Adults with ADHD face extra challenges when it comes to task management and organization, whether at work or at home. Overstimulation, feeling stuck, getting overwhelmed—any one or all of these can hinder your productivity and elevate your anxiety. We’ve got 9 tips to help you maximize your productivity so you can anticipate your challenges, stay focused, and finish your tasks.
1. Use your calendar for reminders and due dates.
Enter your due dates and deadlines. Then count backwards and enter mini due dates and/or reminders for completing phases of your project.
2. Limit distractions.
Set up a work area with as few distractions as possible; this includes your desk and your computer desktop (for instance, move that Sims 4 icon into a deeper folder). Let your co-workers or family know you’re in “work” mode—close your door, or put up a sticky with “Do Not Disturb”. You could also try having a specific time daily that is designated as your “Do Not Disturb” time, and let those around you know this.
3. Use an analog clock and a timer.
An analog clock lets you “see” chunks of time better than a digital one. The Pomodoro Technique is an excellent method to up your productivity with time management and focus periods. There are plenty of Pomodoro timer apps and timers to choose from.
4. Check your email at set times.
Checking your email every five minutes can lead to distraction and a dip in productivity if you get sidelined by something unexpected. Set a timer and check your email at the top of every hour or two, prioritize replies, and add any to-do’s to your task list. Then close out of your email and don’t check again until the next designated time.
5. Burn off some energy before a stressful task.
Got a presentation or a phone call you’re a bit anxious about? Burn off some of that nervous energy beforehand—take a quick walk around the block, go up and down your stairs a few times, do some stretching, or even 10 jumping jacks. Getting your blood flowing will actually help you focus on your next task!
6. Label everything.
Save time and up productivity by using labels—on file folders, drawers, storage bins, and anything else you need to get your work done. When you don’t have to pull away from the task at hand to go look for something, you stay more focused.
7. Use colors.
This goes along with the labeling you do in #6. Use colors to help you find and focus on things. For example, put Project X items into a red folder, and Project Y into another. Use colors to group things, to highlight main points of your reading or notes, and anywhere else that will help your focus and attention.
8. Use task lists.
Lists are an excellent way to see and keep track of what needs doing—and it’s oh-so-satisfying to check each item off as you complete it!
9. Reset your work area daily.
Spend 15 minutes at the end of your day to reset your work area or your desk. Don’t let it become a pile-up; do this daily. Starting each day with an organized and tidy workspace means you can begin your day productively with much less distractions in a calm, neat environment.
Don’t feel like you’ve got to do all 9 tips starting tomorrow, stat! Choose a couple and incorporate it into your routine. Once you’ve got that down, add another couple, and so on. Remember, you don’t need to feel isolated when dealing with ADHD. If you need help, contact us and let’s start a conversation. Learn how we can support you!