Work was already stressful. But for many adults with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), the abrupt switch to working from home has been a mashup of office papers, home bills, deskspace, and dishes. Or, a few too many (accidentally) long Netflix lunches. Losing the lines between home and work has a cost that goes beyond just feeling overwhelmed yourself. It’s common for those in your personal life to also have noticed increases in your irritability or negative self-talk. These could be family members, co-workers, or an adult ADHD specialist.
The reality is, the emotional tailspin of not knowing which end is up can have some pretty big impacts on your life. From relationships to getting things done at work and home. You might even experience increased symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety. If so, you can find support from an adult ADHD specialist.
Common Obstacles to Working From Home and How to Overcome Them
Obstacle #1: Maintaining Focus with Distractions
Work likely doesn’t have your spouse, Netflix, or a big TV running the news all day. Many offices are less exciting (and more focused) than a personal/family living space. The humdrum workspace can act as a set of blinders that a home simply can’t offer. There are a lot more distractions in rooms made for life vs those made for work. For the ADHD brain, this can create many opportunities to get off track.
What You Can Do About It: Remove Them
Make a plan for removing or minimizing your distractions. Phone? TV? Noise? The frozen goods longing to be toasted? Make a plan for as many as you can. Put the phone in a box next to you. Or, work in a room without TVs or video games, etc. You can even use a sound machine or headphones to block out unwanted noise. The more you limit distractions (of any kind), the less opportunity to get thrown off track.
Obstacle #2: Loss of Structure
Work for the person with ADHD depends heavily on structure. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and lost without it. And, without a relative amount of external accountability, it may be tough to stay focused and motivated.
What You Can Do About It: Make Lists and Set Boundaries
First, a large visual to-do list works well. Preferably in a central location, like right next to you on a wall or a large notepad. Many lists in many places will not be as helpful. Then, rank order tasks: must be done today, must be done by Friday. Be realistic about the time it takes to do each task and check things off when complete.
Second, create clear-cut transitions between work and life. It can be helpful to have set lunchtime (if possible, but we understand…it’s a pandemic). Many even find that going for a drive before work triggers the brain for a gear shift––kind of like their commute used to. Or, that dressing with appropriate work attire makes the lines between work and life a bit less blurry.
Obstacle #3: Lack of Connection and Collaboration
People with ADHD thrive off connection, collaboration, and the ability to check-in and ask for support. Doing so can boost self-confidence and accountability at work. In addition to collaboration, many people have at least one “work ally.” Someone to make them laugh when things get dark. Or, someone they can turn to with their “remind me I’m not going to get fired for that” moments. Without the creativity and connection that a collaborative work environment offers, it’s easy to feel lost and even depressed.
Being proactive about having virtual social interactions with friends isn’t just helpful, it’s needed. Make sure you have plenty of virtual social interactions sprinkled into your month. Building connections, ensuring regular check-ins with colleagues or supervisors can ensure open communication and establish accountability. Meeting with an adult ADHD specialist can also provide you with support in building these connections.
Begin Counseling with an Adult ADHD Specialist in Columbus, OH
Working from home doesn’t have to add extra stress to your life. Our Columbus, OH counseling practice has caring therapists who specialize in adult ADHD counseling. You can receive the support you deserve from an adult ADHD specialist and enjoy everything life has to offer.
If you’re ready, follow these simple steps:
- Fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation.
- Meet with one of our caring therapists.
- Hone your ADHD, and focus your busy mind.
Mental Health Counseling Columbus Ohio
If you’d like more specific help building the right structures and alleviating the stress of working from home, an adult ADHD specialist can help. ADHD treatment can help you manage your workday. Because ADHD impacts people in different ways, Focused Mind ADHD Counseling offers a variety of ADHD-related services including adult ADHD treatment, counseling for men with ADHD, depression counseling for ADHD, and anxiety treatment for ADHD. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our Columbus therapists.