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10 Best Books That Can Help You Manage ADHD

ADHD, or Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a common mental disorder generally affecting children. It is estimated that 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD.

ADHD is known to impact an individual’s personal and professional life. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Inability to sit still
  • Fidgeting constantly
  • Unable to focus on tasks
  • Excessive talking or physical movement
  • Not being able to wait their turn
  • Impulsive behavior

Living with ADHD can often feel like piecing together a complex puzzle. However, there’s a simple yet powerful tool that offers solace and strategies to cope with and manage your ADHD better. 

Books. 📚

We’ve put together a list of the top 10 best books for ADHD, which are specifically designed to give you science-backed strategies to function better. Authored by experts, these books can give you a guide to not just managing but thriving with ADHD.

These are better than your usual self-help reads. From practical techniques to insightful perspectives and relatable stories, each chapter helps you reclaim attention and find focus.

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Top Books for Adults with ADHD

To better understand and manage ADHD, gaining knowledge has to be the starting point. These books offer information that will be helpful for adults with ADHD. 

1. Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood by Edward M. Hallowell

Driven to Distraction
via Amazon

About the book

  • Authors: Edward M. Hallowell, John R. Ratey
  • No. of Pages: 319
  • Year Published: 1995
  • Estimated Reading Time: 6 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.7/5
    • Goodreads: 4.1/5

This is an excellent guide for those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The writers, both seasoned psychiatrists, bring together clinical expertise and empathetic understanding. 

The book doesn’t see attention deficit disorder as a challenge but as a potential source of energy and creativity.

Through relatable stories and practical advice, this book empowers you to embrace the ADHD journey and carve a path toward a more focused and fulfilled life.

Using lots of research and personal experience, the writers break down stereotypes and give a caring view of ADHD for all ages.

Quote from the book

While we all need external structure in our lives—some degree of predictability, routine, organization—those with ADD need it much more than most people. They need external structure so much because they lack internal structure.

Edward M. Hallowell

Driven to Distraction key takeaways:

  • Impact of ADHD: Dive into a comprehensive exploration of ADHD’s impact from childhood to adulthood
  • Managing ADHD: Glean strategies for managing ADHD in various aspects of life
  • Turning challenges into strengths: Learn to channel ADHD challenges into positives

What readers say:

“This book was a turning point for me in my life…after reading this book, I concluded that I needed to finally go ahead as an adult and get officially diagnosed with Adult A.D.D. and try a medication option…My professional life has improved a ton, and my personal life has improved as well.”

– Rob Voss

2. Taking Charge of Adult ADHD by Russell Barkley

Taking Charge of Adult ADHD
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author: Russell Barkley
  • No. of Pages: 294
  • Year Published: 2010
  • Estimated Reading Time: 5 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.5/5
    • Goodreads: 3.9/5

The most common issues that adults face with ADHD are lack of attention and timely planning. Renowned expert Russell A. Barkley offers practical strategies to manage symptoms and reduce their impact. 

The guide includes self-assessment tools, skills-building exercises, and answers to common questions about treatment. It’s a valuable resource for adults wanting to regain control of their lives.

Quote from the book

Far too often we react to our children’s behavior, often on impulse, without regard for the consequences and with no plan for what we are trying to achieve. In those instances, we are being acted on and not consciously choosing to act.

Russell A. Barkley

Taking Charge of Adult ADHD key takeaways:

  • Comprehensive understanding: Gain a thorough understanding of adult ADHD’s impact in various areas of life
  • Effective management: Learn practical strategies to manage symptoms and their harmful impacts
  • Leveraging ADHD: Discover guidance on using ADHD to your advantage in personal and professional settings

What readers say:

“Good book from someone who knows. I think the people who swarm about ADHD “superpowers” are next to it. This author does not wrap his message in cotton wool, who is looking for cuddle psychology is wrong here. Finally a book with actionable tips in all situations.”

– Jonas Forster

3. Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder by Gabor Maté

Scattered Minds
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author: Gabor Maté
  • No. of Pages: 376
  • Year Published: 2000
  • Estimated Reading Time: 6 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.7/5
    • Goodreads: 4.4/5

Discover the origins of ADHD in Gabor Maté’s ‘Scattered Minds.’ It offers a compelling and compassionate perspective on the disorder. 

Maté, a physician and renowned writer, looks at ADHD as more than just a neurological condition. He sees it as a complex interplay of biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

This book is beneficial in understanding how early childhood experiences affect ADHD.

Quote from the book

So self-acceptance does not mean self-admiration or even self-liking at every moment of our lives, but tolerance for all our emotions, including those that make us feel uncomfortable.

Gabor Maté

Scattered Minds’ key takeaways:

  • Developmental and psychological insights: Acquire knowledge about the developmental and psychological aspects of ADHD
  • Personal history connection: Explore the link between personal history and ADHD symptoms
  • Healing and management strategies: Discover strategies for healing and managing ADHD, with a focus on emotional well-being and self-awareness

What readers say:

“I was extremely overwhelmed after reading this book. It was more like reading my diary. I was diagnosed late in adult life, and this book helped me a lot to understand ADHD and to realize that the traits that I used to feel insecure about growing up had a reason behind it and it was perfectly normal.”

– Nanda

4. ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell

ADHD 2.0
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author: Edward M. Hallowell
  • No. of Pages: 208
  • Year Published: 2022
  • Estimated Reading Time: 4 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.6/5
    • Goodreads: 4.1/5

While most people know about ADHD, what often gets missed is the positive side. Some successful entrepreneurs and creative minds credit their achievements to ADHD. 

In ‘ADHD 2.0,’ Edward M. Hallowell shares science-backed strategies for parents and adults to minimize challenges and maximize benefits at any age. He offers tips like finding the right challenges, creating an ADHD-friendly environment, identifying and embracing neurological tendencies, fostering positive connections, and understanding medication options.

Quote from the book

Forgiveness takes intelligence, discipline, imagination, and persistence, as well as a special psychological strength, something athletes call mental toughness and warriors call courage.

Edward M. Hallowell

ADHD 2.0 key takeaways:

  • Finding the right challenges: Use behavior assessments to discover tasks that align with individual strengths
  • Reimagining Environment: Identify specific elements in various settings to enhance creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in the ADHD mind
  • The power of connection: Tips for establishing and maintaining positive connections, acting as a potent antidote to negativity

What readers say:

“This is my go-to book for anyone diagnosed with ADHD. The authors explain the brain science behind many of the characteristics and actions of people with ADHD in a way that is relatable and easy to understand. I appreciate the focus, not on the deficits, but on the strengths and how to harness the way your brain works. This book is particularly helpful for parents of kids with ADHD so they can better understand their children and positively support their growth.”

– Caroline Danda

5. You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo

You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author: Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo
  • No. of Pages: 464
  • Year Published: 1993
  • Estimated Reading Time: 7 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.6/5
    • Goodreads: 3.9/5

‘You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!’ by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo offers straightforward advice for adults with ADHD. Through their personal experiences, the authors provide accurate information, practical tips, and moral support. 

The book covers achieving balance, navigating relationships, improving memory, and seeking professional help. It’s an essential reference for those facing the challenges of ADHD daily.

Quote from the book

With an inability to maintain focus, many ADDers require intensely stimulating situations to maintain alertness and attentiveness. Without this stimulation, attention wanders, and many of us are told we’re unmotivated.

Kate Kelly

You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?! key takeaways:

  • Balance analysis: Understand your strengths and weaknesses to achieve balance
  • Social harmony: Improve relationships in groups, at work, and in personal settings by reducing discord and chaos
  • Organization and memory techniques: Learn effective methods to become organized and enhance memory

What readers say:

“This book debunks the myth that people with ADHD are lazy, crazy or stupid. It offers insights into every aspect of living with ADHD. I would describe this as a field guide to Living with ADHD. There is a lot of eye-opening, insightful information in this book for those that live with ADHD.”

– Diane

6. Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized by Susan C. Pinsky

Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author: Susan C. Pinsky
  • No. of Pages: 192
  • Year Published: 2006
  • Estimated Reading Time: 3 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.3/5
    • Goodreads: 3.9/5

Susan C. Pinsky’s ‘Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder” is about transforming the chaos of ADHD into simple, easy-to-follow life strategies. It’s tailored specifically for the unique organizational challenges faced by leaders and people with ADHD.

Pinsky, an organizing consultant with expertise in ADHD, gives practical solutions that are easy to implement. The goal is to help—not make things harder for—the ADHD mind.

Quote from the book

Make your things easy to access and easier to put away. In the ADHD home, ease of stowage takes precedence over ease of retrieval. Keep things where you use them, arranging possessions within activity areas or “zones. Give everything a ‘home’.

Susan C. Pinsky

Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder key takeaways:

  • Tailored organizing techniques: Learn practical and effective organization methods customized for ADHD
  • Efficient space management: Implement strategies for decluttering and efficiently managing space
  • Time management: Learn time management tips such as dividing time into minutes or moments to avoid procrastination 

What readers say:

“I wasn’t expecting this book to be as good as it is. The usual methods of organization are challenged and reconsidered from an ADHD perspective, with an understanding that the new methods adapted need to be simple, quick, and effective or they won’t get done. I bought it for my 18-year-old son who has been recently diagnosed, but actually, they are methods that will be adopted by the whole family as they are simple and quick. A really good buy!”

– Arthur Cadman

7. Order from Chaos: The Everyday Grind of Staying Organized with Adult ADHD by Jaclyn Paul

Order from Chaos
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author: Jaclyn Paul
  • No. of Pages: 218
  • Year Published: 2019
  • Estimated Reading Time: 4 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.6/5
    • Goodreads: 4/5

Jaclyn Paul’s book, ‘Order from Chaos’ guides you on understanding your brain function and overcoming obstacles by yourself. 

Paul, drawing from personal experiences and expertise as an ADHD blogger, shares practical advice to help you create a personalized system for bringing order to your life.

Quote from the book

Life with ADHD tends toward chaos, leaving us in a near-constant state of course correction. From now on, you’ll define yourself not by your success this week or next, but by how you manage to claw your way out of the chaos and back onto the organizing wagon

Jaclyn Paul

Order from Chaos key takeaways:

  • Practical organization tips: Get valuable tips for daily organization specifically designed for adults with ADHD
  • Routines and systems guidance: Receive guidance on building and maintaining routines and systems tailored to ADHD traits
  • Real-life anecdotes: Gain an honest and relatable viewpoint through personal anecdotes

What readers say:

“I have marked this book up. I appreciate that the author has ADHD. The examples are totally relatable. I refer to the book constantly to review the suggestions. One of them is to clear out the inbox to 0 every few days. That is a challenge! I also have placed note-taking devices around the house so that every thought and idea can be written down right away.”

– Julie M San Diego

8. Thriving with Adult ADHD: Skills to Strengthen Executive Functioning by Phil Boissiere

Thriving with Adult ADHD
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author: Phil Boissiere
  • No. of Pages: 147
  • Year Published: 2018
  • Estimated Reading Time: 3 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.6/5
    • Goodreads: 3.8/5

Enhancing executive functioning skills in adults with ADHD is the central theme of Phil Boissiere’s ‘Thriving with Adult ADHD.’ 

This insightful book looks at managing ADHD from a new angle: Focusing on strengthening executive functions builds the cognitive processes essential for self-regulation and goal achievement.

Boissiere, a seasoned therapist, combines his professional knowledge with practical, real-world applications. This makes the book a valuable resource for anyone aiming to improve their executive functioning skills.

Quote from the book

Start by breaking the task down into three tiers. Tier 1 is the complete project, reflected in a target completion date. Tier 2 is the large chunks and their target completion dates. Tier 3 is the smaller subtasks that, together, make up the large chunks

Phil Boissiere

Thriving with Adult ADHD key takeaways:

  • Improved thinking techniques: Discover methods to enhance memory, focus, and organization skills
  • Tacking executive functioning challenges: Learn ways to address common challenges related to executive functioning in ADHD
  • Self-management exercises: Engage in practical exercises for better self-management in everyday life

What readers say:

“This book has novel exercises that have worked wonders in my life. I highly recommend this book to almost anyone, not just those suffering from ADHD.”

– Sab

9. The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD: An 8-Step Program for Strengthening Attention, Managing Emotions, and Achieving Your Goals by Lidia Zylowska

The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author: Lidia Zylowska
  • No. of Pages: 224
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Estimated Reading Time: 5 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.5/5
    • Goodreads: 4.1/5

Lidia Zylowska’s ‘The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD’ merges mindfulness techniques with traditional ADHD strategies in an 8-step program. This book focuses on improving attention, regulating emotions, and achieving personal goals.

Zylowska, an ADHD specialist psychiatrist, suggests using mindfulness alongside medication and traditional therapies for a holistic approach to ADHD management.

Quote from the book

Strategies that relax and replenish can restore one’s reservoir of willpower and are thus helpful in ADHD. These strategies include times of relaxation such as meditation, positive emotions, self-talk that is encouraging, time of play, physical exercise, adequate breaks, or even having a snack that increases blood glucose. Motivational strategies such imagery, or physical reminders of or talking about future rewards can also help.

Lidia Zylowska

The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD key takeaways:

  • Mindfulness plan: Explore an innovative 8-step mindfulness plan designed for adults with ADHD
  • Focus improvement techniques: Learn methods to enhance focus, manage emotions, and set goals
  • Complementing traditional treatments: Understand how mindfulness can complement traditional ADHD treatments

What readers say:

“This book has been very helpful. I now have a visual guide that will help me cope with my ADHD. I’m working on tailoring these steps to fit my daily life.”

– Reggie

10.  A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults: Executive Function Impairments by Thomas E. Brown

A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author: Thomas E. Brown
  • No. of Pages: 192
  • Year Published: 2013
  • Estimated Reading Time: 3 hours
  • Ratings: 
    • Amazon: 4.8/5
    • Goodreads: 4.2/5

Thomas E. Brown’s “A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults: Executive Function Impairments” offers a groundbreaking perspective on this complex condition. This advanced book simplifies the current understanding of ADHD, presenting key ideas and supporting scientific research. 

It answers questions about ADHD focus, brain development, and changes that occur across ages. Dr. Brown, a clinical psychologist and a prominent researcher in ADHD, explores effective treatments and debunks common assumptions. The book is a valuable resource for medical professionals and those impacted by ADHD.

Quote from the book

Parents and teachers often find it difficult to believe that students who are very bright can be suffering from ADHD, especially if they’re not troublemakers.

Thomas E. Brown

A New Understanding of ADHD in Children and Adults key takeaways:

  • Examining executive impairments: Delve into a detailed examination of executive function impairments in ADHD
  • Cognitive Impact Across Life Stages: Understand how ADHD affects different cognitive processes at various life stages
  • Practical Treatment Ideas: Explore practical ideas for treating and managing ADHD based on this new insight

What readers say:

“Excellent wide-ranging review of recent-ish research in this important field- unlike some of the quack books about ADHD. Eye-opening. (He has published more recent books with (slightly) different emphases, but this makes a good start.”

– Dr. Robert J. Barker

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Manage ADHD with ClickUp

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After exploring the strategies in these top books for managing ADHD, it’s clear that effective organization and task management are crucial for thriving despite the condition.

ClickUp is an invaluable tool in this context, perfectly complementing the insights and techniques learned from these books. 

By integrating the organizational strategies from these readings with ClickUp’s features, individuals with ADHD can create a robust system to manage their daily lives and work.

Custom Statuses in ClickUp provide a visual tracking system that mirrors the actionable steps recommended in books like ‘Organizing Solutions for People With ADHD.’ 

This feature helps break down tasks into manageable parts, reducing the overwhelming feelings associated with attention deficit disorder and enhancing focus—derived from the insights in books like ‘Driven to Distraction.’

Custom Fields offer a level of detail and categorization that aligns with the organizational techniques discussed in ‘Order from Chaos.’ By adding essential details and categorizing tasks in a personalized manner, ClickUp helps maintain the structured environment crucial for those who need it.

Furthermore, Custom Views match the adaptable strategies in ‘Thriving with Adult ADHD.’ Whether you prefer lists, boards, or calendars, ClickUp adjusts to your preferred style, much like the flexible approaches recommended in these books for managing different aspects of ADHD.

By combining the insights from these essential reads with ClickUp’s dynamic features, individuals with ADHD can create a more structured, efficient, and manageable workflow. 

Explore these features and see how they can enhance your productivity:

ClickUp is more than a task management tool. It’s a comprehensive platform that integrates seamlessly with the strategies and insights from the best ADHD books, offering a holistic approach to managing ADHD in daily life.

ClickUp Tasks
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Harnessing Knowledge and Tools for ADHD Management

Managing ADHD could be challenging, but with the proper support, smart techniques, and a versatile tool,  it can be rewarding, too. 

The 10 books we’ve explored provide invaluable insights, strategies, and understanding, serving as essential guides for anyone living with ADHD. Each book offers a unique perspective, empowering you with knowledge and practical advice.

Coupling these literary resources with ClickUp’s dynamic organizational tools creates a powerful combination for managing ADHD effectively. 

Features like Custom Statuses, Custom Fields, and Custom Views complement the strategies and insights from these books, providing a practical framework for applying what you’ve learned in your daily life.

Remember, managing ADHD is a personal journey, and these resources are here to support, guide, and empower you every step of the way. 

Here’s to finding clarity, focus, and success in mastering ADHD management!

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