Unlocking ADHD volunteer Vivien Loh writes about 10 easy tips that ADHDers can try out if they find it a struggle to concentrate and complete homework.
ADHD students might often find themselves struggling to complete tasks and homework. Why so? ADHDers are interest-based learners, meaning, unless they’re excited about the homework they’re doing, it usually isn’t stimulating enough for their brains to keep them focused. As such, while doing homework, their brains often drift off and focus on something else more interesting. If you find yourself in such a situation, here are 10 tips that could help you:
1. Create a study space
Find an area to complete your homework where other people won’t distract you. It’s important to organise this space, and make it your own so that it’s an area that’s fun to look at, further motivating you to start studying. You can add supplies you need, paste motivational quotes, play some soothing music and so much more! For example if you’re a person who’s an avid lover of nature, you can buy some plants to spruce up your study space.
2. Challenge yourself
Before starting, set a specific goal that you would like to achieve. It doesn’t have to be something long-term, it can be something daily, for example: completing 20 Science questions a day in a stipulated amount of time. Although setting goals and completing them bring a sense of satisfaction, ensure that the goals you set are attainable and realistic!
3. Create accountability
Creating accountability is important because it ensures that you are keeping your progress in check, and meeting deadlines. This can come about in many different ways – for one, you could do daily challenges with a friend, and cheer each other on. Another effective method would be sticker charts, which also creates a sense of accomplishment.
4. Break it into smaller pieces
Before starting to work on your assignments, divide them into smaller tasks. Each assignment looks daunting at first, but after breaking them down into more tangible, mini tasks, you’ll have more motivation to finish them all. This will also give you a better idea of how long you will take to complete each mini task, allowing you to have better time management.
5. Add some movement
Between assignments, give yourself short breaks, during which you can move about. Such movement releases neurotransmitters in your brain, in turn helping you with your focus. You could try using a fidget, pace around the room while reading, or even having short dance breaks.
6. Find a study buddy
Studying with someone else adds accountability – you can check in on one another and motivate each other to keep going. In the event that you prefer to work on your own, there are many applications that make great study buddies on their own, such as Quizlet, Kahoot and Quia, just to name a few.
7. Reward yourself for your effort
Make the reward something you genuinely like, so that you’ll actually want to earn it. However, ensure that your reward isn’t accessible at all times, and to help with this, you can ask your parents to keep your reward away from you, and only give it back once your task is complete.
8. Create a homework tracking system
To make things less overwhelming, write down all your assignments. This helps you see how much work there really is as it’s penned down clearly, and not all in your head. You can write them down in a planner as well, so that at the same time, you can organise specific days to complete your homework.
9. Don’t be afraid to mix it up
Instead of doing 1 subject throughout your study session, try switching back and forth between 2-3 subjects to create variety. If you only have assignments from one subject, you can add in short 10-minute breaks into the mix, and do activities during this time such as colouring or playing an instrument.
9. Respect your downtime
Last but not least, don’t feel guilty when you’re taking a break. During exam seasons, it’s common to fall into the trap of feeling bad when you’re resting, but always remember that taking breaks is part of the process. Without them, your brain won’t have the ability to remember everything you’ve learnt. Respect your rest time, and fully relax during them so that you’re well-rested before your next study session!
With the homework tips above, we hope that ADHDers will find doing homework less of a feat, and find success in completing homework and assignments on time.
(Content has been adapted from How to ADHD on Youtube, graphics by Cara. )