Time & Productivity

The ADD Life Hacks That Work for ADDitude Readers

We’re all trying to thrive in a neurotypical world — one life hack at a time. From standing desks to visual reminders, these ADHD adaptations are favorites among adults with attention deficit.

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What if we could change the world to accommodate our ADHD brains? Short of that monumental task, we can make life a lot easier by sampling and adopting the life hacks that work for other adults with attention deficit.

Life hacks are clever, everyday ways to increase productivity and efficiency. Life hacks that accommodate ADHD might look like creating a launch pad by the door, buying furniture with built-in storage, or using ear plugs and visual timers.

Below, ADDitude readers share the tricks that work for them. Comment on your favorites at the link above.

Life Hacks for ADHD Adults

“I use my Amazon Dot to play Pandora while I’m getting ready in the morning. I time myself by the number of songs that pass while I’m in the shower. Three songs? I should be getting out by now and can ask Alexa what time it is to double check. I also ask her what the weather will be like to keep from checking my phone, which would inevitably lead to distracted scrolling.” — Leslie, Pennsylvania (#CommissionsEarned)

“I make use of Tiles for all the things I frequently lose, like my keys, purse, and phone. I’m good until the batteries die.” — Leslie, Alabama (#CommissionsEarned)

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“The most helpful ADHD adaptation I’ve made to my physical environment was getting a standing desk converter for my home office so that I can stand while doing work. It’s been very helpful for my focus and productivity; I’ve been able to move around more, which helps me stay engaged.” — An ADDitude reader (#CommissionsEarned)

“I use an app to remind me to drink water, move, take a break, eat, etc. I use Alexa to verbally remind me to take my pills in the morning so I don’t forget. I also have a reminder on my phone and place my pill box very visibly at my bathroom sink.” — An ADDitude reader

“I place Post-It notes in different colors and sizes all over the house. If something really needs to be done, it will show up repeatedly. Repetition is how we get it into our ADHD brains — as well as vividly colored markers and pens strategically staged for when a thought arises, the colorfulness helps important tasks stick out.” — Evan, Indiana

“Let go of folding towels. An unfolded towel works just as well, and disposable hand towels in the bathroom are more sanitary for guests. I realized folding towels was just a convention anyway. One less repetitive task to stress over!”

“I’ve embraced that I have a lot of stuff. Instead of always feeling like I should declutter, I bought more bookshelves and storage over time and made it pretty. And I’m okay with my desk and work area being in constant states of use. I live here. I make things. I like to see my projects. If I tuck them away half finished, I’ll forget they exist.” — Amanda

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“I always make sure to have everything I need for work the next day laid out and ready… Everything is set up for me in stations so that I don’t have to make decisions in the early morning, lose track of time, or forget anything. I also have multiple alarms set on my phone telling me when to move to the next station.” — An ADDitude reader

“Every room in my house has a different purpose. I try not to cross over. I work in my office, read and watch classes in my study, eat in my dining room, watch TV in my living room, and sleep in my bedroom. This means I can keep things in one location instead of moving them around. It helps me keep my brain focused on the tasks at hand when I’m in each room.” — Steph, Texas

Visual timers are helpful, but even more important is a loud timer which finds me wherever I am in my apartment. My visual timers hardly get through to me when I’m distracted by something.” — Sabeen, Germany

“I keep things where I use them: coffee and tea in the cupboard above the kettle and coffee maker, for example, and a hairbrush in the living room where I can grab it from the couch. I have an upstairs broom and a downstairs broom. These little stations at hand remove obstacles and make it more likely to do things when I get the urge — instead of getting stalled.” — Amanda

“I have door mats outside and inside the door. It helps reduce dust and dirt so I don’t have to clean the floor as often. It’s easier to give the mats a shake as I spontaneously remember than it is to vacuum and mop.” — Shauna, Australia

“I take mandatory breaks every 30 minutes of any meeting, class, or seminar.” — Melanie, Ontario

“I find that if I have a place for everything, it is much easier to keep things organized. My focus is then on the discipline of putting things back in their place, not trying to decide where something should go. Keeping an area neat becomes automatic. I also create systems: for instance, my medications and vitamins. I finally put them all on a tray and established a system for pulling out the tray, filling the pill boxes, and putting the tray back. It really helps.” — Ann, Maryland

ADD Life Hacks: Next Steps

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