Managing ADHD at the Workplace

Screen Shot 2022 10 18 at 1.28.44 PM

Employers always look for professional qualities like excellent focus, attention to detail, and organization, in all their potential candidates. But having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) doesn’t allow you to ingrain these qualities in your work while navigating your professional life. With ADHD, you are regularly late to work. Get easily distracted, never complete projects on time, and are stuck for hours to finish minor tasks. Managing ADHD for adults becomes an endless struggle to stay on top of details. And usually keep getting into conflict with managers, missing their promotions, and their careers get stalled.

Traits of workers affected by ADHD

Professionals with ADHD tend to change their jobs frequently and often do it impulsively. They are likely to be fired, miss work, and have strained relationships with their co-workers. It often leads them on a path of unhappiness and low self-image.

Workers with this condition are affected by poor time management and difficulty in setting priorities. These are executive functions, a set of cognitive abilities arising within the brain’s prefrontal lobe. When the prefrontal lobe is chronically under-aroused, the ability to monitor behaviour is heavily impaired. Poor executive function is why you waste hours on a minor task. And get distracted by the slightest interruption.

People with ADHD are inherently hard workers. In the desperate attempt to keep up, we end up putting in more effort. When attention span fluctuates, one feels like they are not utilizing their full potential. But often appear to be irresponsible, disorganized, or lazy, to their co-workers.

The positive side of ADHD at work

ADHD may be considered a disability, but it can’t limit anyone from also performing exceptionally in tasks that display strength. No company can discriminate against you based on your condition. Feel free and comfortable in letting your employer know that you have ADHD.

Surprisingly, there are many benefits that come with ADHD. You can utilize restlessness, impulsiveness, and the constant desire to try something new as assets. These traits can come as a boon if you own your own business.

Studies have discovered that many adults with ADHD end up becoming entrepreneurs. The trick is to turn your condition into your strength and find a career that suits your personality and behavior. It will provide you with the right channel to bring out your energy and creativity into your job.

Tackling ADHD at work

Managing ADHD is not a daunting task. Developing an effective workplace strategy is the best first step to start turning your work around efficiently. Plan to alter your way of working in sync with your ADHD. Minimizing distractions needs to be your top priority.

Managing distractions

Most office settings are noisy, with fast-paced work schedules. When you’re busy with work, there’s also a constant intrusion from technology. The attention span is reduced, by the onslaught of phone calls, text messages, and email notifications. These make employees non-efficient in general.

You can come in early to work when it is quiet to focus and do the job. To minimize visual distractions, choose the desk facing the wall. Try keeping your workplace free from clutter. You can use a headset when on the phone to tune out the background office now. If you learn to manage distractions, you’ll get a great headstart in managing your ADHD.

Managing short attention span

A short attention span is a classic symptom associated with ADHD. Adults with ADHD suffer from it even when the task is exciting. However, you may have another classic behavior of hyper-focusing while doing the things you enjoy. You may involve yourself in those activities without noticing anything going on around.

But the low attention span impacts your listening skills. If the mind wanders during the important meetings, work gets affected. But you don’t have to let it be a stumbling block in managing your ADHD, you can overcome this shortcomings with simple techniques

You can break down the tasks, making them micro-manageable. Schedule breaks and slight changes in your work routine and do something that reenergizes you.

Managing organization and memory

Adults with ADHD are vulnerable to poor organizational skills and memory problems. But management skills play a crucial role in the workplace. Lack of it due to ADHD affects the whole career entirely. Failing to meet deadlines and falling behind on work.

Make a habit of creating notes in meetings. Record them if they are virtual. Follow up the conversations with an email for clarifications. Use visual checklists and stay updated. Ensure you set alerts and reminders on your phone for scheduled meetings and calls. Come up with your own ideas and simple techniques to manage your ADHD better.

Managing hyperactivity

Hyperactivity in adults with ADHD is experiencing feelings of restlessness. It is difficult to settle down and relax. So you don’t feel trapped if your job requires you to sit in one place for a long time.

Schedule frequent breaks and get moving by taking walks around the office. You can practice exercises that you can perform at your desks to get rid of the restless feeling. If possible, walk up to your co-worker to chat instead of emailing from desk to desk.

Managing ADHD and, at the same time, excelling at your work can be a challenge. But it can be made possible by employing a few strategies.

If you’re struggling beyond control and failing to cope with your ADHD, you can find the right solution at Bloom Health Centers. They are experts in providing comprehensive behavioral health services. Lead by a group of competent, independent practitioners. They focus on generating solutions, not amplifying the problems. Their effective treatment helps you function efficiently and thrive in your workplace.

Have questions?

We’re here to talk to you about your specific mental health needs. Give us a call or request an appointment through our online form.