Follow the eight rules for managing your ADHD better


  1. Think before you act. Before responding to a situation impulsively, take a brief moment to pause and think about the potential outcomes of what you're planning to do. For example, If you're about to make an impulsive purchase, ask yourself first: Do you truly need the item? What are the possible consequences of buying that item? From this reflection, decide on the best course of action.
  2. Visualize potential outcomes using mental imagery. When trying to determine the potential outcomes of your actions, employ mental imagery. Imagine a "big screen" in your mind where you can play out different scenarios based on past experiences or future possibilities. This can help you foresee and avoid potential mistakes or identify better approaches to challenges. For example, before responding to an email in haste, visualize the possible reactions your response might elicit first.
  3. Verbalize your thoughts.
    Talk yourself through your thoughts and potential actions. Verbalizing your considerations can help clarify your thoughts and lead to better decision-making. This can be done internally or by speaking out loud when appropriate. You can also write it down if it feels more comfortable to you. For example, when you're facing a dilemma, outline the pros and cons of each option out loud or in your head to better assess the situation.
  4. Externalize key information.
    Use external tools like notes, lists, and reminders to compensate for forgetfulness or lapses in attention. Place reminders in strategic locations to prompt specific actions or recall important information. If you need to bring important documents to a meeting, for example, you can put a note on your door to remember to bring it.
  5. Connect emotionally with future outcomes of completing a task.
    Focus on the emotional rewards of completing tasks or achieving goals. Spend time contemplating the feelings of satisfaction, pride, or joy that will come with success. Ask yourself, "How will I feel when I accomplish this task?" Visualizing these positive emotions can provide a strong motivational boost.
  6. Break tasks into smaller, manageable goals.
    Divide larger goals into smaller tasks that feel more immediate and achievable. This can help maintain focus and motivation, transforming overwhelming projects into a series of attainable steps. For example, if you have a complex report to write, break it down into sections and focus on completing one section at a time. You may use other tools - like alarm clocks or calendars - to remind you of your set timeline for each smaller task.
  7. Externalize your problems.
    When faced with complex problems, use physical tools to externalize information. This could involve writing on sticky notes, rearranging index cards with different parts of the problem, or drawing diagrams. Think about which problems you find most challenging and how you can represent them physically to simplify problem-solving.
  8. Keep a sense of humor. Approach challenges with humor to lighten the burden of ADHD-related difficulties. Acknowledging imperfections with a light heart can improve self-acceptance and maintain positive social interactions.


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