Everyday Things That Feel Overwhelming With ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder that affects people of all ages. It’s characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. People with ADHD often have trouble focusing on tasks, managing time, and regulating emotions. In this article, we’ll explore everyday things that can feel overwhelming to someone managing ADHD.

1. Organizing

Organizing can feel daunting to someone with ADHD because they struggle with prioritizing and executing tasks. When it comes to organizing, individuals with ADHD may find it challenging to create lists or break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. It’s common for someone with ADHD to feel an overwhelming sense of stress about what they should be doing, which can lead to procrastination, increased anxiety, and lack of motivation.

2. Time Management

Time management is an essential skill of daily life, but for someone with ADHD, it can be incredibly challenging. ADHD makes it challenging to estimate or track time, leading to frequently running late or failing to arrive at appointments or meetings entirely. Although it’s not always easy, creating a routine can be helpful for people with ADHD, as it helps to keep them on track and provides a sense of structure and predictability to their day.

3. Following Through

For people with ADHD, following through with tasks can be extremely difficult. They often become frustrated or bored with an activity or task, and their attention quickly shifts to something else. This can lead to incomplete projects, missed deadlines, and incomplete work. It’s important to recognize that this is a symptom of ADHD and not a character flaw. Individuals with ADHD can benefit from breaking down tasks into more manageable pieces or receiving external motivation or accountability from friends, family, or a therapist.

4. Decision Making

Decision making can be an overwhelming task for someone with ADHD, as they have a difficult time analyzing all options and deciding on the most appropriate choice. ADHD can affect one’s ability to filter out distractions and focus on the relevant information. The abundance of options can lead to significant anxiety, making it challenging to make decisions. It might be helpful to have a trusted friend or family member assist in the decision-making process or break down options into smaller, more manageable choices.

5. Work and School

Work and school can be some of the most challenging environments for those with ADHD. Structured environments can be helpful, but maintaining focus and attention in a classroom or office can be challenging. Large amounts of information can be overwhelming, leading to a sense of being lost, and the inability to concentrate on the task at hand. For students with ADHD, working with a learning specialist to develop individualized educational plans or creating specific study strategies can be helpful.

6. Relationships

ADHD can also affect relationships, as it makes it difficult to manage emotions and have effective communication. People with ADHD might interrupt others, which can be frustrating for family and friends. They might forget social cues, leading to awkward encounters with strangers or colleagues. Practicing active listening and being mindful of nonverbal cues can be helpful for improving communication in relationships.

7. Finances

Managing finances can be overwhelming for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for those with ADHD. Keeping track of expenses, bills, and taxes can be frustrating due to difficulty with organization and time management. People with ADHD might benefit from using apps or programs that assist with personal financial management or receiving help from a financial expert.


Living with ADHD can be challenging, but it’s essential to recognize that many of these struggles are due to symptoms of the disorder and not a lack of discipline, motivation, or willpower. By creating structures, strategies, and getting external support, people with ADHD can manage their symptoms and thrive in daily life. If you or a loved one are struggling with symptoms of ADHD, reach out to a therapist, support group or medical professional for assistance.


FAQs about Everyday Things That Feel Overwhelming With ADHD

1. What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It’s a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by symptoms such as difficulty in paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

2. What are some everyday things that can feel overwhelming with ADHD?

People with ADHD can find it difficult to focus and follow through with tasks, so things like keeping track of appointments, deadlines, and daily routines can be a challenge. Other tasks that may feel overwhelming include organizing, keeping on top of household chores, and even grocery shopping.

3. How can someone with ADHD manage these overwhelming tasks?

There are many strategies that can help someone with ADHD manage overwhelming tasks. One approach is to break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Using tools such as lists, calendars, and reminders can also help. Seeking support from family, friends, or a healthcare professional can also be helpful in managing ADHD symptoms.


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2) Biederman, J. (2015). ADHD and Comorbid Disorders: Clinical and Scientific Considerations. New York, NY: Springer. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05334-8

3) Childs, T. (2014). ADHD Management: The Importance of Executive Functioning Strategies. Journal of Attention Disorders, 18(2), 119-125. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054712463003