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10 Simple Steps to a Better Life with ADHD

Put off by long-term plans and goals? These 10 tweaks for everyday living can change your life for the better — starting today.

by Dana Rayburn

Small Changes, Big Results

Does living well with adult ADHD seem hard at times? It is. But small steps, linked together, eventually set you on a path to success. Here are some small changes that can lead to big results.

The Power of Yet

Don’t tell yourself you can’t do something. Instead of saying, “I can’t,” say, “I can’t, yet.” For example, “I can’t be on time” becomes “I can’t be on time, yet.” This strategy serves as a reminder that you are on the path to improvement and self-betterment. Soon, you’ll get used to the idea that even though you may not be able to do something right now, you’re going to master that skill in the future. 

Strike a Pose

Tap into your personal power with two-minute power poses. Watch social psychologist Amy Cuddy to learn body language poses that make you feel more confident when you feel powerless. They really work!

Take it Slow

Tell yourself to slow down several times a day. When life is moving too fast, close your eyes and take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, then exhale and open your eyes. Taking this time to slow down enhances mindfulness and will help simplify routines and tasks.

A Chore a Day Keeps the Clutter Away

Eliminate clutter one square foot at a time. Get rid of unwanted things as you notice them instead of letting stuff turn into a clutter-clearing project.  Pick one new household chore to focus on each day. Make the bed, wash a dish after you use it, or put the dirty clothes in the hamper. Focusing on one chore at a time will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

Avoid Delays

Sometimes putting off a simple task until later can cause more trouble than it’s worth. The task can eat away at you and take up some much-needed space in the back of your mind. Do yourself a favor and get it out of the way. A good rule of thumb is if you can complete the task in less than two minutes, do it now. There’s no time like the present!

Shorten Your To-Do List

There’s no need to list every single task on your to-do list, especially if there are some items that aren’t necessary to complete. Instead of listing everything, only include the most important things. Your list will be shorter and the tasks will be much easier to tackle.

Auto-Pay When Possible

You’d be surprised at how many ADHD adults get their power turned off because they’ve simply forgotten to pay the bill! Avoid this embarrassment by setting up your online banking account to auto-pay your bills each month. Your days of late fees will be a thing of the past.

Plan Ahead

Each time you write an appointment in your calendar, think about any tasks you need to do to prepare for the appointment and write those down, too. Do you need to call in a referral before you visit a specialist? Pencil that in next to your appointment time as a helpful reminder.

Live It Up

Say yes to life. Try something new. Stand up for what you believe in, dance, play, or run a marathon –even if it takes you all day to finish. Embracing the simple joys in life can make a world of difference.

Think Positive

Think of three positive things about yourself every day — even when you seem to screw things up…especially on days when you seem to screw things up!

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