Since the start of the pandemic, working from home has become more common. There are many benefits to remote working, like more flexibility and improved work-life balance.
However, there are some downsides. For example, remote workers are more likely to experience loneliness and isolation. But, for people with ADHD, working from home can be a major upheaval and people with the condition often report struggling to stay focused.
ADHD (Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) affects approximately 2.58% of adults. Some of the symptoms include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, and this can mean struggling to stay on track with tasks, stick to a schedule, and maintain structure during the day.
If you’ve got ADHD and are looking to work from home, it can be tough. So, here are some ways to manage your time and workspace for better concentration and productivity.
1. Make sure you have a comfortable workspace
To work from home, you’ll need a workspace that’s comfortable and conducive to concentration. A quiet, distraction-free space is ideal for many people with ADHD – but if you’re able to focus better in a busy environment, then go for it!
Your desk should be large enough to spread out on and include ample storage space for supplies. If there are too many things on your desk at once, it can start to feel overwhelming and lead to unnecessary stress, poor concentration, and procrastination.
Some people find that how they sit affects their ability to focus. For example, sitting on a supportive chair can sometimes help to keep you alert – it also prevents neck and back pain.
2. Remove any distractions
If you’re working from home, it’s easy to get distracted by things that are happening around you, and this is even worse if you have ADHD. To make sure this doesn’t happen, make sure you remove any distractions altogether.
For example, turn off the TV and radio as the voices and music can draw your attention away from your tasks. Try to create a calm environment, using some gentle music if it helps you.
It can also help to create a quiet space away from other members of your household (including any pets). If someone is in the house while you’re working, ask them if they could avoid disturbing you during working hours and switch your phone to do not disturb mode.
3. Have an ADHD-friendly schedule
The key to creating an ADHD-friendly schedule is to make it as flexible and adjustable as possible.
A good schedule should allow you to adjust your hours as needed, and even skip days if necessary. It should also be realistic and achievable for you – you don’t want to set yourself up for failure by trying to do too much in one day!
At the start of each day, make a list of tasks that need to be completed and prioritise them in order of importance. Then, break each task down into steps so they can be completed within the allotted time frame.
This will help keep distractions at bay while ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks!
4. Set up reminders for yourself
If you have ADHD, it can be very easy to forget things. It’s important to remind yourself of what needs to get done and when it needs to get done. For instance, you can set reminders on your phone using an alarm or calendar alert. Or, you can use a scheduling app like Evernote or Trello.
5. Buddy up with a co-worker
For people with ADHD, having someone to hold them accountable can make a big difference. So, if you have a co-worker you can buddy up with, it can help you stay on track.
Getting on a video call or exchanging messages with someone a few times a day can add some much-needed pressure to focus on tasks and tick things off your to-do list throughout the day.
6. Look after your health
ADHD can make it harder to get into a healthy routine, but it’s important to eat regular meals and stay hydrated during the day – and it will make a big difference to your level of focus.
Set an alarm or a reminder to make yourself lunch and snacks, and make sure you take regular breaks to get some fresh air and light exercise.
7. Focus on one thing at a time
When you’re managing ADHD and home working, it’s important not to try to do too much at once. Focus on one thing at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.
A simple way to stay on track is to set a timer for each task. Keep it a small, manageable amount of time, like 10 or 15 minutes, so you can stay focused on the task.
Working from home can be a great option for people with ADHD, and it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. By setting yourself up for success and creating the right environment, you’ll have a much better chance of succeeding.