Last updated: April 2nd, 2020
Welcome to the ADHD bucket list.
This article covers the 11 things that every person with ADHD must do.
The following bucket list items are designed to help you:
- Reduce your stress, pain, and suffering
- Live a more fun, fulfilling, and purposeful life
- Make the most of the limited time that you have on Earth
I can assure you that I personally use these 11 bucket list items in my day-to-day life.
And, I know that these bucket list items work, because they’re the exact strategies that have allowed me to grow ADHD Boss into a website that helps thousands of people with ADHD every single day.
If I didn’t follow these 11 guidelines, then I probably wouldn’t have anything worth having.
I really hope you embrace this bucket list, and use it to your advantage.
1. Create your “commonplace”
The #1 most important change that I made this year was creating a commonplace. Having a commonplace is that important. It will change your life.
What’s a commonplace, you might be wondering?
A commonplace is a single digital location where you keep ALL of your most important information. Your commonplace might include things like:
- Your daily to-do list
- Ideas that you come up with
- Your daily progress (what you accomplish)
- People who you want to reach out to
- A list of cities that you want to travel to
- Account usernames and passwords (you can password protect this type of sensitive information)
Any information that you need to reference regularly should go into your commonplace.
The main benefit of having a commonplace is that rather than having 100 different folders full of various information on your laptop, and sticky notes all over your room, you just have one centralized system where you store all of your most important information.
Like I said, creating a commonplace was the easiest and most impactful change that I made this year.
You will feel mentally “at ease” once you create your commonplace. You’ll no longer have to scour your computer for missing documents. Everything will be in one convenient location, so that you’ll always know where to find exactly what you’re looking for.
To create your commonplace, you can use:
I use OneNote, and it’s surprising how much of a life-changing tool it can be for people with ADHD.
Just set aside 2 or 3 hours to transfer over all of your information into OneNote or Evernote, and you will fall in love with your commonplace. I promise you.
Both OneNote and Evernote come with awesome tutorials that make it really easy for you to get started.
Note: If you’re a little bit old school, then you definitely can use a physical commonplace like the one pictured above, if you really want to. But, I can assure you that using OneNote or Evernote will make your life so much easier.
2. Figure out what you’re good at, and do it often
Did you know that people with ADHD are capable of accomplishing just about anything in life?
Some of the world’s most competitive, highest-performing people have ADHD. Like Richard Branson, Simone Biles, Ingvar Kamprad, Seth Godin, etc.
But, here’s the rub:
You have to figure out what you’re good at, and do it often.
People with ADHD often get bogged down with comparing themselves to other (normal) people. That’s a problem, because you have ADHD, and you aren’t normal.
It’s time for you to embrace being different.
In reality, you’re the only person who truly knows what you’re good at. Every person with ADHD has some unique skill or special talent that they can leverage.
If you don’t know what you’re good at just yet, that’s OK. But, you need to start thinking about what you’re good at, and start figuring out how you can do that thing often.
Here’s how to figure out what you’re good at:
- Write down your favorite activities that you do on a regular basis
- Write down your favorite websites that you browse most often
- Write down any traits or skills that you receive compliments on
Once you narrow down one or two things that you’re good at – that’s going to be your ticket to a successful life with ADHD.
> For Richard Branson, his thing was starting businesses
> For Simone Biles, her thing was competitive sports
> For Ingvar Kamprad, his thing was creating an incredible furniture store (IKEA)
> For Seth Godin, his thing was marketing
> For you, your thing is…
It’s time for you to figure out your talents, and give your gift to the world.
3. Create genuine connections with people who have your best interests in mind
The people who you surround yourself with on a daily basis will make or break you.
If you have people in your life who aim to lift you up, then you’re incredibly blessed.
If you have people in your life who repeatedly knock you down, then you might want to think about separating yourself from these types of people as much as possible.
Having ADHD already creates a little bit of havoc in your life. You don’t need more unnecessary drama or wasted mental energy.
You need people who care about you. So, when you connect with someone who genuinely has your best interests in mind, make sure to keep that person in your life forever.
Also: Having ADHD makes it really easy to impulsively cut people out of your life. So, make sure to keep high-quality people in your inner circle, and very carefully cut out the bad ones.
4. Learn about how your ADHD brain actually works (educate yourself)
Once you develop a good understanding of how your ADHD brain actually works, your entire life will start to make sense.
This is a crazy feeling that I hope you get to experience very soon (if you haven’t already experienced this “ADHD epiphany” that I’m talking about).
For example, understanding the ins and outs of ADHD will help you realize:
> Why people with ADHD always seem to take risks and chase highs
> Why having ADHD makes you more likely to seek conflict, break the rules, and be rebellious
> Why most people with ADHD don’t seem motivated in life
As you can probably imagine, ADHD seems like a really problematic condition at first glance.
But, I can assure you that understanding ADHD will help you totally turn your life around.
ADHD essentially comes down to having a lack of self-control, and a weak dopamine function.
It’s a “disorder” of control.
But, what happens when you start to take control of your ADHD?
People who decide to take control of their ADHD are capable of doing so much cool stuff in life.
For instance, you can…
- Enjoy fulfilling relationships with awesome people
- Find a job that you love
- Start your own business
- Get in amazing shape and feel really good every day
It’s truly unbelievable how much you can change your life once you understand ADHD, and get a grip on it.
Stick with me for a while, and I’ll help you transform.
5. Start practicing stoicism today (nature’s oldest mental health booster)
Stoicism can help you stay calm, content, and resilient for a lifetime.
Having ADHD practically requires you to become stoic in your thoughts and actions.
If you aren’t stoic, then you risk thinking too much, worrying about endless things, and constantly quitting when times get tough.
Luckily, there’s a lot for you to read about stoic philosophy. Stoicism is 100% required reading.
Here are some key quotes that will give you a better idea of what stoicism is all about…
Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.
True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.
Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.
Associate with people who are likely to improve you.
From Marcus Aurelius:
You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love …
It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will.
If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.
If it’s your first time learning about stoicism, prepare to be shocked by the hidden gems that you uncover. Check out this book for a daily dive into the world of stoicism, it’s what I have on my nightstand right now.
Stoicism is nature’s oldest mental health booster, as stoicism has been practiced for thousands of years.
Now, you can use stoicism for your own benefit, too.
6. Live in the city that best suits your personality
Where you live has a huge impact on your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Your location affects you on a subconscious level.
For example, if you choose to live in New York City, you’ll mostly be surrounded by people who have to work hard in order to “make it” in America. Living in a bustling city like NYC will probably encourage you to work extremely hard, advance in your career, earn more money, and develop more professional skills. If you want to grow on a professional level, then it might make sense for you to live in a big, booming metropolitan area like NYC.
However, if you’re in a position where you just want to relax, have fun, and enjoy the outdoors, then you might choose to live in an affordable beach city like St. Petersburg, Florida. Sure, you might not be as productive in St. Petersburg as you would be in New York City. But, there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy life more, have more time to connect with people, and enjoy a much less stressful lifestyle.
Life is all about the choices that you make. And, deciding where to live is one of the most important choices that you will ever face.
Not sure where to live? Spend some time traveling to find the city that best suits your personality. Researching cities on the internet can provide you with some incredibly helpful hints. I like to look at Wikitravel for city insights, and numbeo for cost of living comparisons.
But, there will come a point where you just have to venture out into the world for yourself to find the city that “feels right” to you.
7. Eliminate unneeded friction from your life
I’m all for eliminating unnecessary pain in life.
Some pain is extremely good for you.
But, unnecessary pain (“friction”) is just counterintuitive to living a great life.
People with ADHD suffer from a lot of unnecessary pain, because many of us have accepted dogmatic advice that just doesn’t work for people with ADHD.
How many people have tried to make you feel guilty for taking ADHD medication, for example? Probably a lot of people.
ADHD Boss is a website that focuses on helping you get results for your life regardless of what it takes.
If you feel like ADHD medication improves your life, then take it (under the guidance of a doctor, of course).
If you feel like natural remedies are better suited for your lifestyle, then use them. Sometimes healthy food, exercise, and good relationships are enough for certain people with ADHD who live laid back lifestyles.
You have to do what works best for you, and forget about the people who want to push an agenda on you.
You have one life. Please get rid of unnecessary friction from your life, so that you can make the most of your limited time on this planet.
8. Make it a point to have at least one “mini-adventure” every month (always have fun)
It’s been shown that having “life experiences” is one of the healthiest and most rewarding things that people can do.
People who have many life experiences tend to have very few regrets on their deathbed. This should tell you something.
Your life experiences might involve:
- Taking a road trip with friends
- Visiting a new U.S. state that you haven’t been to before
- Attending interesting meetups (meetup.com is great for this)
- Pursuing new hobbies
Just make it a point to have at least one little adventure every month, no matter how busy or bogged down with work you are.
You have to enjoy your life, regardless of what it takes.
Stress is the ultimate contributor to disease in the modern age. And, stress amplifies your ADHD symptoms beyond all belief. So you have to do whatever it takes to fight stress, have fun, and enjoy at least one mini-adventure every single month.
You’ll be thankful in the future when you’re healthy, and you have plenty of fun memories to look back on.
Fun experiences are the absolute pinnacle of life.
9. Love people with a full heart (family, friends, strangers, yourself)
People with ADHD have to deal with many painful experiences in life.
And, most people who you come into contact with are dealing with pain in their lives, too.
You never know what someone is going through.
It’s best to just love everyone with a full heart. Family, friends, strangers, and especially yourself.
When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and said “I love me”?
Many people with ADHD have really horrible self-talk. There’s a chance that you tell yourself all sorts of horrible things. I was the same way for a very long time.
But, when you love yourself, and love other people, life just gets so much better.
There’s more than enough pain in the world. You don’t need to contribute to that pain. Spread love, help other people, and you’ll be rewarded generously.
10. Take great care of your physical health (move every day)
Physical exercise improves mental health. There’s no doubt about it.
When you look good, you feel good. This is why you have to move every day.
It’s thought that hunter-gatherers used to burn between 800 to 1200 calories every single day through physical activity.
Today, the average American expends only a fraction of this amount of physical activity.
So, you don’t have to become a competitive athlete or CrossFit champion. But, you do have to move around every day if you want to enjoy a great quality of life.
I personally don’t think in terms of burning calories. I’m much more interested in immersing myself in nature, running outside, swimming in the ocean, and doing bodyweight exercises every day.
Some people prefer HIIT workouts, bodybuilding, yoga, and playing sports. That’s totally fine. You just have to do whatever it takes to get moving.
11. Always move in the direction of your “life vision” (and you’ll never have regrets in life)
Want to know one of the easiest ways to make a decision in life?
If you’re faced with a decision to make, just think about the choice that moves you closer to your life’s vision.
You do have a vision for your life, right?
If you don’t have a life vision, then you need to get started with creating a vision for your life right away.
It’s by far one of the most important things that you can do.
Because if you don’t know where you’re headed in life, then you’ll most likely become a victim of your ADHD, and you could end up going down some seriously destructive paths.
On the flip side, if you have a clear vision of what you want your life to look like, then you’ll almost always know the right choices to make for your life.
Having a life vision solves so many problems, and ultimately makes you a more confident, decisive, and interesting human being.
Whether you just found out that you have ADHD, or you’ve been struggling with ADHD for many years, anyone can use this article to improve their life starting today.
This “bucket list” consists of the 11 things that will drastically improve your life on this planet. But, you have to be willing to take action. And, you have to actually apply these tips to your life.
I truly hope you use these bucket list items for everything they’re worth!
You CAN live the life you want with ADHD.
You CAN do almost anything that you want.
It’s just a matter of having a clear vision, taking action, and working with your ADHD brain rather than fighting against it.