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Overcoming Work Challenges with ADHD: Strategies for Success

Updated: May 10

You might not always feel the impact of ADHD at work as a constant force. Instead, you might notice that you really struggle on some days or weeks, and other days or weeks your ADHD does not impact you at all. 


This is influenced by factors like personal or work stress, mental health conditions (such as anxiety or depression), hormonal changes, and shifting demands of a job.


woman working on laptop

What are common work struggles for ADHD'ers?

Navigating the professional landscape with ADHD can present unique challenges that extend beyond typical workplace hurdles. From struggles with productivity to conflicts with colleagues, individuals with ADHD may encounter a range of obstacles that impact their performance and well-being.


Let's explore some of the common work issues associated with ADHD symptoms.


Lower Productivity: Even if you're putting in the same or even more effort than your peers, certain ADHD symptoms can make staying productive and efficient really challenging. Executive dysfunction, a classic ADHD companion, can disrupt your ability to sustain attention on one task. Picture spending chunks of time on unrelated tasks or side quests that don't quite get you closer to completing the main objective.


Stress and Burnout: ADHD’ers are more prone to stress and burnout compared to their neurotypical counterparts. The extra effort required for basic tasks like organization, meeting deadlines, and staying focused puts us ADHD’ers at a disadvantage in terms of mental workload. And then the social pressure to fit in and meet expectations can lead to taking on additional responsibilities, working harder than others, and, often, experiencing stress and burnout.


Missed Deadlines: ADHD symptoms can lead to significant challenges with deadlines. Time blindness, procrastination fueled by ADHD task paralysis, and organizational struggles can all contribute to missed deadlines.


Conflict with Colleagues: Interpersonal conflicts are not uncommon with ADHD. Due to the impact of ADHD on specific brain areas, regulating emotions and filtering thoughts before speaking out can be a tad tricky. Reacting impulsively, overreacting, blurting out unfiltered thoughts, or being a bit too blunt in communication can all contribute to friction with colleagues.


Loss of Income: The challenges mentioned above, from workplace conflicts to missed opportunities, can result in loss of income and even employment. During job applications, executive dysfunction-related errors such as minor mistakes on applications or late submissions can lead to being overlooked for jobs and promotions.


To navigate these challenges, understanding your unique ADHD profile and implementing strategies to manage symptoms can be crucial. Seeking support from colleagues, developing coping mechanisms, and, when necessary, seeking professional help are all part of creating a work environment that accommodates and leverages your strengths while addressing challenges head-on.


Self-Assess

So, before you dive into specific strategies, it's crucial to take a moment for a self-assessment. Take inventory of the challenges you're facing at work by completing this sentence:


"If I had someone to do ________ for me at work, my work life would be _______% easier."


Identifying these specific tasks can help you in finding targeted solutions. 


Now, let's explore some practical strategies to support yourself at work

Make things fun:

Incorporate things into your work day that can make work more fun!

For me I love to listen to music while I have to work. With the right soundtrack, you can make work more enjoyable, enhance your focus, and unleash your creativity.




Time management strategies: 


Get Over-Organized: If you're already using your phone calendar, kick it up a notch. Try a visual approach with a wall calendar or whiteboard. Color-code everything to help with deadlines, meetings, and crucial info. 


Use visual timers to help keep you on track. 


Apps: Experiment with apps like Forest. It locks you out of distracting phone browsers while you're working and even gamifies productivity by planting a virtual tree that lives or withers based on your focus.


Planner Power: Dive into the planner world with colored pens, stickers, and whatever brings you joy. Use it to track meetings, deadlines, and more. The more details you jot down, the better equipped you'll be to fill in memory gaps.


Declutter Your Brain Shelves:


Tackle Small Tasks Immediately: Don't let minor tasks linger. If a task takes less than 10 minutes, do it right away. Procrastination often leads to stress and cluttered mental space.


Bulk Work Sessions: Leverage your tendency to tackle engaging and challenging tasks. Bundle similar tasks together and schedule bulk work sessions. It satisfies that "craving achievement" spot in your brain.


Set Goals:


Break it down: Give yourself permission to start small. Break down daunting goals into easily achievable steps. It reduces overwhelm and helps you make steady progress without added stress.


Schedule Self-Care:


Plan Downtime: Acknowledge that ADHD symptoms can make day-to-day activities overwhelming. Schedule small blocks of downtime during the workday for activities like listening to music, thinking, or doing breathing exercises.


Home Retreats: Extend self-care to home life. Schedule regular appointments with yourself for enjoyable activities like hobbies, face masks, baths, bike rides, or indulging in your favorite meal.


Be Kind to You:


Show Compassion: Mistakes are part of the journey. Reflect on your intentions, and if they're good, focus on that, regardless of the outcomes. Acknowledge that you are worthy of forgiveness, compassion, and the space to be human.


Seek Assistance: Recognize that everyone has ups and downs, especially with ADHD. Don't hesitate to reach out for support on challenging days. You don't have to navigate it all alone.


Ta da list/ reverse to do list: Create a list of everything that you have accomplished during the day. Even the seemingly smallest things like replying to one email or using your calendar this can help you to stay motivated for the next day. Often times we forget what we actually accomplished and only remember the tasks that did not get done during the day. 


Struggling with ADHD at Work? You're Not Alone


Do you find yourself grappling with productivity dips, missed deadlines, or conflicts with colleagues at work? Are you constantly battling stress and burnout, struggling to stay afloat because of the demands of your job?

If so, my Small Group Coaching program is for you! Join our sessions designed specifically for individuals navigating ADHD challenges and gain practical insights, personalized strategies, and community support to thrive. Don't let ADHD hold you back – take control and learn strategies to handle overwhelm in a supportive environment.


📅 Program Duration: 4 weeks

📆 Sessions: 8 sessions


🕒 Schedule:

Group Sessions: Tuesdays at 12 PM CET (1:15 hour each)

Body Doubling Sessions: Thursdays at 12 PM CET (1 hour each)


Limited spots available! Seize this opportunity to start your journey towards empowerment and sign up for my Small Group Coaching program today!




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