ADDULTING WITH ADHD: Avoiding ADHD Life Hack Overwhelm

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Guest post by Coach Lou Brown

Which life hacks might work for you personally?“ADHD Life Hacks” is a hip way of describing strategies, tools, tricks, shortcuts, skills or novelty methods that individuals with ADHD may use to assist them with their organization, memory, productivity and/or efficiency.

 

I love reading about other people’s life hacks. It’s a great way to gather ideas to experiment with. However, with so many tips and tricks out there, working out which life hacks might work for you personally can be very challenging.

For example, many individuals with ADHD become overwhelmed with the sheer volume of suggestions offered to them.  But being overwhelmed can be a trigger for procrastination or make us want to give up altogether.

Whilst other individuals, after excitedly trying a recommended life hack to only discover that it didn’t work for them, end up feeling like a failure which fuels their deep-seated belief that something is wrong with them.

But there isn’t.

The strategy they tried simply didn’t work for them because we are all beautifully unique. And because, no matter what anyone asserts, no ‘one size fits all’ life hacks actually exist.

Instead, the simple truth is a strategy that works for one person with ADHD may not work for another.

So how can you avoid ADHD life hack overwhelm?

The trick is to get to know your ADHD, your likes and dislikes as well as your strengths and challenges. And to then use this knowledge to work out which life hacks may work for you and your unique brain wiring, before giving one a go.

Additionally, it can be helpful to:

  • View other people’s life hacks as ideas to experiment with, rather than recommendations.
  • Respect your uniqueness. If you decide to give someone else’s life hack a try and find that it doesn’t work for you, don’t view yourself as a failure. Remind yourself that we are all beautifully unique and that the strategy simply didn’t suit you and your individual brain wiring, strengths, interests, etc.
  • Maintain an interest-based focus. The ADHD brain is wired for interest; therefore, strategies you personally find appealing or interesting are more likely to work for you. For example, if you love technology and playing with electronic devices you are more likely to find apps and gadgets extremely helpful. However, if you don’t you may find them overwhelming and ineffective.
  • Look after all of you. Sometimes all the life hacks in the world won’t work if you are tired, debilitated by your inner critic, anxious, or feeling defeated. Diet, exercise, sleep, rest and relaxation, your frame of mind, etc. have a huge impact on your ability to manage your ADHD.
  • Drop the need to be perfect. There is no such thing as perfection (and striving for unattainable perfection can be a slippery slope to overwhelm, depression and anxiety). Instead, accept yourself completely, be your own best friend and your own cheerleader, for there isn’t a relationship in your life that is more important, or that has more impact on your health and happiness than the one you have with yourself. Oh, and while I am at it, avoid comparing yourself to others. You deserve to feel successful on your own terms, so define your own meaning of success.
  • Understand life hacks may have a use-by date. That is, if your brain becomes bored with a life hack you are currently using, you may need to be flexible and inventive in order to reignite your interest in a task again. The need to do this will lessen (1) if you use strategies you are innately interested in or which tap into your special strengths and passions, and (2) if you keep reminding yourself why completing the task or achieving the goal is important to you.

So, all the best to you! May you find the life hacks that work for you – the ones that enable you to successfully manage your ADHD so you can thrive and live your best life.

If you have anything to add, I invite you to share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

About the author: Lou Brown is an ADHD CoachLife Coach, and blogger who is working towards ICF Accreditation with the ADD Coach Academy. Lou specializes in helping individuals with ADHD and their families understand and accept an ADHD diagnosis, as well as develop the knowledge and skills required to effectively manage the disorder using a strengths-based approach.

Her dream is a world in which every person with ADHD is understood, embraced and supported; where information and good quality treatment is easily accessible. And in which individuals with ADHD thrive and flourish, achieve their dreams, and live full and happy livesContact her through http://thrivingwithadhd.com.au/

(Photo courtesy of Supertrooper/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva.com

 

Original article:  http://thrivingwithadhd.com.au/blog/adhd-life-hack-overwhelm/

Additional Reading:

From ADD freeSources: ADHD at Home and Work: 46 Small Steps to Save Time by Sue West

From Psych Central: 7 Strategies for Thriving with ADHD by Margarita Tartakovsky – Link works, but If link doesn’t go through, copy and paste: https://psychcentral.com/blog/7-strategies-for-thriving-with-adhd/