Work With Your ADHD - Not Against It!
Posted on 30th September 2022 at 15:09
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a condition that can affect your concentration span, ability to manage time effectively and your aptitude for completing certain tasks.
Now recognised as a form of neurodivergence, ADHD can affect anyone, but is most often diagnosed in childhood. Adults with ADHD can find that it impacts their performance at work, especially if they are working to schedules and frameworks created by neurotypical people. If you have ADHD, you may struggle to work in the same way as others - and it's all too easy to start fighting your own mind!
Thanks to rise in the awareness of neurodivergence (the idea that what had previously been called disorders were actually just normal variances in the way that human minds can work) there has been a “growing push to focus on our brain differences, not deficits”.
This isn’t to say that ADHD doesn’t have its challenges. People with ADHD struggle with paying attention to one task, focusing for long periods of time and managing time effectively. As with other forms of neurodivergence, ADHD can come with its challenges, but also its fair share of advantages too.
Rather than viewing ADHD as something to ‘fix’, it’s more helpful to recognise the way your brain works and work with it, not against it.
Many people with ADHD feel ashamed or embarrassed at their struggles with time keeping, organisation and focus. As Dr. William Dodson explains in an article here, “For people with ADHD, shame arises from the repeated failure to meet expectations from parents, teachers, friends, bosses, and the world”.
This shame, although common, doesn’t help. By relieving yourself of the need to be perfect and accepting your wonderful brain exactly the way it is, you can explore your greatest strengths and talents!
Being neurodivergent isn’t something that you have to work against. Having ADHD can make productivity a battle, but there are ways to work with your ADHD, not against it.
Leave behind the guilt:
ADHD is not an illness to be ‘cured’; it’s a different way of thinking that may make some things harder, and some things easier.
Just as neurotypical people struggle with certain tasks, so do people with ADHD.
There is no reason to feel ashamed or guilty that you aren’t able to work as a neurotypical person would.
You have your own set of individual skills, talents and strengths – celebrate them!
Leave the guilt at the door. It doesn’t do anyone any favours, least of all yourself.
Learn how way your mind works:
Getting to know how you think and work is key to understanding how to be productive with ADHD
Research is key – if you’ve only just been recently diagnosed with ADHD, you may not fully understand why your mind works in the ways that it does.
Start by looking through the online resources in the above infographic, and learn as much as you can about ADHD.
If focusing for long periods of time and reading through information is one of the things that you find difficult, try instead chatting to others (either online or in person) about their ADHD and find out what they've noticed about the way they think and work.
Recognise your strengths:
As much as there are challenges that come along with having ADHD, there are also benefits too!
According to Medical News Today, one of the benefits of having ADHD is the ability to hyperfocus: “While hyperfocusing, the person can improve their performance, meaning they work even more efficiently. This process allows them to complete a task without any distractions, and the outcome is often of great quality.”
Another strength, according to this article, is creativity and innovation, as people with ADHD can often “harness…ADHD creativity in strange and wonderful ways.”
There are other strengths that you may have because of your ADHD (for example, spontaneity and the ability to change tasks quickly), but there are also talents that you have just because of who you are as a person.
Having ADHD doesn’t diminish your fantastic ability to confidently speak in public or cook a fantastic meal, for example. Your strengths and talents are still there, just waiting to be unleashed!
You may also be interested in some of our other blogs!
If you’ve been looking for friendly support from people who are also neurodivergent business owners, we have a free Facebook group! Just click HERE to join!
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