Great article, thanks Gabrielle! I can relate, having my own arsenal of apps, notepads and reminders.
Alongside these, I found that changing my whole thinking framework has helped me the most. My mind works differently, and my life must match it – or crush.
Perhaps some of my tips may also be of help to others, so I’ll take this opportunity to share them too.
- Long live hyperfocus!
Given a choice, I would work on a single project continuously. No everyday tasks, laundry, eating or going to the toilet… Unfortunately, that is usually not possible. However, much of what we think is impossible is really society washing our brains.
I would never have finished my PhD, had I put prompt laundry folding first place.
I wouldn’t be able to write my ADHD fantasy novel (which I’m writing right now!) if I felt compelled to return every call (long live text messages!).
- Combine/ split similar tasks. Sometimes the laundry, tidying up or telephones do become necessary. I find that making more than one phone call a day just takes too long. When absolutely necessary, I’ll make both calls – in two separate days. On the other hand, just getting mentally ready for ironing can take me half a day. I avoid wearing iron-demanding clothes regularly, and iron them all together once in a loooooong time.
- Inconsistency is my middle name, and I wear it proudly. The fact that I accomplished X at one day says nothing of the next day. My "average day" is non-existent.
Expecting, and planning for, inconsistent productivity can bring great relief: I know today has been awful, but it’s fine, because tomorrow – or next week – I’ll hit threefold productivity again.
It's always a good idea to take into account thrice the amount of time which seems plausible for a project when I'm at my prime.
- Keep loving yourself. This is crucial, but not always easy with ADHD. It might help to write down something good that we did, something we're happy with, no matter how small, every day. We're very good at forgetting these, but remembering each and every flop.
Of course, these and other tips vary from one person to another, so the most important tip is: learn ourselves. Learn our own quirkiness, where we tend to fall and where our strengths lie, and never believe the “but this is how it’s done” nonsense society tends to feed us with. There is *always* more than one good way of doing things.
Happy ADHD Awareness Month, and long live (neuro)diversity! 😊