Tips For Employees with Adult ADHD

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For adults with undiagnosed ADHD, performance and productivity in the workplace can be severely impacted. What may seem like poor follow-through and attention to detail are often the result of ADHD symptoms.

If you have been diagnosed with adult ADHD, as an employee it is important that you take charge of your ADHD in the workplace. This involves identifying:

1) your areas of strength, interest, and highest competence; and
2) your areas of challenge.

Common problem areas for employees with ADHD:

Distractibility

Suggestions for overcoming challenges in this area:

  • Try to change the location of your workspace to someplace quieter/less distracting.
    • This could be a permanent move or just something temporary, whenever an appropriate space is available (e.g., a meeting room, library, or private office)
  • If your job permits, arrange to work at home for part of your workweek or use flextime to work during less distracting hours.
  • Try to mask distracting sounds using headphones (if in a safe environment to do so), white noise machine, etc.

Hyperactivity

Suggestions for overcoming challenges in this area:

  • Take walking breaks several times per day.
  • Try working in varied locations or at a drafting table so you can stand while you work.
  • Whenever possible, try to minimize your need to attend/participate in long meetings.

Organization,
Planning and Follow-
Through

Suggestions for overcoming challenges in this area:

  • Work with someone who can provide structure.
  • Seek help with:
    • organizing your office space
    • breaking down big projects into daily tasks and checklists
    • prioritizing work assignments
  • Use specific tools developed to assist people with ADHD in scheduling and planning (e.g., www.skoach.com).
  • Send frequent updates to supervisor or team leader.

Paperwork

Suggestions for overcoming challenges in this area:

  • Where possible, request a reduction in or simplify paperwork requirements.
  • Implement a reminder system for paperwork due on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Memory

Suggestions for overcoming challenges in this area:

  • Use/request written communications and notes or minutes of meetings.
  • Use audio equipment to record meetings.
  • Try taking some memory training (e.g., www.cogmed.com).
  • Use a day planner or digital assistant (e.g., www.skoach.com).

Did you know that: people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own business? There are many examples of successful leaders in business, including:

  • Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines
  • John T. Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems
  • Ingvar Kamprad, Swedish founder and chairman of IKEA stores, states he adapted the inner workings of his business to compensate for his ADHD and dyslexia
  • David Neeleman, founder and CEO of Jet Blue Airways
  • Paul Orfalea, founder and chairperson of Kinkos
  • Charles Schwab, founder, chairperson and CEO of the Charles Schwab Corporation, the largest brokerage firm in the U.S.