As someone diagnosed with ADHD, I have witnessed firsthand the challenges individuals with ADHD face in staying motivated and managing their time efficiently. This is despite the fact that they know what needs to be done each day. This often leads to neglecting self-care and ending the day with an overwhelming to-do list.
Moreover, due to the long wait time for ADHD diagnosis and support, many people are seeking ways to self-manage their ADHD symptoms, particularly when it comes to maintaining productivity. If you find yourself in this situation, consider implementing these 5 valuable tips to achieve and sustain positive productivity with ADHD.
Strategize Your Day
Begin by planning your day whether the night before or on the morning itself. Prioritize scheduling breaks for activities like going for a walk, having lunch, or hitting the gym before committing to work and other commitments. By allocating time for yourself, you enhance your overall productivity.
Establish Personal Routines
ADHD brains thrive with routine and structure, although finding a routine that suits you and sticking to it can be challenging. Start small with habits that simplify your life.
- Make your bed as soon as you wake up.
- Pack your bag the night before work.
- Review your schedule in the evening to prioritize tasks.
- Avoid checking emails first thing in the morning.
- Set alarms as reminders throughout the day.
Focus On Nourishment
Ensure you have nourishing food readily available throughout the day to avoid resorting to quick fixes like a sugary snack at 3 PM. Keep a large water bottle within sight to remind yourself to stay hydrated.
Additionally, don’t forget to nourish your soul by dedicating daily time to activities that bring you joy.
Harness the Power of Positive Psychology
Often referred to as the “science of happiness”, positive psychology offers evidence-based exercises that can benefit individuals seeking personal growth. These exercises can be particularly effective for individuals with ADHD as they stimulate dopamine pathways. See the below exercises that resonate with you and give it a go.
- Gratitude Journal: Keep a journal within view on your nightstand to encourage you to jot down 3 specific things you are grateful for each day. It could be as simple as savoring the taste of your morning coffee, encountering a robin during your morning walk, or the loving smile your partner shared over dinner. This practice trains your brain to seek out positive aspects hence leading to a more optimistic outlook.
- Visualizing your best self: Envision yourself in the future having achieved all your goals and dreams. Write down vivid goals about how this looks and how it feels. Engage in this exercise daily for several days and revisit it regularly. By doing so, you create neural pathways as if you have already accomplished those goals, reinforcing the power of focus and manifestation.
- Embracing strengths and values: Recognize that individuals with ADHD function best when engaged in tasks that generate a dopamine boost. Discover your unique strengths and values, and find ways to prioritize them in your personal and professional life. Embracing these qualities leads to greater interest and fulfillment for the ADHD brain. Tools like high5test.com or viacharacter.org can help you uncover your strengths.
Explore Productivity Tools
Experiment with productivity apps like Evernote or Notion which facilitate the management of multiple to-do lists and projects. Maintaining a repository for thoughts and ideas is crucial for alleviating ADHD and mitigating the fear of forgetting something important.
Additionally consider using noise-cancelling headphones with binaural beats, brown noise, or polyrhythmic music from platforms like YouTube to enhance focus and creativity.
Finally, leverage calendar apps, using multiple, color-coded calendars to organize various aspects of your life. Remember, if it’s not on the calendar, it’s unlikely to happen.
ADHD manifests differently for each individual. So, persist in exploring diverse techniques, hacks, and routines until you discover what works best for you.