Managing ADHD at Work

How to manage Adult ADHD at work?

Having made all the mistakes I have found the most successful approach is to have a few ‘defensive’ strategies to minimise some of the potential impacts of the symptoms of Adult ADHD but most important is to focus on the positive aspects and look for roles and opportunities to really utilise these?

My top three defensive strategies?

  1. Have a ‘buddy’ or accountability partner who you trust, knows about your condition and can give you feedback or a gentle ‘nudge when you are doing something that might be ‘off-track’.
  2. Use your calendar to build in blocks of thinking time around meetings and also double on your time to travel and prepare.  If you think the journey will take 45 minutes build in 90 minutes.  If you think preparation time will be one hour then give yourself two.
  3. The rule of two.  Asking most people with Adult ADHD to stop trying to think about or manage multiple tasks is unrealistic.  However, I try and use a rule of two that means when I find myself juggling more than two things I’ll make a choice to drop one of them.  This goes for everything. If I have more than two tabs open on my lap top I start to close them.  Likewise my phone. If I have more than two emails open I close or deal with them. If someone asks me to do something for them and I already have two things on the go I’ll say no or not at the moment.  Write ‘Rule of Two’ on  Post-It-Notes and stick them on your lap top and on the back of your phone or anywhere else prominent on your desk.
How to get positive strategies working for you at work.

Here are my top three strategies to really use your unique qualities presented by your Adult ADHD.

  1. Your creativity is likely to be one of your trump cards.  So use it and don’t hold back.  People who are less creative love help from people who can really use their imagination in many scenarios at work.

The truth is in today’s world with the pace of business moving as fast as it is businesses are now constantly having to re-think the way they do things as well as what products and services they supply.

Technology, communications changing demographics are really having a fundamental impact on business and guess what its not going to change.  In fact its predicted that the pace is just going to get quicker.   This is the ADHDers dream.  Our time is now! Businesses now need people who can really stretch the thinking and get creative.

So use every opportunity in your role to be involved where ideas are needed.  Volunteer for projects especially once that are just beginning.  Offer to sit in on other people’s meeting and ideas session even if they’re not in your department.  Have some big ideas and submit them to your boss or the CEO.  Showcase your ideas in anyway you can and build a positive reputation around these.

2. Build your career plan around multiple jobs.  Create a positive picture about this and be prepared to talk about it. Don’t think you have to demonstrate commitment by sticking in a role or function for a number of years then beating yourself up when you can’t stick it.  Choose roles if possible that are more project based where you can be focused and deliver in a much shorter span of time then move on.

3. Work with an implementer.  In every role you have find the person on the team who is the real implementer.  The person that always get the job completed and delivered. Build a strong relationship with this person, however different they are from you and share with them how you can complement each other.

With these six strategies working together it will make for a much more positive experience for you and your colleagues.  Let me know what strategies have worked for you. Please feel free to leave you comments or questions below. If you would like to ask me anything please contact me at where I’ll be more than happy to help.



2 thoughts on “Managing ADHD at Work”

  1. I work with people like this and now it makes so much sense. They are super good at a few things that I am not. After reading this article I realize that I need to use their strengths and realize that, that is what they are good at and use my strengths to fill in the gaps. Wonderful article

    1. Kim Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad you have found it helpful and I will continue to offer ideas here. I also plan to build a community so it maybe you or the people you work with may find that interesting. I think we all have strengths and the wisdom is to focus on what you are really good at and then work with others who are different. The first challenge is too appreciate others strengths which you obviously do which is amazing. Do you like to work with others in teams or prefer to work by yourself? Thanks again Keith

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