ADHD Hacks

Tired of feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, losing easily your keys, or having trouble focusing at work?  Let’s face it, it can happen to everyone and is even more likely to happen to someone with ADHD. What can you do to avoid these problems? Here are some ADHD hacks you can start using today. 

Tracking easily your keys, wallet, other items

Do you have a hard time finding your keys, sunglasses, or wallet when you are just about to leave the home? 

  • Make a habit to place these items always in the same spot. Not in the approximate place, but exactly in the same place. Every single day, For example, you could have a  designated basket in the lobby. Buy pants, jackets and purses with a few extra pockets so you can keep these items organized when you are away from home. 
  • Choose bright color keychains or wallets, rather than black or neutral colors. It will be easier to find them and also less likely to confuse them with someone’s else. 
  • Use gadgets that can keep track of your items- for example some have lights, some make sounds or others can be connected with your cell phone and can be tracked that way. 
  • Go digital and paperless as much as possible. Avoid excess paper documents, cards, cheques and other items that can be easily misplaced, and can create clutter at home, too.
  • When it comes to car keys, make sure you always have spare keys -either in a safe place at home or leave them with a friend or family member. 
  • What do you do if you can’t find your keys, wallet or cell phone? Stay calm, even if you are in a rush. Look where that item is supposed to be. Look systematically in that area. Cleaning up  in the process is a very effective way to stay organized, as you move to the next spots where the item could be.

Troubles with focus, organization, and time management? 

  • Start your day the right way. First things in the morning should be about you and your family.Have a morning routine to include the breakfast, a 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation, a review of  your to-do list and a quick workout. Do not check your phone and emails right when you get up. 
  • Feeling overwhelmed with a lot of tasks? Keep a printed “to do list” right in front of you, on your desk  Break down large projects into smaller ones, and make sure each one has a  tight deadline. Your focus dramatically increases when you have a tight deadline. Get a little reward when you complete that task on time- for example, a quick coffee break or 10 minutes on the phone. 
  • Do you have a problem with  multitasking ? This is perfectly fine, you shouldn’t multitask anyways. Although this “quality” may look good on the resume,  multitasking makes you less productive and adds a lot of stress. Just take one item at the time and deal with it. 
  • Get a virtual assistant (VA). Get some help. Let someone else organize things for you, even for a few hours per week. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr have plenty of freelancers from all over the word, some quite affordable. Choose a VA that can cover multiple activities from monitoring your schedule, appointments, medication refills, contacts, phone numbers, to organizing your emails and booking trips. Carefully review the work history and their feedback online, especially if you will allow your VA to manage banking accounts and other sensitive information. 
  • Set a clear to do list, with a specific timeline. Each and every day you will have a few priority items, and start working on those items first. Do you have a task that makes you feel uncomfortable? “Eat the frog first thing in the morning “, as they say. Start your workday completing that uncomfortable  task, and you will feel better for the rest of the day.

Feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, restless?

If you have ADHD, these emotions are more intense. You are also more likely to experience mood swings, low tolerance to frustration, and impulsivity. 

  • The fastest way to relax is to take a few deep breaths, along with a few stretches. You will feel better within seconds, as your brain and body switch from “fight or flight” response to a calm, relaxed state. 
  • Think before you speak. Take a few moments (and deep breaths) before speaking and expressing what bothers you. Say clearly what you need in an assertive, rather than confrontational way. Change your perspective, look from different angles. Look for solutions, rather than blaming a person or a situation for your problems. 
  • Clench  your right hand. By doing so, you  activate the left side of the brain, related to verbal and logical. When you feel fear and anxiety, the right-brain is activated, because this part of the brain is more emotional. However, you can easily stimulate the left brian with a simple clench of the right hand. 
  • Does a co-worker or boss contribute to your stress ? Before having that meeting, make a list of 3 qualities that this person has, or a time when you received help. Humor can help diffuse tension and helps counteract anger. However, avoid sarcasm, because it will make things worse.  
  • Finish the tasks you started. Stress is often the result of not completing a task, rather than having too many tasks. Did you know that?