Last updated:

February 21, 2024


 min read

Studying with ADHD - Try these 7 tricks and tips

Unlock success while studying with ADHD using 7 powerful tips! Improve focus, beat procrastination, and excel academically with expert guidance from Rocket Health. Discover effective strategies today!

Reviewed by
Kanika Shekhawat
Written by
Muskaan Surana


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that affects thousands of people worldwide. While it is often diagnosed in childhood, it can persist into adulthood and impact a person's life in numerous ways, presenting challenges in various aspects of life.

Studying can be a challenging endeavour for anyone, but for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the journey through academia can be particularly demanding. ADHD affects one's ability to focus, regulate impulses, and manage time efficiently. 

In this blog, we will explore the unique challenges faced by individuals with ADHD while studying and provide practical tips and tricks to enhance concentration and overall academic performance.

The Challenges Of Studying with ADHD

Challenges Faced by ADHD Individuals While Studying:

Difficulty Sustaining Attention

Individuals with ADHD often struggle to sustain attention on a single task for extended periods. This challenge can make it difficult to engage with study materials, leading to frequent distractions and reduced productivity. ADHD can make it harder to concentrate on your studies, especially if the topic doesn’t interest you.

Impulsivity and Procrastination

Impulsivity is a common trait in ADHD, making it challenging to resist immediate temptations and prioritize tasks effectively. Procrastination can become a significant hurdle, hindering the ability to meet deadlines and complete assignments on time.

Research suggests that there’s a disruption in the dopamine pathway of the ADHD brain.Dopamine is an essential chemical messenger linked to motivation, pleasure, and attention regulation.So, a dysfunction in dopamine transmission may result in poor focus and low motivation.

Organisational Struggles

ADHD can impact organisational skills, making it hard for individuals to keep track of assignments, manage time efficiently, and maintain a structured study routine. This lack of organisation can contribute to increased stress levels.

Hyperactivity and Restlessness

While not everyone with ADHD experiences hyperactivity, restlessness is a common manifestation. This restlessness can disrupt the studying process, making it difficult to sit still and concentrate on the task at hand.

Difficulty with Multitasking

Contrary to popular belief, individuals with ADHD often struggle with multitasking. Attempting to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously can result in incomplete assignments and a sense of overwhelm.

7 Tips and Tricks to Improve Studying and Concentration for ADHD

Create a Structured Routine

Establishing a daily routine can provide a sense of order and predictability. Set specific times for studying, breaks, and other activities. Consistency helps train the brain to focus during designated study periods.

Try the  Pomodoro Technique

It  is like a superhero sidekick for folks with ADHD—it's simple, effective, and can really help boost focus and productivity. Imagine it as your trusty ally in the battle against distraction and procrastination! 

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how it works:

  • Set the Timer: First things first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is your Pomodoro timer, named after those cute little tomato-shaped kitchen timers (pomodoro means tomato in Italian) that the technique is named after.

  • Focus on a Single Task: Once the timer starts ticking, dive into your work with laser-like focus. Choose one task to tackle during this time—whether it's reading a chapter, writing an email, or studying for a test.

  • No Distractions Allowed: This is your sacred 25 minutes of undivided attention. Keep distractions at bay—put your phone on silent, close unnecessary tabs on your computer, and let your family or roommates know that you're in Pomodoro mode.

  • Work, Work, Work: Now's the time to put your nose to the grindstone and get stuff done! Stay committed to your task until the timer buzzes—no peeking at social media or wandering off on tangents.

  • Take a Short Break: Ah, sweet relief! When the timer goes off, it's break time. Give yourself a well-deserved 5-minute breather. Stretch your legs, grab a snack, or simply relax and recharge.

  • Repeat and Rinse: After your mini-break, it's back to the grind—but fear not, another Pomodoro awaits! Dive back into your task for another 25-minute sprint. Repeat this cycle of focused work followed by short breaks.

  • Long Breaks for the Win: After completing four Pomodoros (that's four 25-minute work sessions), reward yourself with a longer break—typically around 15-30 minutes. Use this time to decompress, hydrate, or indulge in a quick dance party (hey, whatever gets you going!).

The beauty of the Pomodoro Technique lies in its simplicity and flexibility. It's a great way to break down daunting tasks into manageable chunks, making them feel more approachable and less overwhelming. Plus, the built-in breaks help prevent burnout and keep your brain feeling fresh and focused.

Break Down Tasks into Manageable Steps

Large tasks can be overwhelming for individuals with ADHD. Break down assignments into smaller, more manageable steps. Tackling one step at a time can make the process more approachable and less daunting.

Utilise Visual Aids

Visual aids, such as colour-coded notes, mind maps, and charts, can enhance understanding and retention. Visual stimuli can be more engaging for individuals with ADHD and serve as effective tools for organising information. You might also use Fidget tools Or Doodle. Science suggests that fidgeting helps ADHDers boost their focus, functioning, and productivity.

Stimulating your senses

  • Sight: Use colourful markers, diagrams, and pictures to make your study materials visually engaging.

  • Sound: Experiment with background music or white noise to drown out distractions and create a conducive study environment.

  • Touch: Incorporate tactile elements like textured paper or stress balls to keep your hands busy and your mind focused.

  • Smell: Light a scented candle or use essential oils to create a calming atmosphere that enhances concentration.

  • Taste: Keep healthy snacks on hand to fuel your brain and give you a little boost when needed.

Use ADHD-Friendly Study Techniques

Experiment with study techniques tailored to ADHD preferences. This may include incorporating hands-on activities, using mnemonic devices, or engaging in active learning strategies. Find methods that align with personal learning styles.

Digital Apps that can help

Explore apps like Trello, Evernote, or Todoist for digital organisation on the go.

Establish a Dedicated Study Space

Designate a specific area for studying to minimise distractions. Create a clutter-free environment and communicate with family or roommates about the importance of maintaining a quiet space during study sessions. Organise your space, the way you like it. Include bulletin boards, To- do lists, all your resources in one place. Add some quotes that inspire you. Having an energetic study space can motivate you to study better. 

Last Words

Studying with ADHD presents its unique set of challenges, but with empathy, understanding, and the right strategies, individuals can navigate academia successfully. 

It's crucial for educators, peers, and society as a whole to embrace a supportive and inclusive approach, recognizing the diverse ways in which individuals with ADHD navigate the educational landscape. 

Seek support from healthcare professionals, therapists, and support groups to create a comprehensive plan for managing your ADHD. 

At Rocket Health, we provide online psychotherapy that is judgement-free and highly effective. Schedule a session with our mental health experts today to devise treatment plans that are individualised and highly effective.