Adults with ADHD

Living with ADHD as an Adult


As an adult with ADHD, you may feel as if you have more challenges than other people do in daily life. It is important to keep up with the treatment that you and your ADHD team have set. We know it can be stressful managing your symptoms when out with friends or trying to concentrate at work. Here are some tips that many people living with ADHD find helpful.

Social Settings

ADHD can sometimes make social situations difficult. For example, maybe you tend to blurt things out or interrupt without realising it, or you have trouble keeping up with conversations.

Here are a few tips that may help you in these situations:

  • Before speaking or acting, pause for 10 seconds to make sure that what you want to say or do is a good idea or on topic
  • Pay very close attention to what others are saying before you join the conversation
  • Ask your friends, therapist, or ADHD coach to help you practice conversational skills, including how to ask questions correctly

ADHD at Work

If you feel it is necessary, tell your company or co-workers about your ADHD. Let them know if you have a method of working that is best for you. They may be willing to support that method and help implement a system. The human resources department is a great place to start that conversation, and it can remain confidential if you request it.

Limiting Distractions

  • Use headphones to listen to soothing music or other sounds to drown out office noises
  • Send calls directly to voicemail and respond at a time that works best for you, or schedule a time every day when you return calls
  • Write down ideas in a notebook to avoid interrupting the task you are currently doing
  • Keep a list of ideas that you get during meetings, so you can talk about them more effectively when the time is right
  • Do one thing at a time. Try not to start a new task until the current one is done. If a checklist helps, cross out or check off something when you have finished

Organisation

  • Take notes at meetings or record the meeting, so you can refer back to what was said
  • Use memory triggers, such as a bulletin board, sticky notes, or an app, to help you remember things
  • Work in an uncluttered space, so you are not distracted by anything on your desk
  • Carry a day planner with you to help you keep track of tasks and events if you are worried that a laptop will distract you, or a phone call will interrupt

Time Management

  • If a project seems overwhelming, create your own timeline to break it up into smaller tasks with reasonable due dates
  • Find a way to reward yourself for meeting your deadlines
  • Set reminders and alarms on your phone, or watch for when projects are due or need to get started
  • Program your computer or phone to beep five minutes before every meeting, so you feel more prepared and can get your planner and notebook together
  • Avoid overscheduling the day by blocking out more time than you think each task or meeting will take