ADHD for Work & Life

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural condition that includes symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Making it hard to focus and stay on task as people feel restless. It can cause issues with organisation and prioritising.

In a work setting staying focused in meetings can feel exhausting. It can be very hard to manage deadlines and co-ordinating, prioritizing different tasks. It can be hard to follow instructions and manage time well. But employers can help with regular short 1:1 meetings/mentoring or budding up with other workers. They can help by breaking down and prioritizing work. Flexibility like with hours enables those with the condition to work when they are at their best. It helps if they have a quiet office with less distractions. Individuals must set themselves goals and reward their success to encourage focus.

Strategies can be developed that if you have the condition you should try such as using visual aids, using lists,daily to do lists, put distractions and thoughts/ideas into a book to stop them distracting and only look at this after periods of focusing, using  colour codes, moving around when you can, take short breaks when needed, give earlier deadlines, keep your work area tidy, use magnetic bulletin boards or post it notes,have set places where you keep things, using timers, staying organised using planners and apps like Remember the Milk or noise focused apps like White noise, use a hand held 'fidget' for example for use in meetings and clarifying your understanding via email.Block non work related web-sites to help you focus, keep your phone out of sight, have something to chew on, exercise and stretch, use noise cancelling headphones, have activities for breaks that help you calm and focus like adult colouring books. You must find a career that interests you and work to your strengths.

In life have simple strategies if you have ADHD like storing vital items like car keys in a set place near the door so you do not forget.If learning to drive you should tell the DVLA about the ADHD. Everyone being different you must find strategies and consider options like medication based on your situation. The NHS explains topics related to ADHD like diagnosis, treatment options like different medications and Life with ADHD  http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/

There is a strong argument that like other conditions ADHD is a Nero diverse Condition that all people have different strengths and difficulties and that ADHD is just part of normal variation. That everyone is different and there needs to be a removal of the stigma, this is the view of ACAS that nerodiversity needs supporting and celebrating for its difficulties and its strengths 

       

 Skills and strengths that can come from having ADHD that would be useful for employers include creativity and high energy that can lead to productivity in the correct environment. They can get new and fresh ideas.  They are talkative and imaginative, resourceful, curious, they can hyper-focus on details that interest them which can give very useful attention to detail in the right activity.If ADHD is declared/you tell your employer you can ask for Reasonable Adjustments and you are protected by the Equality Act (2010). Further you can get a Clear Talents profile to explain your difficulties, find useful personalized strategies and show your strengths. You can apply for Government Funding from Access to Work to pay for help like coaching where they teach you stratagies for managing and understanding ADHD.      

If you have ADHD you may benefit from CBT (See under health) therapy you can do online courses that would fit around life and work and this can be with a trained therapist like with IESO Healthhttp://www.iesohealth.com or you can do CBT self help CBT type activities course with Live Life To The Full  http://llttf.com/

You would benefit from adding as much structure to tasks as possible to help you focus such as setting SMART targets for tasks ensuring activities are: Specific,Measurable. Achievable,Realistic and Timed.

Always try to break tasks down.

You would benefit from brain training to focus and challenge the mind like from Lumosity  http://www.lumosity.com/en/  This would help BDNF needed for brain development and growth. Get enough sleep and develop strategies, if this is a main issue look at http://www.insomniacs.co.uk/ and look at Tuck and the websites section on ADHD and sleep http://www.tuck.com/adhd-and-sleep/ 

Be mindful of diet look under diet and exercise on this site think about nutrition like reducing caffeine, sugar and the amount of Carbohydrate you eat. Try out Mindfulness a type of medication for being in the present moment and learning to pay attention to all the details. Try out apps like Headspace to do Mindfulness and small meditations. 

You can also experience challenges with relationships when you have ADHD due to issues with attention and impulsiveness but there is lots of advice and support from those who have the condition  like this You Tube video from this young Women from How to ADHD. From 2015 Jessica McCobe has run this You Tube channel about life with ADHD and was a Healthine 2017 winner for its ADHD videos. It also has a toolbox with work sheets on topics like goal setting and getting organised and a Forum on ADHD  http://howtoadhd.com/

 

  

Jessica McCabe highlights through her YouTube channel How to ADHD and Ted Talks how you need to find your own way, not rely on self help books but find good information. She explains you will have times when more effort is needed, when you will have setbacks, face extra challenges, anyway,you will get tired, even if medication works for you you will have difficulties and may want to give up you may need to accept things do not always work out but she is a success story as she accepts her ADHD and takes action finding good information about ADHD which lead to her You Tube video and accepting herself, understanding yourself and seeing herself  as successful.. 

Here are some links to explain and provide support for adult life with the condition:

ADDitude http://www.additudemag.com/?s=RELATIONSHIPS  Has many informed articles on relationship issues and ADHD including dating, couples,marriage, divorce friendships, socializing, parenting and more with lots of personal accounts and lived experiences. 

Buzz Feed You Tube video young people speak about their ADHD experiences growing up 

Understood have produced a You Tube video on what is ADHD https://youtu.be/vVZ2qbMgMPs

Totally ADD shows ADHD videos, online resources, downloads,books, forum and a blog that in 2019 won awards with Healthline  http://totallyadd.com/

ADHD Pixar animation that attempts to explain what ADHD is like in a light hearted any funny way https://youtu.be/SCr3ES97s4k

Mental Health Foundation Easy Read ADHDhttps://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd-easy-read.pdf

 NHS Surrey and Boarders Partnership Me, Myself and ADHD Learning Disabilities Service For a Better Lifecovers what ADHD is, therapy, medications, potential impact of the condition on adult life like family, friends,work, physical and mental health, different strategies to help you cope, exercise any more https://www.sabp.nhs.uk/application/files/9815/2423/6785/Me_Myself_and_ADHD.pdf

 NHS Overview of ADHDhttps://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/

ADHD Foundation https://www.adhdfoundation.org.uk/information/young-people

Living with ADHD website advice for young people https://www.livingwithadhd.co.uk/inner-teenagers.html

ADHD and You website http://www.adhdandyou.co.uk/impact-of-adhd-on-life/adult-adhd

AADD-UK looks at ADHD and increasing awareness of how ADHD affects adulthood www.aadduk.org

ADDitude Magazine is an American ADHD/ADD lifestyle magazine for those with ADHD/ADD that also has interesting webinars about the condition http://www.additudemag.com They also have intresting videos as seen here this one is about the science of ADHD and the brain 

ADDISS an ADHD National Information and Support Service that is good for those with ADHD and their families due to the resources and user-friendly information on ADHD www.addiss.co.uk

Work and ADHD Net Doctor article https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/conditions/adhd/a5222/work-and-adhd

Employers guide to ADHD in the workplace https://www.adhdfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/An-Employers-Guide-to-ADHD-in-the-Workplace.pdf

Managing Adult ADD and ADHD at work article https://www.healthyplace.com/adhd/adhd-adults/managing-adult-add-adhd-at-work

ADHD Work Coach from Access to work funding http://www.simplywellbeing.com/adhd-business-services/access-work-funding-adhd-coaching

Access to work support for Dyslexia and ADHD https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/access-work-support-dyslexia-adhd-dyspraxia-jan-halfpenny

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