Tips for Dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder

Outside of medication, there are a lot of things people with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can do to help themselves be more productive and function more normally.  A huge number of books have been written based on this subject alone.  Some may be helpful, some may not; it varies by person.  All I can offer is what has helped me with my own personal experiences with attention problems.  I have tried innumerable things to help me through my journey with ADD, but I have narrowed them down to four of the most helpful suggestions I can offer.

First: earplugs.  The solution sounds so simple, but earplugs never fail to keep me more focused on a task.  They are best employed when doing homework, paying bills, working online, writing, or anything that I do alone that requires acute attention.  Even if I am in a quiet room by myself, I use earplugs to cut out any white noise that could possibly distract me.  Earplugs are incredibly helpful when someone nearby is talking or watching TV or listening to the radio, all things that are normally huge distractions.  They are key to keeping me focused.

Second: to-do lists.  When I don’t use to-do lists regularly, my thoughts can get so scattered that I can’t remember what I was supposed to do and when.  ADD makes it so easy for my mind to instantly switch gears and forget what needed to be done.  I use to-do lists for everything from household chores to shopping lists to daily needs like calling my father at 5 o’clock or setting up job interviews.  They can be an extremely helpful tool for the disorganized mind, and I would have difficulty getting though a day without one.

Third: daily schedule.  I use my phone to update my daily and monthly schedules.  Doctors appointments, deadlines, bills, and even hanging out with friends is documented in my schedule.  By checking this several times a day, I know exactly where I need to be and when.  I suggest being very diligent about this; schedules can be a fantastic way to keep yourself in the know without needing to remember every detail all the time.

Fourth: area of focus should be tidy.  A messy room or working space is a big distraction for me and many other people with ADD or ADHD.  I constantly think about the objects around me instead of focusing on the things I need to.  I often feel the need to clean the space or engage in things like games or reading instead of focusing on what is at hand.  By tidying up, I remove distractions and can more easily concentrate.

                I have a take-charge attitude about ADD and ADHD.  I refuse to let it inhibit me from any opportunity, so I develop ways every day to combat it.  I believe that everybody has the same ability; I have included these attention deficit disorder tips because they help me be successful on a daily basis.  Maybe they can help you too.