Maximizing Productivity with ADHD: 7 Workplace Organization Tools For ADHD
Workplace ADHD is hardly discussed or not discussed at all. Most people mistake those with ADHD for being lazy or distracted, but they are the most organized people. And, highly organized people aren't born; they are made.
In case you are struggling at work to stay focused on monotonous tasks, you might have undiagnosed ADHD. It is very common among adults and young teenagers, and it is nothing to be ashamed of or afraid of.
Work can be overwhelming, and to add the cherry on top, stress can play a major role in making your work-life unpleasant. Getting organized is not easy, even though a whole range of apps and management tools claim to simplify your life. Similarly, there are certain ADHD tools, but again these are not for everyone, as it is not one-size-fits-all.
You can learn more about organizing tools for ADHD in this article and select the ones most suitable for you.
What Does ADHD In The Workplace Look Like?
In the workplace, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) can appear as laziness, unproductivity, or a lack of focus. It is often confused as a behavioral disorder, although it is not true. According to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, almost 4.44% of adults in the US alone have ADHD, where 38% are women, and 62% are men.
The symptoms of ADHD in adults are different and can quite impact their productivity in the workplace. It can present differently in the workplace, and most of the symptoms can look like this -
Difficulty focusing on tasks or paying attention to details
Lack of organizational skills and meeting deadlines
Impulsivity and restlessness
Difficulty following through on projects or important tasks
Interrupting coworkers or engaging in inappropriate behavior in meetings
Lack of time management skills and prioritization
Often forgetting important meetings and deadlines or losing items frequently
However, It is important to note that everyone with ADHD might not exhibit all of these symptoms, and the severity can vary from person to person. Additionally, people with ADHD have strengths and can perform well in the workplace with appropriate accommodations and support.
How Do You Organize Your ADHD At Work?
Getting organized is the key step towards reaching your goals, but it can get pretty challenging if you have ADHD. Although there are many ADHD apps and tools available to help you manage your ADHD at work, not all of them are effective. If you constantly find yourself buying planners, folders, or calendars that are just added as dormant countertop clutter, then it's time to seek out the tools that fit you.
Finding the right organizing tool for ADHD can be a lifelong thing. And low motivation and lack of brain focus can get in the way of trying to get organized.
Here are a few tips for organizing your ADHD at work -
Make a to-do list and write down all your tasks for the day.
Take baby steps first. Try to complete one task at a time.
Try to take breaks in between, as it will help you stay focused and prevent burnout.
Try to minimize your distractions at work.
Try to keep your workspace as simple as possible.
Suggested Read: Positive Distractions At Work: 4 Ways To Boost Productivity
7 Organizing Tools For ADHD To Help You Maximize Your Productivity At Work
Adults with ADHD can face serious performance issues in the workplace. These issues aren't always addressed due to a lack of awareness or a support system. Often, employees with ADHD struggle to find the right tool or app to stay on track or motivated at work.
And not only those with ADHD, but almost everyone in this highly distracting modern world needs some help navigating, establishing goals, managing time, and practicing healthy habits. to support or cope with their symptoms.
Here's a list of 7 essential organizing tools and strategies for ADHD that you can benefit from in the workplace -
1. Brown Noise / Binaural Beats
Brown noise, commonly known as binaural beats, are lower frequencies that are soothing to your brain's resting state. It helps you to relax at work and harness the neurons in your brain to increase your ability to focus and get less distracted.
The sound in brown noise cancels out the other sounds, so you're not easily distracted. It plays the lower frequency louder and the higher frequencies softer. It helps in relaxation, mimicking the resting state of the brain, which is again helpful for you to focus better.
Often employees with ADHD, or people in general with ADHD, struggle with alertness and find it difficult to focus on tasks and meet deadlines at work. Brown noise helps to stimulate their brains into a state of alertness, allowing them to be more focused.
These beats can be found on various apps, such as Spotify and YouTube. You can choose anything for these. It could be a jet engine, thunder, rain, waves, or a storm.
The idea behind using music to help people with ADHD is that it suppresses the brain's ability to focus on irrelevant stimuli. It allows the attention to be directed to the stimuli that are selected early in the selection process.
2. Focus Apps
When it comes to organizing or managing your ADHD at work, you'll be surprised by the number of apps for ADHD that are available. But focus apps are the best ones if you want to be more productive and less distracted by the constant pop-ups when you're working.
Focus apps are designed to or aimed at helping you avoid distractions and stay on track so that more gets done in less time. They target specific distractions that might derail your productivity at work, so it is the perfect app for organizing ADHD at work.
These limit your time on certain websites and help you focus more. Since, with ADHD, you're always at a risk of straying from one app or site to another or scrolling through social media amidst work, sustaining attention to one task at a time can be challenging. But with focus apps, it has become somewhat possible to get your share of work done without being criticized over it.
Some of the best and most affordable focus apps that supplement inhibition control by restricting app accessibility and removing distractions are freedom, the focus, forest, or my noise.
Suggested Read : 20 Mantras For Meditation To Help Employees Retain Focus At Work
3. Calendars Or Task Planners
One of the most conventional yet most effective tools when it comes to organizing ADHD at work is either a calendar or a task planner. Since one of the most common symptoms of ADHD is forgetfulness, keeping a calendar or a task planner to mark your important days can be beneficial.
You can keep track of your meetings, project submission, or even deadlines by simply marking the dates on a calendar, either a good old paper calendar or a digital one.
An electronic task planner is an effective way to organize your lack of focus as it aims to remind you of your daily goals or tasks, but a paper calendar is more beneficial for a beginner. It helps you become more organized organically. It guides you through planning your day and helps you visualize it.
Again, a planner will help you break down your goals and organize them accordingly, so you do not feel overwhelmed. Also, it helps you feel more productive by being physically able to tick off the task from your to-do list.
4. Noise-Cancellation Headphones
Noise-canceling headphones are a great way to help people with ADHD to focus and not get distracted by their surrounding noise. Since workplaces can get quite noisy and not everyone has a cubicle for themselves, the amount of noise can get pretty overwhelming.
By having less external sensory stimulation while working, noise-canceling headphones can help you focus better. Instead of trying to filter out the noise and focus simultaneously, you can concentrate on one thing at a time.
Depending on your preference, you can choose from a wide range of noise-canceling tools such as headphones, earbuds, or even white noise.
5. Sticky Notes Or Whiteboards
Organizing your work with sticky notes is one of the easiest ways to get things done. Sticky notes can be an excellent tool for reminding you of tasks simultaneously without complicating things further since almost everyone today has access to a desk.
For example, if you have an important reminder for a meeting or a call at work, you can simply write it down on a sticky note and slap it against your desk board or even your laptop. Sticky notes always work since they're easy to find and are always physically available to remind you.
Again, just like sticky notes, you can opt for whiteboards to help you stay more on track with your daily to-do list. You can even use colorful markers to list down your least to most important tasks for the day so that it doesn't get monotonous.
If you spend a lot of time in a conference room or a space in front of you at work, you can try the whiteboard technique to help you organize your ADHD more efficiently.
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When it comes to punctuality or time management, people with ADHD are not great at it. If you're struggling with managing time or finding it hard to get things done at a certain pace, then probably because you might be dealing with ADHD yourself. And it can get in your way of being productive or even cost you your work sometimes.
But having a timer with you can come to your aid at such times. You don't always have to use a digital timer; you can also get a rather simple dial timer. You can keep a timer in every room where you supposedly have work or meetings or even carry one.
You can customize the timer according to your day-to-day tasks and proceed with your day without losing track of your time. It will help you become more mindful of your surroundings and where you spend most of your time.
For example, if you are on a lunch break and on a time crunch, then you can set your timer accordingly so that you miss out on your work simply because you were scrolling through your phone.
Suggested Read: Social Media Detox: All You Need To Know
7. Instrumental Music
Focus problems, motivational challenges, and attention problems caused by ADHD are quite common and can be quite frustrating. Fortunately, music can help you deal with it more effectively and smoothly. Generally, people with ADHD lack dopamine and need it to function. As a result, instrumental music can give them the dopamine they need to stay motivated.
"Music can be helpful for people with ADHD because it can provide a singular background noise rather than twenty."
— BRIT BARKHOLTZ, MSW, LICSW
Listening to music or learning to play any musical instrument can help you internalize or externalize your feelings more productively if you are struggling at work or feeling stuck due to a lack of motivation.
You will become more focused and less distracted if you listen to instrumental music, binaural music, or even classical music. You need to find out which genre of music works best for you and create a productivity playlist for yourself.
According to a recent article by author Sharlene Habermeyer, MA, listening to music can help you organize your ADHD because of the following reasons -
Improves your executive functioning
Enhances social functioning and ability to cope with social challenges
Improves your impulse management
When you are trying to concentrate at work, you should avoid listening to music with lyrics or chaotic music without a distinct rhythm.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Are Some Good Organizing Tools For ADHD?
Some good organizing tools for ADHD are planners, calendars, Digital tools like Evernote apps, task manager apps like Trello, asana, and note apps like apple notes and focus apps.
2. What Are Some Tips For Using Organizing Tools Effectively With ADHD?
Make sure to prioritize tasks and break them down into smaller, manageable steps.
Use reminders and notifications to help you stay on track.
Keep your tool simple and avoid overwhelming yourself with too many features.
3. How Can I Choose The Best Organizing Tool For Me?
When choosing the best tool for you, consider your personal preferences, such as if you prefer digital or physical tools. Also, Think about the specific needs and challenges of your ADHD, such as if you need a tool that can break tasks into smaller, manageable steps.
Summing It Up
Thus, coping with ADHD at work can be challenging but it is not impossible. With the right strategies and organizational tools for ADHD, you can minimize the daily obstacles you have to face. It can help you maximize your productivity at work without making it complicated.
Apps and tools can become messy, but sticking with simple ones and staying consistent will surely benefit you. Also, there is no shame in asking for help if you still struggle to manage your habits at work.
I hope this article helped you to understand what ADHD at work looks like and how organizing tools for ADHD can come to your aid.
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