Techniques to Help People With LD and ADHD Be More Productive

For individuals with learning disabilities (LD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the quest for productivity can feel like an uphill battle. Between challenges with focus, organisation, and executive function, even the simplest tasks can morph into overwhelming hurdles. 

Yet, with the right strategies and a supportive environment, success is absolutely achievable. This article explores a toolbox of techniques specifically designed to help people with LD and ADHD thrive in a world that often prioritises a single learning style.

Understanding the Challenges: LD and ADHD 

Before diving into solutions, it’s crucial to acknowledge the unique challenges faced by those with LD and ADHD. Learning disabilities encompass a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders that can impact reading, writing, maths, or information processing. Individuals with LD may struggle with decoding written language, retaining information, or expressing themselves clearly.

ADHD, on the other hand, presents a different set of hurdles. People with ADHD often experience difficulties with focus, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Staying on task, managing time effectively, and filtering out distractions can be constant battles. The good news is that by understanding these challenges, we can modify our approach to empower individuals with LD and ADHD to overcome them.

Here’s a breakdown of some key hurdles to overcome:

  • Executive Functioning: Executive functions are the cognitive processes that govern planning, organisation, time management, and self-regulation. These skills can be significantly impacted by LD and ADHD, leading to difficulties with prioritising tasks, initiating projects, and meeting deadlines. Especially people who have ADHD are commonly seen facing executive dysfunctions on a daily basis.
  • Attention and Focus: Difficulty maintaining focus is a hallmark of ADHD. Distractions abound, and staying on task for extended periods can feel like wrestling a runaway train.
  • Information Processing: Individuals with LD may have trouble processing information visually, auditorily, or kinesthetically. This can lead to difficulties with reading comprehension, following instructions, and completing tasks that require multi-step processes.

If your child presents signs of LD and ADHD, claim your 20 minutes FREE consultation valued at $125 with our expert

Unleashing the Learning Potential:

  • Learning Style Matters: People with LDs often have specific learning styles. Some may benefit from visual aids, audiobooks, or kinesthetic learning methods. Identify your preferred learning style and explore resources that cater to it.
  • Embrace Repetition: Cramming for exams might be counterproductive for those with LD. Spaced repetition, spreading out study sessions over time, helps with information retention.
  • The Power of Assistive Technology: Assistive technology can be a game-changer. Text-to-speech software can help those with dyslexia, and audiobooks can open up a world of information for those who struggle with reading. Explore the wide range of options available and find tools that empower your learning journey.

Organisation and Planning

The cornerstone of productivity lies in organisation. Here’s how to create a system that works:

  • Use External Reminders: Individuals with LD and ADHD often struggle with working memory, the brain’s capacity to hold information temporarily. To combat this, utilise external reminders like calendars, planners, to-do lists, and apps with notification features.
  • Visual Aids are Key: Information presented visually is often easier to process. Use colour-coding, mind maps, and graphic organisers to categorise tasks, break down complex concepts, and prioritise effectively.
  • Chunk it Down: Large, overwhelming tasks can be paralysing. Break down projects into smaller, more manageable steps. This creates a sense of accomplishment and keeps momentum going.
  • Utilise Technology: Technology can be a powerful tool. Explore project management apps, time trackers, and dictation software to streamline tasks and optimise workflow.

Time Management

Time management is a crucial aspect of productivity and individuals who have ADHD have a condition known as “Time Blindness”. It makes it hard to realise how much time has passed further making it hard to stay on track.  Here are some strategies to get the most out of your day:

  • The Power of Lists: Create daily “to-do” lists, prioritising tasks based on importance and urgency. Crossing off completed tasks provides a sense of accomplishment and fuels motivation.
  • The Pomodoro Technique: This technique involves working in focused 25-minute intervals followed by short breaks. This method can be particularly helpful for those with ADHD who struggle with sustained attention.
  • Schedule Breaks: Don’t underestimate the power of breaks. Schedule short breaks every hour to refresh your mind and prevent burnout.
  • Estimate Realistically: Be honest with yourself when estimating how long tasks will take. Factor in potential distractions and allow extra time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Optimising Focus

Maintaining focus can be a challenge for people with LD and ADHD. Here are some strategies to improve concentration:

  • Minimise Distractions: Find a quiet workspace free from clutter and background noise. Silence notifications on electronic devices and use noise-cancelling headphones if necessary.
  • Channel Your Energy: For those with ADHD, physical activity can be a great way to release pent-up energy and improve focus. Schedule short bursts of exercise throughout the day.
  • Identify Your Peak Hours: Some people are most productive in the morning, while others thrive at night. Schedule demanding tasks for when your energy and focus are at their peak.
  • The Tomatis® Method: A Sensory Approach to Attention The Tomatis® Method is a sound-based intervention that utilises electronically modified music to stimulate the auditory system. Studies suggest it may improve auditory processing, attention, and communication skills in individuals with various challenges, including ADHD.

If your child presents signs of LD and ADHD, claim your 20 minutes FREE consultation valued at $125 with our expert

Creating a Supportive Environment

Our surroundings significantly impact our productivity. Here are some tips to create a conducive workspace:

  • Tame the Clutter: A cluttered environment can be overwhelming and distracting. Organise your workspace and maintain a clean and minimalistic environment.
  • Embrace Natural Light: Studies have shown that natural light can improve focus and mood. If possible, position your workspace near a window.
  • Personalise Your Space: Create a workspace that reflects your personality and preferences. Add calming elements like plants or pictures to enhance your mood and promote well-being.

Learning Style Accommodations:

Different people respond to different methods of learning. Understanding each of these will help better to decide which learning method suits students having different learning disabilities or ADHD.


  • Kinesthetic Learners: These learners benefit from hands-on activities. Incorporate movement into the learning process whenever possible.
  • Auditory Learners: Utilise audio recordings of lectures or audiobooks. Dictate notes or ideas into a recording device.
  • Visual Learners: Use graphic organisers, mind maps, and colour-coding to enhance learning.

Use the Power of the Senses:

  1. Fidget Freedom: Fidgeting, often seen as disruptive, can actually be a focus enhancer for those with ADHD. Fidget spinners, stress balls, or even doodling can help channel excess energy and improve concentration.
  2. Move Your Body, Sharpen Your Mind: Short bursts of physical activity can work wonders for focus and information processing. Incorporate short walks, jumping jacks, or desk stretches into your routine. Standing desks can also be an option for those who find sitting for extended periods challenging.
  3. Standing Desks: These allow for subtle movement throughout the day, promoting focus and reducing fatigue.
  4. Engage Your Senses: Chewing gum, listening to specific types of music, or having a specific scented candle burning can all serve as sensory anchors, helping ground yourself in the task at hand. Experiment and discover what works best for you.

Change Your Outlook Towards “Productivity”

Productivity isn’t just about checking tasks off a list. It’s about harnessing your unique strengths and channelling them into meaningful work. For individuals with LD and ADHD, this approach is particularly important.  

People with ADHD often possess a superpower of creativity. They excel at brainstorming unique solutions, thinking outside the box, and approaching problems from unexpected angles. This makes them invaluable assets in collaborative environments and during brainstorming sessions. 

Individuals with LDs may have exceptional visual-spatial skills. They can excel at tasks requiring spatial reasoning, like interpreting graphs, designing layouts, or visualising complex concepts. Furthermore, they often demonstrate a strong work ethic and a deep sense of perseverance. These qualities allow them to tackle challenges head-on and persist through difficulties, a valuable trait in any pursuit and can be a valuable asset in fields like architecture, engineering, or graphic design.

The key lies in recognising these strengths and consciously leveraging them. For example, if you have ADHD and struggle with sustained focus, channel your hyperfocus into productive bursts by setting clear goals and time limits for specific tasks. This allows you to harness that intense concentration for focused work while managing potential distractions.

Harnessing the Power of Play:

For individuals with ADHD, the traditional definition of “work” can feel restrictive. Incorporate playful elements into your productivity routine. Use timers that emit fun sounds, reward yourself with short bursts of movement between tasks, or explore gamified productivity apps that turn work into a challenge.

If your child presents signs of LD and ADHD, claim your 20 minutes FREE consultation valued at $125 with our expert

How the Tomatis® Method Helps People with LD and ADHD Be More Productive

The Tomatis® Method is a powerful and innovative auditory stimulation technique that has proven to be beneficial for individuals with learning disabilities (LD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). By leveraging the profound impact of sound on the brain and nervous system, the Tomatis® Method helps improve cognitive functions, emotional well-being, and overall productivity.

Executive dysfunction, as mentioned before,  refers to impairments in the cognitive processes that enable goal-oriented behaviour. These include difficulties with working memory, planning, organisation, time management, and flexible thinking. Individuals with executive dysfunction often struggle with initiating tasks, following through on plans, and managing their time effectively.

Working memory is a critical component of executive function. It involves the ability to hold and manipulate information in the mind over short periods. This cognitive skill is essential for tasks such as problem-solving, decision-making, and following multi-step instructions. Deficits in working memory can lead to challenges in academic and daily activities, making it difficult to stay organised and complete tasks efficiently.

The Tomatis® Method uses the brain’s neuroplasticity to its advantage to positively impact the executive functioning and working memory of people with ADHD and LD to improve their productivity and focus.

How the Tomatis® Method Works

Enhancing Working Memory

Auditory Stimulation and Neuroplasticity

The Tomatis® Method enhances working memory through auditory stimulation that promotes neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganise itself by forming new neural connections. By listening to electronically modified music, particularly the works of Mozart and Gregorian chants, individuals experience a stimulation that encourages brain plasticity. This enhanced neuroplasticity leads to improvements in cognitive functions, including working memory.

Strengthening Auditory Processing

Auditory processing is closely linked to working memory. The Tomatis® Method improves auditory processing by training the brain to better interpret and organise sounds. This enhanced auditory processing capacity supports the ability to hold and manipulate information, thereby strengthening working memory.

Improving Planning and Organisation

Activating the Prefrontal Cortex

The prefrontal cortex is the brain region responsible for executive functions such as planning, decision-making, and organising. The Tomatis® Method stimulates the prefrontal cortex through specific sound frequencies, enhancing its function. This activation helps individuals with LD and ADHD develop better planning and organisational skills.

Promoting Emotional Regulation

Effective planning and organisation require emotional regulation, which is often a challenge for individuals with LD and ADHD. The Tomatis® Method helps regulate emotions by stimulating the vagus nerve, which promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Improved emotional regulation allows individuals to stay calm and focused, facilitating better planning and organisational abilities.

Better Task Initiation and Completion

By improving working memory, planning, and organisation, the Tomatis® Method helps individuals with LD and ADHD initiate and complete tasks more effectively. Enhanced cognitive function and emotional stability enable better time management and task prioritisation.

Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem

As individuals experience improvements in executive function, they often gain confidence in their abilities. This increased self-esteem encourages them to take on new challenges and persist in their efforts, leading to greater productivity and success.


The road to productivity is paved with small wins. Shift your focus from solely achieving the final goal to acknowledging and celebrating your progress along the way. This positive reinforcement system helps maintain motivation and fosters a sense of accomplishment, even on challenging days.

If you’d like to learn more about the Tomatis® Method and its potential benefits for individuals with LD and ADHD, consult with a qualified Tomatis® practitioner. They can assess your needs and determine if this approach could be a valuable addition to your productivity toolkit. Book a free 20 minute appointment with our expert, Françoise Nicoloff, to know how the Tomatis Method can be helpful in managing your learning disability or ADHD symptoms.

The journey towards improved productivity is an ongoing exploration. Experiment with different techniques, identify what works best for you, and celebrate your achievements along the way.

Françoise Nicoloff

Official Representative of Tomatis Developpement SA in Australia, Asia and South Pacific, Director of the Australian Tomatis® Method, Registered Psychologist, Certified Tomatis® Consultant Senior, Tomatis® International Trainer and Speaker, Co-author of the Listening Journey Series, 45 Years of Experience, Neurodiversity Speaker

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