ADD - Friendly Solutions for a Happier Work Environment

 By: Stephanie Frank and Tellman Knudson
Do you have trouble at work? I mean, are you distracted, find it hard to sit still in one place for very long? Are you disorganized? Do you just find yourself very unhappy or even failing at the career you have chosen? If you have adult ADD, this scenario could easily be the case.

If you find the 9 to 5 routine impossible for you, don't forget that you're bringing a wealth of creativity and energy with you. Plus, you have that great laser hyperfocus ability to get what you enjoy doing done in a relatively rapid period of time. You might be great at talking to clients and selling, for instance, but your eyes might glaze over when it comes time to do the order form. Paperwork is just boring for you, and you just really, really hate to do it.

There is help! What you need is a job that can be ADD-friendly, a job that you can love and that can be enriched by the power of your ADD brain.

Running an entrepreneurial business is one way to solve the issue. Being your own boss, and running things the way you'd like them to run is ideal for someone with ADD. However, you may need to hire people to take care of the details. Though the issue is not one of self-sufficiency in all respects, having your own business is one way to be in control.

Other occupations that are fast-paced and always interesting might be good for adults with ADD. Firefighter, police officer, or EMS technician might be good choices. Or, what about stock trading, auctioneering, or working in a high-traffic restaurant? Any of these jobs might keep you interested, but you can really work at any job, once you have ADD symptoms under control. Plus, all jobs, regardless of their pace or complexity, have elements that are issues for adults with ADD.

Impulsivity can have you taking off on tangents, just because something other than what you're supposed to be doing interests you. One major problem with ADD is that we try to do too much. Someone asks for another project to be done or task that needs accomplishing, and we say, "Of course, we can do that." Learn to hold back a little. Don't overwhelm yourself, just because you want to try new things. But instead of overloading yourself, try to underload yourself. Do less than you think you can do. When you try to handle too much at once, you might make yourself much more unhappy in the long run. Besides, when you find yourself with free time, you can always work in other tasks as time permits, rather than making another ongoing committment.

Distractions can be another issue for adults with ADD. Set a timer to remind you to stay on task, or better yet, rotate the things you need to accomplish daily. For instance, do a task that you really love for 10 minutes, then take the next 10 minutes to do something you don't like to do. If you have six tasks, do each for 10 minutes to make an hour. Then, start over at the top of the next hour. Or if you only have 4 tasks and a 15-minute attention span, rotate four things per hour, and you'll be amazed at what you've accomplished by the end of each day.

Boredom is the mind killer. When you're bored, you're just vegging out and you can't help it. The rotating task system will aid you with this issue, but delegation of something that you really hate to do is a good idea, too, if it's possible. Just don't forget that you aren't just getting rid of things you don't want to do. Some people will love the things you hate and will be glad to do them for you. Maybe you can trade tasks with a co-worker.

But whatever you do, don't procrastinate. Jump in and get the hard parts of whatever it is you don't want to do done first. That makes the rest of the job easier in comparison. You have to realize that the quicker you get into something, the quicker you can forget about it instead of having it hang over your head. If you still can't get into a job, find a good accountability partner, someone who will jump on your case if you don't have something done on time.

But if it's your co-workers that are giving you cause for pause, look in the mirror. Could their antagonism actually be your fault? Try not to go off into long lectures about things that nobody is interested in, anyway. And if you interrupt people in conversation, and catch yourself doing it, apologize and stop talking. Don't be blunt, either. Though honesty is always good, it's not always socially polite. Try to be more tactful and your inter-office relationships will improve.

Any of these ADD-related situations can cause work problems. But don't jump to another job, just yet. Try some of these strategies and see if they don't help you to be more productive and more sociable. Yet, if you can't, if you're still that square peg, find a more flexible job that will suit your ADD abilities and make yourself a happier person.
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Article Tags: add, adhd, adult add, adult adhd

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