stop whatever you’re working on and start other projects
- Allow yourself extra time – always allocate yourself more time to complete projects. Give yourself some cushion by giving yourself a few extra minutes for work that may take you one hour to complete
Meeting deadlines can be particularly challenging when you have ADHD. You find it hard to start projects mainly because you want the project to be perfect or feel intimidated by it. So, you decide to put it off altogether.
Similarly, it’s very easy to get distracted and leave tasks unfinished after starting them.
Fortunately, we have a few effective tips to help you avoid these traps:
- Do one thing at a time – train your mind to focus on one task or project at a time before starting another. Multitasking is overrated even for everyone. But it can be a nightmare for people with ADHD
- Put off procrastinating – look for strategies to fool your mind into starting work. Think of it like a chore that you just have to do
- Deal with phone calls, emails, and other pressing matters as soon as possible – you always want to have fewer things left on your to-do list to avoid overwhelming you later on
- Be realistic about your time – you may have to say no to new projects, especially the more demanding ones or ones with shorter deadlines
- Be a clock watcher – train yourself to be a clock watcher. Get yourself to be more aware of time to avoid spending too long on certain tasks
Just being organized doesn’t always guarantee getting work done. You must train yourself to focus on tasks until you complete them.
Here are a few simple approaches that can help make your work easier:
- Declutter your home and office – start by giving yourself an appealing work environment
- Reduce distractions – it could mean having to change your workstation to a quieter space or silencing your email and smartphone alerts
- Jot down great ideas as you get them – everyone has that “aha” moment when working on particular tasks. Just write them down so you can get back to them later when you have the time
A word of caution: computers and smartphones can easily distract you. You may end up spending several hours looking at less useful sites and apps. Design better ways to avoid falling into this trap. You can even set a timer when using such devices.
There’s no quick fix for managing ADHD. But working with therapists and doctors can help you know how to handle the condition best.
The ADHD coping ideas listed above may help you lead a better and healthier life. However, they may not always be enough to overcome the condition’s challenges. It might mean working with a therapist or taking medicine – most people with the condition do both.