Curbing Your ADHD Info Addiction

May 18, 2010 Douglas Cootey

In my years online getting to know other adults who have ADHD, I have discovered many of us have a common problem despite ideological or political differences: We're information junkies. Many of us lose colossal amounts of time while trolling the net for new information. Do we have to unplug the internet and go back to reading by candlelight, or can we have our digital cake and eat it too?

RSS for Information Junkies with Adult ADHD

rssfeedmeMost information junkies subscribe to RSS feeds in their browsers. In fact, the really hardcore junkies buy dedicated news readers to satiate their cravings. RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication", which means the RSS feed is a special website address that constantly updates with headlines from your favorite news source. I have an RSS feed for this blog: Most browsers have a special icon that appears in the URL field to let you know if you can subscribe to the page. Consult your browser's help pages for more information on how to subscribe to these feeds.

If your eyes haven't already glazed over from boredom, chances are that you know exactly what I'm talking about. You probably have over 100 feeds that you pour over daily, just as I do. With 100 news feeds, I'm never bored, but I also get VERY distracted from what I'm supposed to be doing. How can I keep myself tapped into the internet without letting it tap my attention dry?

Information Management Tips When You Live With Adult ADHD

Here are three steps that can help you manage the flow. I've recently tried them out and have found them to be very helpful:

Create some prioritized folders. I chose to organize mine as follows:

  • Vital
  • Brain Food
  • Eggnoggin
  • Slops

Prioritize your feeds. It sounds dull as Winter rain, but by forcing myself to prioritize the feeds I had to think about how important they were to me. These two steps took me about an hour to complete, but mostly because I continually got lost reading the news as I was attempting to prioritize my list.

Ask yourself each time "Do I Have Time for This?" before diving into the next folder. Setting up obstacles in the manner in which you think can also be helpful in curbing your info addiction. It's the next and vital step towards mastering yourself.

You can choose more practical names like Must Read, Should Read, Don't Read, etc.

You'll need to develop good habits in order to make this work, but the rewards for the effort so far have been excellent for me. I heartily recommend you implement something similar in your news reading life. As an added bonus, critically prioritizing my news feeds has helped me not feel compelled to read articles that I've put in the "Slops" folder. Over time, I hope to see myself develop smarter reading habits. Please let me know how you implemented these tips and whether it works for you or not.

Follow me on Twitter for my ADHD escapades at @SplinteredMind or my novel writing project over at @DouglasCootey. And if you're a glutton for punishment you can friend me on Facebook as well.

APA Reference
Cootey, D. (2010, May 18). Curbing Your ADHD Info Addiction, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 12 from

Author: Douglas Cootey

Douglas Cootey
June, 28 2010 at 11:02 pm

Mungo ~ You pay me too high a compliment. Thank you.
kathi ~ Recognizing your limits and learning to work around them is vital to mastering ADHD, and any negative trait, for that matter. I don't know if I will think as you do in ten years, but for now I fight my nature. I am convinced that there is a happy medium to be found where I can accept my limits, but now how to push the boundaries to achieve my goals.
Thanks for commenting.

May, 19 2010 at 5:11 am

I have so many unfinished projects around the house, that I shouldn't read anything for at least six months! Starting with the walls half painted, from years ago, and it's already time to paint again. At fifty two years old, I have given up trying to change who I am, and focus my energy on accepting my limits... not always easy.

May, 18 2010 at 5:00 am

And yours, sir, is in the 'Vital' folder.

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