A Job Well Done: Tips for ADHD Adults

From blocking out cubicle distractions to frequent check-ins with the boss, ADDitude readers share their best advice for doing a great job at work.


Filed Under: Focus at Work, ADHD Time Management, Deadlines and Procrastination
ADHD woman happily stretching by the water cooler at work

I get up and stretch a lot. I get a break from what I'm doing, so I can take a fresh look at it.

An ~ADDitude~ Reader

We asked ADDitude readers to finish this sentence: "My best tip for doing a great job at work is..."

Drink a lot of coffee, keep the office door closed when you need to focus on work, and write down assignments and deadlines on a dry-erase board in front of your desk! -J.J., Illinois

Have an office with a door that closes. The most unproductive part of work for me is the distraction of coworkers (and kids, when I work at home). -Leanne, Canada

Noise-blocking headphones. They don't make me a favorite among my coworkers, but, with my headphones, I am able to get projects done. -Joy, Maine

I create a schedule for the week on Sunday night — Monday do x, Tuesday do y — and follow it, no matter what pops up during the course of the work week. -Lee, Rhode Island

I pull an Ed Koch (an ex-mayor of New York) and ask my boss, "How am I doing?" after I have worked on a project for a couple of hours. That way, I know if I'm on the right track. -Joe, New York

I barricade myself in my little cubby and listen to music on my noise-reducing headphones. When doing mindless, boring work that is hard to make myself do, I play a Netflix movie in the background. My productivity almost doubles when I do the Netflix thing! -Stephen, Georgia

I take a lot of notes in meetings, which keeps my mind occupied instead of "going fishing." -Walter, Alaska

I use a trick called "venue change." I never sit in the same place for too long. The moment I feel a little burned out or fatigued with a task, I get up and go to another room or to the lobby or I sit at a different side of my desk. The movement gets the blood flowing, the break allows mental rest, and the new "venue" provides a fresh start. -An ADDitude Reader

I work as a chemotherapy nurse, and the fact that there are a million things going on keeps my mind engaged. My biggest challenge is follow-up. I make checklists for myself and do one final sweep at the end of the workday to make sure the loose ends are tied up. I also do several "gut checks" during the day to make sure my actions are accomplishing my work priorities. -Megan, Washington

I do priority tasks during the most productive time of day, while blocking out the Internet, phone, and routine business. -Michael, Maryland

I repeat back the task my supervisor assigned me, to make sure I've understood it correctly. I also ask him to outline the task in an e-mail and to check on my progress in a couple of days. -Kim, Canada

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This article appears in the Winter 2012 issue of ADDitude.
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To share workplace strategies, visit the ADHD at Work support group on ADDConnect.


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