Adult ADHD Procrastination. Tools and Strategies for Better Learning.

By: Zahavit Paz 

Adults with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) often find it difficult to concentrate on their work. Easily distracted and suffering from a lack of focus, they may have difficulty completing tasks and have a tendency to procrastinate. 

Those who have suffered from ADHD for many years might lack motivation as well. A childhood tendency toward inattentiveness and impulsive behavior — acting too quickly before thinking — can continue into adulthood. As many as 60% to 70% of individuals with ADHD symptoms in childhood continue to have difficulties in adult life. 

Many adults with ADHD suffer from Anxiety Disorder as well, which compounds their struggles in daily life.

Some adults with ADHD were never diagnosed as children in their school years. However, it’s important to get diagnosed regardless of age. Those who are diagnosed often feel relief once they understand the cause of their problem.

How they work and how others view them can improve markedly once they receive treatment.

Why People with ADHD Procrastinate and How to Fix it!!

The reasons vary: it might be due to distractions happening outside in the world or due to certain inner thoughts. It might be due to a lack of know-how in getting started and staying organized. These problems result in disinterest and a lack of self-motivation, and they are even more evident in people with ADHD. They can cause an individual with ADHD to suffer from low self-esteem, low self-confidence and they may avoid participation in public meetings as they fear to make mistakes.

ADHD and Procrastination Have Strong Relationship 

People who struggle with ADHD require intense focus to understand a new project or assignment. Due to their short attention span, they are attracted to projects that give them instant feedback, and even becoming hyperfocused, working intensely for hours, on projects that interest them. However, if they lack interest, or If they feel they aren’t making progress on a project, they tend to move to other things and procrastinate as long as they can. They lack the ability to get organized so they can get through a complex project from beginning to end. 

Should the person manage to start an assignment, with or without interest, other activities may distract the individual from completing the assignment. The person who suffers from ADHD, therefore, finds it hard to give a task sustained attention.

These ongoing difficulties can cause an individual with ADHD to lack self-confidence and self-esteem in public settings.

Helpful Tips: How to get organized at the workplace, at home, or for your college assignments

People with ADHD commonly struggle with time management, organization, completing tasks, and failure to pay attention to details. This can make staying on task in a school or work environment difficult. Today, there are many apps for smartphones, tablets and desktop computers that can help people stay organized, reach goals, and even fight distractions — whether they have ADHD or not.

ADHD Tips For More Efficient Work

  • Avoid multitasking and try to stay focused on one task at a time.
  • Use reminder calendars and to-do lists
  • Break down your task into smaller tasks
  • Put all your unfinished tasks on your calendar and on to your to-do list and set reminders
  • Do not give yourself a big project to finish in a small time frame. No one is able to do that. Give yourself extra time to finish it.
  • If you are prone to losing files and papers that are necessary for tasks use cloud computing to scan all paperwork to digital formats, then organize them into projects naming them by date and create a list of all the files.

Time management reminders, organizational apps, calendars, and to-do lists can all be very helpful when it comes to being more productive, especially if you suffer from ADHD.

How To Stop Procrastination: Helpful Tools & Strategies for people with ADHD

Adults with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) procrastinate. Or lose focus on the task at hand. That can make it hard to check items off your daily to-do list.

Note-taking tools

When you have difficulties paying attention to details or are not able not to listen well or pay attention to spoken instructions, lectures and so on, these technologies can make it easier to take notes on the fly:

File and Tasks Organizing tools

When you are having difficulties organizing tasks or files for a school assignment or work, these tools may help:

Additional Resources: Review of the Best-Technology-tools for ADHD

Other helpful ADHD procrastination strategies

  • Don’t forget to take breaks. It will enable you to finish your task once you return refreshed.
  • Long walks are helpful.
    They give you enough break and the physical activity of the body creates endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body.
  • Schedule time to read your most important emails so that you do not get distracted at work meetings.

These strategies and technology tools will help clarify your priorities, manage your time more effectively and, most of all, it will enable you to ACHIEVE SUPERIOR RESULTS!!! 

References: 

Weiss M, Hechtman L, Weiss G. ADHD in Adulthood. A guide to current theory, diagnosis and treatment. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

BOOK: ADHD in adulthood: A guide to current theory, diagnosis, and treatment M Weiss, LT Hechtman, G Weiss – 1999 – books.google.com

Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell M.D. (Author), John J. Ratey M.D. adhd-procrastination-tools

Image by April Bryant from Pixabay


Zahavit Paz is a co-founder of LD Resources Foundation. She’s a graduate of CUNY Graduate disabilities study program. She is often a presenter on Assistive Technology at professional conferences in schools and colleges and has written extensively on her personal struggle with Dyslexia and ADHD.  She is an advocate for individuals with LD and provides resources and information through the LDRFA website. More info about Zahavit Paz.

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