ADHD and Productivity Challenges
While people with ADHD face challenges due to increased distraction and difficulty with attention, they can succeed in the work place with the proper treatment and strategies. Adults with ADHD, especially those who are not diagnosed or not in treatment, are susceptible to start tasks and not finish them.
Moreover, people with ADHD have trouble with delayed gratification and certain tasks that take a long time are more difficult for them to complete. It is hard to see the reward for the task that takes one week to complete compared to a task that takes one hour to complete.
Adults with ADHD produce lower dopamine levels in their brains, which means that they require more stimulating and exciting events than non-ADHD people to stay focused and remain interested. While this desire to procrastinate and the constant distractions can feel hopeless, working on planning and organization skills can vastly improve an employee’s performance and manage ADHD symptoms.
Tip #1: Find the right match
First and foremost, make sure your job is a good match for you! People with ADHD can be extremely efficient and successful if they are doing tasks that match their talents and interests. Hyperfocus is a symptom experienced by adults with ADHD where they get very invested in a task at hand and cannot focus on anything else except for what they are doing.
Certain jobs that have been deemed as compatible with an ADHD diagnosis are sales, politics, and entertainment which are dynamic and interactive fields. For example, someone with ADHD may not be a good fit for a job that involves a lot of paper work and mundane task as it is extremely difficult to remain focused.
Tip #2: Meet with a clinician regarding your symptoms
If you think you can potentially meet criteria for ADHD, set up an evaluation with a psychologist. This can be an event that could drastically change your life. Together with a psychologist you can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses and how to manage the symptoms that are causing you distress
Tip #3: Create the optimal work environment
Turn off social media when you work, request a corner office or space further away from people or windows. Close your door when you work, and only do work at your space.
Tip #4: BREAKS!
Instead of procrastination and scrolling through Facebook mindlessly while you half heartedly perform your tasks, give yourself breaks after every task or between tasks so you know you are not working hours straight. The break can be coffee, a walk or even just ten minutes on your phone.
Tip #4: Planner
Keep a little notebook with you! This can be your go to tool to jot down things you need to order, little tasks or emails you have to send or appointments. Every so often you can look down to see what you wrote.
Tip #5: Do one thing at a time.
People with ADHD are susceptible to starting and not finishing. It’s easy to get excited over a new task and have adrenaline but this wears off and you start to look for something new. When you start one or two things, write it down and do not write down the third thing until the first two are checked off.
Tip #6: Schedule
Schedule out your day, so you know what you will be doing from hour to hour! This can help with procrastination as your tasks for the morning will be laid out clearly.
Go out there and shine in what you do 🙂
If you are an adult with ADHD, you have the ability to hyperfocus and be completely invested in a project or act like a superhuman! People with ADHD are extremely creative and personable and work well in so many fields. You just need to find the right techniques to guide you and the right field for you!
There are temptations to fidget, move around and find the most exciting thing in the moment. This is not someone with ADHD’s fault, it is simply how their brains have been wired. They need to temper this need for stimulation with breaks, rewards, and planning!