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Weird ADHD Hacks That Actually Work
One of my favorite things about learning I had ADHD was the permission to start using strategies that seemed weird to others, but were effective for me.
Like I talked about last week, most typical productivity advice is toxic for me because it doesn’t work with the way my brain works.
Here are a few highlights:
“When my brain isn't braining, I take a walk around the block, lie on the floor for a minute, or go to another room. Change my environment/sensory experience to give me a boost from some novelty” (@amyfedermanauthor)
“to get myself to work on something I wasn’t interested in, I’d start working on something small and unimportant, then let myself get “distracted” by the more important task and abandon the other one—there’s a sort of… momentum transfer that takes place.” (@shanesoriginstory)
“Create a “someday maybe” list. Any new fun project that I just don’t have time for right now goes on there . . . I find it does enough to move the idea into the ‘acted on’ column in my brain, meaning it’s not running around up there, distracting me!” (@caroleeflatley)
“Honestly? Giving myself a lot of grace and allowing myself to go down rabbit holes sometimes. I spend a lot of time wrangling my brain and forcing it to do this whole ‘work’ thing and it’s been really nice taking one day a week to just let go of the reins entirely and seeing what happens.” (@koricuddleplush)
“Pay the ADHD tax up front. Buy the pre-cut veggies so you can just rinse and nibble. Pay the extra $5 for grocery pick up so you can linger over your virtual cart and actually end up buying everything you're supposed to. Purchase a tracking tag for your keys and wallet so you don't end up in a big pickle. Buy extra of your favorite clothing items when you find them cheap so you're not stuck paying full price when they get ripped or something.” (@macshibby)
“TWO magnetic dry-erase calendars on the fridge. When all the days on the top one have passed: erase, swap places with the other, then fill in the new dates. Now I can always see several weeks ahead and there are no surprises on the 1st after flipping a calendar page.” (@benzado)
“Sometimes I find things overwhelming— particularly folding laundry.. so I came up with a way to gamify it that I just called ‘Touch 10’ . . . Like take 10 pieces out of the laundry bag to sort then walk to have a sip of coffee or something . . . Kind of like a “beat the clock” mentality . . . I think about ‘touch 10’ for a lot of household things too- even unloading the dishwasher or just straightening up in the morning or before bed” (@inattentively.attentive)
“Literally something as simple as stand up. Pick up one thing. Put it where it goes. Remembering I literally only have to do one thing. When that’s done, there will be the next thing. But it literally doesn’t exist until doing the one thing.” (@violet_sky_design)
“If I can get myself to do just the teensiest part of the task I’m avoiding, (always laundry, cooking or the dishwasher) then the rest of it just kind of happens. And by ‘teensiest’ I literally mean I challenge myself to “walk over to the dishwasher”. That’s the biggest hurdle” (@ldfear)
There were a few recurring themes that kept showing up as well. Body doubling and listening to audio were both very common and are two methods I swear by as well! The only trouble with body-doubling is that I often forget how effective it is!
“Nothing gets my baseboards and bathrooms as clean as inviting someone new over for a visit.” (@kristatdeau)
“Definitely throwing on a podcast or audiobook while doing the mundane at home things like dishes or cleaning.” (@billyadams)
“Body doubling really, really works for me. Works when I use podcasts too if I can’t find a human body double. Have been doing it my whole life without even knowing it was a coping strategy” (@47223.9364)
My favorite was just how many people use a special pair of socks or shoes to help the motivation happen. Is this weird? Yeah, kinda! Is it effective? Clearly it is for some people.
I had a special pair of shoes that I wore whenever I was trying to work on my book to help trigger my brain into thinking “it’s writing time” — if you haven’t tried something like this, I recommend it!
“Putting socks and shoes on turns on ‘go’ mode.” (@jjp_artworks)
“I know this is gonna be a weird one, but, compression socks? They really energize me and keep me going when I have a lot to do. Tough to wear in the summer but they really do work for me!” (@the_lady_in_glasses)
“When I need to get stuff done on the weekends, I put shoes on. It somehow puts me in a more productive frame of mind” (@princessguineverefluffybottom)
“Sounds weird but I have to be wearing socks and shoes to feel productive. So get yourself some house shoes 😅” (@geogsteel)
“Wearing heels 👠 even if I’m wearing yoga pants and a jumper because they symbolize work mode.” (@mindsetcoachacademy)
“Never take your shoes off until the day is done.” (@mouse_runs_)
Remember, if it works for you, it’s not weird!
Jesse J. Anderson
P.S. I have a weekly podcast I record with my friendcalled The Weekly Build, and we recently did a few episodes covering the different gear we use. I always love talking about gear and had so much fun recording these!
If you enjoy hearing about different tech and other gear, you should check these episodes out: