Dealing with boredom in ADHD

How to manage boredom in ADHD

Individuals with ADHD often experience frustrating levels of boredom as part of their condition.   Boredom in ADHD can be explained by the inadequate dispersion or circulation of dopamine in the brain which can result in less satisfaction being experienced with ordinary tasks hence the frequent search for novel & stimulating activities (Letitia Sweitzer. M.Ed. ADDitude Magazine).

As boredom also plays a significant role in three main ADHD symptom areas of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity it can have a debilitating impact on work & personal lives e.g. ability to complete non-stimulating tasks at work and engaging in high-risk behaviours.


Tips to manage boredom 

  • Spend some time each day doing activities that you find interesting and rewarding. This may give you the energy and patience to focus on the less interesting tasks that need completion
  •  Break down the mundane tasks into smaller steps and build in a short movement break at regular intervals to re-energise and re-focus your attention e.g. go for a short walk or have a stretch

Elements of interest

In a blob article by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. in PsychCentral, she mentions author Letitia Sweitzer's book The Elephant in the ADHD Room: Beating Boredom as the Secret to Managing ADHD. Here she suggests figuring out ways to bring elements of things that you find stimulating and interesting into tasks that you experience as mundane. 

Some examples could be; if you are waiting in a queue at the shops, with frustration building and you find joy in engaging your imagination then that could be a good time to access that interest especially when the task at hand doesn't require much focus.

Another example could be getting through household chores whilst engaging your interest in music and movement E.g. playing you favourite songs whilst doing the laundry and perhaps having a little dance after each chore is completed. 

For more information on beating boredom and incorporating elements of interest go to

Additional information