Mastery of any skill usually comes down to 3-5 simple tasks performed over and over again. For the ADD/ADHD executive, or anyone with ADHD, it can be a struggle at times to be consistent with certain tasks. But over time, those small tweaks can add up to make a big difference. Here are some simple fundamental ADD ADHD survival skills. Pick the ones that may be right for you to start implementing.
- Realize you are tempted to stay up late into the night so don’t schedule early morning classes or appts if at all possible
- Take melatonin when your sleep patterns are way off in order to activate the sleep cycles…this could also be a good tool when face with compter blue light into the evening
- For help eliminating computer blue light, check out http://justgetflux.com
- Fall asleep with a fan, white noise, ocean sounds, delta sleep rhythms or anything relaxing
- Ask your doctor about supplemental Omega-3’s oils, vitamin D & B vitamins
- Cut down on stimulants such as caffeine and sugars
- Keep bars and healthy snacks stashed at work, in the car, backpack, etc. for whenever you forget to eat
- One good solid hour of cardio per day is good for 3-4 hours of quality focused work time
- If you can’t do an hour, do anything to get 15-20 minutes of cardio per day
- When all else fails, do as much as you can, even if that means parking far from your building, going up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or going for a walk at lunch.
4. Work (or Study)
- Seclusion is key, close your office door, find quiet spaces away from any distraction, or use noise canceling headphones to tune out everyone around you.
- Close all electronic distractions. Turn down the sound on your cell, close Facebook and all those extra windows on your computer.
- If you find that you need music to concentrate, tune in to music with no words or something you know so well that you can easily tune it out
- During meetings, make sure you write down some notes (even though you probably won’t want to). It will help you stay engaged and focused.
- Make your list of things to do (preferably the night before, but at the very least when you get to the office) and take it one item at a time.
–> Resist the temptation to tackle 5 projects at once. In the flurry of activity, you might feel that you are accomplishing lots of things, only to realize at the end of the day that you spent most of your time addressing forest fires and you have not produced anything of substance.
You will probably be challenged and want to try all the ADHD survival skills on the list, but instead, take one from each of the four areas and see what you can work into your schedule as regularly as possible. ADHD strategies only work if you actually use them. Adopting new strategies in small batches has a much higher rate of success than trying everything at once only to abandon them after a few days.