These days, 60% of the world is working from home, and that is more than ever before! I do believe that it is difficult for the majority of employees to transition from an office setup to a work-from-home setup, as it involves planning your day. It is much more difficult for individuals with ADHD. Not only do people with ADHD have to adapt to work-from-home changes, but they also have to put in twice as much effort as possible to make work-from-home successful.
It’s been three years since the COVID-19 pandemic, and even though many struggled to adjust to the new work setup, such as learning how to use Zoom to conduct meetings, people with ADHD faced an entirely different set of challenges. Even now, three years later, ADHD individuals are still struggling and adjusting due to our challenges with time management, focus, and motivation.
Keep reading the article to understand what ADHD is and get to know a few important tips that you can follow to make work from home a success with ADHD.
Pros of working from home when you have ADHD
There are numerous challenges associated with working from home with ADHD. It’s no doubt that working from home might feel overwhelming at times, but here are a few of the benefits of working from home.
- There are fewer interruptions and distractions from the boss or the coworkers when you are working from home. You are all by yourself when you work from home and if you are able to manage time and complete your task, it can be a game changer.
- You have the freedom to manage your time in your own way.
- You have total control over the work environment. If you feel dull while working, you can turn up the music and stay focused on work, which won’t be possible when you are working from the office.
Cons of working from home when you have ADHD
- Many ADHD individuals experiences worst ADHD symptoms during the transition to remote work such as
- Feeling it very difficult to focus on work.
- Feeling bored, unmotivated, or underestimating one’s ability to work better.
- Distractibility or overstimulation
- Difficulty managing work life balance Individuals with ADHD find it very difficult to balance their professional and personal lives together and thus end up sacrificing one or the other.
- They find it difficult to get started with the task. People with ADHD find it very difficult to start a task, and moreover, they are unable to focus on the task at hand and often end up wasting a lot of time.
Tips to make Work from Home a success with ADHD.
First things first, working from home with ADHD is challenging as you are thinking of several activities, and the one important task that is present in front of you remains unfinished.
To overcome the challenges associated with working from home when you have ADHD, it is important to implement effective strategies and create an environment that pushes and motivates you to be productive. Here are a few of my valuable tips to successfully working from home when you have ADHD.
1. Establish a Dedicated Workspace
Designate a specific area in your home solely for work purposes. This will create a clear boundary between your work and personal life, allowing for better focus and concentration. Keep your workspace organized and free from any distractions.
Consider dedicating a room to building a work friendly space and reserve this area for things that get you in the mood to work. While everyone has their own preferences, here are a few general examples on how you can convert your room to your workspace room.
- A large whiteboard with the daily task list written on it. Thai will allow you to be focused on the task in hand.
- Caffeinated beverages of your choice
- Add sufficient lighting and this can affect your sensory processing.
- Headphones and play white noise on them, as it’s scientifically proven to improve your work and help you concentrate.
- If a whiteboard is out of your budget, try writing down your to-do list in a notebook. This can help you track your work and be disciplined with your time.
- The aim here is to get the work done with minimalist waste of time.
2. Create a sense of accountability with your work
One thing that I surely miss about the office environment is the coworkers and boss that keep on directly or indirectly making you feel accountable for your work. Whether we realize it or not, working with others can give us a sense of accountability, which helps us get things done at a faster rate.
Individuals with ADHD thrive and work in an environment that is organized. If you leave an ADHD individual in a room of 200 employees and ask them to decode a complex code or write an article, they can easily do it within a few hours as there is an external time limit set on them. They have a sense of responsibility for the fact that they must get the work done within the allotted time slot.
Similarly, if you ask an ADHD individual to get the same work done when working from home, chances are that it might take the entire day to get the work done.
So how do you solve this problem? As a working professional you have to understand and realize that results are expected from you and make your fellow co-workers and boss depend and judge you on those results.
So, turn on white noise in the background and get the work done.
3. Make Use of Time Management Techniques
Employ time management techniques, such as setting clear goals, prioritizing tasks, and using tools such as timers or productivity apps. Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable chunks to enhance focus and reduce being overwhelmed by those tasks.
You can manage your time by using the Pomodoro Technique. It is a time management method that involves working for a set period (usually 25 minutes) and then taking short breaks in between. This technique can improve focus and prevent work related burnout.
4. Minimize Distractions as much as you can
Identify and minimize potential distractions in your workspace. Keep things such as television, video games, mirrors, your cell phone, and any social media tabs on your browser away from your workspace. Turn off notifications on electronic devices, use noise canceling headphones, and communicate with family members or roommates about respecting your work hours.
5. Seek support and take care of yourself
Only the brave are brave enough to ask for help. When it comes to mental health related issues, many ignore it and even when they realize they need help from professionals they are very ashamed to accept the fact that they are going through a mental health issue. It is okay to ask for help from others and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Reach out to support networks, such as ADHD support groups or online communities, to connect with individuals who can understand the challenges you are going through in life now.
Make self-care a priority to support your overall well-being. Engage in regular exercise, practice mindfulness or meditation, get enough sleep and maintain a balanced diet. Taking care of your physical and mental health will positively impact your work performance.