12 ways to manage ADHD at work 

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Health Assured team

21 September 2022

ADHD is different for everyone. But the condition tends to be characterised by symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsiveness and difficulty paying attention. This can include struggling to sit still, forgetfulness or mood swings.

Depending on your job role, these symptoms can sometimes make work difficult, as it often involves focus, concentration, and sitting or standing for long periods of time. Depending on your symptoms, you’ll likely come across various challenges at work. So we’ve put together 12 tips below to help you manage ADHD at work and overcome any problems you might be facing.

 

1. Break up tasks

You might find starting a big project challenging—knowing that there’s a long way to go until the end goal can make it difficult to maintain concentration. Try to break up tasks into smaller goals that feel easily achievable. It will boost your concentration levels, allowing you to have short bursts of focus time.


2. Reward yourself for reaching achievements

Recognise your successes. Whether you’ve met your targets, delivered a presentation or reached a milestone in a task, remember to celebrate your achievements. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small. Taking the time to reflect on your accomplishments in this way motivates you to keep going instead of feeling overwhelmed with no recognition yet many tasks ahead.


3. Take regular breaks

Stretch your legs, make a hot drink or take a moment away from your desk. Try to intersperse your day with short breaks where possible. The change of scenery, bodily movement and fresh air will help with any restlessness you might be feeling after spending a long time on the ball.


4. Take notes in meetings

Some people find that taking notes in meetings can help with concentration and the urge to fidget. By jotting down notes, you keep your hands busy, and you stay on course with how the conversation is unfolding. These notes can then guide you to make insightful comments at the appropriate times.


5. Go for a lunchtime walk

Spending some, or all of your lunch break by walking expends energy and gets the blood flowing, fulfilling any urges you might have to move your body throughout the day.


6. Set a timer

Some people find that allocating focus time with a timer can be a useful way to get in the flow with tasks. Set your timer for 40 minutes of solid , and try your best to engage with the task at hand during this time. After the timer is up, allow yourself a short break before knuckling down again. Cutting up your time like this helps the whole working day feel more manageable.


7. Set yourself deadlines

You might find projects at work a struggle to finish due to distractions or difficulties sticking with one task. It can be helpful to set yourself deadlines as this encourages you to work towards a timeframe, adding slight pressure to get the job done. By setting these deadlines, you’re giving yourself goals and ensuring you deliver.


8. Set your phone to do not disturb

Often distracted during the working day? Phone notifications don’t make it any easier. Help yourself by switching to do not disturb and only looking at your phone when you have a break. It can be a challenge to commit to this at first, but the more you build this habit—the easier it gets.


9. Try a relaxation technique

If your attention’s scattered or you’re struggling to get in the zone, try using a relaxation technique to calm the body and the mind. By focusing on the breath and taking a few deep inhales and exhales, you regain awareness, allowing you to concentrate on tasks and other colleagues more effectively.


10. Use lists and post-it notes

During busy periods at work, it can be hard to stay on top of tasks, plan your schedule and tick off everything on the to-do list. If organisation isn’t your strong point, try to use lists and post-it notes where you can. Getting into this routine again might take some time, but once you get used to writing things down, it ensures nothing slips by unnoticed.


11. Work in a quiet spot

If you can, finding a quiet spot to work in can help you knuckle down when needs be. Whether it’s a meeting room to take a call or a quiet spot where you can get things done. This way there are fewer distractions, so you can get the job done—and move on to the next one.


12. Talk about it with someone you trust

Whether your manager, a member of the HR team or a colleague, talking about how ADHD impacts you at work can help others understand and support you. You might be able to discuss adjustments in your role that could help, or gain the aid of a friend who can help you manage deadlines. Having these conversations can be daunting. But they allow you to find ways of moving forward.

 

Health Assured are here to help

If your ADHD has been impacting you at work, we are here to help. We can offer a safe space to offload and help you create a plan to help you succeed in the workplace. 

 

 

 

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