Artificial Intelligence: A New Ally in the Fight Against ADHD Procrastination
I am continually fascinated by the emerging tools and strategies designed to make life more manageable for those dealing with ADHD. Cell phones, for example, allow for digital calendars with reminders and alarms. And yet on the other hand they contain Tik Tok and YouTube, which can be more of a problem than a help. One such tool that has gained significant traction just in the last six months is artificial intelligence (AI). As with cellphones allowing access to Tik Tok, AI has its draw-backs too, including some ethical issues about the data sets it is trained on, and how it is going to shape our world in the future in ways that may not be positive (let's not talk about it destroying the human race in this blog post).
AI has evolved from a sci-fi concept into a practical tool that we can use in our daily lives. It can help us organise our schedules, remind us of important tasks, and even provide assistance with complex written tasks and computer coding. For individuals with ADHD, who often struggle with task initiation and procrastination, this can be a game-changer. AI can provide the first draft of a project. Starting an editing process on a piece of writing is generally easier than generating that first draft. It reduces the cognitive component of the task, which can help overcome that dreadful feeling of having to start something that isn't exciting.
In recent months I have talked about AI with several of my ADHD therapy clients. One uses AI to help with computer coding, another used AI to write a draft bio and service descriptions for their website (it was very good). Another has used AI to help summarise research articles they need to read for a course. Personally, I have been using AI to help write these blog posts, and to construct the art for each post.
Let's explore how AI can assist with ten different written tasks that people with ADHD often find challenging:
Writing Emails: AI can help streamline the process of writing emails, offering auto-complete suggestions to speed up the writing and reduce the cognitive load.
Essay Writing: AI can provide a structure for essays, breaking down the task into manageable parts, and offering prompts to get started.
Work Reports: AI can assist in organising data, generating graphs, and providing templates for report formatting.
Writing a Dissertation or Thesis: AI can help manage the larger structure of these lengthy documents, ensuring that all necessary sections are included and logically ordered.
Writing a Book or Novel: AI can assist with character development, plot structure, and continuity checks.
Creative Writing: AI can provide writing prompts or generate ideas for storylines, characters, and settings. It can also generate astoundingly good poems, haikus, and limericks.
Writing Blog Posts: AI tools can generate blog post ideas, suggest keywords for SEO, and provide suggestions for structuring the post. It can even write the entire first draft!
Writing a CV or Resume: AI can offer templates, help to quantify achievements and suggest improvements to enhance your CV.
Writing Cover Letters: AI can help tailor cover letters to specific job postings, ensuring that key words and phrases from the job description are included.
Writing Social Media Posts: AI can help generate content ideas, provide hashtag suggestions, and even schedule posts for optimal times.
Improving Text: Text can be pasted into a text prompt box, and can be reworded or proofread by the AI. AI can even rewrite it in different styles, such as formal, friendly, or approachable. It can also condense or expand text into however many paragraphs or sentences a person wants.
Then there are image-generating AIs, like the one I use for these blog posts, who respond to a written prompt with an image.
While AI cannot replace the creative and intellectual capabilities of a human being (yet), it can provide significant support in managing complex tasks, breaking them down into manageable parts, and providing a starting point to overcome procrastination. For adults with ADHD, this can significantly reduce the stress and anxiety often associated with task initiation, leading to greater productivity.
Click here to use ChatGPT. I use the paid version to access the more advanced GPT-4 model
Click here to use Dall-E image-generating AI
For the more tech-savvy, click here to learn about Midjourney image-generating. This is the one I am now using myself.