Adult ADHD Treatment Plan for Better Memory

ADHD expert Ned Hallowell's adult ADHD treatment plan for improving memory, attention, and task management.


Adult ADD/ADHD Products

When these adult ADD/ADHD treatments don’t work, I turn to these ADD/ADHD products to help me remember:

Electronic reminder systems. Systems that sync between my computer and phone are especially helpful to me. is one example. It sorts through projects, according to how you prioritized them, and reminds you, with visual prompts and alarms, when your deadline approaches.

Mind-mapping software. Programs like FreeMind (download on “grab” disparate thoughts and organize them in a visual and dynamic way. When your ideas are better organized, you can put them into a reminder system that draws them to your attention.

Timers. If you have problems with short-term memory, use a timer that you can set to alert you, again and again, as you get closer to a deadline. Timers are especially useful if you find it hard to disengage from a task. And what if you forget what the timer is supposed to remind you about? Stick a note on it.


Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Are you looking for ADHD treatments that help curb symptoms such as poor memory and attention issues? Do you forget to pay bills, call back a friend, or clean the cat’s litter box? Do lists and sticky notes no longer work? They don’t work for me — and I know why. Below are some alternative treatments that help adults with ADHD, like me, forget less and remember more:

How to Pay Attention Consistently

Think of a nugget of information as a nail and your memory as a board. Attention is the hammer that drives the information into your memory. ADHD causes you to have inconsistent attention, so some nails don’t get hammered in. To remember better, you have to maximize your attention while the information is entering your brain. Here are strategies that help me:

Limit external distractions. When having an important discussion with your partner, or planning out the week’s tasks, shut off the TV or computer, let the barking dogs out in the yard, or move to a quieter room. At work, when getting directions for a project, close the door or put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on it to limit interruptions. Or schedule a one-on-one meeting in a conference room.

Reduce internal distractions. ADHD medication, doing yoga, or meditating before thinking up strategies for finishing a project can all slow a racing brain.

Practice being more attentive. Before a meeting, write a note on a pad, telling yourself that it’s important to pay attention for the next 20 minutes. Turn away from the computer and make eye contact when talking with a colleague or the boss. At home, schedule a special time — at breakfast or before bed — to plan the following day.

Exercise regularly. Many studies show that exercise boosts attention and alertness, increasing the chance that you will remember things.

Eat right. Simple carbs (low in fiber or whole grains) and sugars cause your glucose levels to rise and plummet. The roller-coaster effect compromises your focus.

How to Remember More While Doing Less

All of us are trying to keep track of too much information. Our memory reaches its saturation point. If you want to forget less, reduce the load you’re trying to remember:

Cut out lower-priority items. Continue to read to your fifth-grader at night, but arrange to have a friend drive her to basketball practice.

Don’t try to be perfectly organized. Your home office is "organized" if you can find what you need, even if it’s in piles and boxes.

Delegate tasks or hire help to handle some of the chores on your list.

Learn to say "no," politely, when someone asks you to do something. Alternately, you can say, “I’ll have to think about it,” to buy yourself some time to think it over.

More Adult ADHD Treatments

Next Steps After an Adult ADHD Diagnosis

Adult ADHD Natural Treatments

Inattentive ADHD Treatment

How Therapy Helps Adult ADHD


Mindfulness Strategies for Adults with ADHD
Learn how mindfulness can help you manage symptoms, improve your mental clarity, and more. Listen now!

Replay This Free Webinar

TAGS: ADHD Treatment, Alternative Treatments for ADHD, Exercise and ADHD, ADHD Diet and Nutrition, Improving ADHD Memory, Deadlines and Procrastination, Adult ADD: Late Diagnosis, ADHD Products

Share your comments, find support and solutions on ADDConnect!
ADDitude's free community site offers free support groups for adults with ADHD, plus medication reviews and much more. Check it out today.

Copyright © 1998 - 2016 New Hope Media LLC. All rights reserved. Your use of this site is governed by our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information.
New Hope Media, 108 West 39th Street, Suite 805, New York, NY 10018