Does Your Boss Make Your ADHD Worse?

Does Your Boss Make Your ADHD Worse?Bosses have a huge impact on ADHD adults’ ability to succeed in the work place. It all hinges on their personality and leadership style.

Have you noticed when you spend time with certain people, you feel smart, on the ball and performing at your best? Then with other people (perhaps those who you feel are critical or judgmental of you), you feel clumsy, ‘stupid’ and always messing up? It’s not your imagination. Researchers have evidence to support this!

I have seen many smart, intelligent ADHDers change completely when they get a new boss. They can be loving their job and excelling in their field; then with a new boss, they become almost a different person. Their confidence takes a hit and their performance crashes. They seem nervous and shaken on a daily basis. And it can all happen very quickly.

The 3 biggest reasons for this are if:

1. Your boss doesn’t recognize your strengths, and places a great emphasis on the things you aren’t good at. Usually, this is the ‘attention to detail’ things such as filling out reports and spreadsheets, etc.

2. They micro manages your every move. There are many ways to get a task done, and if you have ADHD, you are probably doing it in a way that your boss hasn’t considered before. However, if you are constantly being questioned and scrutinized, you start to question yourself and lose confidence in your ability.

3.     They are never around. This is the opposite of being micromanaged. If you have a question or need some guidance you can’t find them. If you do track them down, they ask you to come back later because now isn’t a good time. And there never seems to be a good time.

The best types of bosses for ADHDers are those who:

1.     Recognizes and appreciates your strengths.

2.     Doesn’t micro manage your every move. They want the job to be done, but doesn’t mind how you get there.

3.     Gives you room to be creative and autonomous.

4.     Is open to you adapting the workspace to suit you.

5.     Is worthy of your respect. If you admire and respect your boss, then you will move mountains to achieve anything.

6.     Isn’t bothered by small things like a messy desk; as long as you are performing well.

7.     Has an open, non-judgmental view of the world.

8.     Is even tempered.

9.     Is able to give praise when it’s due.

10.  Enjoys their job and that their passion spills over to everyone they report to.

11.  Offer some guidance, structure of framework so that you know exactly what is expected of you and when.

12.  Has time for you and is approachable.

Of course, bosses are human too, and different personalities are part of what makes the world an interesting place. It’s also easier to find fault with others than take responsibility for ourselves. However, many times when there isn’t a good fit between ADHDers and their bosses, it eats away at your self-esteem, ADHD symptoms get worse, you struggle with your work and blame yourself. It’s no one’s fault; it’s just not a good match. Much like dating, not everyone is a good fit for you.

What could you do?

1. Think back to a work environment where you were really excelled. What qualities did your boss have? These are the qualities that suit. You can use this knowledge when considering a new position.

2. When considering a new job, do some investigation into who your boss would be, and what their personality and leadership style is. That is just as important as the job description.

3. Consider changing jobs. If you are in a bad work environment right now, it’s ok to start looking for a new job. Many people don’t give themselves permission to change jobs until they have proven themselves at their current one. However, it will be much easier to prove yourself in an environment that is a positive one. Plus, getting a poor review at your current job can do a lot of damage to your self-esteem.

4.     If you had a boss you thrived under, consider contacting them ( Linked In is great if you have lost touch) and see if there are any opportunities for you to work together again.

How to Make a Budget When You Have ADHD

How to Make a Budget When You Have ADHD
The definition of a budget is:

“A plan of how a certain amount of money will be spent during a period of time.”

Usually, the amount of money is your income and the amount of time is a calendar month.

Money management is one of those important life skills that we aren’t formally taught at school. Yet, if it doesn’t come naturally to you, there are negative consequences. ADHD adults find money management challenging because it requires attention to detail, organizing, planning into the future and impulse control. There can often be shame too; perhaps because you don’t feel in control of your finances, you don’t earn as much as your peers or you have debt.

A great step to taking control of your finances and becoming a money manager is to have a budget. I know that word can make you feel constrained and agitated. However, budgets aren’t a punishment.

Benefits of having a budget when you have ADHD:

  1. Empowers you to spend money on items and experiences that are important to you.
  2. Impulsive spending is reduced.
  3. Gives you a framework to help make decisions.
  4. Reduces worrying about money.
  5. Allows you to spend without guilt.
  6. Having rules to follow which feels empowering.
  7. Relief from shame about the topic of money and spending.
  8. Money doesn’t ‘disappear’;you know where it went!

As you are reading this, I am sure some ‘yeah, but’s’ are popping into your head. Maybe because you think:

  1. I am not good aMath.
    The maths involved in creating a budget are simple additions and subtractions. There are no complicated fractions or algebra.
  2. I don’t earn much money.
    You don’t have to wait until you earn a certain amount before learning how to be a money manager. In fact,it’s better to learn it now; for 2 reasons:a) When your income does increase,you will already have all the skills in place so it won’t just ‘disappear’.b) When you feel good about how you manage your money,your self-esteem improves, worry is reduced and you feel empowered. You don’t have to wait for a rainy day to experience these benefits.
  1. I have too much debt, I shouldn’t be spending anything.
    Even if you have debt, you still need to eat, and pay rent, etc. When you create a budget, it will allow you to pay the debt off faster and help you feel less guilt and shame day-to-day.
  2. I am too scared to ‘look’ at my finances.
    This is very common! Nevertheless, it is important to know what is happening in your financial life, no matter how scary it seem. I know quite a few ADHDers who did not dare look at their finances and as a result, the situation got scarier! For example, a $90 parking ticket became an $850 ticket because of late payments. An unpaid $35 store credit card, affected their credit rating, which had more negative consequences.

Whatever your objections to creating a budget are, it’s normal. Becoming confident in money management is as much an emotional issue as it is practical.

Here are some steps action steps:

Step 1 – Rename
Because the word “budget” is such a weighted word, the first step to creating one is to give yours a good name.
Here are a few suggestions:

  • Spending Game Plan
  • Project Money Management
  • Cash Flow Plan
  • Peace of Mind Method
  • Ninja Money Manager System
  • Financial Freedom

Play around with names until you find a name that makes you feel happy, organized and excited. This isn’t a frivolous step! It’s vital for your money management success.

ADHD Entrepreneur, Joe Polish, calls money ‘fun tickets’ because it allows him to have fun experiences.

Step 2 – Incoming
In order to know how much you can spend and save, you need to know how much is coming to you each month. If you are getting a monthly or bi monthly pay cheque, knowing how much you earn is relatively easy. If you work for yourself or are on contract, then you might have a solid figure. One way around that is to look at your past income for last year, then divide that figure into 12 to give you a monthly figure to work with.

Step 3 – Outgoing
Now it’s time to work out what your expenses are. These usually fall into the following categories: fixed, semi-fixed and unfixed.

Fixed amounts
Fixed amounts are the amounts that are the same every month. For example, your mortgage or rent, car payment, student loans, etc.

Semifixed amounts
Semi-fixed amounts are those amounts that are somewhat fixed, but they could change a little depending on your behaviour. Your cell phone bill, public transport, internet could be in the semi-fixed category. In the example of your cell phone, you probably have a package with a fixed monthly amount, but you might go over during some months if you went out of town or went over your download limit.

Unfixed amounts
Unfixed amounts are the expenses that trip up most ADHDers. It’s where does the rest of the money goes: restaurants, bars, taxis, clothes, ATM fees, video games, gas, gifts, etc. These aren’t decided for you by a 3rdparty, such as your landlord or cell phone company. These are amounts that you have to decide for yourself; which can be problematic.

ADHDers don’t usually know how much to allocate for each category or even what categories they should have. There are suggestions online, and they are helpful. Though, a mother of 2 children will have different categories and values than a new graduate living in the city.

Here is how to solve this problem. For the next 7 days, track everything you spend. It’s not forever; just 7 days.

You can write it in a notebook, or in your phone; it doesn’t matter where.
– If you have an $18 cab ride, write it down.
– If you spend $45.19 at the grocery store, write it down.
– If you take out $20 at the AMT, don’t write that down. But do write down what you spent that $20 on.

I have to say, this isn’t easy; but it is doable. Even people who said they never thought they would be able to do this because their ADHD was ‘so bad’, have been able to do it.

That information is like gold, because you know ‘where your money goes’. From there, you can work out what categories your budget needs and how much you can put in each category. We will go into greater detail next week,when you have your 7 days of spending data!

Actions step for this week:

  1. Pick a new name for your budget.
  2. Work out your monthly income for the month.
  3. Work out what your fixed expenses are.
  4. Work out what your semi fixed expenses are.
  5. Track your spending for 7 days.

Good luck!!!

How to Decide What to Wear When You Have ADHD

How to Decide What to Wear When You Have ADHDDeciding what to wear in the morning can be hard. However, it can be extra painful when you have ADHD for these reasons.

1.     Decision making is challenging: big and small.

2.     Mornings aren’t your best time; you might not feel awake for 3 or 4 hours after you get dressed.

3.     Social rules are a bit of a mystery, so you aren’t sure if  there is a dress code you don’t know about.

4.     You aren’t confident about ‘what goes together’.

5.     Keeping on top of laundry is a challenge; you don’t always have the items that work together that are clean at the same time.

6.     Sensitive to texture which means some clothes make you itch or are very uncomfortable to wear.

If you went to a school that had a uniform, you know it was very easy to get ready each morning. No thought was required. All you had to do was put on the standard shirts and skirts / trousers.

Even though you might not have an official uniform to wear now, why not create your own? It takes the brain work out of getting dressed every day and it means you always look good, feel confident and comfortable

If you are male, it is slightly easier for 2 reasons: You have the option to wear a suit (which is like a uniform), and society doesn’t pay such close attention to what men wear.

Think of Will and Kate. The press pays very close attention to what Kate wears and whole blogs are dedicated to her wardrobe. Yet, we rarely hear a whisper about which designer made William’s suit.

Recently, a news anchor proved that people weren’t paying attention to what he wore by wearing the same suit for a whole year.

It is possible to wear the same thing every day if you are female too.

In an article that went viral, Matilda Kahl explains her decision to wear the same thing every day. She has been doing it for 3 years.

 

Creating your own uniform doesn’t mean you have to wear the exact same thing every day. You can create a formula that works for you, then interchange clothes within that formula.

Let’s say you like ballet pumps and have a brand you get on well with. Buy a couple of pairs in different colours. If you like a certain style of trousers (and they fit nicely and don’t itch), buy them in black and linen. Next, pick out a few tops you love and there you go!You have created a stylish work uniform that looks great, takes all the brain work out of mornings.

What helps you decide what to wear in the mornings?

Talking Too Much When You Have ADHD

ADHD and talking too muchDo you talk a lot? Do you use more words to express yourself than other people you know? While this might not be problematic in your home life, it can be a huge problem at work. People are busy and want you to get to the point. You sense them getting impatient, or backing away when you start a conversation (they know once they engage they will be there for a while). Neither, of which, is nice for you.

The way we talk is also how we write. If you talk a lot you will properly find writing concise notes hard too. If writing notes is a big part of your job, (nurses, doctors social workers, therapists, lawyers are just a few examples), then writing notes takes you a LOT of time. Plus, you want to include all the information to cover yourself  legally/company policy. You become overwhelmed with the backlog.

Catching up seems like it will never happen because every day more gets added to your pile. The answer to both of these problems is the same. Planning and headers. Both might sound too simple to work or boring and time consuming. However, this simple strategy does work, only takes minutes, yet save you hours.

Conversations

To keep conversations short and to the point, before approaching your boss or colleague or heading into a meeting:

  1. Grab a piece of paper and write the title of the topic you want to talk about. This keeps you on topic.
  2. Underneath jot down the key issues you want to address, no more than 5.
  3. Under each key issue write the relevant points.
  4. If linear thinking is hard for you, use a mind map to brainstorm the points. When you have it clear in your mind transfer the information to a list. Lists make you look more professional (I know! But that is a whole other topic).

Taking time to do this simple plan, will allow you to talk briefly and succinctly and keep you on task. It will make you look and feel professional and organized.You might even say to the person I want to have a quick conversation about X and these are the 5 things I want to cover. This helps them to gauge the length of the conversation.

Keeping your written words brief

Very similar principles apply when you are planning what to write in the official notes.

  1. Before you write in the official notes, on a piece of paper list topics you want to document.
  2. Under each key issue write the relevant points.
  3. Using the above as a frame work begin expanding it in the official notes.
  4. Different work environments have different rules for how the official notes should look.

However, if appropriate:

* Use headings. It helps you to stay on subject and easy for other to find what they need quickly.
* Use bullet points. You can get the key information out without taking time to form sentences.

5. If writing notes is a big part of your job, you are properly repeating the same things again and again… just in different parts of client/ patient notes. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time. Create a template for yourself for different topics that recur a lot in your line of work. This will save you tons of time and you can go home on time.