*Please note that the term "ADHD" refers to both ADD and ADHD in this article
If you have ever done an online search for “ADHD tips”, you know there is certainly no shortage of websites, articles, and blog posts detailing all the tips, tricks, shortcuts, systems, and strategies you can use to help manage common ADHD symptoms such as disorganization, procrastination, and distractibility.
I recently shared my own go-to strategies that I offer my clients in an article featured on Psych Central for adults with ADHD.
Despite the wealth of information that’s available, I often hear from clients that they feel frustrated because many of the strategies they’ve tried have been of little or no help or the strategies they’ve been using don’t seem to be working anymore.
Here are some ways to help you successfully incorporate strategies, systems, and shortcuts into your daily life...
1. Not every strategy will work for everyone
This is an important point to remember when trying out new strategies for the first time. You are unique and so is your ADHD. What works for one or ten other people with ADHD may not work for you, but that’s okay! It’s all a matter of learning about YOUR ADHD and what works, and doesn’t work, for you in your life.
This is where working with a coach who specializes in ADHD can help. I spend a great deal of time with my clients identifying their strengths and learning/processing styles in order to customize strategies and systems to their unique needs.
2. Adapt strategies to fit your needs
Don’t feel you need to use a strategy exactly the way it says on the tin! There is no right or wrong way to use any given strategy. Experiment and change it up to fit your needs. The best strategies and systems allow for flexibility and adaptation.
3. Keep your strategies shiny
If you find that a once effective strategy is no longer working for you, shine it up! The ADHD brain thrives of novelty, so often when a strategy loses its luster and newness, its effectiveness is also diminished. But rather than starting from scratch, looks for ways to reinvent an existing strategy to make it fun and interesting again.
For example, if you find it helpful to write things down, treat yourself to a new notebook or planner, use colored pens, or even turn the book and write in a different direction.
4. Seek out a professional
Navigating through the seemingly endless sea of information on how to manage your ADHD can be overwhelming. If you’re wanting to incorporate strategies into your daily life but are unsure how or where to start, seeking out a professional who is also knowledgeable about ADHD such as a coach, therapist, or personal organizer is a great first step and can help put you on the road to success.
Natalia van Rikxoort, MSW is a social worker, therapeutic arts facilitator, and life coach with specializations in ADD/ADHD and family coaching