Here are the 6 things that every ADHD adult needs in their workspace in order to work as effectively as possible.
1. A Clear Desk
Clear your desk of everything except the bare essentials. Get rid of the piles of paper, empty coffee mugs, etc. As someone with ADHD, you are a visual person.
That means you will find clutter more distracting than your non-ADHD peers. Are you thinking “but my clutter doesn’t bother me?”
You might not think it distracts you, but on a subconscious level, it does. It’s very hard to focus and work productively when you are surrounded by visual reminders of your other unfinished projects.
2. Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Is your work space physically comfortable? A lot of people will ‘make do’ with an uncomfortable working environment for months; even years.
These ‘little’ niggles can seriously affect how you are able to focus and concentrate, which in turn, affects your productivity. Take stock now of your desk area and decided what your niggles are.
Here are some suggestions:
Turn the heat up or down so you are comfortable.
Is the lighting too dim, or too bright?
Chair and desk
Are they the right height for you?
Are you twisting at a strange angle to reach your computer?
Maybe cigarette smoke or musty garbage need emptying?
ADHDers are much more sensitive to all these things, so don’t feel as if you are making a fuss.
Do you work best in a quiet environment? Or do you do your best work in a busy noise area? There is no right or wrong answer. Different people have different preferences.
We know which we prefer and find it very hard to imagine how other people can concentrate when their preferences are so different to ours.
Now, what can you do to make sure you can do your best work? Get ear phones and listen to music? Go to a conference room to get some quiet time?
Or head to a coffee shop if you work from home and like to be around people?
Distractions are poisonous to your productivity!
- Turn your phone off
- Shut the door
- Turn your email off
- Block all the sites on the web that cause you to get distracted
One client did these things and his productivity went through the roof! He conservatively estimates he is saving 3 hours a day. Now, he has a new problem! He feels guilty for having all this extra time when he feels he should be working. However, it’s a good problem to have!
5. Use a Timer
Now you have created a conductive work environment, use a kitchen timer to keep yourself on task.
Set your timer for 30 minutes and focus on one task.
When the timer goes off, get up; stretch your legs and then work for another 30 minutes.
Breaking your work into 30 minute chunks is helpful because it trains your brain to focus on one thing for enough time, so that progress on your projects can be made.
If you’re wondering what kind of timer might be best, one of my clients raves about this one! No batteries required …
6. Use a Note Book
When you first start using your timer, you will find that thoughts of other tasks pop into your mind.
In the past, you might have taken action on those thoughts straight away, in case you would forget about them.
However, that isn’t productive. When you have those thoughts, write them in your notebook.
Then, you can take action later. The more you use your timer, the less you think of other things while you are working on a task.
Here are a couple of notebooks I personally really love to use (they come in many more colors!)
What do you have in your work space that helps with productivity?
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