Do You Have ADHD? Here Are A Few Ways To Make Work Easier

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In 2019, 8.8% of children ages 4-17 had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. Getting an ADHD diagnosis can be a challenge. From difficulty staying focused to being impulsive at times, it can be hard to manage ADHD in the workplace.

Maybe you work better with headphones to maintain focus, but your boss frequently interrupts. Or you might want extra time to complete assignments but don’t know how to communicate with your manager. Don’t worry— we’ve come up with a few ways you can make work less difficult while living with ADHD.

Organize Around Your Strengths

ADHD can be an asset in the workplace if you organize around your strengths. Are you a great public speaker? Do you work well with others? Are you confident in making a solid sales pitch?

Make sure to tell your manager any skills you have that can benefit your employer. Maybe you are someone who is a good public speaker. Offer to do presentations and go to events to mingle with potential partners.

It might take you longer to complete assignments or you may get a lot of feedback from your manager, but making a great first impression on behalf of your employer can go a long way.

Create Your Own Work System

Create your own work system with the help of a psychologist or ADHD coach. Break down your tasks into smaller subtasks. You can use apps like Things and Todoist to organize your system even better.

“ADHDers really thrive off of structure,” says ADHD coach Brooke Schnittman, who runs the instagram account Coaching with Brooke.

Marking off tasks as you complete them can feel good– and make you feel less stressed about remaining organized. When you pick your first task, select something that you know that you will be able to finish. Then, list why each task is a priority in your day.

“If the boss has a task that they want to give to the individual with ADHD, have a meeting to help them prioritize what tasks are priority. Then give them a due date that is several days before because the individual with ADHD is going to work all the way up until the due date,” Schnittman tells Forbes.

You may want to get some sticky notes and highlighters to create a color coded system that works for you. You should reward yourself when all of the tasks are complete.

Advocate for Yourself

Only apply to jobs at companies that are neuroinclusive. You do not want to work somewhere where you cannot openly advocate for yourself. Before getting accommodations, make sure you know your rights. Be direct about the accommodations you have requested.

Be honest with your manager about how you may need to limit disruptions to get things done. Try to avoid common areas if you can, and ask for permission to work with noise canceling headphones. As an ADHDer you may be hesitant to speak up for yourself in the workplace.

“There are people who don’t understand ADHD. There’s still a lot of stigma,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Linda McGhee. If you have ADHD and don’t feel supported at work it may be time to find another job opportunity. Know that your ADHD can be an asset to your team. If you work somewhere where your creativity thinking isn’t valued, find somewhere where it is.

Practice Self-Care

It is especially important for people with ADHD to practice self-care. Establish a routine that starts when you wake up. Make sure that you do something at least once a day that you enjoy outside of work.

“If you’re dealing with challenges in the workplace, have a modicum of self-care. Take care of your mind, body, and spirit when you’re not at work,” says Dr. McGhee.

Remembering to eat is a great way to take care of your body. It can be a relief when you finally get into a work groove and are able to maintain focus for several hours, but don’t forget to take breaks to eat. If you are someone who needs to be moving all of the time then try your best to exercise regularly.

Self-care can be practiced in so many ways. Without prioritizing your mental health, you won’t be able to complete assignments for work. Therapy is also a great way to practice self-care, and can give people with ADHD a safe place to talk about being neurodivergent at work.





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