Do you daydream about a job that relies on your strengths, enables you to feel competent and productive, earns you respect amongst your peers, and increases your sense of well-being?
Quite frequently, the workplace is where productivity and ADHD collide. Some adults with ADHD have become tremendously successful, and others get tripped up by a variety of challenges: distractibility, poor time management, disorganization, and lack of confidence. This can lead to constant overwhelm, and a general dread of going to work. Below is a list of possible strategies. Making these shifts on your own is quite possible, but much easier when you are supported by a coach.
Distractibility: It may feel that your brain is on overdrive. Distractions can be both external (environmental) and internal (racing thoughts and daydreaming).
- Modify your workspace. Is there an empty office, a conference room, or a quiet cubicle that you could use?
- Manage the noises around you. Use earplugs, headphones, or white noise to drown out sounds.
- Explore the flexibility of your schedule. Can you arrive a couple of hours before everyone else and work in silence? Or stay later and do the same?
- Distracted by your own ideas? Keep a notebook close by and write down your brainstorms. That way you won't forget them and can revisit your creative genius at a more appropriate time.
Time Management: Sometimes just getting to work on time seems like the biggest challenge of the day. Once there, are deadlines your nemesis? Do you drown in emails?
- Get ready to get ready in the morning. Create a launch pad so that everything is near the door. Figure out what kind of alarm truly gets you out of bed. With a coach you can streamline your morning rituals and maintain accountability.
- Once at work, break each project into small pieces. Use timelines with step by step "due dates" and reward yourself with each accomplishment. There are some very useful APPS that can help you stay on track.
- Schedule meetings with YOURSELF in your calendar so that you are guaranteed uninterrupted work time.
- Ask your boss to help you prioritize the most important projects. This is really important when you start to get overwhelmed.
- Find alarms, buzzers, or computer software that will alert you to an upcoming deadline or meeting.
- Establish a schedule for opening emails and Slack. Instead of first thing in the morning, try to get a solid hour of work done before you get distracted by the barrage of requests that come your way. Then establish another time during the day to do the same. You can take control once you implement a regimen that works.
- Decide when you are willing to be interrupted my phone calls and other distractions. Take control of your schedule rather than responding to what comes at you.
Hyperactivity: Not all people with ADD/ADHD struggle with this. But if you do...
- Consider a standup desk.
- Exercise hard at lunch. This will also raise your dopamine and serotonin levels reviving your ability to focus.
- See if you can stand during meetings.
- Take frequent breaks to move your body, stretch and walk if possible.
- Standing, walking or even pacing during important phone calls can help your brain stay alert and on topic. Obviously, this is easier if you work at home, but anything is possible if you set it up that way.
- Don't forget to eat protein and drink water throughout the day. Your brain needs the food and your body needs hydration.
- Mind your meds. If you take them, don't forget them.
- Be aware of your anxiety and do what it takes to keep it in check.
I have illuminated just a few challenges that can present themselves at work. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to improve your performance, you discover that your job just does not play to your strengths. In these situations, we can explore your interests, strengths, personality, values, and aptitudes to discover a career that is more in line with your skillset.
My professional training is through the ADD Coach Academy. ADDCA is an ICF and PAAC certified coaching program dedicated exclusively to training ADHD coaches. Working with me you will reach your most ambitious goals faster than you can alone. I will help you gain clarity and focus. Through increased accountability, you will experience a boost of energy, renewed passion and inspiration to succeed.
If you're committed to creating a more fulfilling and meaningful life, I look forward to working with you. Contact me today for a FREE CONSULTATION.