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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

Sanity Savers: 4 Times My Loop Earplugs Became My Best Friend

This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

With the overwhelming range of earplugs available today, Loop earplugs stand out. Their unique design, centered around a circular acoustic channel, has given people with autism, ADHD, and other sensory challenges a new world of options for noise reduction. Instead of blocking out all sounds, they reduce how much unwanted background noise the wearer hears. They still preserve the clarity of the more important sounds that you still want to hear, like conversation or a live performer. Loops also come in a variety of models, each of which blocks out different levels of noise.

My First Purchase: The Loop Engage Plus Earplugs

After researching, and reading reviews, and comparing the available models, I chose to try out the Engage Plus Loops. I also selected the clear color because I liked the idea of very few people knowing I was wearing them. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, these earplugs promised to reduce background and preserve my ability to hear the person next to me speaking. True to their word, my experience has been that I’m not entirely isolated from my environment when wearing them! They enable me to enjoy events and activities in loud, chaotic environments without shutting out the world around me.

I like to keep my Loops on me, in the nice convenient little case I got with them on my keychain. This way, I don’t need to anticipate when I might get overwhelmed, and instead can just whip them out when I notice I start to struggle with noise. The following are some of my favorite times I’ve used my Loops, and some of the times I’ve been most grateful that I had them on me.

The Reverberating Mayhem of Indoor Sports Games

Anyone who’s attended a kids’ indoor sports game knows the intensity of the noise. I guess that this doesn’t just apply to kids’ games, now that I think about it… But, since it’s probably been a decade since I went to an indoor game that wasn’t for kids, I’m going to stick to what I know.

The high-pitched cheers of parents, constant dribbling of the ball, and echoing referee whistles can be a sensory nightmare. The closed environment of indoor gyms amplifies every sound, making it resonate throughout the space. With my Loop earplugs in place, the echoing chaos faded to a comfortable hum. I found myself enjoying the match, cheering on the players, and genuinely soaking in the exhilarating atmosphere, all without the usual sensory assault.

Live Concerts and Shows

I love live music. I love being a part of the crowd, drinking in the artists’ energy, and even singing along when I’m positive that no one will be able to hear me over the band. The thrill of live music is undeniable, but the sheer volume can leave your ears ringing for days. During my first concert with the Loop Engage Plus, I was skeptical – I didn’t want to miss out on the music. But as the beats began to drop and the crowd roared, I quickly appreciated their worth. I was lost in the melodies, singing my heart out, without the fear of potential hearing damage (or the desire to run to the bathroom where things might be a little quieter).

Karaoke Night

I self-identify as a terrible singer. So, when my friends insisted on wanting to celebrate an event in their lives with a karaoke night, it was incredibly kind of them to book us a private room. With no audience except people who already knew me and presumably wouldn’t throw things at me, singing was much more comfortable.

BUT, the smaller room also meant that sound did the bouncing-around thing, and the music and mic were quickly very loud for my sensory challenges. My Loops were a lifesaver, toning down the cacophony, allowing me to appreciate my friends’ spirited performances, and even join in the fun.

Bachelorette Party Drag Brunch

It was a day of flamboyance, laughter, and high-energy performances. The drag brunch was a riot of colors, music, and cheering. Every announcement, every performance, and every toast was louder than the last. But with my trusty Loops, I danced, laughed, and celebrated without once feeling the need to escape the noise.

Try Them for Yourself

In reflection, the Loop Engage Plus earplugs have been nothing short of transformative. Their unique design and unparalleled performance have made them an essential part of my life. Whether it’s an adrenaline-packed game, a soulful concert, or a day of celebration, my Loops have ensured that I’m present, engaged, and comfortable. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect balance between immersion and protection, look no further. Buy your Loop earplugs today, and dive into experiences like never before.

adhd, adults, autism, children, sensory stuff

AuDHD: The Combined Forces of ADHD and Autism

“Hi, I’ll have the Super Spicy Combo please”

ADHD and Autism are both neurodevelopmental conditions, and they have plenty in common. They also have some pretty drastic differences. So, what happens when the two team up together in one person’s mind? The emerging term AuDHD refers to that exact situation.

Is it common to have both?

In a word, yes. The exact details for how common, though, are a little fuzzy. Depending on the source, you’ll find a wide variety of statistics. According to, “More than half of all individuals who have been diagnosed with ASD also have signs of ADHD.” Having one condition doesn’t mean that you’ll certainly have the other. But, if you have been diagnosed with one and you feel like you have signs of the other, it’s worth exploring.

Overlapping Symptoms and Experiences

To complicate the topic, autism and ADHD share quite a few symptoms in common – even when presenting individually.

  • Attention Difficulties: Both people with ADHD and with autism might have trouble sustaining attention in tasks or play activities.
  • Hyperactivity: This is more commonly associated with ADHD but can also be seen in some people with autism. It can manifest as fidgeting, tapping, or talkativeness.
  • Impulsivity: Both conditions might cause someone to act without thinking first, particularly children. This can result in interruptions, hasty decisions, or difficulty waiting one’s turn.
  • Social Misunderstandings: Individuals with ADHD might interrupt frequently, miss social cues, or have trouble listening to others, while individuals with autism might struggle with understanding social norms or reading social cues.
  • Difficulty with Transitions: Transitioning from one task or activity to another can be overwhelming for people with either condition.
  • Sensory Sensitivities: Some people with autism are especially sensitive to sensory stimuli such as lights, sounds, or textures. However, there’s growing recognition that sensory issues can also affect people with ADHD, though it might manifest differently.
  • Executive Function Challenges: Both ADHD and autism can be accompanied by difficulties with executive functions like organizing, planning, and prioritizing tasks.
  • Repetitive Behaviors: While repetitive or “stimming” behaviors like hand-flapping or rocking are more commonly associated with autism, individuals with ADHD can also have repetitive actions or habits.
  • Focus on Specific Interests: Just as a person with autism might become deeply interested and focused on a specific subject, someone with ADHD might also hyperfocus on an activity or topic of interest, though the context and duration might be different.

All these overlapping experiences can make the two conditions difficult to untangle from each other to begin with. The combined presentation, then, of ADHD and autism can lead to heightened or more intense symptoms. According to, “People who have traits that stretch across both autism and ADHD diagnoses often face more serious challenges than people with either diagnosis alone: They can have greater impairments in adaptive functioning, a term that refers to self-care and daily living skills, and more severe social and cognitive issues.”

On the Go, But Where To? A Look at Executive Functioning

Executive functions serve as our cognitive command center. For those with AuDHD, tasks like organizing, planning, and maintaining attention can be a rollercoaster ride. Executive functioning skills can be learned. For those of us with neurodevelopmental disorders, though, it takes more intention to learn them. Executive functioning is such a challenge for us neurospicies, that we’ve started coming up with more fun terms for our challenges (enter ADHD paralysis). PDA, or pathological demand avoidance, is typically associated with autism and can complicate these struggles even further.

Parents of kids with AuDHD might see them struggle to get started with chores or homework. Or, kids might struggle to turn a big project like “clean your room” into the individual tasks it takes to complete them (“put dirty clothes in the hamper” and “put your toys away”).

In fact, it seems like I’m only able to get into a groove with writing this article when I’m about to leave to go somewhere else. There’s a funny irony to my own executive functioning challenges that I’m experiencing, while writing about executive functioning. The impulsivity from ADHD combined with a need for routine from autism can create an interesting dance of cognitive strengths and challenges.

Feeling the World Intensely: The Dance of Sensory Sensitivities

Imagine hearing background noises with the same intensity as the primary conversation, or feeling the textures of everyday materials as if they were magnified. Sensory experiences are amplified for many with AuDHD, leading to unique interactions with their environment.

These experiences can be difficult to identify, because they are so subjective. Everyone has a little bit of sensory sensitivity here or there. The phrase “nails on a chalkboard” has become an idiom because we can all relate to how much that sound feels like torture. But, for ADHDer, autistics, and AuDHDers, sensory triggers can be hiding everywhere. Someone with these conditions might have very specific preferences about the fabric of their clothes, the hue of their light bulbs, the texture of their foods, and the volume or type of background noise they can tolerate while they work.

Loop earplugs can help with the auditory sensory issues, and there are other products and strategies that help AuDHDers to live more comfortably.

Navigating the Social Labyrinth

Navigating the social realm with AuDHD is akin to traversing a maze with shifting walls. The impulsive nature of ADHD might lead to speaking out of turn, while the autism aspect could cause challenges in reading social cues.

On top of all of this, neurodivergent people in general tend to receive a significant amount of negative social feedback during their formative years. Rejection sensitive dysphoria is a common experience among people with ADHD and autism, too. Together, these factors can create a perfect storm of social anxiety. It’s important to know that anxiety is a very normal response.

It’s a spectrum of social experiences that requires patience, understanding, and often, guidance.

Harnessing the Power Within: Amplifying AuDHD Strengths

While AuDHD can present some challenges, those living with it often exhibit incredible strengths, such as intense focus, passion, and out-of-the-box thinking. Having someone with AuDHD on your team can lead to more effective problem-solving, more creative work, and honestly, in our opinion, a way less boring meeting. People with autism, ADHD, and AuDHD drive innovation in this world, and their gifts should be treasured!

AuDHD is more than just a convergence of ADHD and autism. It’s a unique experience that requires understanding, support, and tailored approaches. Select resources and strategies that align with your journey. Remember, with the right knowledge and tools, every challenge can be transformed into an opportunity for growth!

adhd, adults, autism

“I Had 9 Things to Do So Instead I Took a Nap” – A Story of ADHD Paralysis

It’s NOT laziness! Delving into the mind maze that is ADHD Paralysis.

Sometimes, those of us with ADHD get stuck. We end up horizontal on the couch, wanting to do the next thing on our mental “to do” list, but somehow unable to make ourselves get up even though we really do want to do the thing that has us feeling frozen! This is an important distinction between ADHD paralysis and old fashioned laziness: if you’re lazy, you don’t want to do The Thing. In the “stuck” headspace, we might even feel shame that we can’t make ourselves do it. The antidote to shame is acceptance, and we hope that by understanding ADHD paralysis, you can start to love and accept yourself (and maybe even finally get the laundry done.).

A Short List of Things You Might Relate To

When I say “ADHD paralysis”, you might already have an exact picture of what it feels like in your head. If so, go ahead and skip to the next section. If you’re still left, you might be experiencing it if you…

  • Have a long list of things to do, but you can’t seem to pick which one to start with
  • Experience time blindedness (struggling to gauge how much time has passed)
  • Know exactly what you “should” be doing, but can’t seem to force yourself to do it
  • Overthink and overanalyze, even to the point of being unable to make decisions
  • Experience a lack of clarity or brain fog

Self-Care Tips for When You’re Stuck in the Paralysis Pit

Now you have a name for the phenomenon going on in your brain. Let me guess what you’re thinking.. “Great, random internet blogger, what the heck do I do about it?” Great segue, random internet reader.

The first step toward self-acceptance is self-compassion and self-care. When you recognize that you can’t make yourself do The Thing, or if you can’t even make it do anything, then stop trying to fight it. You’re not going to work on that project right now anyway, so you can spend an hour beating yourself up about it or you can spend an hour taking care of yourself – the hour will pass either way. And I’d bet that after an hour of meeting your needs, you’ll be in a better position to do The Thing.

Self care isn’t just chocolate cake and bubble baths. It’s not NOT that, but there’s more! A few self care options that have helped me and the people in my life are listed below. If you have any that you can share too, please leave a comment!

  1. Embrace the Pause: Remove yourself from the environment in which you need to do The Thing. If you’re working from home on a laptop, this might even look like getting up from your desk and moving to the couch. Or, maybe it’s a walk outside. You might go try out a new coffee shop in town. Whatever you decide to do, if you remove the looming pressure of obligation and give yourself permission to take a break, you’re on the right track.
  2. Take a Nap: Let’s all appreciate that I remembered to mention the nap from the article title. Especially if you’re feeling tired or mentally exhausted, a nap might be just what your brain needs to recover from the last dozen things you did.
  3. Physical Activity: It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, a walk around the block or 20 pushups can help to get your blood flowing.
  4. Embrace Your Inner Plant: Get some sun and make sure to hydrate! Humans need natural sunlight, and so many of us don’t get enough in a day. One of my absolute favorite activities is laying on a rock in the sun. I call it “lizarding”.

Tactics for When You Can’t Put Off Doing The Thing Any Longer

Body Doubling

Body doubling is the strategy of having a friend present with you while you do your work. The friend doesn’t need to help you do it, they just hang out so you have company! They might even nudge you back toward accountability if you get off task.

Timers Galore

Setting a timer is one of the tactics that shows up in our Cleaning Tips for ADHD article, but it doesn’t just apply to housework. You might be aiming to finish your homework or a blog for you business (lol). Set a timer to just work on it for 15 or 20 minutes, and see how far you can get in that time! This is when the hyperfocus super power of your ADHD might just save you. You might be able to knock out an hour’s worth of work in 20 minutes if you can engage that hyperfocus muscle.

Time Blocking

Time blocking can allow you to focus more effectively on each task. Instead of making a to-do list for your day, you schedule short bursts of effort on individual tasks. Each thing might only take 5 minutes, but time blocks allow you flexibility regarding when you do it and still get it done. For example, you might make your day look like this:

  • 9-9:30 I WILL accomplish Thing #1
  • 9:30-10:30 I’ll take a break and eat something because Thing #1 was exhausting
  • 10:30-11:30 I’ll do Thing #2

Never forget that the goal is acceptance, and this is an absolutely shame-free zone. Keep reading our other content to learn more about your brain!

adhd, ADHD and Cleaning

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria: Overwhelming Feelings and the Connection to ADHD

We love our ADHD here at The Neurospicy Shop. The majority of people in our family have been diagnosed, and we’ve got kiddos in our lives that have it too. While there are some minor challenges, ADHD also gives us the ability to think differently than other people, solve problems in unique ways, and we have a ton of fun along the way. But we can also get our feelings hurt a little easier sometimes. Rejection sensitive dysphoria is a topic that has gained popularity lately, and so far there is little research about rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) and who experiences it. But, RSD does seem to be most common in people who also have ADHD.

Rejection sensitive dysphoria is characterized by intense emotional sensitivity and fear of rejection or criticism. Since emotional regulation can be more challenging for people with ADHD, these intense feelings have the potential to spiral out of control. Understanding RSD and learning strategies to navigate these emotions, though, can help to manage these associated feelings. Whether you have ADHD or care for someone who does, understanding RSD can be a powerful tool in promoting emotional well-being.

Understanding Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

RSD refers to an extreme emotional response triggered by perceived or actual rejection, criticism, or failure. It often manifests as intense feelings of sadness, shame, anger, or anxiety, and from the outside, expressions of these emotions (crying, lashing out, etc) might seem like proportionately big reactions to the situation. It’s important to remember, though, that these feelings can be much more intense and distressing for someone with RSD than they would be for someone else. 

Triggers vary from person to person, but common ones include situations where someone might feel criticized, left out, or ignored. The criticism, exclusion, or disapproval that someone with RSD perceives might even be a misunderstanding. The fear of potential rejection or criticism can generate overwhelming anxiety and distress, sometimes becoming so intense that individuals may go to great lengths to avoid situations that might trigger RSD.

The Connection Between ADHD and RSD

ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by symptoms like impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. Both kids and adults with ADHD often struggle with emotional regulation and may experience difficulties in social interactions. RSD is closely related to ADHD due to overlapping neurobiological factors and common emotional dysregulation challenges.

Rejection sensitive dysphoria can exacerbate the already existing emotional challenges associated with ADHD. The situations that can feel like rejection to someone with RSD are pretty common in everyday life. A few examples:

  • Your best friend makes a new friend and has less time to hang out with you.
  • A teacher doesn’t call on you in class, but seems to always call on the boy next to you.
  • The promotion you applied for went to someone else.
  • Your sister forgot to tell you her big news, and you found out through the grapevine.
  • You find out that 3 of your friends have a group chat without you.

When it feels like rejection is hiding behind every corner, and that rejection leads to massive feelings of shame and anxiety, it’s easy to see why someone might develop self esteem issues and begin avoiding certain situations.

Recognizing and Coping with RSD

Identifying the signs and symptoms of RSD is crucial for managing its impact on your life and/or the life of your loved one. Some common signs include heightened emotional sensitivity, intense fear of criticism, and avoiding situations that might trigger rejection. Building self-awareness and understanding personal triggers can help you to find effective coping strategies. 

Developing coping mechanisms and self-soothing techniques can be immensely helpful in managing RSD. A few things that might help: 

  1. Practicing mindfulness
  2. Deep breathing exercises
  3. Creative outlets
  4. Relaxation and self-care.

Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and a healthy lifestyle can also contribute to emotional well-being. (I mean, who among us isn’t more sensitive when we’re sleep deprived or hangry?) 

A good counselor, therapist, or psychologist can also help someone with ADHD and RSD to identify coping strategies that are likely to work for them. And, whether those do or don’t work, that good counselor can also help to iterate and find new strategies to try until something clicks. 

Embrace Self-Acceptance

Understanding rejection sensitive dysphoria and its connection with ADHD can shed light on personal experiences. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with you! If you or someone you know has been experiencing intense emotions when faced with perceived rejection, it’s not a flaw – it’s a condition that you can learn to manage. 

By embracing self-acceptance, practicing self-care, and finding effective coping strategies, you can grow beyond any feelings that might have previously held you back.

adhd, Social & Emotional

Our Neurospicy Story

My son was diagnosed with ADHD halfway through the sixth grade. He struggled with the transition out of elementary school, with more classes, teachers, homework, and a greater need to organize and prioritize. Despite our efforts to help him, he was failing most of his classes.

The principal called an emergency meeting with me, his mom, his teachers, the counselor, paraprofessionals, and every other adult who played a role in his life—and chastised him in front of us for twenty minutes. He asked our son if he was “smart enough” to be in middle school and told him he had the worst grades in the entire school.

It was soul-crushing to witness. I realized that the environments my son spends his time in – school, sports, group activities, and other organized systems – are not designed to accommodate the challenges he faces with ADHD. As he struggles to perform in a system that isn’t designed for his brain, he endures constant reminders that he’s not good enough.

Psychiatrist and author William W. Dodson, MD, estimates that by age 12, children with ADHD receive 20,000 more negative messages from parents, teachers, and other adults than their peers who do not have ADHD. So unsurprisingly, kids with ADHD are more than four times more likely to suffer from depression, and more than five times as likely to attempt suicide. The negative perception about neurodivergent people is everywhere. If you search Google Images for “ADHD kids stock photography,” you won’t see a smiling child anywhere on the first page of results. Instead, you’ll see sad pictures of unhappy kids who are not learning in class, misbehaving, or driving their parents crazy.

This is not an accurate depiction of adolescent ADHD. There is no scientifically accepted connection between ADHD and intelligence. But there are links between people with ADHD and a unique ability to solve problems and ideas based on broad and disparate information. Why isn’t our perception of people with ADHD more aligned with this? The current narrative doesn’t describe the intelligence or potential of ADHD kids or accurately depict their struggles.

It’s time for us to be better.

My partner and I built The Neurospicy Shop, a website that sees neurodivergence from a positive place. It’s full of education, resources, products, and tons of helpful content by and for people with autism and ADHD. We portray these conditions as they are: a set of conditions that do not define us or limit our capacity but make us some of the best analysts, problem solvers, thinkers, artists, and inventors in the world.

Our website has zero stock imagery of sad kids and angry parents. You’ll see a positive community full of help, encouragement, and a focus on everything that’s right with neurodivergent people. Please join us as we change the narrative around ADHD and autism. If you don’t know about these conditions, we have resources to teach you. If you are autistic or have ADHD and need tools and resources, we have stuff for you (and soon, we’ll have a box subscription, too!) We’re just getting started, and we’re eager for your feedback on our content, products, and design. Let us know what you think! Thanks for reading.


Double Your Productivity: Unleash the Power of Body Doubling for ADHD

Executive Function & ADHD

Living with ADHD has plenty of good things that we love, but it also means sometimes grappling with executive dysfunction. This can interfere with home- and self-care tasks that we all need to complete on a daily basis. The fluctuations in dopamine levels affect cognitive processes like attention, planning, and organization, which can make it difficult to start chores. This executive function deficit can leave individuals feeling overwhelmed and frustrated about their obligations.

What is body doubling?

Incorporating body doubling into your ADHD toolkit can be a game-changer. This strategy involves a friend, family member, acquaintance, or stranger you met on the street (just kidding!) keep you company while you handle the tasks that might be challenging for you. Having a friend in the room while you work can help you stay focused, engaged, and motivated to knock out your to-do list. It’s helpful to have someone to talk to and joke with, and hopefully this person can point it out if you get off-track. They definitely don’t need to do your work for you or even help – just hanging out while you work is enough to make a big impact.

Harnessing the Power of Body Doubling

What can body doubling help with?

Everyone is different, so you might find that body doubling is more helpful with some types of work than others. We’ve put together a list of things that we’ve seen body doubling help with:

  • Cleaning and organizing
  • Homework
  • Budgeting and paying bills
  • Writing reports or essays
  • Exercise
  • Working from home
  • Studying for exams
  • Preparing presentations
  • Reading
  • Creative hobbies
  • Home improvement projects

Suggesting Body Doubling to Someone Else with ADHD

For parents, caregivers, and other adults charged with helping a kid with ADHD, navigating a child’s executive dysfunction can be a challenge. Being understanding about the way their brain works, while still trying to teach them to be accountable, is a fine line to walk. Body doubling is one tool that can help to empower the kiddo to still do their chores or homework while keeping them on-track and focused.

A few tips for suggesting and implementing body doubling with a child or teenager:

Open Communication

Have an open and honest conversation with them about their challenges. Explain body doubling, why you think it might help, and ask if it’s something they would like to try.

Set Clear Expectations

Define the tasks that you’ll use body doubling for and be clear about the outcomes you’re hoping to see. Establish boundaries together, like what types of work the body double can/will help with, how often the child can take breaks, etc.

Identify Body Doubling Partners

If you live in the same home as the child/teen, then you might be a great option. If you don’t, or even if you do and sometimes have other things you need to do (you know, like a normal person), then talk with them about other people who might be able to help as body doubles. Make sure the body double knows their role, understands what they are/aren’t expected to do, and feels comfortable speaking up if something isn’t working.

Collaborate and Participate

When you can, participate in body doubling sessions alongside the child. This not only shows your support but also strengthens your bond with them and increases accountability.

Celebrate Achievements

Recognize and celebrate the accomplishments! Positive reinforcement can boost motivation and reinforce the effectiveness of this strategy, especially if you can make sure the kiddo knows that you saw how hard they worked.

Try it Out!

Body doubling is a clever life hack for people with ADHD. Experiment with the strategy, adapt it to your specific needs, and witness the positive impact it can have on your ability to stay focused, engaged, and motivated. Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, so explore different approaches and find what works best for you.

adhd, ADHD and Cleaning

A Little Bit of Everything, All of the Time: ADHD Hyperactive Impulsive Type

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects people of all ages. Within the realm of ADHD, there are different subtypes, and one of them is the Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD. In this article, we will explore this type, understand its signs and symptoms, and provide guidance on what to do next.

Understanding Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD

Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD was named for its distinguishing features. Unlike the other types, people with this one tend not to experience challenges with inattention. When you think of the words “hyperactive” and “impulsive,” some common stereotypes might come to mind. But, it’s important to keep an open mind about these symptoms, because in many cases they can look and feel different than many people would expect.

Understanding Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: Symptoms

External Expressions: The Telltale Signs

People with Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD may find it difficult to restrain themselves from talking excessively and frequently interrupting others. Restlessness is a common feature, leading to trouble sitting still or remaining in one place for an extended period. It’s common for both kids and adults to fidget or find other ways to keep their body moving, such as tapping their feet or hands. Kids with this type may display disruptive behaviors, like making noises or grabbing toys and objects from others. As children with ADHD grow into adults, they might learn to channel their hyperactivity into “socially acceptable” movements – more on this later in the article.

Internal Feelings: I Want it All and I Want it Now

There’s another layer to the experience of Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD, beyond what someone from the outside might see. Internally, someone with this type might feel like they are being run by a motor, constantly driven by some force that makes it difficult to slow down or relax. They might also lack patience, and/or they might hate tasks that involve waiting in line. The “impulsive” part of the name might feel like intense emotions that drive this person to act without thinking. These impulsive actions can offer temporary relief but often result in later regret or negative consequences.

Recognizing the Signs

It’s important to understand that while everyone feels annoyed at waiting in line sometimes, or has a hard time controlling their impulses once in a while, for someone with ADHD these feelings and behaviors persist over time. They can impact daily functioning, relationships, school, and work.

How do Symptoms Appear Differently in Adults vs Children?

While the core symptoms of Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD are consistent across age groups, there are some variations in how these symptoms manifest in adults and children. In kids, hyperactivity is often more obvious, and a grown-up might notice their excessive movement and restlessness. Adults, on the other hand, might have learned what is socially acceptable in different situations. They might tap their leg under a table, or get up to stretch frequently during meetings.

Kelly, one the people behind the scenes here at The Neurospicy Shop, used to attend meetings that she found pretty boring. It was common for people to stand at those meetings, so she started to see how long she could balance on one foot. Her bosses didn’t seem to notice, so it was a safe way to manage her restlessness. She’s still pretty good at it now.

Impulsivity may look differently between children and adults, too. Children can be more prone to impulsive actions without considering the consequences, while adults may struggle with impulsive decisions or risk-taking behavior.

Seeking Professional Evaluation

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD, a proper evaluation and diagnosis can help. The right medical professional will help you to understand the challenges you/your loved one is experiencing, and how they are not your fault. They’ll also help to determine the right treatment strategy. The assessment process typically involves interviews, questionnaires, and observations by a well-qualified psychiatrist or similar doctor.

Treatment Options and Support

Managing Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD will be different for each person. Medication, behavioral therapies, and individualized support plans can each help on their own, or in combination with each other.

Behavioral therapies can teach coping strategies and skills so people with ADHD can manage their symptoms effectively. When a child has ADHD, parent training programs can also help their parents in developing strategies to support the kiddo’s needs and create a structured and supportive environment.

Individualized support plans and accommodations at school and work can help to empower people with ADHD to be successful. These plans may include preferential seating, extended time for tasks or exams, frequent breaks, and/or the use of assistive technologies. Creating an environment that promotes understanding, flexibility, and support can significantly contribute to the success and well-being of individuals with ADHD.

Keep Learning!

In conclusion, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD is a distinct subtype within the ADHD spectrum. It is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and the absence of significant inattentive traits. If you are experiencing the traits you read about here, or you know someone who’s experiencing these things, know that you’re not alone! The right treatment plan, strategies, and accommodations can be incredibly empowering.

Remember, both kids and adults with ADHD need understanding and support from their families, friends, educators, and communities. Embracing neurodiversity and fostering a supportive environment can help all of us thrive and reach our full potential.

Check out our other content to learn more about ADHD. Stay informed and empowered in your neurospicy journey.


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