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Tips on How to Overcome Adult ADHD Challenges

written by: Daphne Matthews • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 5/24/2011

Adults with ADHD have many challenges but overcoming them is possible. Rethinking how to deal with those challenges is the first step to success.

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    Self-Help for ADHD Challenges

    Lists are a great way for adults to organize, stay on task, get things done and overcome ADHD challenges. Lists should be organized by things that “must" be done, “should" be done, and finally, things that the ADHD person “wants" to get done. These three lists, “must-do," “should-do," and “want-to-do," should be prominently displayed until they are completed. Be sure to cut unimportant and unnecessary tasks to make lists manageable.

    By turning off distractions such as TVs and radios the adult ADHD person can truly listen to who is talking, something that can help to improve relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Taking time to clearly understand the conversation and speaking consciously helps because the ADHD person will be less likely to blurt out hurtful or damaging words.

    One of the challenges faced by people with ADHD is that have many unfinished tasks lying around the home or office. Though it is going to be difficult at first, training yourself to complete one task before beginning another will stop the clutter and create a sense of accomplishment. One good way to do this is to reward yourself with a favorite snack, 30 minutes of relaxation, or a walk through the garden so that you have a definite goal that you are looking forward to. People with ADHD often self-loathe as they scan the unfinished tasks around their home, so setting reachable goals is important to increase the motivation to continue.

    Setting time limits for each task will help to get them completed. They should be consistent with how long it will realistically take to complete the job in hand and not so tough that you will struggle. This, combined with daily schedules divided by the hour, will improve time management which allows the ADHD person to accomplish more.

    When preparing a schedule, forming a daily routine for repetitive tasks is helpful so that these tasks become second nature and feel less of a burden.

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    Help from Others

    People with ADHD can be helped to overcome the challenges they face by enlisting the help of family, friends, an adult ADHD coach, a therapist, a colleague, or a professional organizer to find ways to cut unnecessary tasks and to stay focused on the important ones.

    Some people find medications prescribed by their doctor or remedies, such as acupuncture, helpful. Going “green" is also beneficial to many patients. Nature walks through forested areas and green fields, strolls down tree-lined streets and through community gardens and, when these are unavailable, a window box filled with blooming flowers can all help with focus and relaxation.

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    References:

    Lubing, Bill. “A Few Simple Exercises Overcome ADHD Challenges for Massachusetts Student." November 29, 2005. http://express-press-release.net/19/A%20Few%20Simple%20Exercises%20Overcome%20ADHD%20Challenges%20for%20%20Massachusetts%20Student.php

    Nadeau, Kathleen, PhD. “Adult ADD (ADHD) Challenges and How to Reduce Them." 2004. http://www.addvance.com/help/adults/challenges.html

    Quily, Pete. “Challenges of Having Adult Attention Deficit Disorder." 2011. http://www.addcoach4u.com/challengesofadd.html

    Zweiback, Meg. “Top ADHD challenges and solutions." http://www.babycenter.com/0_top-adhd-challenges-and-solutions_67388.bc?print=true

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