Traditional office workplace environments can pose quite the challenge for those of us who deal with ADHD. There’s a ton of stimuli being thrown at you at any given time, and it’s your responsibility to prioritize and maximize your workload efficiency. Sounds like a nightmare for someone who has problems maintaining concentration, right? Well, there are ways to stay on-task, without having to double-down on medications. Good habits are hard to stick-to, but with these tips, you can manage chaos into an efficient game plan.
Yes, you read that correctly. The problem with the way we look at ADHD is that any deviation from our work is seen as blasphemous, you must fight your mind’s need to waver and stick to your work for x-amount of time. Well, this is a losing battle, and if you don’t take breaks, you will be using half of your energy fighting your brain to stay focused. On the same note: do not split your day up into equal amounts of breaks, rather small chunks in-between sessions of focused work. If aspects of work requires following social media, news, research, or messaging colleagues, divide those tasks up, too. Those elements can knock you off-rhythm and cause you to lose track of time.
Sometimes multi-tasking is unavoidable at work, but you shouldn’t do it out of boredom or as a way to speed up your day. Although, ADHD can sometimes make multi-tasking feel natural, hopping from one thing to another, it still isn’t worth the risk of making more mistakes. The brain just isn’t made to do two, or three, things simultaneously. You know how popular white-noise or classical music is at work? Well, this is just one example of drowning outside distractions, so that you can focus on what’s in front of you.
There’s a reason why many successful businessmen and creative geniuses also happen to be diagnosed with ADHD: their brains are constantly coming up with new ideas and they have mastered the ability to quickly record them and turn them into reality. The average Joe may not have the same level of discipline or they just can’t afford to put their life on pause and start working on those ideas. With so much information being thrown at us, it is inevitable for those dealing with ADHD to have multiple “ah-ha!” moments during their day. The best way to strike a balance between working on too many projects at once, finishing none of them, and simply tossing them into the vault of ideas never realized is to just prioritize your thoughts. Write down the ones that you remember and try to make time for yourself to brainstorm in a quiet and productive environment, i.e. before or after you’re on the clock at work, when the office is still empty.
These are just a few basic ways to coach yourself to comfortably work with an overactive mind in the workplace. Try to be open with your boss or supervisors about how you are coping with work and what your quirks are, no matter how indifferent they may appear to be. If they are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, it might go a long way to start a conversation with them to help you become a more productive employee.
Is workplace management becoming unmanageable? Let’s chat. Schedule a 30-45 minute no cost strategy call to discuss a few specific strategies. Schedule your time using the pop-up on the Contact form on the right.