The One Where You're The Expert

Updated: 3 days ago


Every ADHDer I come into contact with blows me away with their creativity and problem-solving skills. Not to mention their tenacity, sensitivity and courage. So in honor of my 48th birthday, I decided to celebrate YOU by sharing 48 pieces of advice / tips from 48 of YOU amazing people!


I asked, and you happily shared. As I complied them, I realized that it's a whole lot of great advice, which means I am a whole lot of years old, but, as my son says, "That's an MP (my problem) not a YP (your problem)"!


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There's so much good stuff here, and there's even an exciting twist at the end!


So, with no further ado, here it is:



48 Tips for Thriving with ADHD



1. I crochet in between many of the things that I don't like to do or find harder to do. It gives me something to look forward to and keeps me persevering with what I find hard to do.


Anon


2. When building a habit, accountability to others helps reinforce the habit - don't suffer in silence! Reach out to someone - ask a friend or get a coach!


Temima Gass



3. In a restaurant, when you want to be as focused and present as you can, place yourself in a booth facing the wall, not the rest of the customers.


Julie Levi



4. Going for a power walk before I start working helps me focus.


Anon



5. I hate housework so listening to podcasts helps me stay on task.


Anon



6. I accumulate things in ‘staging areas’ (one near the front door, one in my office, etc) so that I don’t accidentally leave without items I need.


Fern Reiss



7. Procrastination usually happens when I feel overwhelmed because I’m always working on 25 things simultaneously. I keep one sheet of paper per project, and each tells me what is the ONE next thing I need to do on that project. Then I just cycle through the pages. For some unfathomable reason, that makes it much easier.


Fern Reiss



8. My diary is my best friend. It helps me get things done as I can see in print what I need to do. And it reduces anxiety because I know if it's written in my diary, I won't forget about it.


Dani Schneider Abrams



9. Always lose your keys? Attach a big, colorful keyring to the bunch.


Minette Stern



10. Put your clothes for the next day out the night before or just wear jeans and a t-shirt every day. You can easily dress that up or down.


Minette Stern



11. Have one handbag! Don't switch bags, or you will forget something or which bag you put it in.


Minette Stern



12. Set alarms and set more than one if you might miss it or ignore it. And for an important alarm - like taking meds etc., set an alarm recorded in your own voice.


Minette Stern



13. There’s no shame in using paper goods or pre-cut fruit and veg.

Shira Rae Wetrin



14. Phone reminders for everything big and small.


Anon



14. In the morning, put everything by the front door (sometimes even before you’re dressed) - food, your bag… especially your phone (so you don’t look at it while getting ready!) This all makes leaving the house easier.


Michal Haber



15. Get a diary and write everything down!


Josie Garb Lutrin



16. Keep a pen and small notebook by your bed so when the inspiration hits, you can jot it down. Sure your phone is good for notes too, yet there's something about writing it by hand. Or drawing/sketching.


Rachel W



17. To overcome procrastination, remembering that often after I just get started, I realize that what I am doing is actually fun!


Nicole Oren



18. To overcome distraction- put your phone on work/focus mode.


Nicole Oren



19. I keep a to-do list in the Notes app of my phone - I get a kick out of clicking “check”.


Nicole Oren



20. To remember stuff, have a Whatsapp group with yourself.


Nicole Oren



21. Having an accountability buddy for me is key. Doesn't matter in what form. Talking out loud, to another person or to myself, makes the thing I'm thinking through have a presence in the real world, making it easier to deal with…


Maital Silver


22…It's so important to accept where you're at right now, and that not trying to overcome every single hardship every single day doesn't make you a lesser person.


Maital Silver



23. For focusing, what I found helps is actively sitting on the edge of my seat, upright and trying to get emotionally excited and invested in whatever I'm doing. If I'm excited about it, I can stay (hyper??)-focused.


Yonat Roskind



24. The main trick is developing a passion for whatever you're doing, even if it's a desk job. If you're into it, you can be super into it, and you manage the executive function stuff by being almost overly organized (lists, systems, alarms, charts, whatever you like)


Yonat Roskind



25. If a task feels impossible, do it for two minutes. There are two possible outcomes:

either you get two minutes of the task done which is infinitely better than nothing, or

you find that once you're already doing the task, you can keep going.

Win-win!


Hadassah Shaffern



26. I've found that no organizational method works forever. Instead I've started to come to terms with “cycling through impermanent solutions”. Using a whiteboard worked for a few months. When it no longer did, I started setting morning alarms with a to-do list for that day. That worked for a few months, until it didn't. Next tried Bullet Journaling which worked for over a year (a record!). When that stopped working, I allowed myself time to grieve. My newest organizational tool is the Habitica app, which gamifies productivity. Gamification really resonates with me (to this day, Pokemon Go is what motivates me to exercise!) so I'm hoping this method sticks for a while. However when it stops, maybe I'll try using the whiteboard again.


Hadassah Shaffern



27. Write everything down!


Michelle Gluck


28. Make a to-do list and asterisk the most important things.


Michelle Gluck



29. I think it’s so important to address the issue of feeling shame. I have really worked on self-acceptance and this has really helped me. Shame used to be a big barrier to getting work done and now that I’m freed up from expending my emotional energy on shame, I’m able to focus on the task at hand a lot better.

Sarah Potaznik Novick



30. When you tell yourself, "It's really not hard", “It’s not rocket science” or "It's straight forward"; then you feel bad that you can't do something that is supposed to be easy. I get it, but try to let that part go. Different things are hard for different people, and in different situations. There are some things that are hard for other people that are easy for you. It's okay. No need to add judgment to what is already a difficult situation. It will be easier to problem-solve when you stop feeling bad about having trouble with something "easy." It's not easy for you!


Sarah Nemzer Kohl



31.I gave up on a tidy home years ago. I have opted for sanity, a job I love, and nurturing my creativity.


Nadia


32. My #1 piece of advice for thriving with ADHD is to have self compassion.


Donae C.


33. Post-Its everywhere!


Vered Albelda



34. Use Timers to help you get started but beware of the snooze button!


Vered Albelda



35. Block out times on your calendar for specific tasks to help with time management ( this is still hard for me!)


Vered Albelda



36. Need to remember to take meds or do something at a specific time? Get yourself an old fashioned alarm clock and place it next to the meds. You can’t ignore it like a phone alarm and you have to actually get up to turn it off. Place it next to the meds and then you will remember to take them when you go turn off the alarm!


Melinda Lipkin



37. Need a reminder about something? Use whiteboard markers and write it on a window or mirror!


Alana Stern



38. Use a fitness tracker watch to remind you of something - it vibrates and that’s harder to ignore than a phone alarm.


Alana Stern


39. Keep a “download pad” or notebook next to you when you need to focus on something. Every time a thought threatens to pull you off task, capture it in writing and then turn back to the task at hand.


Alana Stern



40. If you have something important but not urgent to do, don’t say, “I’ll do it when I have time”. Instead, make time for it by anchoring it into a slot in your calendar. If it’s truly important, it will be worth saying “no” to other things to get it done.


Alana Stern



41. Spend as much time using your strengths as possible. That’s what makes you feel good! And have no guilt about outsourcing what you are weaker at.


Alana Stern



42. Trying to build a habit? Use visual trackers (yes, I mean like a star chart!) to track your progress. It will keep your motivation up to see your progress, even if it’s slower than you would like it to be. No need to put an “x” on the days you didn’t do. We are hard enough on ourselves anyway. Focus on the positive.


Alana Stern



43. Analog clocks give you a much better feel for time than digital clocks, so get some wall clocks, and don’t underestimate the power of a good, old-fashioned watch!


Alana Stern



44. Try this Chrome extension for keeping track of time. It announces the time to you every hour on the hour (or whenever you set it for).


Alana Stern



45. Can’t decide what to do first? Check in with your gut: Which item on your to-do list will make you feel better when it’s done?


Alana Stern



46. Have a Haven - Find a small space in your home that you can make visually appealing and calming, where you can go to collect yourself and gather your thoughts. Go there when things are heating up or when your brain is overloading. And yes, it may have to be the bathroom if that’s the only place you can escape kids. So make it the most beautiful and calm bathroom ever!


Alana Stern



47. When someone asks you for a commitment of time, remember the magic words: “Let me get back to you on that.” Then pause, open your calendar and look realistically where you can fit it in. Also, ask yourself, “If I am going to say yes to this, what will I have to say no to?”


Alana Stern



48. Embrace failure. It means you’ve tried, that you’ve courageously dared to be great. Often, before you can do something well, you have to do it badly. I used to think failure was the opposite of success, but really it is a step in the success-process. It’s actually a very valuable step! Failure provides you with feedback – what worked, what didn’t? What did you learn and what can you tweak? Once you’ve failed, you can never go back to where you were before you tried, and that you’ve begun on the path towards triumph!


Alana Stern


Full Disclosure

See what I did there?


a) I didn't quite get to my overly ambitious goal of 48 contributors in 5 days (Duh! What was I thinking?), so completed the list with some tips of my own.


b) If you soldiered through it all, you would have noticed my final tip about the feedback you get from failure. Well, I definitely got some great feedback from this experience, like:


  • Things always take longer than you expect.


  • Don't impulsively create a project with a short, hard deadline before checking your schedule for the upcoming week.


But most importantly,


  • ADHD can be simply a difference. It can cause some difficulty, which is why you need some tips and strategies to really thrive. But it does not have to be a disorder for you.


I guess we'll make that #49, as they say here in my beloved country, "veéchad le'shana habaá" (and one more [candle] for the next year.)


Want a power pack of the 4 best tips for getting something boring done?





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