Just like with all problems in life everyone figures out what works best for them. Whether that is to completely overcome them or just minimise the negative impact they have. I am by no means perfect, in fact I’m fully aware that I’m not even close but I will always strive to do better.
Now due to my lack of concentration, amazing ability to distract myself and the sheer volume of historic tasks I’ve started without ever finishing I’ve become an absolute perfectionist and borderline control freak in parts of my life.
So, I thought I’d share some of the things that work best for me. Below is a list of some tips & tricks for working well with ADHD or just improving productivity in general -
1. Clutter and stress often go hand in hand so cut the clutter. It’s important to have room to work. Keep your papers in a tray and keep as much as saved on your desktop. If you notice your desk turning into a mess take a small break a clear it all away... believe me it will be worth it.
2. Plan your day and write a daily to-do list. When doing mine I often write a few things down I’ve already completed as it makes me subconsciously feel positive ha! Try writing your to-do list and including how long you think each task will take to complete. Once you’ve done that prioritise them by lettering them A, B or C. ‘A’ being the most pressing and important and ‘C’ being the least. This gives a clear and defined way of seeing what needs to be completed today and how long those tasks will take.
3. Similar to a to-do list but keep an ideas list. People with ADHD often comes up with more ideas than their brain can cope with so write them down. This way at least it doesn’t matter if you forget them later. I have 3 organisation books… a weekly diary, a daily diary and a notebook for my to-do lists and ideas. Oh, and I use outlook calendar religiously. Because you can never have too many right?
4. Adjust your computer screen. Under no circumstances should you be craning your neck to look at your monitor. Firstly, this impacts your productivity and second this can cause severe back and neck pain. Consider whether you would benefit from a DSE assessment (Display Screen Equipment assessment) as your set up might be completely wrong.
5. As mentioned in chapter 1 of this blog I use a sit stand desk. It frees me up, make it easier to move around and also allows me to quickly switch it up between being standing and being sat down whilst working.
6. Background noise can be crucial. Have you ever been working on a particularly important task, only to be driven slowly mad by a colleague constantly sniffing, or sipping their coffee, or clicking their pen? Something quite harmless suddenly becomes much more infuriating when you’re trying to work on something your brain doesn’t necessarily enjoy. That’s where music can be a very useful tool to increase productivity. It has the ability to distract us and effectively cancel out the noises that distract us.
7. As also mentioned in chapter 1 the most crucial piece of office equipment for me is a chair that moves. As the title of this series suggests it really helps with my fidgeting. Fidgeting helps provide a low level of physiological stimulation that brings our attention and energy to a level that allows our minds to focus better on the task at hand.
Give them a go and remember if they don’t work for you that’s not a worry. Everyone is different and has different ways of making sure they are productive when it comes to work.