20 tips for handling your ADHD at work

Work’s complicated

For many adults with ADHD, work can be an assault course each day. Work is not easy when overwhelmed with process, admin chores and planning. It’s harder with ADHD to focus on dull tasks, remember essential details, hold emotions in check and resist the urge to rebel! Here are twenty simple tips to better manager your ADHD at work.

Focus

  1. Use music to boost focus, just make sure lyrics don’t distract
  2. Doodle, fidget, draw, fiddle – all raise your overall level of engagement
  3. Find an office with a door that closes to avoid distractions
  4. Take a stimulant: coffee, medication timed when you most need to focus, say half an hour ahead
  5. Take a break, take a walk, move location, change things to become more alert

Procrastination

  1. Write critical assignments and deadlines somewhere within your eye-line
  2. Use you diary for everything, put every date straight into your phone/PC
  3. Figure out your most productive time of day, get your tough tasks done then
  4. You don’t need to write the novel just the first page – what do you need to do next?
  5. Commit to deadlines with colleagues, “I will email you by close of business”

Planning

  1. Get up and stretch, take a break from what you’re doing
  2. Take short breaks, sometimes to find a private space for thinking.
  3. Confirm back verbally or by email that you have understood a task correctly
  4. Move location. Go to Starbucks to plan your week or write the report
  5. Ask: is this work important?,  is there anything else I should be doing right now?

Communication

  1. You may not need communication but others do, both staff and your management
  2. Check in with your boss more frequently, ask “is this what you wanted?”
  3. With staff set up brief regular meetings, get them to write the notes
  4. Get your boss involved in decisions even if you don’t need their help
  5. If you know what you are doing it’s far easier to tell others
ADHD Coach, Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis is an ADHD Coach, writer and founder of SimplyWellbeing. He has over 15,000 hours and 18 years of experience in coaching over 500 ADHD executives, ADHD business professionals and ADHD creatives. Andrew ran a major ADHD support group and an ADHD diagnostic clinic for a while. He is an ADHD specialist backed with business expertise from a twenty years career in software, from roles in programming, through marketing, sales and to running a few software start-ups. His ADHD insight is personal, with decades understanding his own ADHD experience and in bringing up his ADHD daughter. He has published his writing primarily via this website, with interactive ADHD courses in development.

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