We all know that people with ADHD can have a hard time getting motivated to complete tasks. Using executive function strategies, like those found in SMARTS, can help students set meaningful goals or break their work into manageable steps, allowing students with ADHD to engage with their work. Here are some links to articles that offer even more strategies to help people with ADHD kickstart their motivation. I particularly like the following sections from PsychCentral.com’s article 9 Ways for Adults (and Students) with ADHD to Get Motivated:
- Plan for a reward. Ask, “How can I make this boring task fun or rewarding for me?” Make it into a new game: Challenge yourself to get the best deal by using coupons, time yourself to get in and out of the store in under 30 minutes. Treat yourself to a new fruit, bakery item, bouquet of flowers, or beverage when you are done. Use your ADHD imagination.
- Create a list of must-dos. Set aside a short, less overwhelming time period (for example, 10 or 15 minutes) to commit to working on the activity that has you feeling stuck.
- Incorporate physical movement into your day.
- Create urgency. Many tasks don’t have deadlines, and that’s when procrastination can slip in. That’s why faking urgency can help. If you have a mound of dirty dishes, wait until 15 minutes before your favorite show, and start washing.
- Go for “just good enough.” People with ADHD often will procrastinate and avoid, thus feeling a lack of motivation, because of a fear that the end result won’t be adequate. Do things just good enough and perhaps you can tackle these things with less anxiety and thus, more energy.
- Perform projects at your peak times. Consider the time of day you have the most energy and think the best. Are you a morning or night person? Does your energy wane in the afternoon? Or does it peak then?
Check out the links below for more advice and strategies on ADHD and motivation:
ADHD and Motivation: Why It’s a Problem and What You Can Do – baytreelearning.com
What’s My Motivation? (No, Seriously, I Need to Get Started.) – additudemag.com
ADHD and Motivation Problems – verywell.com
If you have any great motivational tips for people with ADHD, let us know in the comments!
- Elizabeth Ross, M.A., SMARTS Media Manager