Fighting ADHD Boredom

Dull moments are an unavoidable part of everyday life. Lines, lectures, and traffic aren’t anybody’s favorite things but they can push someone with ADHD to the boredom breaking point. A brain with ADHD craves constant entertainment. When things get tedious, ADHD minds bounce into a more interesting direction, shattering focus, which is tricky because being able to pay attention is important for school, work, and relationships. Here are some strategies that may help children and adults with ADHD combat boredom and stay engaged in the moment:

  • Get involved. If you’re listening to a lecture or presentation, stay engaged by thinking of questions. If the setting isn’t appropriate for questions, write down questions and key takeaways on a notepad.
  • Carry a token. Keep a small stone, piece of jewelry, silly putty, stone, or some small item in your pocket. Fiddle with it discreetly when bored.
  • Break down projects into bite-size pieces. With any big project, especially one with some tedious components, be sure to take mini-breaks regularly. Attempting to conquer the project in one swing is a no-go because you’ll definitely be prone to procrastination.
  • Entertain your mind. If you’re stuck in a not so fun place, like a line, play some brain games. Make up a story about the person in front of you in line, tally if more people are wearing red or blue, or sing a song in your head.
  • Carry a notebook and pen. Brainstorm an idea, doodle, or write down your thoughts during downtime.
  • Check all the boxes. When settling into a new situation, like the start of class or a meeting, make sure you take care of all potential future distractions. Adjust your clothing and accessories, eat, take a trip to the restroom, have a drink on hand.
  • Create a source of interesting activities. Brainstorm activities and make a list or write them on slips of paper or popsicle sticks and put them in a jar. When struggling for something to do during down time, turn to your treasure chest of fun activities. Some ideas to get you started: fly a kite, take a hike, play charades or twister, have a dance party.
  • Stay active daily. Walk, dance, play, do chores. Just move! Exercise can serve as a release for some of your restless energy.


If a racing mind keeps you up at night, check out our blog post Creating a Sleep Sanctuary, for better quality sleep.


We’re currently enrolling 4-5 year olds in an ADHD clinical research study. Fill out the form below to register your interest in learning more about this study opportunity or any other studies listed below.