1. Find an Effective Treatment Plan

Start by working with your doctor to find the best ADHD treatment for your needs. For most people, medication helps make their symptoms significantly more manageable. In addition, you can try therapy for ADHD or adopt lifestyle habits intended to minimize disruptive ADHD behaviors. If you’re interested in telehealth treatment for ADHD, contact us at Done to learn more about your options.

2. Create a Routine

Adding more structure to your day can help to improve things at work. For example, a good morning routine can help you get out the door and into the office on time. Blocking out a period in the afternoon to respond to emails can also help if you find that reading and replying to emails as they arrive in your inbox distracts you too much from other work tasks.

3. Visualize Your To-Do List

ADHD can make it tough to juggle multiple duties in your head. A simple way to stay on task is to write a to-do list and put it somewhere you’ll frequently see it throughout the day. Consider keeping two to-do lists at work: one for tasks that need to be completed today or very soon, and another for long-term tasks, such as a big project due next month.

4. Reward Yourself

Each time you complete an item on your to-do list, give yourself a small reward. This can help to motivate you to complete the task and move on to the next one. You can personalize your reward system based on your own preferences and what makes sense for your work environment, such as having a snack, taking a short walk around the office, or checking social media for a few minutes. 

5. Find Outlets for Excess Energy

For those who struggle with ADHD hyperactivity, it can be tough to work a job that requires a lot of sitting. Try using fidget toys to get out that excess energy and stay more focused during meetings or phone calls. Active seating options, such as balance ball chairs, are more conducive to those with fidgety energy compared to traditional desk chairs.

6. Minimize Distractions

If it’s tough to sustain your focus at work, try to recognize what’s distracting you. Is it external sounds, like hearing other people on phone calls or your computer pinging every time you get an email? Is it visual stimuli, like a cluttered workspace or people frequently walking past your desk? Try to remove as many of these distractions as possible so you can maintain focus on your work.

7. Explore Ways to Stay Organized

Many people with ADHD struggle with organization and working memory, which can create obstacles in the workplace. If you find yourself forgetting about important details or missing deadlines, try using novel methods to stay on top of things. For example, ask if you can record meetings so you can review the details later. You can also break larger projects down into smaller, more approachable tasks to make sure you’re staying on track to meet the final deadline.

8. Be Open with Your Colleagues

ADHD sometimes has a negative impact on social skills. Things like frequent interrupting and zoning out during conversations can lead to awkward interactions with coworkers. To overcome these challenges, consider being more open about your preferred communication style. For instance, you might ask your manager if you can take a walk during your weekly one-on-one meetings since it helps you stay focused on the conversation. This framing also gives you the option to either disclose your ADHD or keep it to yourself, depending on what you’re comfortable with.

9. Ask for Accommodations

ADHD is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This means that, in many cases, employers are required to provide you with reasonable accommodations. For example, you might get approval for wearing noise-canceling headphones during certain work periods to boost your focus, or your employer might cover the cost of assistive technology like speech recognition software. It can help to present your request as a benefit to the employer, like how an accommodation for your ADHD will boost your productivity.

10. Look for a New Job

If you’ve tried all of the tips above and you’re still feeling stressed about work, consider whether a new position might help. For example, someone with ADHD who finds their desk job to be really difficult might prefer a more active, hands-on role. If you’re not sure where to start your search, try working with a career coach who can help you find a job that’s matched to your needs, abilities, and interests.