ADHD Systems Built to Last
“Has anyone had success working with a coach to develop skills to manage your ADHD at work? What was your experience? Did you find it helpful? Were you able to develop lasting skills and habits that you still use today?”
ADHD coaching can be tremendously helpful in managing attention deficit in the workplace. Some of the areas typically improved include:
- Time management: Getting to work on time, getting started on projects, meeting deadlines, being realistic about what you can and cannot realistically deliver.
- ADHD task management: Keeping track of all that you have to do, and when it’s due.
- Setting priorities: Knowing what’s important to the company, your boss, your future – and making choices accordingly.
- Focus: Sticking with a task and following it through to completion.
- Communication: Listening to what your boss, your co-workers, and your customers have to say, and responding clearly, concisely, and accurately.
- Develop strengths: Identifying what you excel at, and structuring your job so you can do more of it.
- Delegate weaknesses: Finding a way to do less of what you’re not so good at.
- Organization: Keeping your workspace uncluttered, and being able to find the tools and data you need to do your job.
The thing that makes coaching truly effective is not just the skills you learn. It’s the implementation. An experienced coach will not only help you find strategies, but she’ll make sure you actually use them in your day-to-day life. She’ll give you support and accountability until they become ingrained habits. Some of the tools used in coaching include:
- Checklists, charts, and reminder systems.
- Regular check-ins (every day if needed) to report your progress and hold you accountable.
- Identifying obstacles and risks before they happen
- Motivation systems, including rewards and consequences.
ADHD experts generally agree that coaching really does work. Here’s what some of them have to say:
- “For adults with ADHD who absolutely need external structure to function well, coaches can make a tremendous difference and provide a critical link on their road to success.” -Sari Solden, M.S., L.M.F.T, author
- “Coaching involves using another person to help you set goals and develop specific skills needed to meet those goals. I have seen it be very powerful for people with ADD, who, as a group, tend to struggle with issues of goal setting, organization, planning, and consistent performance.” -Daniel Amen, M.D., author
- “Because ADHD brains lack the internal means to impose structure on the world, the coach provides constant external guidance to which the ADHDer must be accountable. In a sense, coaches help to fill the ADHDers environment with the missing cues needed to keep on track.” -John Ratey, M.D. , author