Strategies for ADHD

Break tasks down

  • Break complex tasks into the smallest possible sub-tasks.
  • Write each one down on a separate line on a piece of paper.
  • Cut off each item as you do it and watch the task get shorter.
  • Or, add assignment deadlines to a calendar/wall planner then work backwards adding mini-deadlines.
  • Try the ASK Assignment Calculator or the free Pacemaker tool.

Work in short bursts

  • Use the Pomodoro method of working in short bursts to maximise concentration.
  • It's easier to get started and keep going when you only work in 25-minute bursts.
  • Keep track with a Pomodoro app on your computer or phone.
  • Before taking a break, jot down what you need to do next to help you get back into the flow.


  • Involve a partner, friend or family member.
  • Write down some rules, habits or activities you want to stick to. (Your study skills mentor and tutor could help with this.)
  • They prompt and check in with you.
  • You could use a goal-setting platform such as stickK.

Study partner

  • Discussing ideas and assignments with a fellow student can help you get started.
  • Just working alongside another person can motivate you.
  • Try a Write Time session or sign up for Focusmate.

Understand yourself

  • Learn what strategies and environments work best and worst for you.
  • Don't beat yourself up if things go wrong - you can always try again.
  • Find out more about how ADHD strengths helped people thrive in hunter-gatherer times (Thom Hartmann video.)

Habit and routine


This has huge benefits for your brain, body, attention and mood.

  • Find activities you enjoy.
  • Aim for an hour of moderate exercise a day.
  • Break that down into several short bursts if that's easier to fit in.
  • Having an exercise buddy will help you stay on track.


  • Try to eat a balanced diet.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid sugar, processed foods and artificial additives and colourings.
  • Fish oils may help - try Omega 3 and 6 supplements.
  • Eat iron-rich food such as green veg, pulses, nuts, seeds and red meat.