Avoiding Distractions, and Adults with ADHD

A central issue in managing adult ADHD is navigating transitions. Throughout a day, most of us switch roles or steer between different sorts of tasks. In many cases, these switches occur within a single domain, such as different work duties or homework assignments. In other cases, there may be domain switches, such as shifting from work to household roles or finishing chores before gearing up to exercise.

Planned breaks are an essential coping strategy for adults with ADHD to manage the multi-faceted demands of adult life and its many roles. Think about the day as an endurance race that involves pacing oneself, including the need for breaks, time-outs, food and fluids, and pockets of undedicated downtime to get well-deserved rest to keep on track. However, these breaks, both stopping to take a break and, even more so, getting back on-task in the middle of a project or when switching to the next task, open up the proverbial “rabbit holes” for distraction and escape that can leave someone scratching their head hours later, asking themselves (with apologies to the Talking Heads), “Well, how did I get here?”

Taking Breaks, Avoiding Distractions, and Adults with ADHD | Psychology Today