Adults ADHD Tips for Finishing What You Start

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD affects approximately 3-5% of adults globally. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects executive function, which leads to difficulties in focusing, impulse control, and organization. It can cause difficulties in finishing what you start, procrastination, missing deadlines, and low productivity. These challenges can significantly affect an individual’s personal and professional life. However, with the right tools, self-awareness, and the right support system, individuals with ADHD can overcome these challenges. In this article, we will discuss adults ADHD tips for finishing what you start.

1. Prioritization

Individuals with ADHD may struggle with prioritizing tasks, leading to difficulties in finishing important tasks. The best way to overcome this challenge is to prioritize tasks by importance and urgency. Identify the critical tasks that need to be completed soon and work on them first. You can use a to-do list or task manager to track your tasks’ progress and ensure that you complete important projects on schedule.

2. Time management

Time management is the biggest challenge for individuals with ADHD. They may underestimate the time they need to complete a task, leading to poor time management, missed deadlines and unfinished projects. The key is to estimate the time you need to complete a task realistically. Pacing yourself can help you take breaks and manage your time better. Use a timer if needed to keep track of the time you spend on each task.

3. Avoid procrastination

Procrastination is a common behaviour for individuals with ADHD, leading to difficulty finishing what they started. Try to identify your procrastination triggers and create a plan to overcome them. For example, if social media distracts you, avoid using it during designated work hours. Breaking a large task into smaller tasks can help reduce the fear of starting, making it easier to get started on the project.

4. Organization

Staying organized is crucial for individuals with ADHD. Implementing organizational strategies, such as creating a weekly schedule and using colour-coded notes, can help you stay on track. Additionally, creating a designated workspace where you can focus on your work can make a significant difference in your productivity.

5. Social support

Support systems can make a difference in overcoming the challenges of ADHD. Talk to your family, friends, and co-workers and ask them to help you stay on track. They can help remind you of deadlines, keep you accountable, and provide emotional support through challenging times.

6. Medication

Although medication is not a cure for ADHD, it can help reduce symptoms, allowing individuals to focus better, be more organized and accomplish tasks more easily. Consult your doctor about medication options and the associated risks and benefits.

7. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic approach that helps individuals identify negative thinking patterns, behaviours and emotions that may affect their productivity. CBT can help individuals identify coping mechanisms to overcome these behaviours and develop new strategies for managing ADHD symptoms, leading to successful completion of tasks.

8. Acceptance and Self-care

It is essential to accept that ADHD challenges may require extra time, resources and support to complete tasks successfully. It’s important to prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, a good night’s sleep, and relaxation techniques, as they can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can affect your productivity.

In conclusion, ADHD can make it challenging to finish what you start, but with the right tools, self-awareness, and support, individuals with ADHD can overcome these challenges. Prioritizing tasks, effective time management, avoiding procrastination, staying organized, social support, medication, cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and self-care are all essential adult ADHD tips for finishing what you start. By implementing these strategies, individuals with ADHD can increase their productivity and achieve success in their personal and professional lives.


What are some tips for adults with ADHD to finish what they start?

Some tips for adults with ADHD to finish what they start include creating a to-do list, breaking tasks into smaller chunks, eliminating distractions, setting deadlines, and rewarding themselves for completing tasks.

Why do adults with ADHD struggle with finishing tasks?

Adults with ADHD struggle with finishing tasks because they often have trouble with executive function skills such as time management, organization, and prioritization. They may also struggle with impulsivity and distraction, making it difficult to stay focused on a task.

How can adults with ADHD manage their symptoms to improve productivity?

Adults with ADHD can manage their symptoms by seeking treatment from a healthcare professional, practicing time management and organization skills, exercising regularly, and using tools such as reminders and timers to stay on track. It’s also important for them to create a supportive environment by setting clear goals and boundaries and seeking support from family and friends.


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3. Safren, S. A., Sprich, S., Mimiaga, M. J., & Surman, C. (2010). Cognitive behavioral therapy for ADHD in adults: A meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials. Journal of clinical psychology, 66(9), 996-1005.