6 Productivity Hacks for Adults With ADHD
If you live with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), then it’s no secret to you that this condition can make it exceptionally hard to stay productive at school or work.
If you’re having a hard time staying productive at school or at work because of ADHD, then try these tips.
Set Realistic Goals
First of all, it’s important to understand that no one is productive 100% of the time — with or without ADHD. Add ADHD or other neurodivergence into the mix, and 100% productivity becomes even more unrealistic.
Set realistic goals when it comes to productivity. For example, it might not be realistic to try to be completely productive for 2 hours straight. You know yourself best — when do you start to burn out? If you know your maximum is 20 minutes, then set the timer for 20 minutes, and try to be productive for that time.
Setting realistic goals is also something that happens more internally, too. No amount of “life hacks” will make it so you don’t have ADHD. Be kind to yourself, and stop bullying yourself to be just as productive as colleagues who don’t live with this condition.
Try the Pomodoro Method
The Pomodoro method is a popular productivity method both for people with ADHD and without it. Basically, a Pomodoro cycle is made up of a 25-minute focused session and a 5-minute break. After 4 Pomodoro cycles, you take a longer, 20-minute break. Easy, right?
25 minutes may not seem like very much, but when you string 4 Pomodoro cycles together, you’ve got almost 2 hours of focused work time.
Feel free to adjust this method for your unique needs. For example, if 25 minutes is too long, then set the timer for less.
Break Tasks Up
Part of why it is so hard to be productive with ADHD is because of an executive function deficit, which makes it hard to organize and prioritize tasks. Often, people with ADHD look at a project that’s in front of them and think: “Where do I even start?”
If this sounds familiar to you, then try breaking up the project into smaller tasks. Work on each task as an individual project, and don’t worry about the rest of it. Just focus on finishing each small task. If you struggle with splitting big projects up, then ask a friend or an ADHD coach to help you.
Tackle Fun Tasks First
Usually, adults with ADHD don’t have a hard time being productive on anything whatsoever — it’s typically uninteresting, tedious, or repetitive tasks that are difficult to get done. But tasks that are fun or engaging may not be a problem whatsoever.
You can try to gain momentum with productivity by tackling the fun, easy tasks first. But remember to use this momentum by allowing it to motivate you to tackle the other, more boring tasks. Don’t stop! Otherwise, you may be left with a laundry list of tedious tasks that you’re too tired to complete.
Be Mindful of Your Work Space
ADHD causes distractibility, which means that the environment you work in may be more important for you than it is for other people. If you live with ADHD, that means that you need to choose your work environment carefully to make sure that distractions are kept to a minimum.
For example, try not to work in a place where there are a lot of different sounds, or use noise-canceling headphones if that’s unavoidable. Try not to have too many visual distractions around you; for example, working in the living room while your roommate watches a movie may not be the best idea.
By setting your office up for ADHD, you can set yourself up for success. A good office for productivity is ergonomically comfortable, includes different stations for different tasks, and is uncluttered.
Get Treatment for Your ADHD
Lastly, living with untreated ADHD is bound to make it more difficult to be productive. One of the best ways to boost your productivity when living with ADHD is to treat your ADHD symptoms themselves.
Stimulant medications help up to 80% of people who live with ADHD. Being productive becomes a lot easier when symptoms like inattention and restlessness are managed. Medication can help your brain focus, and make it easier for you to shift between tasks — effects that can give your productivity a boost.
Focus Partners provides online treatment for adults with ADHD, including medication management. We are here to listen to you and empower you to unlock your full potential. Get started by taking our initial online ADHD assessment and find your focus now. Our team currently provides online ADHD treatment to adults in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and New York.