So What Do I Do?

Yesterday I shared 34 characteristics typical of people who have ADD.  I figured someone who reads this blog struggles like I do.  This will be my last post on the topic, but here are some of the suggestions experts give on how to be effective in life, even with ADD.

  1. Use external structures.  We’re talking lists, reminders, files, daily rituals.
  2. Pattern planning.  Plug certain regular appointments or obligations into the pattern of your week or month.  (Make a list of all your regular tasks, obligations, and appointments.  Make a grid of time on your calendar and plug each regular item into a regular time lot.)  That way you won’t need to wonder when you’re going to do it, worry about not doing it, or forget about doing it.
  3. Only handle paperwork once.  Deal with it now, then get rid of it.  (Don’t have a “to-do” file, because it will become a “never-done” file.)
  4. Break down large tasks into small one’s, with deadlines.
  5. Make deadlines for yourself.
  6. Always have something to write your loose ideas on.
  7. Do what you’re good at instead of trying to get good at what you’re bad at.
  8. Notice how and when you work at your best, and try to work in those conditions as much as possible.
  9. Leave time between engagements/meetings to gather your thoughts.  Transitions can be difficult for people with ADD.
  10. Avoid premature closure of a project or conversation. (This may be my number one ADD-related problem.)
  11. Notice other people and pay them compliments.
  12. Regular exercise is especially important for people with ADD.
  13. Expect depression after success.  Don’t be surprised.
  14. Accept the fact that you will likely have a fear of things going too well.
  15. Accept the fact that your emotions may change quickly.
  16. Choose healthy addictions, because you’ll probably be addicted to something.
  17. You probably need lots of encouragement.  Make sure you’re getting it.
  18. Remember it’s biological, not a character flaw.
  19. Learn to joke about ADD, can help other people understand and forgive your shortcomings.

 Hope this helps.  And if you need more help than that, see a counselor.  (Seriously.)


  1. Neill on January 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    This is great for people who don’t have ADD.