If you have ADHD, it’s easy to get distracted by everything around you. Even if there are important things to do, you may find yourself tackling another task instead of what needs to be done right away.
If your child has ADHD, there’s a good chance they’ll struggle with procrastination as well. They may want to do well in school and get their homework done on time, but they just can’t seem to get started on it.
Adults with ADHD face similar issues, which can show up in their personal and professional lives.
Understanding how the ADHD brain works can be the first step when looking for ways to improve your daily life. Whether it’s helping your child manage their ADHD or if you have ADHD, gaining knowledge is a great starting point.
ADHD and procrastination
Procrastination can be a huge issue for people with ADHD. Whether you’re trying to do chores, finish homework, pay bills, or study for an exam, it’s hard to get started. You know what you have to do, but the energy just isn’t there.
There are many reasons why people with ADHD procrastinate. At times, tasks may overwhelm your executive functioning and cause you to shut down, or perhaps your brain doesn’t have all the information it needs to get tasks done. Sometimes it can come down to a lack of stimulation or distractions that could be getting in your way.
Many people with ADHD find it difficult to break down large problems into smaller pieces, and this can lead people to become paralyzed when faced with big tasks or chores. They may also have trouble concentrating on long-term goals or remembering how good they felt when they last completed a task successfully.
What about distractions? If your child needs help staying focused, you might set a visual timer while they’re working on homework.
ADHD is caused by differences in brain chemistry that affect the way people pay attention, control their behavior, or deal with emotions. So it’s no wonder that people with ADHD can benefit from implementing some strategies to help manage their day-to-day tasks.
For children and teens with ADHD, this may look like this:
– Breaking the task down into manageable steps; a checklist might help
– Coming up with a reward together that they can look forward to
– Set a visual timer
– Take a movement break, then get back to it.
And adults with ADHD could try some of the following strategies:
– Have an accountability buddy, someone you can check-in with
– Be realistic when planning daily and weekly routines and tasks
– Pay attention over time to what works for you and know what doesn’t
– Be kind to yourself.
The ADHD brain
In one study, it was suggested that those experiencing symptoms of ADHD may have structural changes in their brains when compared to those without ADHD. The study did show that there were structural differences in the brain of a person with ADHD. These could be seen at both a micro and macro level. You can read more on that here.
If you’re someone with ADHD who has struggled with procrastination or know someone who does, just remember that you’re not alone. This combination of the ADHD brain and procrastination is a common mix!
If you are seeking help with your ADHD or want to find suitable and effective treatments for your child, the Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic is here to help. Reach out to us to see what we can do to assist you.