Hack #1: Add Structure to Your Days

Entrepreneur and author Peter Shankman was diagnosed with ADHD in his thirties, which helped him better understand his struggle to focus. He’s also the host of “Faster Than Normal,” a popular podcast that features interviews with ADHD experts. Needless to say, he’s spent a lot of time thinking about ADHD and how to achieve professional success with a neurotypical brain.

One of his key pieces of advice for professionals with ADHD is to prioritize a regular routine each day. For example, you can schedule certain activities — like replying to emails, making calls, or attending meetings — to a specific part of the work day. You can also create a structured morning ritual that helps you feel more prepared for the day ahead. These types of routines allow you to channel your focus when you need to rather than feeling like you’re being pulled in different directions.

Hack #2: Make a List Every Day

Being productive is critical for busy professionals, but ADHD can quickly derail your plans if you’re not careful. Creating a daily to-do list is a simple yet effective way to help you stay on task.

Jack Kosakowski, CEO of the U.S. divisions of Creation Agency and SkillsLab, found that a simple whiteboard was his key to productivity. Each day, he lists all of his short-term tasks, like making calls or preparing proposals, on a small whiteboard he keeps on his desk (long-term tasks are listed on a separate, larger board). He sees the tasks he needs to complete throughout the day, and he updates the board as they’re completed. When his mind wanders, he uses the board as a reminder to refocus on what tasks need to be prioritized.

Hack #3: Be the Real You

Damien Hooper-Campbell has held high-ranking positions at a number of companies, including eBay, Zoom, and StockX. But getting to that point wasn’t easy. He struggled with his ADHD early on in his career. Getting on medication helped him gain better control over his ADHD and find greater success in the workplace. But he didn’t want to hide the challenges he faced professionally.

He decided to be more open about his ADHD at work, and it’s made a big difference. He actually chose to disclose his ADHD in his interview at eBay, for example, because he believed that transparency was important in his first big leadership role. It paid off, not only because he got the job, but because he found that his openness created stronger connections with his colleagues — especially those dealing with neurodivergence or learning disabilities.

While the decision about whether to disclose your ADHD at work is very personal, it’s worth considering for the potential personal and professional benefits. Many people find that being open about their diagnosis allows their coworkers to better understand how to communicate and collaborate with them in an effective way. Plus, it opens up the possibility of getting accommodations for ADHD at work.

Hack #4: Find Your Strengths

If you ask Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan, he’ll tell you that his ADHD is his greatest strength as an entrepreneur. More specifically, he finds that his ability to hyperfocus is what allowed him to make his company so successful. “I only ruminate on what truly matters, leaving all the irrelevant noise behind,” he explains.

Seeing the benefits of your ADHD is one of the best ways to use it to your advantage in your career. Maybe you can harness periods of hyperfocus to be more productive. Another potential ADHD superpower is divergent thinking, which often makes people with the condition better at thinking outside the box and finding creative solutions for problems at work. Hyperactivity can give you the energy to get things done, while spontaneity could give you the courage to take a risk and start your own entrepreneurial venture. While there are some drawbacks that are inevitable with ADHD, you can find balance by looking for the ways it gives you unique advantages as well.