Techniques to Lessen the Disruptive Symptoms of ADHD at Work
ADHD is one of the most common neurobehavioral illnesses. Women make up 38% of those suffering from this silent but serious disorder, according to CHADD, the leading national organization on ADHD. Various studies have shown the differences in how an ADHD brain works in comparison with what is thought to be a normal brain; for instance, the frontal lobes – the area of the brain involved in impulsive behavior, attention, motor activity, and inhibition — are said to be smaller.
Females who suffer from ADHD typically have other symptoms: they are less hyperactive and more disorganized. They are forgetful and somewhat introverted in their social lives. Women with ADHD can also develop the symptoms of depression or anxiety.
If the disorder is not discovered in childhood, most adults are not diagnosed until later in life,according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This leaves room for years of agonizing experiences involving decreased control and discipline. As a professional, it’s important to have your act together – after all, there is a lot of competition in finding and maintaining a successful career. ADHD provides an added disadvantage, making a professional path sometimes seem unmanageable.
These days, in the digital age, distraction is more prevalent. As a longtime sufferer of ADHD, I can testify, however, that social media alone is not the culprit. In adults with ADHD, even in silence, there is that little wheel in your head constantly turning you from one thing to another, subconsciously. Are you planning dinner during your 9 a.m. meeting? Maybe you heard a beep, so thought to check social media, or you wonder if you forgot to lock your car. Another symptom: a blank, distant stare.
Using ADHD to Your Advantage in Business
Regardless of the onset of the affliction, it’s clear that ADHD is as welcome as an unwanted guest. The good news is, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Simply let your ADHD work for you. Here are a few “pro” traits/adjectives used to describe people with ADHD that will be in your favor:
- Visionary: You have raw ambition. Those who have mastered this skill will do well in creative fields like journalism, photography, architecture, or any other professions that require you to think out of the box.
- Thorough: You go through every detail and you check it twice. Maybe it is a little tedious, but it pays off. Strengths in this area could land you a role as a tax Analyst/accountant, paralegal, cosmetic surgeon, or even detective.
- Voice of Reason: You don’t focus on the stressors of a situation very long. You jump right into resolution mode by seeing the big picture. This is a primary trait of doctors and law enforcement.
- You are a Full-Speed Multitasker: Chaos does not slow you down because you organize whileplanning. You are a people person who is able to get several things done efficiently when structured. This skill will keep you ahead of the competition in roles such as project manager, event planner, teacher, and surveillance officer.
- Resourceful: Being prepared is second nature. You know where to get the things you need. You are confident and not afraid to talk to people. You are a solid learner. All these things make you very resourceful when needed. The unexpected is not so much of a surprise to you. Anyone with this trait can do well as a developer, explorer, soldier or entrepreneur.
The Role of Routine and Diet to Decrease Symptoms
In addition to these traits, the way we live plays a big role in how we manage. A diet filled with sugary foods will not provide the brainpower you need. Consider a routine meal plan rich in vegetables, healthy grains, and lean proteins. And dark chocolate for breakfast is not a badtreat from time to time, especially on those busy days, since it is said to have antioxidants that aid the brain’s thinking power, among other health benefits.
I also suggest regular meditation of some kind. Find a quiet location and a comfy mat or lounge chair. Close your eyes and relax for a minimum of 30 minutes where you purposely thinkof nothing. I find it helpful to envision being in a dark room with no windows. Whatever your method, make sure you take time to reboot your mental system.
The point is, having a daily plan is a must. Being proactive, instead of reactive, will keep yourproductivity high and drifting low. The key to getting things done is being organized and accountable. Therefore, if you need to, set alarms for your daily task. Set reminders on your phone, computer or tablet. (Or don’t be afraid to go old-school and get an alarm clock!)
Lastly, take a walk. Go for a long stroll, or indulge in some other type of physical activity for forty-five minutes a day. By being active you are leveling out feelings of anxiety – in effect, you burn any excess energy that would otherwise make you feel overwhelmed.
Those are just a few great ideas to let ADHD work for you. This illness does not have to be a disorder in your life. Assess your circumstances, and tailor your solutions to whatever challenges arise.