Working from home is both heaven and hell for people with ADHD. Here are a few of the better articles that offer help.
This is one of the two best articles I’ve found, so far — a quick sampler of suggestions edited by ADDitude Magazine:
ADHD Brains Working at Home: A Beginner’s Guide to Telecommuting
This is the other best article I’ve found so far — a comprehensive list with good commentary:
If you have ADHD, here’s how to manage working from home
All the fundamentals in one organized list, without much commentary:
Suddenly Working from Home
This is worth reading for thoughts on self-care and kindness:
5 Perils of Working from Home with ADHD
Eat right to keep your brain and body on track!
Succeeding with a Lack of Structure: tips for working on your own, part 4
At my last real job, I’d stop by the gas station for donuts if I was already running late. People don’t yell at you when you bring donuts.
Source: some anonymous genius; found on the internet
“Don’t talk to me. I have no self-control and will talk to you for 3 hours and achieve nothing. Thanks. I love you.”
I love this guy.
Photo credit: found it on the internet somewhere.
I wouldn’t give one to a stranger, but I’d gladly get one from a friend.
I ask clients and colleagues to interrupt me if I’m going on too long, and I’ve teamed with colleagues to interrupt each other* if one of us is hogging the floor, talking at our clients instead of conversing with them.
Facts to remember:
- Other people need to speak.
- We need to listen.
- Bite-sized statements are easier to digest (and easier redirect if they’re on the wrong track).
- Not everything needs to be said right now, if at all.
“Stop talking” is a welcome interruption when requested in advance.
*It helps to use nicer words than “stop talking” or “STFU”. ☺
Meeting at a restaurant?
Face away from distractions:
other tables, the windows,
the bar TV.
Be the guy on the right, focused on his lunch mates. Not the guy on the left, staring at the steak.
Eat a snack before the meal so you won’t focus too much on the food.
Photo credit: Phillip Capper, used under Creative Commons license.
Give your colleagues the power of No!
They’ll keep you in line.
“Don’t let me go to lunch with you!”
Tell your favorite lunch-mate that you can’t go out because you have to finish a task. Later, have them tell you how awesome it was, so next time you’ll plan ahead.
“Don’t let me sign up for anything at today’s project meeting.”
Tell your colleague to poke you if you start to accept any new tasks or responsibilities. They’ll probably poke you harder than you like, but it will be worth it.
“Don’t let me leave my office unless I’ve handed off the mailing list.”
Tell your assistant to block the door unless you’ve finished the task. Let them tackle you if you try to escape.
Photo by Planetbene, Creative Commons License
Discomfort = Distraction.
Light in your eyes? Move the chair.
Even if you’re the speaker.
Especially if you’re the speaker.
Photo: TEDx Grand Rapids 2014. Credit: Chuck Heiney used under Creative Commons License
“What is “the very next physical action required to move the situation forward”?”
— David Allen, author of Getting Things Done
If you know your objective but are stuck churning over what to “do” next, break the mental paralysis via physical action.
From David Allen’s Getting Things Done site:
90+ % of the to do lists I’ve seen are incomplete inventories of still-unclear things. The Next Action definition (if you’re really getting down to having no ambiguity about the next visible physical activity required to move something forward), actually finishes the thinking you’ve implicitly agreed with yourself that you’ll do. “Mom ” is an unclarified to do item. But when “Mom ” is translated into “Celebrate Mom’s birthday with a party” as a project outcome, then “Call Sis about what we should do for Mom’s birthday ” is a clear next action. Because “Mom ” is vague, it still triggers stress when you look at it on a list. “Call Sis . . . ” triggers action and positive engagement.