Have ADHD? Here’s How To Create A Gamified Morning Routine for ADHD that you’ll obsess over (in a good way).
If you have ADHD, you probably know that sticking to a morning routine can feel like trying to catch a snowball in Summer– slippery and unpredictable. But what if we could turn that challenge into a game, complete with quests, rewards, and high scores?
Welcome to the concept of a gamified morning routine, a strategy that can transform your chaotic mornings into an engaging, fun-filled quest.
By leveraging the power of gamification, we can tap into the ADHD brain’s craving for stimulation and novelty, turning the mundane into the extraordinary.
So, grab your metaphorical joystick, and let’s level up your morning routine into an adventure that you actually look forward to every day!
The Science Behind Gamification and ADHD
“Life is more fun if you play games,” Roald Dahl once said, and science agrees! Gamification works wonders for the ADHD brain, which thrives on instant feedback and rewards.
Incorporating game elements into your morning routine can make it more enjoyable, and less like a boring chore.
And as you are well aware, if something feels like a boring chore, you simply won’t do it.
Before we get started, you might be interested in purchasing yourself a copy of the Gamified Morning Routine Workbook, which includes everything you need to design a personalized daily game for productivity, so you can slay all of your goals.
How To Create A Gamified Morning Routine For ADHD-ers
I’ll share a few tips on what to do to prepare your mindset for this, first. Then, I’ll share a breakdown of exactly what to do to gamify your morning routine, step by step.
Mindset Tip 1: Define Your Main Quest
Every hero needs a quest. What’s yours? Maybe it’s ‘Conquer the Chaos Dragon’ or ‘Embark on the Odyssey of Organization’.
Mindset Tip 2: Choose Your Rewards
Rewards are the cheese to your morning routine mouse trap.
Remember, the best rewards are the ones that make you do a happy dance!
Mindset Tip 3: Create Engaging Challenges
Get creative and make each task a mini-game. The more imaginative, the better!
When my laptop battery is at 10%, I like to play a game where I have to race against the clock to see how much work I can get done before my computer dies. It’s VERY motivational for my ADHD brain.
Mindset Tip 4: Track Your Progress
Visualize your progress like the rising score in a video game.
Each milestone deserves a celebration – do the victory dance, you’ve earned it.
Mindset Tip 5: Level Up Your Routine:
As you master the basics, add new ‘levels’ or challenges. Maybe add a short workout to your routine or a new language to your learning list.
Keep it fresh and exciting – your brain will thank you.
Mindset Tip 6: Find a Sidekick
Every player needs a sidekick. Find a friend who’s also into gamifying their morning routine.
Your New Gamified Morning Routine Blueprint
Alright, now it’s time to map everything out!
Step 1. Wake Up to a Themed Alarm (7:00 AM):
Assign each day a game genre theme like Adventure Monday or Strategy Tuesday.
The alarm could be a soundtrack from a popular game matching the day’s genre. This sets the tone for a day filled with specific ‘gameplay’ challenges.
Transform waking up into the first level of your daily game. Assign each day of the week a specific ‘level theme’ that resonates with different aspects of a game world.
This approach turns each morning into the start of a new quest in your personal game, making waking up an integral and exciting part of your gamified routine.
The Fun Part: To enhance the gaming experience, you could even record a brief, personalized message that plays after the alarm, narrating the day’s ‘mission’ or offering words of encouragement in the theme of the day.
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Step 2. Morning Mindfulness or Movement (7:10 AM):
Treat this as a ‘level-up’ challenge. For example, create a short yoga routine named “The Warrior’s Stretch Quest” or a mindfulness practice called “The Mage’s Mind Mastery”.
Completing it grants you ‘health points’ or ‘mana’ for the day.
Start with a short mindfulness exercise or a dance routine. Apps like Headspace offer guided sessions that are brief yet effective.
For mindfulness, download apps like Headspace or Calm, and choose a short 5-10 minute session to start the day centered and focused. or, do some morning journaling!
For movement, create a 5-minute playlist of your favorite energetic songs to dance to, or follow a quick morning yoga on YouTube. This physical activity helps shake off any lingering sleepiness and boosts dopamine levels.
Step 3. Power Shower with a Twist (7:20 AM):
Turn your shower into a ‘waterfall of restoration.’ Play ambient sounds that match your game theme of the day.
Imagine each drop of water giving you energy points or washing away ‘debuffs’.
Use a color-changing LED shower head to add a sensory experience to the shower. Playing an audiobook or podcast related to her business or interests can keep her mind engaged.
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Setting It Up: Install the color-changing LED shower head, which adds a playful and sensory experience to a routine shower. Use a waterproof Bluetooth speaker to play an audiobook, podcast, or learning series that aligns with her interests. This turns a mundane activity into an enjoyable and educational experience.
Step 4. Dress for Success with a Pre-Planned Outfit (7:35 AM):
Think of your wardrobe as an ‘armor selection’. Organize your closet so you can quickly see all the items available (no doom piles!).
Each clothing item could be associated with different attributes (e.g., a red shirt for +confidence, comfortable shoes for +stamina).
Choosing your outfit becomes an exercise in building your character’s stats for the day.
Decide outfits the night before but add an element of surprise, like a mystery accessory box, to choose from each morning. This adds an element of fun to getting dressed and reduces decision fatigue.
Preparation: Select and lay out the next day’s outfit the night before, but add a fun twist by having a ‘mystery accessory box’. Fill this box with various accessories like scarves, jewelry, or hats. Each morning, randomly pick one to add an element of surprise and creativity to the outfit.
Step 5. Energizing Breakfast with a Learning Element (7:50 AM):
Keep breakfast simple but engaging. For example, use this time to watch a short video on a topic of interest or listen to an inspiring podcast.
Eating while learning can make breakfast more appealing.
Pair your meal with a short educational podcast or video, as a daily quest like “The Scholar’s Scroll”. Completing the meal and learning session earns you ‘intelligence points’.
Implementation: Keep the breakfast menu simple but nutritious to minimize prep time. During breakfast, watch a short, engaging video related to your special interests, or listen to an inspiring podcast episode. This dual-tasking makes breakfast both intellectually stimulating and physically nourishing.
Step 6. Gamified Task Management (8:10 AM):
Review the day’s tasks using a gamified to-do list app, where you can earn points or rewards for completing tasks.
This can include personal and professional tasks, ensuring you stay on top of your responsibilities.
Design your to-do list like a quest log in a game. Each task is a quest with its own rewards and experience points. Use a gamified task app to track your ‘quests’ and unlock achievements as you complete them.
Setting Up: Use apps like Habitica or Forest, which gamify task completion. Input daily tasks the night before. As tasks are completed, the app rewards with points or virtual growth of plants, making mundane tasks feel more like a game.
Step 7. Dedicated Hyper-focus Time (8:30 AM):
Allocate the first part of your workday to delve into tasks related to your special interests. This leverages your natural tendency to hyper-focus while ensuring productivity.
Call this your ‘Epic Quest Time’. Focus on tasks related to your interests as if they’re epic quests in your favorite RPG.
Setting a timer can be like a ‘countdown to battle’, enhancing the urgency and excitement.
Implementation: Schedule the first block of the workday for tasks that align with your special interests or parts of your business you’re most passionate about. This plays into the natural ability to hyper-focus, turning it into productive work time.
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Step 8. Scheduled Check-ins (10:30 AM):
Treat these as ‘save points’ or ‘checkpoints’ in your day. Use different ringtones that sound like game jingles.
Each check-in is an opportunity to ‘save your progress’, evaluate your ‘game strategy’ and prepare for the next ‘level’.
Set alarms for periodic check-ins to transition to other necessary tasks. These can be signaled by specific tones or music that signify it’s time to switch activities.
How to Set Up: Set multiple alarms with unique tones on a smartphone or smart device. Each tone signifies a different type of activity or task transition, helping to break up the day into manageable segments and reminding to switch tasks as needed.
Step 9. Reward and Recognition (11:00 AM):
Establish a system where you earn ‘gold’ or ‘points’ for sticking to your routine.
These can be exchanged for real rewards like a special coffee (your ‘elixir’), or a short break doing something you love (your ‘power-up’).
Implementation: Introduce a small reward system for sticking to the morning routine, like a special coffee or a few minutes of a favored activity before lunch. This positive reinforcement makes adhering to the routine more appealing.
Why Gamifying Your Day Works, When You Have ADHD
By incorporating these gamified elements into your morning routine, each day becomes an exciting adventure, turning mundane tasks into playful and rewarding experiences.
This approach not only makes sticking to a routine more enjoyable but also leverages the natural tendencies of the ADHD brain for engagement and novelty.
Incorporating elements of fun, variety, and stimulation can make the routine something to look forward to each day.
And you never know, the routine itself might become your newest obsession/special interest, which will make it a lot easier to stick to.
How To Create A Gamified Morning Routine For ADHD-ers – Conclusion
As we wrap up our adventure into the gamified world of morning routines, it’s clear that for individuals with ADHD, a little creativity and fun can go a long way.
By turning your morning tasks into quests, setting exciting rewards, and tracking your progress, you transform what was once a dreaded chore into a playful and rewarding experience.
The key is flexibility and personalization; the routine should be adjusted as needed to fit your changing interests and ensure it remains an engaging part of your day.
So feel free to experiment, tweak, and tailor your gamified routine until it fits just right.
Embrace the power of play and let your morning routine become a source of joy and accomplishment. Game on!
More routine resources:
- 125 Thoughtful Morning Journal Prompts For Balanced Days
- Night Routine Guide
- Sunday Reset Cleaning Routine Guide