Working from Home with ADHD
posted: Apr. 13, 2020.
Working from home can either be a dream come true or your very worst nightmare. For many with ADHD, it’s the latter. There’s a plethora of distractions from your heaping piles of laundry, to your unruly family members and let’s not forget the overall lack of structure in the world right now. Have no fear, we have a few helpful tips and tricks to help you and your new mini, co-workers (kids) tackle the work-from-home lifestyle.
Let’s start on a positive note because there are many benefits from working at home, such as:
1.Flexibility: One of the main complaints in the workplace is lack of flexibility. When working from home, you have the ability to set your own schedule to a certain extent. If your kids are fussing and begging for your attention at 11 AM, smack dab in the middle of your workday, then take a 30-minute break. Give them the attention you’ve been wishing you could give them. Take your kids for a walk, do a puzzle or play a game! Once they settle down, finish your tasks at the time of day that works best for you and your family. As long as your work gets done in a timely manner and you meet your deadlines, your boss isn’t going to care or know what time you did it.
2.More Time with Family/Loved Ones: While many are getting an overload of family time during the pandemic, it’s a time to be grateful and to reconnect with your loved ones. Don’t take family time for granted. You get to snuggle up and bond with your significant other at home, be present for your kids earlier in the day, get some extra cuddles in with your furry friends or simply get some much-needed quiet time to yourself! Make the most of your time at home!
3.Not Having to Get Ready: Let’s face it… working in loungewear/pajamas ROCKS! While it’s nice to get dressed every now and then during these crazy times, it is also so convenient to work in cozy clothes. It’s important that you still shower and practice routine hygiene daily, but taking a little break from doing your hair/nails/makeup/beard/planning outfits or what have you is so convenient and saves time! You may even find yourself focusing a little more on self-care and skin care with your extra morning time!
4.Save Lunch Money: How many times do you actually pack your lunch when you’re racing out the door each morning? Lunch is expensive, especially if you work in a big city or downtown. Those $15 lunches, $5 lattes and $2 bottles of waters add up overtime. At home, you can save big time by preparing your lunches in the kitchen!
5.Save Gas Money: As you’ll read below with the commute time benefit, you are going to be saving so much money on gas and tolls. You might even consider calling your insurance company to see if you can get your rate lowered since you are no longer driving to the office.
6.Commute Time: Wake up late? Traffic won’t be an issue as your office is less than 30-seconds from your bedroom! Bad day? No worries! 5:00 traffic is super light from your home office to the living room couch. Simply turn off your computer, leave your home office, go to the kitchen and pour yourself a glass of wine or indulge in a sweet dessert. After all, time is money! Spend it wisely.
7.Increased Productivity: Goodbye distractions and forced, office banter! How many times has Steve from sales walked by your desk and said, “It’s almost Friday!” or how many times has Karen engaged you by saying, “The weekend just isn’t long enough, what did you do this weekend?” You get to avoid all the annoying co-workers that give you the Sunday Scaries! You also get to set your office environment. No more icy AC vents blowing on your face as you shiver in your shrill cubicle, no more stark fluorescent lights and say goodbye to the aroma of those strange smells coming from the breakroom’s microwave! You could get used to this!
While the list of benefits could go on and on, we know there are some difficulties as well. Here are a few suggestions on how to make your work-from-home journey a smashing success!
Tip #1: DEVELOP A ROUTINE – It sounds counter-intuitive, but following a scheduled routine can help us feel more in-control of everything and help us to make room for all that is important. If you are winging your days, you will have to worry and waste time trying to plan out what you and your fam are going to do/eat each day. This can create unnecessary stress, anxiety and an overall feeling of overwhelm. Print out a planning sheet like the sample below from (https://makinglemonadeblog.com) and become a well-greased Routine Machine. You can thank us later!
This planning sheet is from: https://makinglemonadeblog.com.
TIP #2: DESIGNATE DESK SPACE – It’s important to separate your personal life from your work life. Just because you are working from home and living in your new office, doesn’t mean you want to feel locked inside your office 24/7. Create an area for work/school only. Make sure it’s clean and tidy and can be shut off at the end of your workday. Also make sure you have all of your necessary materials to be successful, such as a comfy chair, the proper screens, a filing system, proper lighting, etc. We’ve linked a few helpful desk tools below. As you enter your designated desk space at home, this will help switch your brain to work mode and block out home distractions!
This Laptop Stand features an ERGONOMIC DESIGN that elevates your laptop by 6" to a perfect eye level and prevents you from hunching over your screen, which reduces neck and shoulder pain. This stand is suitable for any laptop 10" to 15.6" and is sturdy and portable. Click on the image to purchase or follow the link below!
This wireless printer is a GAME CHANGER and it's under $100! Order the Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer today for your home office!
This bundle includes an Amazon eero mesh WiFi system (3-pack) and an Echo Dot. With Alexa, you can easily manage WiFi access for devices and individuals in the home, taking focus away from screens and back to what’s important.
TIP #3: SET A TIMER – Transitioning from one task to the next is not always easy if you are struggling with ADD/ADHD. You may find that you easily lose track of time due to going into hyperfocus. Try working in 2-hour increments with the help of a digital alarm/timer. Don’t just rely on looking at the clock. Your alarm/timer is needed to remind you that it’s time to stop a task and move on to another. Once your 2-hours of work time are up, it’s time to take a 30-minute break-reset where you can do things like: eat a snack, take a quick walk, call a friend, throw a load of laundry in, do a few quick chores, play with your child outside, etc. Once your 30-minute break buzzer goes off, it’s time to get back to work for another 2 hours! It is recommended that you change your timer periodically to keep the ADHD mind stimulated and interested, this can also work for your newly home-schooled students! By breaking your day into (4) 2-hour increments, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish by working from home without office distractions.
TIP #4: SET BOUNDARIES WITH YOUR NEW “COWORKERS” – Your new coworkers may be your wild four-year-old, your music-blasting 17-year-old, or your spouse who comes in every 5 minutes to ask you how to work the WiFi or what’s for dinner… Sound familiar? It’s important you share your schedule (with conference calls and Zoom Meetings bolded) with your family members/loved ones and tell them when they absolutely cannot bother you during the workday. Just because you are working from home and can sometimes take a break to assist them with their needs, doesn’t mean your family members should assume you will always do it. Divide up the labor and chores and respect each other’s space now more than ever. If you don’t set boundaries, you may start to feel hopeless and taken advantage of and your productivity can suffer.
TIP #5: SET BOUNDARIES WITH YOUR WORK AS WELL – Just because your home is your new office, that doesn’t mean you need to be working 24/7/365. This is why the timers and designated workspace components are important to your success. Whether you set your work schedule to be from 8-5 or 10-7, when the workday is over, it is time to shut down your computer and be done for the day. You won’t be as productive if you are chained to your computer/phone at all times. In an ideal world, remote workers would not only have their designated desk space at home, they’d also have two phones and two computers. A computer + phone for WORK ONLY and a computer + phone for PERSONAL USE ONLY! This would help the mind switch over from work mode to home mode. As many people suggest leaving your work problems at the door, you may find that hard to do when working from home. Try your best to not answer emails or calls at times you wouldn’t have before, just because you are home. Your boss can pick up that you are always available and that’s how employees get taken advantage of in the workplace. Don’t burn yourself out because you have more free time these days.
While everyone is having to adjust their lifestyles due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the most important thing to remember is to stay positive and enjoy your new work-from-home perks! Many of you won’t get to enjoy working from home for forever, so make the most of it. Soak up that family time, make some fun memories and do your best to stick to a routine!