Low Working Memory? Powerful Strategies to Manage it

Welcome to our Monday series for Turbo ADHD brains (watch the movie, you’ll get the reference, but the short explanation is: slow as a snail when not important to you, and superspeed when you are interested). Coffee is what gets most of us going on a Monday morning, but it’s really the super juice for ADHD brains. SO, coffee and quick tips to learn more about the ADHD brain and how to make it work in your favor. In a previous post, we talked about Working Memory, what it is and how important it is.  Another favorite quote, this time by John Rohm is: “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” We talked about how WM creates problems for ADHDers getting started and even more so for creating a sustainable productive habit, because ADHD needs routine and a schedule. Managing the daily traffic and prioritizing are absolute essential skills to learn for someone with ADHD. Here are 2 perspectives that would help: 1. When by yourself, you need an External hard drive outside of your brain to help hold information and help you organize it in categories:
  • Use a journal to do a brain dump of any ideas that cross your mind
  • Use to-do lists (daily, weekly, monthly) to keep you on track
  • Whiteboard it
  • Journal with bullet points
  • Use visuals and colors
  • Keep it simple
  • Use reminders (alarms, time limits and due dates)
2. If in a relationship, ask your partner to use the following tips to make more use of the working memory and communicate more effectively. These are also great for parents and kids with ADHD.
  • Find out what the ADHD partner has heard, ask them to repeat instructions and clarify
  • Make eye contact and make sure nothing else is happening around them (nothing distracting)
  • Speak slowly (not annoyingly)
  • Less is better
  • Make it interactive, so they don’t lose interest
  • Have a backup plan, in case the ADHD partner forgets
  • Follow up, trust, but verify
If you would like additional ADHD support, I'd like to invite you to the West Valley ADHD Resources & Support Facebook group. In this free community, you will gain positive connections, helpful resources, and support without judgment or criticism for parents of children diagnosed with ADHD (or on the spectrum). I can't wait to connect with you further! ABOUT: Dr. Ruxandra LeMay is a private practice psychologist in Litchfield Park, Arizona with experience in family therapy, ADHD, stress and anxiety management, and executive coaching. She is the author of My Spouse Wants More Sex Than Me: The 2-Minute Solution For a Happier MarriageClick HERE to check out her free resources on effective communication, emotional unavailability, intimacy, and anxiety management or join her at www.ruxandralemay.com for monthly blog posts.