Six SmartPhone Tips for People with ADHD

2013-07-26 13:47

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition where a person has problems paying attention or concentrating. Following directions is difficult and patients are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. Although it is most often diagnosed in children, adults have it too, wreaking havoc on both our professional and personal lives.

Adults with ADHD have trouble with time management, organizational skills, goal setting and employment. They may also have problems with personal relationships, self-esteem and addictions. Other symptoms include chronic lateness and forgetfulness, anxiety, impulsiveness, procrastination, depression and mood swings.

The exact cause of ADHD is not known, although genetics, chemical imbalances and brain changes could be factors.

Treatment for ADHD includes stimulant medications, psychological therapies, and better personal habits, such as eating a healthy diet and exercise. With our latest technologies, organizational program can also be of great assistance.

ADDitude Magazine provides practical information about dealing with ADHD in daily life. Writers include articles on a wealth of information to help you get organized and stay that way. Many helpful tools are located on something you probably use everyday anyway – your smartphone.

Calendar
Your Google calendar on your desktop can also be accessed via your smartphone. You can use the calendar to create pop-ups to notify you when something is due. For example, I set mine 15 minutes before I need to pick my children up from school. So if I’m immersed in an activity, I can take a couple extra minutes to finish what I’m doing and then get on my way.

Use your calendar to keep up when bills are due so that you aren’t making late payments and being charged additional fees. Keep ONE calendar for everything. That way you aren’t losing your information because you forget which calendar you put it in. (Something like “pick up donuts for the morning work meeting” could potentially be put in either your personal calendar or your work calendar, as it has elements of both.)

Keeping To-Do Lists
Is it hard to keep up with all of the tasks you need to accomplish in a day? Most of us with ADHD have probably kept pen-and-paper to-do lists, but lose them during the course of the day. Organizational experts remind us to keep all of our lists and tasks in one place (instead of having several notebooks lying around half-completed). Remember the Milk is a great place to list all of your “to-do’s” and set goal times and dates for their completion. You can organize them into categories as well, such as using a priority system (A for top priority, C for low priority) or to categorize them into “Work”, “Personal”, and “Someday.”

The basic version is free, but you can upgrade for more features for only $25 a year.

Meeting Goals
Have you noticed that a game can keep your attention longer than a list of things to do? You might want to try EpicWin – a cross between a digital organizer and a role-playing video game. You choose an avatar character and then select a task you want to accomplish. As those tasks are completed, you gain points.

Epic Win is available on iTunes for $2.99.

Keeping Notes for a Project
As mentioned earlier, it is quite common for a person with ADHD to keep several notebooks lying around half full of lists and project notes, making it hard to pull together a plan for actually accomplishing the tasks at hand. Evernote allows you to store text, photos and audio notes on your device. You can create “notebook” and categorize notes for almost any project – recipes you use often, information about an upcoming vacation, product research, etc.

A tip for Evernote: As you are out and about and you see something you’d like to remember later, use your smartphone camera to take a picture and then save the picture in the appropriate Evernote notebook. If you are a Pinterest user, this tip would work in that program as well.

As with Remember the Milk, the basic version of Evernote is free; the premium version is only $45.00 per year.

Staying on Task
Often, during a project for work, I become easily distracted – checking Facebook for updates, email to make sure nothing urgent has come along, or just getting up to check on something around the house. Try either using your phone’s basic timer setting and dedicate yourself to the project at hand until the timer goes off. Or use an app such as Task Timer or Focus Booster which can also help you stay on task.

This is particularly good for those who work best under pressure. Working on a deadline has also been shown to improve creativity as well.

Other Cool Memory Tips
Have you ever stopped to take notice of how often you look at your phone’s lock screen? Mostly people use it to check the time, but it is also a wonderful location for something you need to remember for the day or even memorize for a test.

Here’s an easy way how to accomplish this: Use the “Paint” program on your computer to create what you need. Maybe your goal is to remember a Bible verse. Type that in. Or import your work schedule for the day, your grocery list, notes for a test, or directions to a client’s location. Then save the file as a .jpg picture. Send it to your phone, then save it as your phone’s lock screen picture.

Resources:
ADDitude Magazine
LifeHacker
WebMD

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