7 Tips for Getting Chores Done for Adults with ADHD
An ADHD brain thrives on interesting tasks. So it’s not surprising that most adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have a hard time getting chores done. Chores such as cleaning, washing dishes, and doing laundry are tedious and boring.
According to Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach, “Broadly speaking, chores are typically left undone, poorly done or often put on the back burner unless there’s a sense of urgency.” That sense of urgency might be guests coming over or not having any clean clothes.
When adults with ADHD do start on their chores, they can run into various obstacles. For instance, they might get derailed because of distractibility, Matlen said.
Let’s say you need to clean the kitchen, she said. You pick up the mail that’s on the counter and take it to your home office. Once in the office, you notice a toy that needs to be put away. So you head to your child’s room and then decide to run to the basement for something. At this point the kitchen is long forgotten, she said.
Being overwhelmed is another obstacle: “Having a plan, making decisions, moving from step A to step B and hopefully, to step C often is so overwhelming, it makes it nearly impossible to start or complete a chore.”
That’s because people with ADHD have impairments in executive functioning, which makes it harder to plan, prioritize, perform and complete.
But you can get chores done. First, make sure you’re receiving optimal treatment for your ADHD. For many people that includes taking medication and working with a therapist or an ADHD coach who helps you accomplish your goals.
The second part is applying strategies that work for you. Below, Matlen shared excellent ideas on how to get chores done.
1. Find ways to bust boredom.
Since boredom is a big deterrent, find ways to make tasks more interesting. Get creative. For instance, make completing chores into a game. “Set a timer and see if you can ‘beat the clock.’” When you do, give yourself a small reward.
Throw clothes into your washer and dryer like you’re playing basketball. Dance. Sing.
“Take a quick before and after photo with your smartphone to feel instant gratification, and to take a more novel approach.”
Listen to an audiobook. Brainstorm solutions to problems, or compose a poem or song.
Focus on the outcome: “clean floors, clean clothes, bills paid…and focus on how good that will feel.”
2. Have a routine.
“The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ scenario is a real problem,” said Matlen, also author of Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD. “If you don’t see an empty sock drawer, you will most likely forget you’re out of socks for tomorrow.”
For the rest, click 7 Tips for Getting Chores Done for Adults with ADHD | World of Psychology.