34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them

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There is an entire industry around providing productivity advice and tips and tricks to get tasks done. Indeed, Bored Panda has featured some bits of advice, from things people wished they had known earlier, to absurd, out-of-touch recommendations from baby boomers

But one netizen with ADHD came to the realization that this disorder made a lot of common tips and tricks irrelevant. So they asked the internet to share their similar examples. So get comfortable as you scroll through and be sure to upvote your favorite examples. If you have any of your own, feel free to share them in the comments section below.

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them “Just be yourself”

Um, no. I’m hyperactive, hyperverbal, impulsive, and extremely loud. Better advice is to read the room, pause, try to model social behavior, and pace myself.

lookingaroundxyz , Taylor Smith Report

While often associated with children, there are many adults who do at least exhibit symptoms of ADHD, even if they have not been diagnosed with it. The real numbers may remain vague, as studies show that many adults who were diagnosed with ADHD in their forties were identified as having it between the ages of 11 and 15.

In North America and Europe, where researchers have more data to work with, the estimates range from three to five percent of the population, of which less than ten percent were formally diagnosed at a young age. If this proportion holds for the rest of the world, then perhaps five percent of the human population has ADHD, of which the majority would be male

Also … take breaks. Like this sounds lovely but if I’m on a roll I should stay on it. Taking a break means I’ll probably never come back to what I was doing

OpenDragonfly3374 Report

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them I think the idea of rewarding yourself after a task is a flawed one for us ADHDers. My brain just thinks “well I can just have this reward now” so because of my impulsivity I reward myself regardless of doing the task or not. I stumbled upon the concept after reading the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, which at first I thought was a very good book but it just doesn’t apply to people with ADHD.

Electrical-Spinach42 Report

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them “Just get up & try”, in terms of task paralysis.

FYI, non-ADHD people: I’m not procrastinating. I’m not being lazy. I’m not ignoring you.

I am literally *unable to function* due to my brain’s inability to organise & prioritise. I can’t “just give it a go”; I am literally paralysed by the stress of the number of minor actions I’m going to have to follow in order to complete this “simple task” you’re talking about.

I once tried to explain to my mum that progressively shouting at me louder & louder did *not* in fact help my task paralysis, & actually made it much worse.

She then told me that I’m “wrong”, & that her shouting at me is meant to “snap me out of it”.

Traditional-Wear6623 , Dyu – Ha Report

One of the rarer cases where “general advice” and “advice for folks with ADHD” intersect is when it comes to physical activity. Aerobics in particular has been found to be an effective add-on to ADHD medication in children and also it can help adults focus for longer periods of time. 

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them Clear away your clutter so you have a clean workspace. Ma’am/Sir, the moment that thing goes out of sight, it ceases to exist. Then I will waste time, energy, and/or money recreating it when I need it.

Anonymousmuch2 , Humairah L. Report

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them Basically any advice that wasn’t written by an adhd person. My least favourites are the ones around habits.
“Just do something at the same time, for the same amount of time, every day for 21 days until it becomes a habit!”

Dude, I can’t do something at the same time every day for two days in a row, what makes you think I can do 21.

It’s especially frustrating because I wish I could. There are things I want to learn and skills I want to develop, but consistency does not exist in my reality.

ChaoticKinky , Sincerely Media Report

For children, the effects are even more visible. Besides simply being healthy for the body, kids that aerobic exercise alongside other treatments were found to have a host of improvements, from increased behavior and motor abilities to faster information processing speed, and better memory, which is pretty important for people with ADHD, as they can tell you themselves. 

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them Any that essentially boils down to “so I know you have a disorder that makes it hard to self-regulate, but have you tried self-regulating?”

Faust_8 , Reinhart Julian Report

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them When it comes to cleaning: Just do a little bit at a time. That’s not how my brain works. I’m either glued to the chair, or I’m cleaning for at least an hour.

Fine-Community-4535 , Towfiqu barbhuiya Report

As the aforementioned late-diagnosis statistics show, most people simply assume that what works broadly will work for people with ADHD, even if more people have it than one would think. This means that most folks who have ADHD will need to test tips and advice themselves, as this thread shows. So it can be helpful to look online and see what works for others. 

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them I’ve always been told the best way to work/study is to find a quiet space and focus on the sole task you need to do, but recently I’ve found that listening to heavy/energetic music as I’m working on a task just works so much better for me.

AlexanderTroup , Thought Catalog Report

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them I was in a management class and we talked about “Deep Work”. She said there’s absolutely no way you’re able to do deep work while listening to anything.

My dude, I literally don’t even pay attention to what I’m listening to, I just need SOME kind of stimulus in order to function. I am at my least focused when I’m working in silence!

One of the rules of deep work is literally “embrace boredom” without realizing that boredom often translates as depression in individuals with ADHD. I physically cannot take it, it’s like someone’s pulling hairs out of my skin every moment I’m understimulated. Easily was my least favorite class because it really did just hammer home that business does not give a f**k, even in health (as it was a healthcare-focused management class)

lemonspritz , Kelly Sikkema Report

On the positive side, the increasing awareness of ADHD does bring some more research on the topic. Recent studies show that there might be a stronger link between creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and ADHD than previously thought. This same study suggested that Leonarda Da Vinci’s self-described procrastination and strange time management may have been an indicator that he had ADHD as well. 

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them “Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself”.

No, it turns out people do want regular communication and birthday presents, and don’t always want Fun Facts.

leafshaker , Jessica Da Rosa Report

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them “Don’t worry about it”.

As if I can switch off my thoughts. I have literally 5 trillion thoughts going through my mind at any given moment, at least a few of those thoughts are going to be worrying about “it”. I wish it wasn’t the case, but I’m literally worrying about everything everywhere all at once.

Sleepy_Zenitsu23 , Kelly Sikkema Report

I’ve been a night owl since I was literally born and most school nights I would lay in bed tossing and turning all night til the sun came up. This caused me to miss a lot of school because I was constantly exhausted and the only advice I got for it was “go to bed earlier!” Always after me saying I couldn’t fall asleep until 6-7 am despite laying in bed all night. A lot of people seriously just don’t understand or care how adhd actually affects you.

UneasyBranch Report

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them When you start to get depressed – go and do stuff! Wow, really, tell me how? Second – when depressed, I was depressed ever only because I was burnt out.

Going out and socializing just made me more overstimulated, tired and desperate due to not being able to keep up with others.

So my new advice would be – when getting depressed, first sleep and be alone for a few days, engage with hobbies/hyperfication, and then after this see people and do some light excersise.

yellowleavesmouse , Dmitry Schemelev Report

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them Time blocking. I’m sorry but do you really expect me to stop studying in the middle of a chapter just because I finished my block?? Nah, there’s no break until I’m done

eekhaa , Aaron Burden Report

34 People With ADHD Share What Common Bits Of Advice Don’t Work For Them “If you can’t get yourself to focus on something, just take a s**t ton of breaks!” This includes all pomodoro bs and adjacent stuff.

I don’t know about y’all, but if I took breaks like that, I’d never be able to focus. I need at least half an hour to even *start* focusing at all, and I’ll need another half an hour after I take that break. And if I do manage to focus on something, I need to cram that s**t several hours straight because I know if I break that focus when I have it, I won’t be able to get back into it. I won’t put a f*****g alarm to distract me every 30 minutes, that will just kill me more.

This kind of extends to any kind of “slow, steady and consistent”. People say I need to do a little bit of x every day in order to stay motivated and not burn myself out and I believed that lie until I realized that is precisely how I’ll burn myself out. Doing things in intense bursts is the only thing that has ever worked for me. “slow and steady” has never done me any good. I need to do things in bursts, go as fast and as long as I want to, and then take a break when it comes to it. It’s the only way I can get anything done.

_peikko_ , JOYUMA Report

Anything that effectively suggests treatment isn’t needed.

Metanalysis has found that not treating leads to a 5-fold increase in negative outcomes compared to any other approach. Depression, anxiety, substance abuse, … We cause a significant portion of traffic accidents (when younger), high rates of teen pregnancy, or just starting a family ~8 years earlier than the general population on average.

The idea that it’s just a personality type, or that everyone has adhd, or that it’s a lack of discipline, or that all you need is a planner, etc etc. All bad advice.

Tools and discipline help, for sure. But it’s effectively the fact that they aren’t a solution that makes ADHD a disorder in the first place..

Gr1pp717 Report

Pomodoro technique. Its the worst.

When I finally get to do the task I need to do the task. Otherwise I am again stuck in getting to do the task.

Same with 45minute school lessons. Literature begins, 30 minutes into it I finally accept that we begun literature, 15 minutes to go and now I have to transform myself into math?? How?

bonnie-galactic Report

Generally any type of advice that questions why you do something a certain way when you could do it a cheaper/better/more environmentally friendly/more natural way. This messed with my ability to function for years before I got a handle on it.

Examples:

– Why would you drink protein shakes? It’s more natural to get your nutrients from food you can get that same protein from x amount of lentils!

-Why do you pay to have your car cleaned? You can do that yourself for free!

-Why are you paying for pre prepped fruit and veg?! It’s cheaper to buy the bag of whole carrots and they don’t come wrapped in plastic!

These are real life examples but it’s now absolutely everywhere especially with the rise of TikTok, a lot of content is aimed at efficiency and streamlining our budgets so I see a lot of this cropping up. Even one hairdresser making videos about ‘Why buy an airwrap? You can create this style with a hairdryer and hairbrush!”

If someone with ADHD or any condition impacting their executive function has found a way to do the thing then that is perfectly fine. The advice above led me to 1. Not eat, because protein shakes were now wrong and I didn’t have it in me to prep lentils daily, shockingly. 2. Have a car so messy I couldn’t have passengers. 3. Not get any fruit or veg at all in my diet.

Weemag Report

“If they wanted to, they would.”

Newsflash: There have been *COUNTLESS* times I have mentally yelled at myself to do something I know I *need* to do while being stuck on the couch doom-scrolling on my phone. Depression and anxiety doesn’t help.

bandicoot4 Report

I have to, HAVE TO, be listening to something that stimulates my brain or I will completely zone out at work. Also while driving.

Uzielsquibb Report

My wife has your type of ADHD where I’ll look over and she’ll be watching a show, listening to music, playing a mobile game, all while typing an email and I’ll be in the kitchen paralyzed by all the simultaneous stimulus. We like to have fun around here.

SuccessfulMumenRider Report

my favorite is “You just need to focus” like if i had full control over my ability to focus i would be taking over the world rather than trapped in a cubicle farm

Idc123wfe Report

“Just clean on the go. If you see dirty dishes, clean it.” Have you ever even considered that I don’t even see the obstacles when I walking? You already saw me cooking with a whole 1 liter bottle of soy sauce in front my chest. I will dodge the bottle, move around it like it a immovable object, not even acknowledge it there until you pointed it out and remove it.

reissmosley Report

My dad is fond of telling me: “Ya gotta want it.” I hate when he implies that I don’t want to get better. The kicker is that he has ADHD too (diagnosed or not I don’t know, but he says he does and I believe it). It’s really frustrating and makes me feel like nothing I do is good enough.

cecily61224 Report

“You need to make a list and write these things down”

I have lists. I have text files saved on my desktop and documents, google docs, google sheets, google keep, apple stickies, apple notes, 2 black moleskines, a handful of legal pads, Microsoft one note, and random folder up pieces of paper in my pocket.

nothing3141592653589 Report

Stuff like “write a To-Do List” or “use a planner” make me roll my eyes every time, along with “Have you tried meditation?”
Sometimes people keep giving the same stupid piece of advice despite me having told them that it doesn’t work for me. Oh, you can just get up and do whatever it is that you need to do? Cool, love that for you, but my brain is wired differently!!! Smh NTs just don’t get it and it makes my blood boil.

Visible-Tree-6074 Report

“Just make a schedule for the day and follow it!”

Excuse me, I’d rather rip my own eyes out, thank you.

ExtensionGrapefruit8 Report


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