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Working From Home Successfully When You Have ADHD

21/04/2020
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Working from home has many advantages and disadvantages, but for many people at present, it is becoming a requirement, rather than an option. For some with ADHD, this enormous change can lead to additional anxiety and stress. We have outlined a few helpful tips below that will help ensure working from home is a successful and positive experience.

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Create a designated workspace

Set aside an area in your home where you will work. This will help maintain the boundaries between work and home. You can make sure that the designated space is free of any unwanted distractions and where you can fully focus on your work at hand. This doesn’t mean you have to work in silence, if you find you are more productive with a little background music, then include this as part of your workspace.

Set a consistent daily routine

Working from home can make it tempting to lay in later than usual or stay in your pyjamas all day. However, this will not help to keep you motivated. Set yourself an achievable daily routine, much like you have when you actually leave the house for work. Get up at a set time, and get showered and dressed as you would do usually. Have a set time for breakfast, and a set time you start and finish work. This will help to distinguish between work time and leisure time, where you can relax in the evening.

A work desk with a with computer and green plant
man stretching his arms facing a laptop

Plan in regular breaks

Breaks are important parts of the day and will help refresh and reset your mind. They will also help you manage any overwhelm that may creep in. As well as helping to increase your concentration and productivity, breaks could also be planned for any medication that is needed.

If you are working on a computer then it is crucial to ensure that you take technology breaks too. So when it is time for a break, get up from your workstation and have a rest from your screen. If you have been sat for a while, then get up and have a stretch, or maybe even go for a walk. Exercise can help aid concentration and focus, so you are likely to be more productive following your walk.

Make use of technology

Technology can often be a distraction, however there are lots of tools out there that can actually help to improve productivity. Zoom and Skype allow great solutions to remote working and communication. You can make use of timer applications which can be a good way to ensure you work for a period of time and then take regular breaks. You can also turn off or mute notifications on your internet browser or through applications such as Station, this will stop any unwanted notifications popping up and distracting you.

Tools such as Trello and Asana are also useful for keeping you on track and can work well with other team members who may also be working remotely as well.

Get Organised

Plan your day or week out in advance, so you know what is happening when and what your deadlines are. Make use of calendars and reminders to help keep you on track. Also, be sure to have all the equipment that you require to hand and organised so that you’re not wasting time searching for things rather doing the tasks that you need to complete.

Work in a way that is best suited to your preferred learning style. For example, if you are quite visual, then make use of resources such as post it notes or to do lists, to help. If you prefer to listen, then maybe use an app like Voxer and record voice memos rather than writing lists.

Set clear boundaries with others

Be clear with when and where you are working with friends and family. This will help discourage any non work phone calls during your working hours that could interrupt your flow. Let any family members or people you live with know when you are having any online meetings or calls, so you don’t have any unwelcome background distractions.

A woman smiling while typing on her laptop

Be Realistic

If you are new to working from home, don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go smoothly initially. It takes time to adjust to a new routine, and a different working pattern. So, if you do get distracted, then take a break, clear your head and start afresh. Consider why something isn’t working and look at making adjustments to make your working day easier. There will be a transition period that you go through as you adapt.

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By implementing some of the above methods, working from home should be a little easier. However, if you would like some further guidance and support on managing your ADHD then please contact us at the ADHD Centre on 0800 061 4276 or via connect@adhdcentre.co.uk  We have a range of specialist support options, including online coaching to enhance your productivity whilst working at home.

You can also visit our website for further information and resources.

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