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Figuring out how to stay focused and organized while working from home is hard enough. Doing so with ADHD requires a few extra tips for staying productive. The lack of a structured office environment has thrown off pretty much everyone who’s had to transition to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Toss in an attention-deficit disorder and you’ve got a distraction-laden cocktail that’s not exactly conducive to success — in fact, it can start to feel near impossible to get anything done.
ADHD symptoms are generally lumped into three categories: inattentive, hyperactive, and a combination of the two. Adults generally present with inattentive symptoms, while children can present with any of the three. “On the inattentiveness side, this can be seen through being easily distracted, having a short attention span, lack of attention to detail, clumsiness, forgetfulness, and other similar issues,” explained Pete Bailey, MD, a family practice physician and expert contributor for Test Prep Insight. This is the category generally thought of as ADD, a now-outdated term. “On the other hand, the hyperactivity symptoms that are typically experienced with ADHD include impulsiveness, fidgeting, fast and incessant talking, impatience, and other similar symptoms,” Dr. Bailey told POPSUGAR. “With respect to individuals with ADHD that are working from home due to the pandemic, it can be especially difficult to stay focused.”
As someone with diagnosed ADHD who was working from home even before COVID, I’ve had a little extra time to test out what works — and what doesn’t — to help keep me focused and productive. Though of course not a replacement for professional treatment, here are some additional steps I’ve taken to navigate working from home.