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Month: November 2023

ADHD Productivity Hack: The Pomodoro Method

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For those of us with ADHD, managing our productivity can be… challenging. And frustrating.  And it can lead to feelings of shame, too. We’re often operating within systems (and expectations) that were built when society didn’t know much about neurodivergent brains.. So first things first, don’t forget to have compassion for yourself in this situation! 

Back to productivity. Maintaining focus and completing tasks within a set timeline is a skill that is crucial for most of our day-to-day lives, and it’s one that doesn’t always come naturally. Distractions, forgetfulness, executive dysfunction, and procrastination can easily throw a wrench into well-made plans of “doing all the things today.” We recommend trying a simple, yet highly effective, ADHD productivity hack that we keep in our toolbox – the Pomodoro Method.


When Your World is So Much More Interesting Than This Lame Report

People with ADHD have the strengths of curiosity and imagination. These traits drive innovation and make our world much more interesting to live in! But, when you’ll face significant consequences if you don’t finish a project on time, you may need to find a way to focus on the boring thing. This can be a challenge for a few reasons. 

  1. ADHD Paralysis: When you have 12 things on your to-do list, deciding where to start can be so overwhelming that you avoid starting at all. 
  2. Procrastination: Starting tasks can be incredibly challenging for those with ADHD. The brain often prefers immediate gratification, leading to procrastination.
  3. Difficulty with Focus: Maintaining concentration for extended periods is difficult, which can result in incomplete projects and missed deadlines.
  4. Impulsivity: Impulsive behaviors can lead to shifting priorities frequently, making it tough to stay on track.
  5. Forgetfulness: Forgetfulness and disorganization can lead to important tasks slipping through the cracks.
  6. Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA): While pathological demand avoidance is more commonly associated with autism than ADHD, the co-occurrence of ADHD and autism is pretty high. So, PDA could still be a contributing factor. 

Managing these challenges can seem like an uphill battle, but there’s a powerful technique that can help: the Pomodoro Method.

The Pomodoro Method: A Game-Changer for ADHD Productivity

The Pomodoro Method is a time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It’s designed to improve focus and productivity by breaking work into short, focused intervals followed by brief breaks. Here’s how it works.

Choose a Task 

Select a task you want to work on. Or, select the task you have to work on. Or, select the task with the worst consequences if you don’t work on it. 

Set a Timer 

Set a timer for 25 minutes (this is one Pomodoro). During this time, focus exclusively on your task. It can help to set yourself up in an environment without too many distractions. Noise canceling headphones are helpful, too. 

Work Intensely 

Work with laser-like focus until the timer rings. This brief period minimizes distractions and capitalizes on the ability of individuals with ADHD to hyperfocus on a single task.

Take a Short Break

After one Pomodoro, take a 5-minute break. Use this time to recharge, stretch, use the bathroom, get a glass of water, or do a quick mindfulness exercise.


Repeat steps 1-4 for three more Pomodoros. After completing four, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.

The beauty of the Pomodoro Method for ADHD-ers lies in its structured approach and frequent breaks. While ADHD is often associated with difficulty in sustaining attention, it’s essential to recognize that the ability to hyperfocus is a huge strength. With the Pomodoro Method, you harness that hyperfocus for short bursts, ensuring you make substantial progress on your tasks without feeling overwhelmed or exhausted.

The Power of Pomodoro Timers for ADHD

Now that you understand the Pomodoro Method, you might wonder how to implement it effectively. Enter Pomodoro timers, which are essential tools for anyone looking to maximize their productivity using this technique.

Pomodoro timers are specialized timers designed to help you track your work and break intervals precisely. They come in a variety of formats, including physical devices and smartphone apps, making it easy to integrate them into your daily routine.

Here’s why owning a Pomodoro timer can be especially beneficial for individuals with ADHD.

Structure and Accountability 

The timer provides a structured framework for your work. Knowing that a timer is ticking down can help create a sense of urgency and accountability.

Visual and Auditory Cues 

Many Pomodoro timers offer visual and auditory cues, such as a ticking sound or a flashing light, to signal the start and end of each Pomodoro. These cues help individuals with ADHD transition between work and break periods.

Incremental Progress

Breaking your work into manageable, 25-minute intervals allows you to measure your progress more effectively. This incremental approach can boost your confidence and motivation.

Time Awareness 

For people with ADHD, time can sometimes feel elusive. Pomodoro timers help you stay aware of the passage of time, preventing you from losing track and spending too much time on a single task.

Give the Pomodoro Method a Try

If you have ADHD and struggle with productivity, the Pomodoro Method and Pomodoro timers can be game-changers. This technique harnesses your hyperfocus and provides a structured approach to work, helping you tackle tasks efficiently while managing ADHD-related challenges. Consider investing in a Pomodoro timer and giving this method a try. You’ll be amazed at how it can transform your productivity and help you achieve your goals more effectively. Get a Pomodoro timer for yourself on Amazon.

adhd, adhd at work, adults, children

Adult ADHD Coping Skills: The Power Of Positive Reinforcement

As an adult with ADHD, you may have experienced feeling judged by the people in your life. From missed deadlines to the elusive keys that always seem to sprout legs, overcoming some of our struggles can feel like a neverending task. The shame we experience starts from our very earliest memories, and accumulates as we grow older. A boss’s frown for each minute late, or the sigh of a partner for the umpteenth time something gets misplaced. All of this negative reinforcement can weigh heavily on a person’s mental health, shaping their self-image into something far removed from their intrinsic worth. We deserve better! Keep reading for a few ADHD coping skills that can help to make you feel more like your priceless self again.

Accumulative Effects Of Negative Messaging

The magnitude of this issue is stark. Consider that by the age of 12, a child with ADHD is likely to have received 20,000 more negative messages than their neurotypical peers. The result? An adult whose familiarity with criticism towers over their experiences with praise. This relentless negativity contributes to even more troubling statistics: adults with ADHD experience depression at three times the rate of the general population, and are 6 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, and 8 times more likely to attempt to end their life. ADHD has even been correlated to Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, and the staggering number of negative messages is surely a factor.

ADHD Coping Skills to Overcome Negativity

Neurodivergents can work to balance the scales by incorporating positive reinforcement in their life and routines, and so can everyone else in their life. Leaders can uplift and energize their ADHD counterparts with it. Romantic partners can experience the joy of helping their partner heal and thrive through this practice. This approach does so much more than soften the stigma felt by those with ADHD. Let’s look at 3 simple ways to incorporate positive reinforcement in your life.

1. Embrace Novelty

Neurodivergents often feel a sense of renewed energy or tolerance for boring tasks when there is some novelty introduced. ADHD folks appreciate the chance to add a little fun and variety to their lives – from a completely new environment, to subtle changes in routines, tools, or tasks. This search for something fresh isn’t a sign of inconsistency; it’s a quest for stimulation, a way to keep the neural fires burning.

2. Praise (it ain’t just for Jaysus)

It’s not just about feeling good – although that’s a big part of it. Verbal praise generates a rush of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that ADHD brains often find in short supply. This boost doesn’t just brighten the moment; it shores up behavior and bolsters a sense of self-worth that can shield against the slings and arrows of everyday critiques.

3. PRIZES! (aka a reward system)

Rewards, much like praise, serve as a dopamine delivery system. They come in many shapes and flavors. Whether it’s the anticipation of some free time to kick back, the draw of solving a puzzle or working on a passion project, the enjoyment gained from a quick jog in nature, or the sweet of a favorite treat, rewards light up the ADHD brain. They can turn otherwise arduous tasks into genuine play.

The Great NaPP

The ADHD mind runs rampant with light and potential that we don’t talk about enough. It’s a brain that can hyper-focus, that can generate out-of-the-box ideas at lightning speed, and can approach problems with unparalleled creativity. With a little positive reinforcement, these can become the primary traits society sees in us. So next time you’re feeling the world’s judgment, or you just can’t seem to get motivated, remember to get a NaPP. That is, get some Novelty, Praise, and Prizes!

adhd, adults, depression, mental health, Social & Emotional

Mastering the Art of Remembrance: Object Permanence ADHD Strategies

Being stressed because you can’t find your car keys and you’re late for work is a relatable human experience. But when it happens weekly, or even daily, the frustration can build up to have a negative impact on your life. Then, when the missing keys are later found to be in your hand or pocket, you might end up getting angry at yourself. If you relate to this story, you might be suffering from ADHD object permanence issues. 

For ADHDers, “out of sight, out of mind” isn’t just a saying, it’s a very real struggle. Lets peel back the layers on this concept that is simple but profound in its everyday impact. Object permanence and its effect on ADHD brains can make “here today, gone tomorrow” a recurring theme – and problem – in our lives.


The Puzzle of Object Permanence in ADHD

Object permanence is the understanding that things continue to exist even when they can’t be seen, heard, or sensed. This concept is typically associated with infants, but its implications run deep for adults, especially those with ADHD. For the neurodivergent, the absence of visual cues can turn tasks and objects into distant memories. Why does this happen?

Imagine your brain as a juggler, each ball representing a thought, a task, a to-do item. For the ADHD brain, the balls are often translucent. If they aren’t actively being juggled, they can vanish. This isn’t a deficiency; it’s a different neural wiring. When objects or tasks move out of the direct line of sight or immediate attention, the ADHD quickly shifts focus to the things that are more concrete, sometimes forgetting they exist at all.

Harnessing Visibility: Tools & Methods to Remember

Luckily for us neurodivergent people, there are methods and tools available to help us keep the most important things from vanishing from our consciousness. Try a few of these out to keep object permanence from getting in your way:

Time-Specific Commitments

Instead of saying you’ll do the dishes “later,” specify a time. “I’ll do the dishes at 7:15 PM,” followed by setting an alarm, cements the task in your time-space continuum.

Example: “I’ll respond to that email after lunch.” Fast-forward past lunch, and the email is a distant memory, just like the hoagie you ate.. Solution? Set a specific time and use a task manager app to remind you.

Visual Aids

Clear organizer bins can be a godsend. Instead of tucking your bills into a drawer, you can keep them in a transparent file on your desk to keep them on your visual radar. Clear refrigerator bins can help you to keep fresh foods top-of-mind, so you can eat more of your produce before it goes bad.

Example: We’ve all placed something in a drawer for ‘safekeeping’ only to forget its existence. Often this is because we just locked the item completely out of our field of vision. A transparent storage solution can help maintain awareness of your hidden treasures.

Tactile Reminders 

Ever tied a string around your finger as a child to remember something? This tactile approach can be modernized — wearable tech, like smartwatches, can nudge you with vibrations for tasks.

Location-Based Triggers

Use sticky notes in strategic places. A note on the bathroom mirror to remind you to email your colleague or a post-it on the door to take out the trash as you leave for work can work wonders. There are even location-based reminders you can set on your phone.

Example: A whiteboard right by the door to the garage with reminders of what you need to get when you go out can be a lifesaver. 

No Two Neurodivergent Minds are the Same

The journey to efficient organization and task management is highly personal, especially in the neurodivergent community. It’s essential to experiment with different methods to find what resonates with your mind! 

Whether it’s sticky notes, clear bins, digital nudges, or even that good old-fashioned string around your finger, the goal is to make the invisible, visible. Play with different methods and discover the joy in the act of remembering. The Neurospicy Shop is here to help you through this exploration with tools, support, and a community that gets it. Because in the brilliant mosaic of the neurodiverse mind, every piece deserves to be seen and celebrated.

adhd, adults, children, parenting tips

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