Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects about 4 percent of adults in the United States. Individuals with ADHD often find it difficult to keep focused on one task for an extended period of time and may also struggle with hyperactivity and impulsivity. While male children are the demographic most commonly diagnosed with ADHD, it can affect anyone of any age.
Because many of the symptoms of ADHD are related to concentration, attention to detail and discipline, staying organized is often a challenge for those diagnosed with the disorder. For example, individuals with ADHD may have trouble with punctuality, maintaining an orderly space, and time management.
The organizational tactics and strategies that work for a neurotypical person may not be effective for those diagnosed with ADHD. This can sometimes lead to issues in the workplace if employees with ADHD are consistently late, miss deadlines, or lose important items.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, here are 5 tips that may help you stay more organized and feel in control of your time and environment at work.
- Set a timer. Setting an allotted amount of time for a task or a decision can help things feel more manageable and create a clear structure for individuals with ADHD. If you have a lot of trouble focusing on one thing at a time, start with a short amount of time, such as five minutes, and gradually work your way up.
- Start small. It can be overwhelming to think about accomplishing a long to-do list in one sitting. Instead of waiting for a big, uninterrupted chunk of time to complete tasks, start small. Dedicate 30 minutes to an important project and then allow yourself a short break before starting again.
- Limit distractions. Sounds, lights, technology, and other people can all be distractions for individuals with ADHD and make it virtually impossible to concentrate. You’ll have your best shot at staying organized if you create an environment free from distractions that sets you up for success. If you work in an office, try noise canceling headphones, earplugs, or blue light glasses to filter out some of the distractions.
- Create a consistent schedule.By having a clear, consistent schedule each day, individuals with ADHD have an easier time finding a rhythm and staying focused. Post your schedule or calendar in a visible location and check it every morning to establish healthy patterns.
- . Go easy on yourself. People diagnosed with ADHD should have compassion for themselves when they don’t meet the organizational standards of neurotypical people. Self-criticism will only make it harder to stay on task.
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