Hacks for Working from Home with ADHD
By Giovanni Pierre, PMHNP-BC
Working from home can be great, but with ADHD, it can be hard to stay on task. Many people with ADHD struggle with focus and organization, so these tips can be helpful in getting work done while being comfortable in your own home office or workspace.
Organize your Workspace
A disorganized workspace can trigger ADHD symptoms like distractibility and forgetfulness. To help you stay focused and on task, take some time to organize your home office before you start working. Put things in the same place every day so that it's easier to find them. Don't put anything on the floor; this is where accidents happen! Also, make sure that there are no distractions (e.g., no TV or radio). If possible, keep your phone away from your desk. It might also be helpful to close any windows or curtains that are distracting you (or open them if they're not) and turn off anything that makes noise when it's not necessary (e.g., computer fans). For those who need reminders of daily tasks, try setting up an alarm or calendar event--you can even use text messages!
Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is essential for everyone, but it’s especially important if you have ADHD. A good night’s sleep can help improve your focus and concentration during the day. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety. Try to go to bed at a consistent time every night. You may want to try different times until you find what works best for you.
Stay Active During the Day
There are a few things you can do to make sure you stay active First, set a daily alarm or two to help you stay on track. Second, get up and move around every hour or so, even if it's just for a few minutes. Third, take short breaks throughout the day to do something active, like going for a walk or doing some jumping jacks. Fourth, try working in a standing position or taking standing breaks. Fifth, invest in a good-quality ergonomic chair that will support your back and keep you comfortable. Sixth, make sure your workspace is well-lit and organized so that you can focus and be productive.
Schedule Time to Complete Specific Tasks
Plan your day the night before so that you know what needs to get done each day. Keep a notebook handy, so you can write down ideas when they come up. Set goals for yourself throughout the day so that you don't feel like your time is being wasted by getting distracted by other tasks or chores around the house. Try meditating during breaks if you are having difficulties concentrating on certain tasks. Be sure to also set times during the day where you will work uninterrupted on one task at a time to give yourself time to focus and not feel overwhelmed by all the distractions going on around your home.