I love reading about other people’s ADHD 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 … (and we all know overwhelm 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, 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 uniqueand that the strategy simply didn’t suit you and your individual brain wiring, strengths, interests, etc.
· Maintain an interest 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. Diet, exercise, sleep, rest and relaxation, frame of mind, etc. have a huge impact on your ability to manage your ADHD. Sometimes all the life hacks in the world won’t work if you are tired, debilitated by your inner critic, anxious, etc.
· 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. 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.