56 votes

ADHD productivity fundamentals

51 comments

  1. [22]
    DefinitelyNotAFae
    Link
    I think a key thing with ADHD is to find the things that work for you and be okay with those not always being the things that work for someone else. I may write everything down, but I almost never...

    I think a key thing with ADHD is to find the things that work for you and be okay with those not always being the things that work for someone else.

    I may write everything down, but I almost never read it again, and I have multiple to-do lists whose sole purposes are to keep the tasks in the forefront of my brain long enough to be completed - but I never check things off those lists and 'complete' them. That gives me no joy, and I can't maintain it.

    Sometimes, we ND folks run ourselves into a wall trying to use whatever bits of advice are out there rather than trying it and discarding what doesn't suit us. it's not a personal failing if you don't do lists (and probably this is not the planner that changes your life, no, not that one either), it's just not the best for your brain.

    37 votes
    1. [14]
      shrike
      Link Parent
      I used to love bikeshedding new productivity systems and note taking applications. I spent more time "optimising" my process than I actually spent doing anything. What worked for me is a daily...

      I used to love bikeshedding new productivity systems and note taking applications. I spent more time "optimising" my process than I actually spent doing anything.

      What worked for me is a daily diary of a few lines of "what I did today" and a Second Brain style system in Obsidian, where I just store stuff I think I might need to remember later. The search scope is a lot smaller than "I saw this post somewhere on the internet" =)

      22 votes
      1. [11]
        DefinitelyNotAFae
        Link Parent
        Starting new processes and developing new systems is such a rabbit hole, and then I do none of them after about 3 days. At most!

        Starting new processes and developing new systems is such a rabbit hole, and then I do none of them after about 3 days. At most!

        14 votes
        1. [8]
          lou
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Productivity tools and workflows are usually developed for neurotypical audiences. A lot of the things that make them useful for other people can lead me to failure. A few things can help. They...

          Productivity tools and workflows are usually developed for neurotypical audiences. A lot of the things that make them useful for other people can lead me to failure.

          A few things can help. They are, in no particular order: exercising, meditation, good sleep habits, psychotherapy, and medication.

          Even after you got that covered, anything shinier than a piece of paper is probably too much. An overly engaging tool or workflow will become a source of distraction and endless obsession.

          What I need is simplicity, a process so dull that I have no trouble letting it go once it fulfills its purpose, which is allowing me to do actual work.

          7 votes
          1. [7]
            DefinitelyNotAFae
            Link Parent
            Maintaining any sort of regular habit is so difficult. Exercise and sleep are not hitting the mark, meds are a "most of the time I can remember" thing, and meditation is right out. I need and do...

            Maintaining any sort of regular habit is so difficult. Exercise and sleep are not hitting the mark, meds are a "most of the time I can remember" thing, and meditation is right out.

            I need and do best with projects with short deadlines at work. Then the shininess is an asset rather than a liability to completion

            5 votes
            1. [4]
              leftside
              Link Parent
              Do you use one of those pill trays with a box for each day? Without that I would be lost and taking meds anywhere from 0-3x the correct amount. I put it right beside my toothbrush for the...

              Do you use one of those pill trays with a box for each day? Without that I would be lost and taking meds anywhere from 0-3x the correct amount. I put it right beside my toothbrush for the consistent visual cue.

              1 vote
              1. [3]
                DefinitelyNotAFae
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Nope, because I forget to fill them. But I keep my Adderall in my office usually which helps and I keep my nightly meds by the chair I sit in (My partner says I "nest", and he's not wrong.) I also...

                Nope, because I forget to fill them. But I keep my Adderall in my office usually which helps and I keep my nightly meds by the chair I sit in (My partner says I "nest", and he's not wrong.) I also have a very aggressive med reminder app and have "taking meds" as a goal on my Finch Self care app (it's a cute bird and you get to raise it and by clothing for them and send it off to experience the world. Definitely a "care for another so you're caring for yourself" thing.)

                In a lot of ways, things that require an extra task, like filling the pill tray, are exponentially more difficult, so I try to reduce those intermediary tasks. My dental hygiene isn't great, and never has been, but it's also a self-care goal, to remind me, and I bought the fun flavored toothpaste from Hismile so I have red velvet for example. Keeps things mixed up. It's always a work in progress.

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  arch
                  Link Parent
                  I use Google Tasks for any medication reminders, I have a daily repeating task set for 7 AM to take my antihistamines, and I mark it done on my phone once I do it. Maybe something like that will...

                  I use Google Tasks for any medication reminders, I have a daily repeating task set for 7 AM to take my antihistamines, and I mark it done on my phone once I do it. Maybe something like that will help? It's kind of ironic that the most prescribed medication for ADHD is one that needs to be taking ~3x a day at even intervals every single day.

                  1. DefinitelyNotAFae
                    Link Parent
                    I use the MyTherapy app for med reminders. It's aggressive and will pop up every five minutes unless I snooze it for longer. Keep works for most of my reminders but meds are too easy to forget...

                    I use the MyTherapy app for med reminders. It's aggressive and will pop up every five minutes unless I snooze it for longer. Keep works for most of my reminders but meds are too easy to forget about without persistent reminders.

                    My "favorite" way to not take my meds is to carry an Adderall around in my pocket all morning like an emotional support pill. Doesn't work as well that way. But if I don't take the Adderall by noon I can really can't take it for the day, and with time slippage it's so easy to blink and forget how much of the day I've missed.

                    It's been better since leaving a bottle at work, I'm inconsistent at carrying things back and forth and mornings are so varied

                    1 vote
            2. [2]
              public
              Link Parent
              That's how I am. If I can complete something right now, it will be done. Otherwise, who knows when I'll look at it again?

              projects with short deadlines

              That's how I am. If I can complete something right now, it will be done. Otherwise, who knows when I'll look at it again?

              1. DefinitelyNotAFae
                Link Parent
                Right, I meant to. But it's Wednesday already 😩

                Right, I meant to. But it's Wednesday already 😩

        2. [2]
          Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          I know a few ADHD folks who spend a lot of time on bikeshedding. It really doesn't surprise me, given that while I do not have ADHD, I also very much enjoy going way too far in a rabbit hole on...

          I know a few ADHD folks who spend a lot of time on bikeshedding. It really doesn't surprise me, given that while I do not have ADHD, I also very much enjoy going way too far in a rabbit hole on something that's ultimately trivial or not very useful in my life. I knew someone who spent so much time optimizing on their note taking app that they basically failed to utilize it, because they spent all the time optimizing it and eventually switching to a different product and optimizing that because some hiccup on a specific workflow they weren't likely going to utilize anyways.

          I think there's a healthy crossover between ADHD and Autism and a fascination with the inner workings of things that leads to this kind of behavior. I wish I had better advice for folks who really struggle with starting a process and spin their wheels optimizing a process they refuse to use other than "pick anything and just start doing it", because that's approximately as useful as telling someone who's depressed to "stop obsessing over sad things". Ultimately its why I think the notes this author has provided are mostly useless to those struggling the most with ADHD - they probably already know they need lists, the problem is that lists just don't work for them or they struggle with some step of doing the lists (making the lists, knowing where they put the list, learning to reference the list, etc.)

          6 votes
          1. lou
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I turn off all my devices and take them to the most secluded place in the house. Than I write my tasks on a paper notebook. Than I do the tasks. If my tasks are computer related I use Cold Turkey...

            I turn off all my devices and take them to the most secluded place in the house. Than I write my tasks on a paper notebook. Than I do the tasks.

            If my tasks are computer related I use Cold Turkey or Micromanager to block everything I don't need for that task. That includes websites and programs. It also allow for whitelist mode. It works because I genuinely don't know how to bypass it, and I certainly don't wanna learn otherwise the program will become useless for me.

            I got an old MacBook that I intend to fix, install Linux, and then remove every non essential component with the exception of a simple text editor. I'll even remove networking in a way that I can't recover it without reinstalling. I'll leave the cellphone at home and take the Mac to the library to write. Full concentration!

            2 votes
      2. [2]
        Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        I love encountering usage of this term in the wild. I frequently explain this term to student software dev interns so they understand later when I point it out in meetings, it's such a great...

        bikeshedding

        I love encountering usage of this term in the wild. I frequently explain this term to student software dev interns so they understand later when I point it out in meetings, it's such a great shorthand for steering people back to the main topic of discussion.

        8 votes
        1. BashCrandiboot
          Link Parent
          I had never heard this term so I noted it down. Would have been great to have handy when I worked in advertising lol.

          I had never heard this term so I noted it down. Would have been great to have handy when I worked in advertising lol.

          6 votes
    2. [5]
      hxii
      Link Parent
      Oh for sure! Before I started using Obsidian more heavily, I actually went down the YouTube rabbit hole myself, because I wanted to see first-hand how true the accusations were against the wild...

      Oh for sure! Before I started using Obsidian more heavily, I actually went down the YouTube rabbit hole myself, because I wanted to see first-hand how true the accusations were against the wild landscape. The answer is yes.

      I ended up, of course, dismissing the zettelkastens, the MOCs and the rest of the ideas that were thrown around all over the place, to be replaced with what I actually thought works for me.

      It's a process, and as cliche as it'll sound, a journey. We're all different.

      6 votes
      1. [4]
        Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        Do you have any advice on where to start with Obsidian? I have been using it basically identically to how the apple notes app works. I hear people talk endlessly about how incredible it is, and...

        Do you have any advice on where to start with Obsidian? I have been using it basically identically to how the apple notes app works. I hear people talk endlessly about how incredible it is, and the way people talk sounds like it could finally be the thing that actually works with the way my brain thinks and views things, but I get immediately overwhelmed when I start trying to dig in at all.

        And no, the irony of asking this on a post where one of the key takeaways is “what works for one person might not work for you” :P

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          hxii
          Link Parent
          Start by just writing stuff down, and worry semantics and metadata later, unless you can afford it to add it now. This may not mean much for you right now (as this is also personal to me), but for...
          • Start by just writing stuff down, and worry semantics and metadata later, unless you can afford it to add it now.
            This may not mean much for you right now (as this is also personal to me), but for example, yesterday I've added a note called "Duck Typing" and gave it the following metadata:
            • status: incomplete to visually distinguish it being at the "idea" stage (with the help of Supercharged Links plugin).
            • #todo in the body of the note to denote that I should fill it out.
            • parent: [[Python]] to link it to my notes about Python.
              What I did by this, was plant an idea that I've encountered, and added markers for myself to expand on it later (thus learning) when I have the time.
          • I wouldn't worry about folder structure too much, as most of my notes just reside in "Notes", while some special types get folders of their own, e.g. "Daily", "Weekly" and "@people".
          • I use tags in a hierarchy to loosely tie some notes together, like "#tool/sofware" (or even "#tool/software/plugin"), "#tool/hardware", "#project/personal" and "#project/work". This allows for an easier search, even when the notes are not connected.

          I wouldn't touch (or perhaps only get the bare minimum) plugins, as with any other framework/system, you can lose yourself in the extension and customization without touching the basics.

          Happy to chat more about it. Good luck!

          8 votes
          1. rip_rike
            Link Parent
            Not who you replied to but thanks for this! I’ve been trying to figure out a practical way to organize things.

            Not who you replied to but thanks for this! I’ve been trying to figure out a practical way to organize things.

            3 votes
        2. boxer_dogs_dance
          Link Parent
          Learn the markdown commands for link and tag. Add tags when you feel like it

          Learn the markdown commands for link and tag. Add tags when you feel like it

          3 votes
    3. Habituallytired
      Link Parent
      I'm the same way. I generally write everything down, even if I never look at it again. That's how I learn/remember things. It's also much better for me to actually write it instead of typing.

      I'm the same way. I generally write everything down, even if I never look at it again. That's how I learn/remember things. It's also much better for me to actually write it instead of typing.

      3 votes
    4. NomadicCoder
      Link Parent
      Similar here -- I cannot keep a long running TODO list for the life of me, it ends up having so much old obsolete clutter on it that I give up. I've never been able to use a pre-bound notebook...

      Similar here -- I cannot keep a long running TODO list for the life of me, it ends up having so much old obsolete clutter on it that I give up. I've never been able to use a pre-bound notebook because it ends up full of nonsense scribbles and doodles.

      What I've personally found works well for me is to keep my todo lists on paper and re-write them every day. I only copy the items that are the most important, focusing on the top 10 or 15 items. I find that anything that's not in my top priority list usually ends up being a non-issue anyhow, especially when it's related to my work. Anything big or long term goes into the issue tracking software anyhow.

      For me, the act of reviewing, rewriting, and re-prioritizing the list is a bit of motivation that helps me get going again.

      ...as for the notebook that I mentioned above, I've always kept loose leaf pages. In university (before laptops were good enough to use and tablets weren't a thing) I would write my notes on loose leaf papers and put them into one of those accordion expanding files, putting each day's notes in the back of the section for that class -- that allowed me to doodle on something else and then only keep the actual notes. Similar now, except I don't have clear divisions between topics so it's hard to be quite as organized but I keep a clipboard with a stack of printer paper on it and when the top page gets cluttered with notes and doodles I take it off, review it, and then re-write what I need from it neatly on a new page and then discard the messy page.

      1 vote
  2. [15]
    F13
    Link
    I really get a bad taste in my mouth whenever I try to "work on my productivity" as an ADHDer. It somehow feels like I'm swimming upstream; like my nature isn't to "be productive" and I'm lying to...

    I really get a bad taste in my mouth whenever I try to "work on my productivity" as an ADHDer. It somehow feels like I'm swimming upstream; like my nature isn't to "be productive" and I'm lying to myself. Like forcing a square peg into a round hole. And not for me, either, it's for the benefit of The Machine.

    Like it feels like "the answer" is to just accept my brain the way it is, but then I don't do anything useful, and that's both a "sin" and just incompatible with existing in society.

    I really wish I could just bounce around and do whatever I wanted at that time, though. I feel like trying to control that just makes me unhappy.

    25 votes
    1. [10]
      hxii
      Link Parent
      It is (and was) very, very difficult to get myself into the habit of "just adding it to Todoist". But that was my first step, and it helped greatly. I very often found myself overwhelmed,...

      It is (and was) very, very difficult to get myself into the habit of "just adding it to Todoist". But that was my first step, and it helped greatly.
      I very often found myself overwhelmed, unmotivated and just downright lazy (perhaps influenced by the other two things) when I had to do anything, like cleaning off my desk.

      "The answer", as you called it, for myself was to accept that "standard" (whatever that is) productivity methods may not work, and that ultimately I have to make my own brew here, which is still way far from complete.
      And on some particularly difficult days, medication is the answer.

      5 votes
      1. [8]
        F13
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        My fundamental disconnect is that I'm not really bought into the goal. Or at least, I'm not sure that I am. That goal being to "be productive". I don't want to be. I don't feel like I should have...

        My fundamental disconnect is that I'm not really bought into the goal. Or at least, I'm not sure that I am. That goal being to "be productive".

        I don't want to be. I don't feel like I should have to be. So ultimately, advice for how to "find the thing that works for you" still just feels like it's missing the mark.

        To put it another way, it feels like everyone is trying to climb this mountain. ADHD people have worse tools than many other people - maybe our lungs are worse at diffusing oxygen so we can't climb as quickly or easily. There are some in the community who have come up with ways to climb while sucking in less air, machines to help climb, even pills that increase your ability to diffuse oxygen. All these tools are undeniably helpful and make so many ADHD people's experience of climbing the mountain so much better.

        But I'm sitting here going... I don't want to do any of that. I don't care about this mountain. Can I just go down and live on the beach where oxygen is plenty?

        10 votes
        1. [2]
          CptBluebear
          Link Parent
          Structure helps productivity but that same structure feels like being trapped working for a cause that isn't mine. I feel the same, always have. If I could stop participating in this manner today...

          Structure helps productivity but that same structure feels like being trapped working for a cause that isn't mine.

          I feel the same, always have. If I could stop participating in this manner today I would.

          In other words, I agree with you on a core level. Find something that works does not cover it. Finding peace with certain personality traits does, partially. I've accepted the fact I can't plan or focus, and that I'll often forget things. I'll focus on what I can do instead.

          11 votes
          1. F13
            Link Parent
            Yes, exactly. I'm never "being productive" for me. If I am, it's not productivity, it's just following my curiosity. Maybe those happen to align, and when they do it's easy, but if I have to force...

            Structure helps productivity but that same structure feels like being trapped working for a cause that isn't mine.

            Yes, exactly. I'm never "being productive" for me. If I am, it's not productivity, it's just following my curiosity. Maybe those happen to align, and when they do it's easy, but if I have to force it it stops being for me.

            3 votes
        2. [5]
          cdb
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I don't know about you, but the mountain I'm climbing is just getting anything done in my life. Even aside from having to work for a living, I would still need organizational tools to get through...

          I don't know about you, but the mountain I'm climbing is just getting anything done in my life. Even aside from having to work for a living, I would still need organizational tools to get through life. Even if I could retire this very minute, I would still need to perform actions of consequence. I'd fuck up all manner of things in my daily life if I didn't use my organizational system. I'd still forget to return my old cable modem, forget to look for cleaning services I'm planning on hiring, forget to pick the overripe lemons on the tree in the back yard, etc. The only way I could avoid having some issues is if I hired a personal assistant to take care of everything for me and all I did was play video games and eat. So basically, assisted living. Being an independent person involves being productive in some aspects, so it's not something to be avoided.

          Coincidentally, I also have issues with altitude due to genetics. Any doctor could look at my bloodwork and tell me that I'd die if I tried to climb Everest. Doesn't mean I can't go on a hike up a local hill on the weekend or do other low intensity exercise though. In the same vein, I have issues with task avoidance and executive function, so I'm not expecting myself to be the biggest go-getter in the world, but I'm still trying to make an average living.

          7 votes
          1. F13
            Link Parent
            Absolutley, "climbing the mountain" for me is basically just living life in a way where things have to be done according to some external schedule. It's impossible to abandon that mountain. The...

            Absolutley, "climbing the mountain" for me is basically just living life in a way where things have to be done according to some external schedule.

            It's impossible to abandon that mountain. The climb is all there is. And sometimes, knowing that mountain is the only thing that exists and to forgo the climb is to die fills me with hopelessness.

            2 votes
          2. [3]
            jess
            Link Parent
            What method do you use to stay on top of things?

            What method do you use to stay on top of things?

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              cdb
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              The general concept is that I can't ever wait to set a reminder for myself. This needs to be done immediately, whether it is stopping mid-conversation, involves pulling over while driving to write...

              The general concept is that I can't ever wait to set a reminder for myself. This needs to be done immediately, whether it is stopping mid-conversation, involves pulling over while driving to write something down, etc. If I say "I'll do this after I'm done with what I'm doing now," that idea will almost always be lost within seconds. Then it's just about finding convenient ways to remind myself.

              I have a to do list on my phone home screen, then I have daily notifications to check my to do list. I also have daily notifications to perform various other tasks. Some of these I've been doing for years and still can't just do habitually without the notifications. I don't hesitate to put things on my calendar, even for things scheduled to happen later the same day. I also often use physical objects. If I'm taking a shower and need to throw away the shampoo bottle, I'll set it down right in front of the door where I'll trip on it if I don't pick it up as I'm getting out of the shower. If I put it back on the shelf, there's a 0% chance I'll remember to take it after I'm done showering.

              5 votes
              1. DefinitelyNotAFae
                Link Parent
                Voice reminders on my phone and nest mini are literally life savers. Can add things to the grocery list, can set a reminder in the car while driving for when I get home, can snooze the reminder or...

                Voice reminders on my phone and nest mini are literally life savers. Can add things to the grocery list, can set a reminder in the car while driving for when I get home, can snooze the reminder or change the date if it's a bad time.

      2. cdb
        Link Parent
        I think an important thing to recognize is that there's no "standard" productivity stack that just works for "normal people." The vast majority of people struggle with getting stuff done...

        I think an important thing to recognize is that there's no "standard" productivity stack that just works for "normal people." The vast majority of people struggle with getting stuff done sometimes, ADHDers just struggle more often.

        Another one is that I feel like sometimes people (including me) expect a silver bullet that will just work every time, all the time. With ADHD it's probably a good idea to get used to the fact that you will fail at these tasks fairly frequently. However, if you can get some systems going that aren't terrible, doing 50% of the stuff you hope you will do is way better than doing 10%. I used to think my to do list wasn't working because I often don't remember to add things to it, often don't check it when I need to, or often don't get the things done when I do check it. Often isn't never though. Even though my to do list is objectively a failure about half the time, my life has gotten better because I keep trying to use it.

        6 votes
    2. [3]
      Foreigner
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      You've put into words something I've been grappling with since diagnosis. I can't take meds for a variety of reasons, and I'm tired of fighting with my brain to make it do what's expected of me....

      You've put into words something I've been grappling with since diagnosis. I can't take meds for a variety of reasons, and I'm tired of fighting with my brain to make it do what's expected of me. I've tried all the different methods, they fail me sooner or later. Unfortunately I use anxiety as my medication - the abject fear of being a disappointment or a failure is the only things keeping me in line. But someday I may not be able to rely on that anymore and then I'll be in real trouble. It's also goddamn exhausting.

      I'm starting to think I have to accept this as a handicap and work with it, rather than keep fighting to fit into boxes I'm clearly not shaped for.

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        F13
        Link Parent
        I really appreciate you saying that. I don't feel like this piece is talked about very much, probably because there simply is no solution and eventually we all have to find ways to accept it....

        I really appreciate you saying that. I don't feel like this piece is talked about very much, probably because there simply is no solution and eventually we all have to find ways to accept it.

        Which, for me, makes it even harder to accept. Knowing I ultimately have no choice and must find a way to climb the mountain regardless of my distaste makes finding ways to climb the mountain feel like surrendering to a kind of imprisonment.

        It's not all doom and gloom every day, but this is definitley a lingering miasma over my life for the past few years since diagnosis.

        3 votes
        1. Foreigner
          Link Parent
          You're definitely not alone in feeling this way. Ours is a Sisyphean way of life sometimes, but we just have to keep going. I wish you peace and fewer struggles in life my friend.

          You're definitely not alone in feeling this way. Ours is a Sisyphean way of life sometimes, but we just have to keep going. I wish you peace and fewer struggles in life my friend.

          4 votes
    3. DefinitelyNotAFae
      Link Parent
      I never aim to be productive for the sake of it. Because I agree. But I do meaningful work that requires admin tasks along with the parts I like.

      I never aim to be productive for the sake of it. Because I agree. But I do meaningful work that requires admin tasks along with the parts I like.

      2 votes
  3. hxii
    Link
    A few (hopefully) helpful tips for some basic productivity, based on my own experience.

    A few (hopefully) helpful tips for some basic productivity, based on my own experience.

    8 votes
  4. [11]
    arch
    Link
    This is a very interesting guide, and I want to thank you for sharing it. I'm in the very long process of seeking a diagnosis myself, but due to the length of time it's taking I'm trying to...

    This is a very interesting guide, and I want to thank you for sharing it. I'm in the very long process of seeking a diagnosis myself, but due to the length of time it's taking I'm trying to approach the subject for the assumption that I have had undiagnosed ADHD my whole life, and that I have learned many unhealthy coping mechanisms which have brought me to struggle with anxiety, among other things.

    Anyway, my point of posting is to ask if this resonates with anyone who is diagnosed. I've been coming to understand that ADHD causes us to constantly feel unproductive, almost no matter what. We lack the dopamine hit that others are able to get when they simply plan tasks, but also when they achieve tasks. To a certain extent we seem to be able to mimic this with rewards, sometimes that is checking off a list, or it may be an app that gives us points for completing something. But I am becoming of the mind that it's not the same. And my biggest struggle has always been sitting with and coming back to tasks that have no concrete end. Anyone else feel similarly?

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      C-Cab
      Link Parent
      I think it's very common when you have undiagnosed neurodivergence that you build coping mechanisms to get by in a world that's built around neurotypical people. As those coping mechanisms...

      I think it's very common when you have undiagnosed neurodivergence that you build coping mechanisms to get by in a world that's built around neurotypical people. As those coping mechanisms crystallize they also become invisible to you because that's how you've always interacted with the world.

      Ultimately, the best thing to do is just try different things and see what works. As others have pointed out in this thread, there really isn't a single solution that works for everyone. There will likely be many different things that you try that you end up dropping days later. Certain things might stick, particularly if you make a big effort to make them a habit. But the important things is not to beat yourself up on it. We're looking at the standards of a neurotypical world, but we can't and shouldn't try to live up to those. Focus on the things that are achievable and important to you.

      3 votes
      1. elight
        Link Parent
        And those coping mechanisms, for many (of which we are likely in the more functional subset) can be downright dysfunctional. We're more susceptible to addiction due to the underdeveloped...

        And those coping mechanisms, for many (of which we are likely in the more functional subset) can be downright dysfunctional.

        We're more susceptible to addiction due to the underdeveloped prefrontal cortex and the dopamine shortage.

        2 votes
    2. [6]
      Weldawadyathink
      Link Parent
      I think that is a great description of long running tasks with ADHD. I have struggled with long tasks all my life, and the ones without a specific end are always the worst. For my whole life, I...

      I think that is a great description of long running tasks with ADHD. I have struggled with long tasks all my life, and the ones without a specific end are always the worst. For my whole life, I have tried to make definitive end points in projects and tasks that don’t inherently have them. I don’t feel like I have been successful until about a year ago when I started my medication. Since then, I have completed one big personal project and I am about to complete another big project. I don’t really have a solution that I can suggest. Whatever I did seems to have worked for me, but I’m not really sure what I did.

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        C-Cab
        Link Parent
        I think the big thing you did is get medication. Due to the amphetamine shortage I was off medication for about 6 months and I definitely noticed my wheels starting to spin. I have some strategies...

        I think the big thing you did is get medication. Due to the amphetamine shortage I was off medication for about 6 months and I definitely noticed my wheels starting to spin. I have some strategies that can help mitigate it, but I've since switched to lisdexamfetamine and found it a lot easier to get started on tasks and get through them.

        This isn't to say that medication works for everyone, but I will say with the numerous ADHDers I've talked to it is often a boon.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Weldawadyathink
          Link Parent
          I would agree, but I made a lot of life changes around that time so I wasn’t really controlling variables. Another hugely beneficial thing I did was start running daily. It definitely makes a huge...

          I would agree, but I made a lot of life changes around that time so I wasn’t really controlling variables. Another hugely beneficial thing I did was start running daily. It definitely makes a huge difference, just like the medication does. For anyone reading this thread that thinks they may have ADHD, get a diagnosis and try out medication. It doesn’t work for everyone, but if it works, it will be life changing.

          4 votes
          1. C-Cab
            Link Parent
            Exercise is really a big help too, for sure. I think I remember reading an article showing a clear link to exercise and alleviating ADHD symptoms. I'll see if I can find it.

            Exercise is really a big help too, for sure. I think I remember reading an article showing a clear link to exercise and alleviating ADHD symptoms. I'll see if I can find it.

            2 votes
        2. [2]
          elight
          Link Parent
          I'm an absolutely miserable SoB without my 10mg Adderall/40mg Vyvanse; it's literally painful to do most anything. I'm starting to wonder if they're poor for my blood pressure (which seems likely).

          I'm an absolutely miserable SoB without my 10mg Adderall/40mg Vyvanse; it's literally painful to do most anything. I'm starting to wonder if they're poor for my blood pressure (which seems likely).

          1. C-Cab
            Link Parent
            Both are known to raise blood pressure in certain people. If you have hypertension or a history of it in your family, it would be good to monitor your blood pressure. I know that Vyvanse...

            Both are known to raise blood pressure in certain people. If you have hypertension or a history of it in your family, it would be good to monitor your blood pressure. I know that Vyvanse definitely raises my blood pressure a few points, but alas I need to finish this Ph.D. so I gotta take the hit for a few more months. I don't think Ritalin did though, and that was one reason why my psychiatrist picked that one first. Shame it got hit hard by the shortage.

    3. [2]
      elight
      Link Parent
      It doesn't have to be a long process but it is costly. Aaron Dodini did my diagnosis online over 2 session.

      It doesn't have to be a long process but it is costly. Aaron Dodini did my diagnosis online over 2 session.

      2 votes
      1. arch
        Link Parent
        That's interesting, I'll write down that name and may look into reaching out. In my state they seem to require neuropsychological testing, which is booked out god knows how long. I have an intake...

        That's interesting, I'll write down that name and may look into reaching out. In my state they seem to require neuropsychological testing, which is booked out god knows how long. I have an intake scheduled 4 months from now, and after that they'll assess if they even want to schedule the testing for me. Most places I've called either refuse my insurance, or don't take patients over 30.

        1 vote
  5. daywalker
    Link
    Interesting guide, and it's very different from mine. I don't like writing everything down or using lists, because they create a lot of pressure on me, and I can get by for the most part without...

    Interesting guide, and it's very different from mine. I don't like writing everything down or using lists, because they create a lot of pressure on me, and I can get by for the most part without using these. But there is a lot of variance in ADHD from what I see, so I think they are legit for some people, including OP.

    If I can add my two cents for learning things, I found using the basics of logic for learning to be really helpful. I first focus on the very basics and their orders. The classical A -> B -> C -> D train of causality for the very basics. I picked it up half myself and half after reading Descartes.

    I first focus on this, because if I don't create a firm foundation, I get too many questions in my mind. Things don't fit, and if they don't fit, I don't really retain information. I'm not good with memorization, and trying to learn the details at once doesn't really retain information for me. I have to build from bottom-up in a manner that uses chains of causality to retain information. I also hate the learning "hacks" for memorization, because I find them to be too boring and superficial. It's my kryptonite. Plus, speaking from a science of learning perspective, memorization is the lowest level of learning.

    On another, related matter, I found that my ADHD can be channeled to guide my curiosity in my field. I am curious about a lot of subjects, and studying different fields help me construct interesting connections and have a broader point of view. When I was a student, I got told that I ask the most unusual questions, even though the connections seemed obvious to me. I guess this is one way my brain differs from most people. I suspect this channeling could be used for some other people with ADHD as well.

    I don't want to say that these would work for everyone with ADHD, but at least some people might benefit from it.

    4 votes
  6. DialecticCake
    Link
    I wasn't sure whether it's too late to post on this thread but decided I will in case this helps anyone. Three things that have helped me (ADHD/Depression/Anxiety) are: Meds - it can take time to...

    I wasn't sure whether it's too late to post on this thread but decided I will in case this helps anyone.

    Three things that have helped me (ADHD/Depression/Anxiety) are:

    • Meds - it can take time to find what works best re: effect vs side effects
    • Sleep - if I don't get enough sleep, the next day really sucks and feels as if I didn't take meds at all
    • Accountability - as much as it sucks - I message my manager every workday at mid-day to tell him what I've worked on.

    I hope some/any of this helps and that you'll (anyone reading) also be kind to yourself. It can be both heartbreaking and life altering to learn that you are not in fact lazy/incompetent/etc. but that you most likely also have other issues from such labels and having to try so much harder than everyone else to get your brain to cooperate.

    4 votes