If you have decided to go back to school and take college courses, you may be concerned that your adult attention deficit disorder, or ADD, may interfere with your ability to stay on track while learning new material. If so, use one or more of the following five tips to help you cope with your learning disability.

Create A Picture Board For Visual Motivation

One way to get around your short attention span is to create a picture board to remind you of the reasons you are going back to school. Having a visual reminder posted where you complete your school work can help keep you motivated, especially when something pops in your head that could distract you from completing your assignments.

For example, if you are going back to school so you can get a better job to help support your children, paste pictures of your kids on the board, along with photocopies of dollar bills. This could help remind you that the end result will lead you to earning a better wage for your loved ones.

Set Up A Filing System For Your Papers And Assignments

Another way to keep yourself on track with your assignments is to set up a filing system for your school work, such as a color-coded system. You could have red folders or tabs for your homework assignments, yellow for your research, and blue for your term papers. You can also create a colorful box for each class, devising a color code within each one.

Break Down Assignments Into Small Segments

When faced with a large assignment, such as a midterm exam or term paper, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed at the daunting task ahead. This overwhelming feeling could lead you to procrastination, since your mind may want to steer you towards more pleasant thoughts or actions.

To overcome this potential problem, sit down with your assignment, and break it down into smaller segments. For example, if you have a 40 to 50 page term paper, think about the steps involved with writing it, including the research, writing, and editing phases.

Then, break each phase into small chunks to give yourself personal assignments, such as completing the research within two weeks, followed by writing one or two pages per day. If you know you only have to get through small amounts, you may be less easily distracted. This could prevent you having to go into panic mode at the last minute to complete the paper within a day or two, which could adversely affect your grade.

Set A Deadline For Yourself Before An Assignment Is Due

Whether you have an assignment with a deadline set by your teacher or have set deadlines for your personal schedule such as those described above, try to set a deadline for yourself a couple of days ahead of time. This can help keep you focused on the task, while giving you a buffer in case something comes up and you have to delay working on the assignment.

Come Up With Rewards For Accomplishments

If you still find yourself distracted and unable to focus on your school work, sit down, and write out possible rewards for accomplishments. They could be something simple, such as having a cup of mocha cappuccino after completing your homework assignment, to something more elaborate, such as a day at the spa for successfully completing your term paper. Post your list of rewards, and follow through when you have completed each task.

Using some or all of the tips above could help you overcome your ADD and increase your chances of succeeding at school. However, if you still feel somewhat lost and uncertain of yourself, you may want to contact a center like Pathways For All that offers support for people with various learning disabilities, including ADD.