New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
- Communicate with others! Take time to meet with friends or a small group of adults. Don’t let yourself become isolated with your AD/HD.
- Exercise regularly. Find a partner, if possible, so you won’t forget to do it!
- Find a quiet spot for yourself at home. Use it to relax, meditate and re-focus.
- Consider using “pattern planning” to organize your days. This involves planning the same activities for the same time each week. If it is Wednesday, it is laundry day!
- Do not over-schedule your time. Learn time management skills and be realistic about how much you can accomplish in specific time period.
- Make a list of ideas and “to do” items to free your mind for concentrating. Keep the list in one notebook to avoid too many small lists and papers.
- Review the items on your list, prioritize them, and cross of all you have accomplished. This is reinforcing and can be a stress reliever.
- Close your door, if possible, when you don’t want to be disturbed. At the office, this is one of many accommodations you should consider requesting.
- Carry reading materials with you at all times; use waiting time to read and improve your ability to concentrate.
- Consider using an expandable file for your mail and bills. Carry it in your car and sort through it while waiting in the carpool line, the auto registration line, in the doctor’s office waiting room or during your child’s music lesson. Use that “captive” time to do the boring stuff.
- Build “flex time” into your schedule to allow for the unexpected.
- Set up a study area away from distractions and set specific homework times.
- Know your predominant learning style and use it to your advantage in class and when doing homework.
- Build in “break times” during long homework assignments. Use a timer.
- Make a written contract between the student and parents that includes an agreement to do homework or other tasks in return for a privilege. Sign the contract and stick to it!
- Use a homework notebook system, including a daily homework sign-off sheet to be used by both parents and teachers.
- Do daily book bag dumping after school. Dig deep and get out all that old “stuff”.
- Devise a calendar of long-term assignments and other tasks to be carried in the student notebook.
- Get daily exercise. Join a sports team; go to a gym, walk or bike. Exercise helps to keep you, and your brain, focused and energized.
- Learn how to be healthy. Eating good food helps to keep you focused, active and in a good mood. Getting plenty of sleep helps, too! If you have questions, talk with your parents, your doctor, your coach or a nutritionist.
- Make time for frequent review and tossing of old papers, not needed for future tests or reports. Set small goals of a few papers each time.
- Whenever possible, mark what you read with a highlighter or flag important areas with small, colorful “post-it” page markers.
- Tackle time-consuming and detailed projects in stages. Develop a plan before you begin.
- Use your high productivity hour for your most important project and most difficult homework.
- Get educated about AD/HD. The more you learn, the more you can work WITH it and not against it.
- Keep one family calendar posted at home. Have regular family meetings to review appointments, deadlines, sports practices and upcoming events.
- Design systems and guidelines for the family that is mindful of each person’s needs.
- Make all family members accountable for household tasks. Even the youngest person can contribute and feel a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
- Avoid morning chaos by getting everything “ready to go” for work and school the previous night. This includes selecting clothing, setting out homework, book bags, projects, briefcases and preparing lunches.
- Be well educated on AD/HD and co-existing conditions. This includes all family members with or without AD/HD.
- Plan regular family outings. There are many activities that are low cost or free.
- Take a “team” approach to problem solving.
- Work together to get organized. Chunk down tasks into small steps for those with AD/HD, both children and adults.
- Set a scheduled family time every few months for tossing unused items, old clothes and old newspapers. Be supportive of those who have trouble letting go!
- Work toward a better understanding of the family members with AD/HD. There are gifts in each of us. Celebrate the gifts in each member of your family