If you have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), you know how much of a challenge getting and staying organized can be. Hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsiveness are hallmarks of this neurological disorder and can turn everyday tasks like remembering deadlines and time management into significant hurdles. Luckily, the Apple Watch is ready to help. As you already know, this device does a lot more than just tell time.
While it probably wasn't designed with ADHDers in mind, this technological accessory has useful features that can help you manage your ADHD effectively. Whether you need a nudge to get you to study for that big test or some music to help quiet your mind, this mini-computer strapped to your wrist can often help.
It's highly customizable, so you can configure it to suit your specific needs. Since it's so compact, it can travel with you wherever you go, providing audio and visual cues to help you stay on task and achieve your goals.
Almost everyone with ADHD struggles with forgetfulness and staying on task, including Leonardo da Vinci, who researchers believe may have had the disorder. As anyone with ADHD knows, forgetting things can come with serious consequences for one's career or academic pursuits. While willing your brain to remember things probably won't work, setting up your Apple Watch to remember for you almost certainly will, as long as you don't forget to wear it. The Apple Watch's reminder function works by allowing you to set multiple alarms for different activities throughout the day to help you stay on track.
Set a reminder using Siri:
1. Raise your wrist and say "Hey Siri," or press and hold the Digital Crown.
2. Say your reminder, e.g., "Remind me to turn in the paperwork at 3 PM."
3. Include specifics like time or location, e.g., "Remind me to call John when I leave work."
4. Review the details on the screen. If correct, let Siri complete the command.
4. Open the Reminders app or ask Siri, "Show me my reminders," to check your reminders.
Set up reminders from your Apple watch:
1. Press the Digital Crown to access the Home screen and tap the Reminders app icon.
2. Tap "New Reminder" or "+" to create a new reminder.
3. Use the on-screen keyboard or Scribble to enter the reminder details.
4. Tap "Details" to add a specific date, time, or location for the reminder.
5. Press "Done" to save the new reminder.
Although it may seem counterintuitive to those without ADHD, those with the disorder know that, at times, they can become so engrossed in a subject that it's almost impossible to pull themselves away from it. While this may seem like a good thing, it's often counterproductive in situations where competing priorities require one's attention. The Apple Watch's timers and alarms can be powerful tools, reminding you to take a break or switch tasks.
Set a timer using Siri:
1. Raise your wrist to wake the watch and say, "Hey Siri," or press and hold the Digital Crown.
2. Say your timer command, such as "Set a timer for 20 minutes."
3. Siri will confirm the timer has started.
Set a timer from your Apple Watch:
1. Press the Digital Crown to access the Home screen and tap the Timer app icon.
2. Select a preset duration or tap "Custom" to set a specific time.
3. If you selected "Custom," use the on-screen options to set the desired duration.
4. Tap "Start" to begin the timer.
You can also set up alarms to help you manage time and prevent over-immersion in a single task.
Focus and concentration
While people with ADHD do have a seemingly superhuman ability to hyperfocus on the things they enjoy, all of that goes out the window when it comes to the mundane tasks that are often required of them on the job or at school. As you've probably guessed, the Apple Watch can help with that, too. If you find your mind wandering at inopportune times, breaking tasks up using the Pomodoro technique (working for a set period, e.g., 25 minutes followed by a short break) may help improve your focus.
The Apple Watch doesn't have a built-in Pomodoro feature, but you can implement the technique by setting tiers for work and break intervals. The Pomodoro technique can be helpful for those with ADHD because it gives them the structure they need and helps prevent procrastination. While you're at it, it's a good idea to activate your watch's "Do Not Disturb" mode to minimize distractions during a focused work or study session.
Physical Activity and Stress Reduction
Staying active is important to our physical health and well-being. It can also help control ADHD symptoms, giving you the mental energy to power through complex tasks at work and school. However, despite your best intentions, it can be hard to squeeze a workout into your busy schedule. That's where the Apple Watch can help. Its fitness tracking features, including activity rings, encourage you to move and stand up throughout the day, even when you can't make it to the gym. You can set reminders to stand or move around, something that's especially helpful if you tend to hyperfocus and forget to take breaks.
If you ever find yourself feeling stressed out during the day, you can use the Apple Watch Mindfulness app to take a few minutes to relax and center your thoughts. Incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily life can help you manage your symptoms more effectively, which could lead to improved focus and less stress.