I struggle with chronic ADHD and even with treatment can’t focus on doing things in an orderly fashion. How can I stay on task?

Liara C.
You should keep yourself away from the electronics and everything that overstimulates your mind. Keep sugar intake low and stay active. You need to make sure that you are hydrated but do not overeat. Fasting is a good way to keep your mind clear.
Francis U.
Are use a timer that helps me stay focused on what I’ve decided to do. I said it for 15 minutes and I keep it with me as a reminder that I’m not to do anything else until the timer goes off.
Sebastian W.
Be very clear when you s your routine for morning afternoon and evening. Adjust the timer to the closest amount you usually spend. Then launch the app and try to just do the next step. Try to tune out other things. Make it a game to see how little you can pause the program after you launch it.et
Wendy P.
Here’s my experience. I was diagnosed with ADHD in my 20s. I was prescribed Adderall. It helped me focus some, but was less effective over time.

So I began reflecting upon why I was getting so distracted at work, when I can become deeply immersed in other activities: journaling, meditation retreats, drawing, etc. It turns out, for me, that I was getting easily distracted because my work was very boring and I didn’t have the level of responsibility I should’ve given my education and experience.

So I left that job for one with more responsibility, travel, and dynamic projects. It was the best move I could’ve made. I became much more engaged in my work. I still get distracted at times, but I’ve cultivated practices that minimize it (meditation, exercise, just the right amount of caffeine, lots of short deadlines with responsibility to groups of people).

That’s my experience. I hope it’s helpful.

Frank A.
Boost your brain before working on things (food, exercise, meditation, etc) and break the tasks into several small details. 20-min pom and 5-min break works well. Keep most information on paper/phone (create a copy if necessary), not on mind and make reminders.
Philip C.
I would recommend asking other people with ADHD, and let them tell you what helps them. As a neurotypical I can't really help you. But I believe in self-improvement, so I wish you best of luck!
Christian U.
Just reading the good article at HBR about this https://hbr.org/2017/09/5-ways-to-focus-at-work-from-an-executive-whos-struggled-with-adhd
Berend O.
Stick to your fabulous routines and focus on only one task at a time. Set a timer for the task to help keep yourself on task knowing you have limited time to complete it. I use timer cubes, that way I don't have to pick up my phone as my phone leads to other distractions.
Jerry F.
Right there with you alot of the time. It might seem unrelated and maybe even feel impossible at first, which is totally okay buuuut, I find working on mindfulness exercises and meditation to be huge helps in that area. When I decide I 'don't have time' to do that stuff is when I start to notice overall drop in the focus I actually can manage. Be kind to yourself when starting out and I definitely found guided meditations to be better for me at first, something quick like 5 minutes to start out and worked my way up. Remember success is not 100% focus the entire time. Mindfulness is not about having a clear mind the entire time, its about the ability to notice your mind is wandering and the act of bringing it back. In the meantime while working on that, I find having a pool of tasks to choose from instead of a 1-# list that has to be done in order to be easier to manage. You could even use a given task as your mindfulness exercise. Pick one and try to do just that one task, remember that you will get distracted but the act of bringing yourself back to the task is the success NOT staying on the task without distraction. Hope that helps!
Amanda F.
I relate. First thing: if you already make a to do list and know what tasks are most urgent, I would start a quick log: write down the time you start a task, timestamps for when you begin to do anything besides that task and *why*, and the time you end the task. Do this for the whole work day for at least a week. Then look at the notes and address thoughts and distractions that took you away from tasks you wanted to finish. I did this for 2 weeks and it helped me find some key factors (e.g. I was always checking my phone bc I crave human connection and variety in my stifling office job; I was confused about some processes and put tasks aside instead of asking someone to talk through the process with me, bc I felt stupid; I was starving myself bc I didn’t meal prep/my meds were suppressing my appetite; my meds were giving me anxiety so I spent too long thinking about my dismal love life; I procrastinated for other reasons). Second, I ask myself: ‘what task if I don’t finish it will give me the most stress/trouble at the end of the day?’ Just focus on getting one thing done at a time. Third, I write out steps for common processes at work. We have training manuals, but I make my own Cherise-proof copies (my name is Cherise) that list even little steps like ‘click here’ ‘copy and paste this template paragraph’. Finally, I ask myself: ‘why am I afraid of this task’ since I anxiety procrastinate a lot. I wish I had someone to cheer me on, keep me on track, and reassure me that my work is alright for tasks that require more mental exertion and have higher stakes.
Nora U.
I would love to get answers from this question bc I have the same struggle the best thing I have done is changed my diet many years ago to a more healthy ADHD diet and I use as an alternative treatment to medication it works for me but I do not recommend individuals going off medication without talking to their doctors it also requires extremely high doses of caffeine which may not benefit everyone
Patrick J.
Chunk things into smaller pieces. That way you won’t have to focus on a single task for a long period of time, but you can still work through what you need to get done.
Maxence Y.
Buy yourself a cute journal and a pencil and write absolutely everything down. It’s really helpful to look back on days when things didn’t go as well as hoped.
Also keep past journals helps to log progress ……. 😊👍😊
M Lody Y.
Start small, break tasks down, baby steps, have patience and be kind to yourself because it can be hard. Ask yourself if anything is making your routine planning harder and see where you can make small adjustments over time.
Lori O.
Willpower is key. If you want to develop good habits, push yourself and be strict with yourself. If you have a family member or friend that can help keep you on track, they can hold you accountable and help a lot.
Sarah Z.
Try the “Pomodoro Technique”. Look it up in google and you will find good literature about it. Recommended for procrastinators, but I believe it may help with ADHD as well. And don’t forget to Pray
Rom O Q.
I tend to be the same way. I handle this by doing what is priority first. Then of course I get bored so I choose a faster project so I can go back on track.
Frederick U.
I also struggle with ADHD and listening to soft music in the background or fireplace sounds frowns out any distracting noises while I work. I take gingko bilboa as a supplement and it also helps. I like to break everything I have to do into single task pieces and write each piece down on my todo list in my bullet journal. My journal keeps everything organized in one place and I can keep adding new tasks as they come up immediately. I put my phone away because it’s distracting and I refuse to try to multitask unless it’s manual labor in which case listening to an audiobook helps the day go by and helps me perform easy tasks on autopilot. I get into a meditative state.
Charles E.
I have ADHD too and I also struggle with this, but breaking stuff up into the smallest pieces possible helps me to stay on track and I end up wanting to tick off another part because it’s easy and gratifying.