Yesterday, we took a brief look at the signs and symptoms of ADHD in three categories, inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Today we’ll discuss some effective behavioral interventions you can use to stay on track and keep your focus.
1. Understand the condition.
ADHD is a neuropsychiatric condition and is not due to weakness in character, failure to mature, or lack of will. It is instead how your brain is wired. ADHD is rooted in biology and biochemistry and is not the result of some failure on your part. Remembering this will enable you to accept yourself, reduce moments of self-punishment, find the positives in your condition, and make the most of your life. Learn the signs and symptoms of ADHD and how it affects you personally. Consider a thorough diagnostic assessment to determine if medication would be appropriate for you.
2. Use structure effectively.
Developing structure and routine is essential when conquering problems with attention and minimizing distraction. Structure provides boundaries, limits, and containment for your actions. Although uninteresting, setting up structure keeps you on track, enabling you to see your goals clearly and work toward them systematically. Routines may be resisted because they appear boring, but they can help you know what to do and allow you to perform tasks without much thought. Structure can be developed through writing lists, using reminders, making notes, and setting up phone apps. These methods can help you stick to a schedule and remember important appointments and events.
3. Set priorities.
Adults with ADHD may have trouble prioritizing, beginning, and finishing tasks. They are often disorganized and easily distracted; it is easy to delay a task if they are feeling unsure and insecure. Avoid procrastination in important matters, learn to prioritize, and take on the most important projects first are all helpful tips. Having no priorities makes decisions complicated and difficult, and it may be tempting to wait until things come to a crisis point. This can be avoided by taking care of important matters before they become urgent or uncontrollable disasters.
4. Manage your focus.
It may be relatively easy to focus on things you enjoy or find interesting, and it can seem difficult to switch gears or call a project done. This hyper-focus for a project can get the project done, but it is not wise to ignore other important tasks or decisions. There can also be a temptation to overwork and not take breaks. If you become hyper-focused, force yourself to rest periodically. This will serve as an energy manager and keep you from a pattern of becoming overstressed and burned out.
5. Know yourself.
Consider how you work best. Are you the most productive early in the morning? Perhaps you work better in a noisy room or in absolute silence. You might concentrate better while listening to music or working with a group of friends. Some people are highly creative when they are jogging, working out, or even driving a car. Carry a notepad with you or dictate to your phone when you can do so safely. Use this knowledge of yourself to increase productivity. Do what you are good at, where you function best, in the manner that suits you, and at the best time. You are not like anyone else; know your strengths and weaknesses and use that knowledge to your advantage.
Recovery is a Journey. Enjoy the Ride!