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with Natalia van Rikxoort, MSW, ACC

Making ADHD Strategies and Systems Work for You

If you have ever done an online search for “ADHD tips”, you know there is certainly no shortage of websites, books, articles, and blog posts detailing all the tips, tricks, solutions, systems, and strategies you can use to help manage common ADHD-related challenges. Despite this wealth of information, I often hear from clients that they feel frustrated because many of the strategies they’ve tried have been of little to no help or have worked for a while and then fizzled out. Here are some considerations to help you successfully incorporate strategies, systems, and solutions into your daily life.

Not Every Strategy Will Work for Everyone

This is an important point to remember when trying out new strategies and systems.

You are unique and so is your ADHD. What works for one or ten other people with ADHD may not work for you, but that’s okay! It’s all a matter of learning about YOUR ADHD and what works (or doesn’t work) for you in your life.

This is where working with a coach or other professional who specializes in ADHD can help.

I spend a great deal of time with my clients identifying their strengths and learning/processing style in order to customize strategies and systems to meet their unique needs.

Choose ADHD-Friendly Strategies 

When choosing strategies and systems, keep in mind that they need to be ADHD-friendly.

Many popular approaches for overcoming procrastination or managing household clutter do not account for ADHD-related challenges such as poor working memory and difficulty sustaining focus.

With that in mind, be sure to either choose strategies that are specifically suited for people with ADHD or, if possible, make modifications such as incorporating visual reminders to make it more ADHD-friendly.

Adapt Strategies to Fit Your Needs

Don’t feel you need to use a strategy or system exactly the way it says on the tin. There is no right or wrong way to use any given strategy or system, only what works (or doesn’t work) for you.

In fact, the best strategies and systems allow for flexibility and adaptation so feel free to change it up to fit your needs.

The Simpler, the Better

When it comes to strategies, solutions, and systems, opt for simplicity.

ADHDers often struggle with getting started on projects and tasks, procrastination, maintaining focus, and following-through.

If a particular strategy or system you’re using is overly complicated, tedious, or time-consuming, chances are you won’t want to use it for long, if you end up using it at all.

Keep Your Strategies Shiny 

If you find that a once effective strategy or system is no longer working for you, shine it up!

The ADHD brain thrives on novelty so often when a strategy loses its luster and newness, its effectiveness is also diminished. Rather than starting from scratch, look for ways to reinvent an existing strategy to make it fun and interesting again.

For example, if you find it helpful to write things down, treat yourself to a new notebook or planner, doodle, use colored pens, or even turn the book and write in a different direction.

Seek Out a Professional

Navigating through the seemingly endless sea of information on how to manage ADHD-related challenges can be overwhelming.

If you’re wanting to incorporate strategies into your daily life but are unsure how to start, seeking out a professional who is also knowledgeable about ADHD such as a coach, therapist, or personal organizer is a great first step and can help put you on the road to success.

Image: Pixabay/AbsolutVision

Making ADHD Strategies and Systems Work for You

Natalia van Rikxoort, MSW, ACC

Natalia van Rikxoort, MSW, ACC is a social worker, ADHD consultant, and certified life coach. Her practice, Lotus Life Coaching Services, provides coaching services for adults, youth, and families impacted by ADD/ADHD and executive function challenges.

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APA Reference
van Rikxoort, N. (2019). Making ADHD Strategies and Systems Work for You. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 20, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Jun 2019
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