According to the National Institute of Mental Health, those with ADHD can experience an ongoing pattern of symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. This can make it challenging for some art students to stay motivated, focused, and engaged. Because of this, we compiled a list of five student-favorite tactics to curb these common roadblocks and take your academic career to the next level.
1. Get Organized
Like chapters in a book, breaking down your assignments into manageable pieces allows you to reduce unnecessary cramming and feelings of frustration. Ask yourself what needs to be completed first and start there. Oftentimes, projects come with a natural progression of tasks such as researching, planning, executing, and refining. Consider using free software such as Google Calendar to mark detailed assignment progressions and deadlines. This method makes it easier to work on your assignment over several days or weeks, and it also gives you time to be thoughtful in your work.
2. Know Your Learning Style
Did you know, 73 percent of people strongly prefer a single learning style? According to the National Library of Medicine, the most popular style is visual learning. Whatever your learning style is, figure out what works best and utilize it! If you’re a visual learner, use charts, diagrams and images to your advantage. If you’re an auditory learner, utilize text-to-speech programs or videos to supplement your reading. Lastly, if you’re a kinesthetic learner, consider joining RMCAD’s many Clubs + Organizations to learn by doing.
3. Clutter-Free Studying
Keeping your work area tidy and free from clutter can help reduce unwanted distractions. A study by Harvard University showed that students sitting at messy desks are less efficient. In fact, those at a clean desk were able to study for 1.5 times longer than those at a messy desk. Similarly, persistent clutter can also be a cause of anxiety leading to creative block that you can’t seem to shake. So next time you can’t seem to focus, take a look around to potentially free up any distractions.
4. Pomodoro Technique
Developed in the late 1980s, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that encourages a five minute break, known as a pomodoro, after 25 minutes of work. Using this technique to stay active and step away from what you’re doing can help improve focus and productivity. Once you complete four pomodoro sessions, you are encouraged to take a longer break between 15 and 30 minutes. Many creatives with ADHD praise this method as it can help prevent burnout and promote strong mental health.
5. Body Doubling
Our last tactic, body doubling, is a productivity technique where you utilize the presence of another person while you focus on a task. Whether you struggle to start or finish work, body doubling can be beneficial for those that might have a hard time staying on task when they’re alone. Whether it’s a friend or a Student Learning Center Tutor, you may feel increased motivation, focus, and inspiration.
In conclusion, there are many techniques to assist in combating symptoms of ADHD. Whether you join a study group, meet with a tutor, or speak with a counselor, you’re not alone and we’re here to support you throughout your academic journey. For personalized assistance, RMCAD’s Health + Wellness Center is available for free to all RMCAD students.
Inspired by a Student Learning Center blog written by SLC Peer Tutor Jenni.