“If someone told me you could be normal or you could continue to have your ADHD, I would take ADHD,” said JetBlue Airways founder David Neelman, in an interview with ADDitude magazine.
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyper Difference, has its advantages for succeeding in the working environment.
Some of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs and thought leaders have been able to use their ADHD to make the world a better place. The relentless drive, natural curiosity, and daring to pursue far-flung ideas can be attributed to having ADHD.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or grinding that nine to five job, here are five tips that will help you to work with ADHD.
1. Get organized
In today’s fast paced environment, it’s easy for those with ADHD to lose track of things like which folder did you put that last month’s status report in, a morning scramble to get all your things together, or forgetting to feed the cat.
Working with ADHD demands a system that makes organizing second nature. Avoid decision fatigue by clearing out clutter and creating routines.
For managing time, set a day-to-day routine.
Set aside at least five minutes every morning to make a to-do list. Remind yourself to stay alert by setting timers on the phone. Apps like Evernote can help in remembering important details and setting schedules.
Keep documents in color coded folders, you can even do this on your computer and Google drive by segregating files and assigning a color to specific folders.
2. Set deadlines
One of the best things about ADHD is the ability to hyper focus. Maximize this “superpower” by setting deadlines on tasks.
Start the day by identifying and prioritising tasks, and make goals time-bound.
Turn off distractions like phones, and close browsers unrelated to work. Learn to work in allotted time periods, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish in a few quality hours. Reward yourself at the end of every task.
3. Double check your work
One disadvantage of ADHD is that attention to detail is not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. Proofread, and be sure to double-check, or even triple check your work. It also helps to get peer feedback.
4. Have a break
Take time to unwind. Busy doesn’t mean productive.
Taking breaks has proven to be healthy and even increases productivity. Short breaks give you the breathing space you need to stay creative and prevent burnout. Spend your breaks on taking walks, having a snack, or catching up with a friend.
5. Be an advocate
Our workspaces don’t fully understand ADHD yet. The movement for creating inclusive workspaces is still new. And working with ADHD is still a challenge for many employees and employers. Be an advocate.
Don’t be afraid to tell your boss, or colleagues that you have ADHD if you feel this will help. Empower yourself and others by advocating and sharing your experiences.