Mind For Health Resources, Ltd


899 Skokie Blvd #304

Northbrook, IL 60062


(847) 564-8755

Coping with ADD

Dr. Ben Allen helps children and adults with executive functioning challenges, and often that may include attention deficit with inattention, impulsivity, and other symptoms. Here are some strategies Dr. Allen offers to help individuals optimize their executive functioning, social-emotional, and academic and professional skills.

Guide for Improvement of Attention Skills

Skills frequently present in individuals with attention deficit:

  • Ability to hyperfocus (ability to concentrate with complete and satisfying absorption on interesting tasks)
  • Creativity (emersion in lower frequency brainwaves and creative imagination)
  • Sense of humor (related to increased creativity)
  • Lots of energy and lack of inhibition (freedom to create interesting goals and passion for achieving)
  • Fun People: Enthusiasm for life, spontanaity, flexibility, adaptability, deep yearning for stimulation, and purposeful structure
  • Enhanced sensitivity and intuition
  • Greater cognitive functioning and focused when engaged in outdoor activity

10 Steps for improving attention and concentration

Learn how to manage stress and moods

  • Stop the escalation of a negative mental state
  • Master your self (life skills)
  • Learn how to lower anxiety and create positive energy
  • Paced healthy breathing can anchor you toward better attention
Delay of gratification
  • Learn how to delay rewards until the completion of subtasks
  • What motivates you? Intrinsic motivation transferred to the classroom
  • Thrive on pressure – create the illusion of pressure to make school interesting
Transfer of training
What skills do you have outside of the classroom? Take those skills and apply them to note taking, paying attention and setting and achieving goals
Improve your productivity
  • Improve diet and get good sleep
  • Always be prepared for class
  • Study effectively
  • Get help and tutoring when needed
  • Read the syllabuses, organize the work schedule for each class, and stay current
  • Make it your top priority to stay organized
  • Manage distractions, create a good workspace, set goals and subgoals
  • Pace yourself, reward your big accomplishments, celebrate small successes
Improve your memory
  • Learn how to improve your memory, buy a memory book, and practice!
  • Overcome absent-mindedness (make this your intent)
Set your intention to have good attention in class
  • Remember “WHY” you want this
  • Keep reminders with you as to your purpose in self-improvement
  • State this purpose to yourself as you fall asleep at night and upon waking – think of it often
  • Stay motivated by focusing continuously on your goal to improve academic success
Learn how to learn
  • Never accept mental limitations, and learn how to deal with self-limiting thoughts
  • Seek to learn how to be a good student. You can improve your skills and make your brain more effective and intelligent
  • State positive affirmations to yourself, and begin each task with “Why you want the goal.”
Overcome procrastination
  1. Set your priorities. You will enjoy your free time immensely if you stay productive and accomplish your tasks effectively, early rather than late. There is no freedom without responsibility
  2. Do it now! Use these words to summons your motivation. Create an image with these words of taking charge of your tasks
Use attention support strategies
  1. Take careful notes in class to anchor your attention and pay attention
  2. Doodling or a light task that keeps your hands busy and helps overcome boredom is positive if it keeps you focused and attentive to the teacher’s ideas and tasks
  3. Pace yourself with breathing, take mini breaks but continue to stay on task
  4. Use these words when you lose focus (“Stop, look, listen”)
Be prepared to use your strategies when you walk into the classroom
  • State your mission to improve academic skills and to pay attention in class
  • Sit up straight, act purposeful, and set your intent to focus
  • Organize your work desk, get your notes in order, and prepare your tools (pens, calculator, etc.)
  • Ask yourself, “What is the topic or lesson of today that we are learning in class”
  • State you’re positive affirmations to yourself
Really powerful methods for learning
  1. Take good notes. Write down every idea the teacher discusses. Learn a note-taking strategy that works for you
  2. When the teacher completes an idea, really ponder on it so you grasp the overall concept – the “Aha, ” “I get it”
  3. Take your notes after class and walk with them. Think about each idea until you grasp the overall meaning.
  4. Compare it to other concepts you already know. Teach it to others. Work with friends or a study group. Teaching and talking about a subject increases learning of that material significantly.
  5. Recognize your energy level throughout the day. Watch what you eat. Get a nap if possible or meditate
  6. Use flashcards to display each concept. Practice frequently reviewing the cards to increase your understanding
  7. Always go the extra mile – push yourself toward excellence in learning
  8. Learn how to spell like a pro. Read the dictionary, and use self-correcting methods frequently. Always seek to improve your writing skills. Hold yourself to a high standard.
  9. Think of the big picture – your future success, college, the ability to communicate and learn. Learning and communication are lifelong. Increase your future success by building a better brain for learning.
Copyright December ©, 2010 Dr. Ben Allen at Mind for Health Resources, Ltd., Northbrook, IL