We all have to make decisions every day. Some are trivial, others more consequential. For individuals with ADHD, indecisiveness can often be a real problem. This can leave them feeling paralyzed. They might not do anything because they don’t have a clear picture of which path to follow. Or, just as problematically, a considered decision making process may be short circuited by an impulsive choice.
Why Decision Making Can Be Difficult with ADHD
So what gets in the way? There can be several factors:
- Executive function issues – These are usually associated with the ability to plan, prioritize and organize effectively. These are all essential elements in decision making, especially important decisions.ns.
- Attention / distraction problems – When the time comes to make a decision, someone with ADHD might not be able to filter out all the possibilities there are. The options and possible outcomes become distracting and overwhelming.
- Impulsivity – The urge to act NOW can lead to poor decisions.
- Emotional swings – Individuals with ADHD can go through a wide range of emotions which can affect their decision making negatively.
These challenges, if unaddressed, can lead to bad decisions and a lack of trust in your decision making abilities.
Tips for Making Better Decisions
There are a number of strategies that you can use to make better decision, even when you have to deal with the difficulties that ADHD presents. A good decision making process is the starting point.
Here are some recommendations from experts:
- Clearly identify the decision that needs to be made.
- Make a list the possible Make solutions and options.
- For more important decisions, discuss the approaches with others that you trust.
- Rank the options in order of your preferences.
- List the pros and cons of the top two or three.
- Choose the option you are most comfortable with, and identify the actions that need to be taken to bring it about.
- Determine the time by which a decision needs to be made.
- Allow a little time before moving ahead, to be sure that your choice wasn’t made impulsively. While doing this, you may find that the second or third option is better for you.
- Write everything down as you go. Recording the process will help you get a better perspective on your decisions. That way, even if the outcome doesn’t turn out as you had hoped, you can assure yourself that your decision making process was considered and thoughtful.
Decision making can be more difficult with ADHD. But creating a strong decision making process that you practice regularly can make the difference between making decision that you feel good and decisions you regret.