People with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can experience different challenges at work. These challenges include struggling to finish tasks, difficulty in prioritizing assignments, and feelings of boredom.
Pinpointing effective strategies to help you cope with these challenges can greatly impact your work success and overall happiness.
#1: TIME YOUR TASKS
Use a timer to adjust the schedule of each work task. Be realistic about the time you need to accomplish something. Plan for urgent tasks and prioritize as some things take longer than you think. For some people, thirty minutes of work followed by a 10-minute break is beneficial. For others, a shorter work or break period may work better.
#2: PREPARE YOUR STATION
Prepare your workstation to stimulate concentration. A conducive working station looks different for everyone. Personally, I prefer working in a quiet area with a comfortable and a table. Do you prefer to work with the blinds half open or closed? Do you prefer to be sitting on a pillow or a hard bench? Prepare your environment for focus.
#3: START WITH THE FUN
Do the interesting tasks first. Once you get the fun stuff done and have your dopamine high, your body would want more things to be accomplished. This will lead you to finishing the rest of the uninteresting tasks.
#4: HAVE BREAKS
Give yourself a transition time between tasks. For mentally challenging projects, you can set a 10-minute break to take a walk or to sip a cup of joe. Use this time to psych yourself up for the next task on your to-do list.
#5: AVOID MULTITASKING
Multitasking hurts productivity and causes people to lose time switching between tasks. This statement pertains to employees with or without ADHD. Staying focused on a task is necessary to get it done. If you frequently multitask, you will have a tougher time completing the necessary tasks. Do things one at a time.
#6: SPLIT COMPLICATED TASKS
Adults with ADHD tend to have difficulty with long, multi-step tasks. For complicated tasks, you can split it into manageable chunks. Break the large tasks into smaller steps that are not as intimidating. This will help you keep up your momentum as you focus on the next doable step.
#7: LIMIT DISTRACTIONS
While you are at work, try to limit the distractions. Request a private space in the office and shut the door to block out distractions. If this is not possible, you can politely ask for your spot to be placed away from the main work area. Of course, these options are not always available.
#8: SEEK SUPPORT
A supportive co-worker or an understanding manager can help you stay on task and be your source of support. Some people have found it helpful to share information about ADHD to their employers. Sharing your condition and seeking help can make work more successful.
Boosting your focus at work often involves a bit of experimenting. Keep track of which strategies you are using and monitor your progress. Should things get increasingly difficult you can seek the help of a mental health professional to manage your symptoms.