Improve Your Time Management Skills

In an ADHD brain, the present takes precedence in most situations. You’re focused on what’s happening in the moment, not the afternoon meeting you should start preparing for or the deadline looming in the coming days. That makes it hard to drum up motivation for certain work tasks, which often leads to procrastination. Instead of chipping away at a project throughout the week, you might find yourself working late hours at the last minute in order to complete an assignment on time.

One of the most helpful tools for improving your time management at work is to understand what motivates an ADHD brain. Let’s say you have a project due in a week. You know you should begin working on it, but you can’t seem to get started. ADHD brains prefer short-term rewards, so when something feels far away, it doesn’t register on your mental radar as a priority.

If you’re able to make that project more of a priority in the near future, however, you may be able to manage your time more wisely. For example, you could break the project into smaller tasks that you complete each day. Then, you can give yourself a small reward as you complete each task. This strategy not only helps you avoid a missed deadline, but also improves the quality of your work since you aren’t rushing to finish it just before it’s due.

Those who have trouble implementing this time management method can ask a coworker or manager to help keep them accountable. For example, you could ask your supervisor to check in with you regularly to make sure you’re staying on track to complete the daily tasks for your project.

Find Effective Ways to Communicate

For someone with ADHD, interpersonal communication can be fraught at times. There are certain aspects of the condition which can hinder your social skills. ADHDers sometimes talk excessively, accidentally interrupt others, speak too bluntly, experience emotional outbursts, or lose focus during long conversations.

While friends and family who know you well may be more understanding of these social blunders, it’s no surprise that they can become problems in the workplace. It’s important to improve your communication skills if you want to succeed at work. This can be tough at first, but if you work at it consistently, it becomes more of a habit. The following are some of the strategies you can use to socialize and communicate more effectively in the workplace:

  • Ask more questions, especially if you think you missed an important piece of information during a conversation.
  • Minimize distractions when talking to colleagues or participating in a meeting.
  • Work on taking a pause before you speak to help avoid interrupting others.
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation to prevent emotional outbursts at work.
  • Pay attention to body language and tone of voice to help understand others when they’re talking.

If you’re still struggling with workplace communication, consider working with an ADHD coach. They can help you identify potential issues with your communication habits so you can hone your social skills.

Ask for Workplace Accommodations

Many people with ADHD don’t realize that their condition is protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That means that if your ADHD significantly impacts your ability to perform important functions of your job, you may qualify for workplace accommodations, such as:

  • Noise-canceling headphones or a private workspace to minimize distractions
  • A sit-stand desk or active sitting chair to help with hyperactivity
  • More frequent breaks to help with focus and alleviate restlessness
  • Visual timers, text-to-speech software, or other types of assistive technology
  • Permission to temporarily silence email or phone notifications for better focus

In order to access these types of accommodations, you’ll need to disclose your diagnosis at work. That doesn’t mean all your coworkers need to know about your ADHD. Only select people, such as a human resources representative and your direct manager, need to be clued in before ADA accommodations can be granted.

Keep in mind that only certain solutions may be available to you since the ADA accommodations you request must not place an unrealistic burden on your employer. For example, your workplace may not have a private office available for you to work in, but a manager may be able to allow the use of noise-canceling headphones or permit you to work from home on certain days in order to facilitate improved concentration.

At Done, we’re here to help you succeed in all areas of life, including your career. If you’re struggling with ADHD symptoms at work, contact us about your treatment options. Getting on the right ADHD medication can help to improve your performance at work and alleviate some of the stress of managing your symptoms.