top of page

Working Memory and ADHD

One of the frequent challenges of people with ADHD are issues linked to working memory. Working memory ,both verbal and nonverbal, are executive functions that can often be affected by ADHD.

What are executive functions?

Executive functions are the parts of the brain that help you get things done. They are located in the frontal lobe of the brain, and typically some of them tend not to function as well when you have ADHD,

Working memory is one of these executive functions and has often been referred to as the GPS of the brain.

In fact when working memory is working well it is a bit like Google Maps or Waze !

However, if your brain already feels overwhelmed ( often true for those with ADHD) you may find it hard to process everything you should process in your working memory.

What can be done to stop the overwhelm? What can you do to improve your working memory if you have ADHD?

Cut down on distractions

Working memory is closely linked to concentration. So if possible reduce distractions so that there is not so much information which is in competition with your working memory…

Try using pen and paper to externalize some of the information or ideas you have in your head. Although yes you can keep information on your iPad or phone sometimes it’s good to have a chance and have a notebook to write down information, ideas and so on It may seem old school these days but for some people, this works better!

Try using a planner to write stuff down and if you get bored with that planner after say 5 or 6 weeks ( Again boredom often sets in !) go ahead and buy a different planner or use a different type of organizational tool. Folks with ADHD get easily bored so remember there is no rule that says you have to use the same planner all year round!

Avoid multitasking!

Even though it seems everyone is rushing around multi-tasking successfully this can often make things worse. Try focusing on one task at a time and you may find it easier to remember what you need to remember and be more productive

Exercise regularly

Exercise will also help your working memory as it increases the production of dopamine in your brain which will in turn improve your working memory!

Try some brain games

There are loads of brain games out there which can also sharpen your memory if used regularly. Try Lumosity or Elevate to get started on using brain games!

Want to know more?

Visit for more information about ADHD and ADHD Coaching!

22 views0 comments
bottom of page