Top 3 Tips for Working From Home with ADHD
Over the last five years, I’ve had to figure out how to successfully work from home while living with ADHD the hard way—-through trial and error.
Then COVID hit, and most of my clients suddenly found themselves also working from home. When this happened, I found that many of my clients struggled with the same things. They reported challenges with staying motivated, staying on task, managing their time, prioritizing their daily tasks, finding a workspace that actually worked for them, and navigating the feelings of loneliness and anxiety.
I realized that my own challenges with working from home were not unique. It became clear to me, those common neurotypical recommendations for successfully working from home like getting up early and creating a dedicated workspace just didn’t work for adults with ADHD.
Instead, I found that these three practices greatly helped me and my clients have more productive and successful workdays at home.
Practice One: Create a Home “Office” That Works for You That Day
Although you might have heard that it’s best to create a dedicated workspace when working from home, this isn’t always the best practice for people with ADHD. One day you might be super-efficient at your desk and the next day you’re not. The best place for you to work really depends on what works for YOU that day. Experiment with different work setups to see which are most productive for you and if you find yourself losing focus, move locations. One day you might work at a desk, the next a standing desk, the next a kitchen table, the only way to know is by trial and error.
Practice Two: Notice Your Energy Patterns
Pay close attention to when you are most productive during the day. Jot down the times of day that you feel most energized to work so you can see what your patterns are really like. Notice when you are super-sleepy – write it down. Notice when you take your meds – write it down. Notice how you feel when you take your meds – write it down. Notice when you feel super-productive – write it down. Notice when you feel totally unproductive – write it down. Be aware of yourself and notice if there are any patterns. Over time you will have a better sense of your rhythms and can use this information to create a schedule that works for you.
Practice Three: Set Boundaries for Yourself & Others
It’s okay to protect your time. Start by setting boundaries with yourself by honoring your schedule. Setting a timer to alert you when it’s time to stop working can help you stay on track. It’s also helpful to only schedule personal plans and social events for evenings and days off. You can also limit distractions by only checking your email once or twice a day. Set boundaries with others by saying no, sharing your work schedule, and even hanging a “Please Do Not Disturb” sign on your door when you’re working. Setting boundaries allows you to protect your time and limit distractions so you’re able to focus on your work.
Ready to have a more successful workday at home? Grab your free checklist: 8 Tips for Successfully Working From Home with ADHD.
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