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47 Hacks People With ADD/ADHD Use To Stay On Track

Everything from color-coding to bouncing on an exercise ball.

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We asked the BuzzFeed Community about the go-to organizational tricks that help them manage ADD/ADHD. Here's what they had to say.

1. "Take a picture of your to-do list otherwise #1 on your to-do list will be find the to-do list!" - Paris Swenson, Facebook

2. "Break long tasks into manageable segments. For example, you don't have to 'Clean your room,' you have to: 1. Place all laundry in a basket… 2. Clear off desk…. 3. Organize your bookshelf… 4. Vacuum rug… Etc." - alicegateso

3. "I keep a pad of paper by my keyboard at work. When I have a persistent thought that's not associated with what I'm doing (I.E. 'Call the plumber,' 'What kind of tree is that outside?,' 'I should wear more red.') I write it down and promise myself I'll think about it later. This let's me acknowledge the thought and move on without falling down the rabbit hole." - Lauren Dodson, Facebook

4. "I keep Word documents on each day and list what I got done so I can go back if I forget/lose track." - Molly Jane Sisson, Facebook

5. "Have one place for every item that you use every single time. My keys, for example, always always always go on a hook beside the door." - Chloe Burns, Facebook

6. "If you're in school, you must invest in a planner. I leave nothing to my memory because if I'm not 100% paying attention during class, I will forget any assignment immediately." - Chloe Burns, Facebook

7. "Try to block out sensory distractions when you're doing a task that requires focus. I pick a quiet spot away from windows and monitors when I need to hunker down. Earplugs are helpful, and so is white noise" - snarkastik

8. "I make time each night/week to straighten up my living space. If all of my chores are done and the majority of my apartment is put together, I can think so much more clearly and can focus on more important things." - zoeo429a8c39d

9. "Those giant desk calendars are great. I like to keep one on my wall and color-code classes/projects." - Brooke Elise Henry, Facebook

10. "I keep a planner in my bag so that I can jot things down there, then transfer it all to my wall calendar at the end of the day." - Brooke Elise Henry, Facebook

11. "I put my car keys underneath anything I need to remember to take with me. That way, I can't physically leave without seeing the item I need." - Amanda Egert Lee, Facebook

12. "I leave sticky notes on my keys." - Amanda Egert Lee, Facebook

13. "I have to make it a point to remove all forms of communication from my reach so I know I'm only concentrating on the task at hand." - andreaquido

14. "When I have a limited amount of time to do something (e.g. getting ready for work), I have a kitchen timer that I have go off every 3 minutes. It doesn't seem like a lot of time, but you can get a lot done. When the timer seems to be going off too quickly and starts to become annoying, that usually means I'm daydreaming or focusing on the wrong thing." - pantherkatz

15. "I like to get some time outdoors every day because it helps me find peace. After all, they say ADD brains are the brains of hunters! That's why they're always looking all over the place." - llama7777777

16. "COLOUR CODE EVERYTHING. Bright colours in class notes, on important items, on tupperware lids, whatever. Bright colours are attention-grabbing and seeing 'purple' is faster than reading 'Monday dinner leftovers.' - Calico Jack Rackham, Facebook

17. "I like to go to productive places if I need to get work done; like the library, coffee shop, or studying with friends. When everyone around me is focused and working, it makes it easier for me to do so as well." - gabbyh4940993bf

18. "I write notes with a dry erase marker on all of my bathroom mirrors. Things seem to hit me while I'm brushing my teeth or doing my makeup." - Kristin Hasty, Facebook

19. "I have a 6x9 notebook that I keep with me because I'm constantly writing 'to-do' lists." - Kristin Hasty, Facebook

20. "For remembering to take things with me as I leave, everything has to be by the door so I can't leave without seeing it. Bonus points if my keys are in the pile." - Sydney Anderson, Facebook

21. "I always convince myself I have to be somewhere earlier than I do. That way I have a few minutes buffer. If I have to be there at 8:30, I tell myself over and over that I have to be there by 8:15. It helps to have the clock in my car set 6 minutes fast. Even when I'm 'running late', I arrive a few minutes earlier than I actually have to be there." - Cassie Costilow, Facebook

22. "If you have to read something with a due date, separate 10-15 pages with post its and set a time to read it through the day. Let's say you have to read 90 pages for tomorrow, read 15 pages at 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm and 8pm." - stefr2

23. "When cleaning I try to focus on one small task at a time instead of the big picture. Instead of thinking 'I'm going to reorganize the entire kitchen", I think "I'm going to reorganize this cabinet.' It really helps keep me from getting overwhelmed and shutting down completely." - Cassie Costilow, Facebook

24. "I make it a point to have all my bills (except rent ) due on the same day. This way when the 15th comes, I write down a checklist of what needs to be paid, go through the list, and pay them." - ltriebl

25. "I used to give myself deadlines for papers in undergrad. If something was not done by 2 a.m. I was not allowed to keep working on it. If the next morning was the deadline, too bad. By my 2nd year I never had to stay up all night, and by the time I got my M.A. it was completely internalized." - Javiera Reyes, Facebook

26. "I use a massive white board calendar and color code things; blue for my sorority, green for due dates, red for tests, and black for other random events" - mckenziec45e41be03

27. "I schedule one day for cleaning. Everything gets done on that day even if it takes me hours." - ltriebl

28. "My supervisor and I write a daily to-do list every single day. Instead of asking me to do things, she just writes it on my list. I cross out things as I accomplish them." - Cierra Kemppainen, Facebook

29. "I always feel my pockets to make sure I have my phone, wallet, and keys before I leave a building or room. This has saved me more times than I ever thought." - Adam Gottlieb, Facebook

30. "I carry my meds in my school backpack all the time. It's great if I sit down in my first class and all of a sudden realize I didn't take them." - Adam Gottlieb, Facebook

31. "Because my motivation is so low with ADHD, my therapist told me the best thing to do to get things done is do them right when you think about them or else you'll never do it. It may be obvious but it's actually really helpful when there are important things to do." - amandaz42502c3e2

32. "I write everything, EVERYTHING, down. When it comes to things people ask me to do, I write them down. Before we leave our meeting, I repeat all of their requests back to them. When they agree with each, I check it off. Once I complete the tasks, I cross them out twice. It's tedious, but it definitely works." - Adrienne Brooke, Facebook

33. "I tend to lean on people I know I can trust to help me remember things. I can rely on them without worrying about judgement." - whitneyb19

34. "Crossing things off has become a sort of reward. When I notice I've crossed off more than three things at once I give myself a Buzzfeed break! Or Facebook, or Gchat. Just something to help blow off a little steam before I dive into the next task. It's the best feeling seeing a list of 47 things all crossed off at the end of a stressful workday." - Colleen Daniel, Facebook

35. "I always make lists in threes. Anything more than that and I end up losing focus of what I'm supposed to be doing, or hyper focusing and can't switch tasks." - keilande

36. "I also find that I'm more interested in keeping my personal life organized if it looks pretty, so at home it's fun to do DIY projects that will actually create a more organized environment." - Colleen Daniel, Facebook

37. "Laundry is a passive chore, so I'll wash dishes while the machine is running. Two for one!" - bryanpb

38. "Break down your tasks! If you have a paper due in three days don't just try to write the whole thing in one day, make a goal to finish a part of it each day." - Brontë Ratcliffe, Facebook

39. "Try to only focus on one task at a time. It's really tempting (REALLY REALLY TEMPTING) to do millions of unimportant things before you get to the one thing thats actually important. Think of your activities as if they are all contained in little boxes. Only open one box at a time and make sure that it is fully shut before you open the next box." - Amy Langiano, Facebook

40. "Take lots of notes. In meetings I take diligent, detailed notes. I almost never refer back to them because somehow, just writing out the thought helps it stick in my mind, but the notes are there if I do need them later." - gabriellao47ba20033

41. "Writing things down with a pen or pencil instead of typing them in computer and phone strengthens my memory of them." - bobc409eb4106

42. "When I get ready for work in the morning, I set the alarm on my phone to go off every 10 minutes to help with time management. I have no concept of time if I don't." - Mallori Kraemer, Facebook

43. "I write up schedules even if I don't use them perfectly. Just writing it down makes it stick better." - katerg

44. "Prioritize what needs to be done by writing it all out and writing how long you estimate each task will take. That really helps me order things in a way that works for me." - gabrielleca

45. "I make schedules for myself delineating how much time I anticipate each activity will take. Then, I build in 15-20 minute buffers on each to allow for the anticipated distractions and a couple of breaks. Works like a charm!" - emilyf4c854bde4

46. "I'm an introvert. So I tell friends and family to inform me of plans and events as early as possible. I need time to plan out my activities as well as make sure I have the mental energy to engage with others." - pantherkatz

47. "Sit on an exercise ball while working on homework. It helps you by giving you something small to fill up your need for distraction while doing more tedious tasks." - olivial7

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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