ADHD and Adults: Innovative Tools to Help You Get Things Done and Thrive
Today, we tend to think of technology as the enemy. After all, it steals our attention and makes it harder to focus. And when you have ADHD, it’s hard enough to sustain your concentration. It’s hard enough not to get distracted every few minutes.
But adults with ADHD can actually use technology to their advantage. The key is to find what works for you.
Sometimes, adults with ADHD don’t employ strategies that work for them individually because they force themselves to do things the way people without ADHD do. Many compare themselves to others and feel shame for needing different tools. Many also assume that everyone else has an easy time accomplishing tasks—or doesn’t use any tools at all.
Social media makes matters worse, said Aaron Smith, a certified ADHD coach at Potential Within Reach who helps individuals with ADHD and executive functioning challenges to bridge the gap between their current performance and their potential. “Because people tend to share only their heavily edited, highly curated, and exaggeratedly positive accounts of their experiences.”
Either way, everyone needs support and guidance. Everyone—whether they have ADHD or not—needs a calendar, planner or app, Smith said. Everyone needs a system of strategies to thrive at work and at home.
Below are tech tools that Smith personally uses or his clients do. These might not work for you, but use this list as inspiration to think about what does—and to realize that there are all sorts of tools, tricks and tactics that can help you work through whatever challenges are getting in your way.
Alarmy: This is an app that “helps with the habit of hitting snooze 1,000 times or worse shutting off your alarm and going back to sleep,” said Smith, also co-host of Attention Different: An ADHD Podcast. It makes you take a photo of something before it lets you shut off the alarm.
Siri: “By using voice command on your phone or Apple watch, you can quickly input to-do lists and add reminders without having to open up your phone,” Smith said. This is important because we often grab our phones to do one task, and then end up clicking on other tabs, apps and notifications, he said. “We can find ourselves going down the rabbit hole very quickly with technology.”