Five Study Habits for ADHD Students
- Get Organized
- Stick to Routines
- Take Breaks
- Know What Distracts or Helps You
- Get Help
ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is associated with children who squirm and fidget their way through school each day. The truth is that the condition is often seen in adults and presents a challenge to college students struggling through degree programs. Scientists have learned a lot about the problem, and teachers have discovered how to accommodate children with the disorder, but how does a college student deal with self-monitored study times outside of the classroom? Here are five tips for studying if you have ADHD.
1. Get Organized
Make certain your work spaces are free of clutter and you know where textbooks and other materials are. Buy a smartphone. That may be an expensive accommodation, but smartphones have built-in calendars and alarms that can help someone with ADHD stay on track through the day. You can set the calendar to remind you a day ahead of an impending exam or an assignment due date. In addition, the phones have alarms that can be set to help you return to study times after breaks for meals or other tasks. Have all study materials like pens and pencils on hand and have extras so that you are not distracted by looking for another pen if yours dries up, or by sharpening a pencil. Then, set your phone alarm for regular activity breaks.
2. Stick to Routines
Changing the way you do things can be a distraction in itself. Doing things the same way each day can keep you on track and move you from one activity to another. That includes having regular meal times and keeping your bed time as consistent as possible. People with ADHD are more prone to distraction and upset when they are fatigued.
3. Take Breaks
Projects should be broken up into smaller tasks. That often means you will have to start on a task sooner, but you will avoid the frustration of becoming overwhelmed. This not only means studying in small increments but including active breaks into your study period. Go outside, take a walk, get a drink or a snack. You can set your phone alarm to cue you when it is time to get back on task.
4. Know What Distracts or Helps You
Some people with ADHD have a hard time studying in quiet because then noises like pages ruffling or whispers are harder to ignore. If you find yourself easily distracted in very quiet rooms, don’t go to the library. Instead, find a coffee shop or restaurant that has WI-FI and study there. If, on the other hand, all noise distracts you, arrange to use a study room. In addition, the National Public Radio website recommends knowing what type of learner you are and arranging to get materials that suit your style. If you are a hands-on learner, you will be frustrated by hours of recorded lectures.
5. Get Help
Many students are diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school and receive learning plans that include accommodations as a part of the Individuals With Disabilities Act. Some people don’t realize that if that plan, called an IEP or Individualized Education Plan, is still in place when a student enters college, then the school will make accommodations as well. Plan to visit with your guidance counselor to find out what type of help is available to you, and then avail yourself of all resources.
Related Resource: Top 20 Best Online Master’s in Special Education 2018
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects roughly four percent of the adult population, or eight million people, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Researchers estimate that less than 20 percent of adults with ADHD have been diagnosed or treated. If you have the condition, you are not alone. ADHD does not have to limit who you become if you learn to become self-aware and use tips like these to study and earn your degree.