“Come on, JUST FOCUS.” We’ve all been there a time or two when our brain just can’t focus on the tasks at hand, but women with ADHD have it a lot harder. Now multiply that by 10 if you also work from home. Working from home with ADHD has it’s struggles but it also has some huge benefits. These work from home tips will help with focus and productivity.
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Working from Home Benefits:
- Flexible Hours
- No Commute
- Control of the work place environment
- Endless snacks! lol
Difficulties of working from home:
- More likely to become distracted
- Lack of routine
- Lack of outside affirmation
- Less direction
Just shy of my 30th birthday I waas diagnosed with ADHD and had been silently suffering for many years. I kept myself very busy and always lived a high stress high energy life. When things started to calm down and I transitioned to a work from home job it became very clear that something was just off.
My ADHD not only caused struggles with focus, routine, and planning but also a lack of attention to detail. When I first began working from home I had a lot of challenges I needed to face.
In the beginning I struggled with:
- Developing a routine
- Taking regular breaks
- Lack of Focus especially with tedious tasks
- Hyperfocus (often on the wrong thing)
- Outside distractions
It took a while for me to find strategies that work for me. But the following work from home tips have increased my productivity and focus throughout the day!
10 Work from Home Tips for Adults with ADHD
Keep your meds near your work station
If you’re working from home and taking ADHD meds try keeping them near your work space. I keep mine in a nice little basket on my desk. This reminds me to take them when I start my work day and when I return to my space after lunch. Having them handy and visible makes it easier to remember to take them. It also forces me to check in with myself throughout the day.
Create a Dedicated Work Station and a back-up spot
This is the single most important thing you can do to make working from home with ADHD easier. Create a dedicated workstation. If you’re lucky you can do this in a separate room with a door to tune out distractions with ease.
If you’re unlucky like me it may take a small miracle to make this happen! My desk is in my dining room, which means there can often be unwanted traffic and distractions in my space, but there’s nowhere else to put it. So, I have a designated desk that no one else is allowed to put anything on or add to. I even got a folding room screen for days when I need to put my blinders up. This helps me from getting distracted by outside people, mess, and “Uh-Oh” tasks that pop up.
I also highly recommend having a back up plan for days when you’re desk isn’t cutting it. I have two back up spaces. One is a hammock chair outdoors with a table where I can set my laptop up if I need fresh air and sunshine. One is a T.V. tray for days when I need the T.V. to provide a light distraction while I do tedious tasks.
Get rid of extra energy to focus better
Sometimes ADHD can mean there’s too much energy moving through you! This can lead us to fidget, pace, leg shake, and more! One way to combat this need to move is to channel your energy into a physical motion.
A bouncy yoga ball is great for a sore back, restless legs, and extra energy. You can take a break and use it for five minutes, or replace your computer chair with the yoga ball. It’s much more comfortable than being confined to a desk chair for 8 hours a day. A change of pace can be helpful to the ADHD brain.
Another alternative is to have a fidget ring or cube to help you focus your physical energy and attention.
Set Alarms for Break Reminders
HYPERFOCUS is very real! Especially with certain ADHD medications, so set a contingency plan for taking breaks by scheduling breaks and setting an alarm to alert you! This can help remind you to drink water, use the restroom, take your meds, or grab a snack.
If you find that these breaks derail you try setting an alarm for the end of the break to signal to your brain that it’s time to begin again.
Keep a desk notepad handy to jot down all your thoughts!
In 2020 I read a handy little book off of Amazon called “Help for Women with ADHD” by Joan Wilder. In her handy little book she gives bite sized pieces of advice for women with ADHD. The book is written in such a fun style tailored to the sometimes short attention span and focus of the ADHD adult.
One of my favorite tips from Joan was to keep a desk notebook/notepad. I always write things down! If I don’t I tend to forget important dates, numbers, and tasks. By keeping one open and handy on my desk I can easily revisit information I need. I also can jot down little notes to help me keep track during long projects.
Use Grammarly to help you clean up your writing
Spell check is an amazing tool, but these days with you just might find that regular spell check isn’t cutting it. I switched to Grammarly three years ago and haven’t looked back.
This amazing tool is not only a spell checker but a grammar checker too! Grammarly gives you realtime suggestions for correction while you write. Most often I use the grammarly toolbar function. Sometimes, I use it with Google Docs. It’s been a lifesaver when it comes to ATTENTION TO DETAIL, which I often lack!
If you’ve ever found yourself in a “there, their, they’re” situation you might want to try The World’s Best Grammar Checker today.
Listen to Ambient Music
Sound can be a huge motivator and help ADHD’ers with focus. Listening to ambient music can provide just enough stimulation to your brain without offering the distraction of lyrics. This allows your brain to focus more easily on the task at hand.
Great ambient music for ADHD:
Time Blocking and Blocking Time
Time blocking is the act of grouping like tasks together to be done at one time in order to save time and energy. For example- instead of creating a new social media post each day, I spend 2 hours on Monday creating a weeks worth and scheduling them. Since this requires a lot of time with images I also use this time to organize and download any images I need into my DropBox.
Time blocking is also super handy when running errands work related or otherwise. If you’re headed to one area of town try grouping tasks together in the same area. If your hairdresser is near the post office which is near the grocery store, try scheduling those tasks on the same day to save your time and energy!
Blocking time is a trick my therapist showed me. I write down my daily schedule hour by hour and then I cover up everything but the present hour. This helps me to only focus on the task at hand while also keeping track of my time!
Hide your phone or charge it in another room while you work from home
Be honest with me…how many times have you looked at your phone in the last hour? Sometimes that numbers a lot bigger than you want it to be. Truth is it’s easy to use your phone as a distraction when you have ADHD because checking those texts, notifications, and calls can give us a little hit of dopamine.
So how do we limit these distractions? My first tip is to keep your phone charging in another room and silent. People with ADHD often have issues with object permanence meaning if we don’t see something we forget it’s there.
Taking your phone out of your sightline is a great way to take advantage of this. If you need your phone closer to you to stay on top of texts and phone calls try covering it with a piece of paper or putting it in a desk drawer instead. This still allows us easy access to our device while taking the visual temptation away.
This is one of the more underrated work from home tips especially for millennials like me!
Create and End of the Work Day Ritual
Knowing when to end your day while working from home can be a tough call. Even if you work a set schedule from home it can be hard to find a solid end to your day. It can be easy for little tasks to slip back into your mind if you don’t officially “leave the office” for the day.
Creating an end of work day ritual to switch your brain from work to home is a great way to signal this change. Try pairing your end of work day ritual with your self care routine. Going for a walk, getting outside, switching into loungewear, or even taking a shower are all examples of rituals that will help your brain switch gears.
Another thing that can be very helpful work from home tip is to schedule “nothing time.” Setting aside an hour or two to do absolutely nothing and have nothing you need to get done can help you to reset and recharge after a day of work.
10 Work from Home Gadgets Perfect for People with ADHD
Yoga Ball- great for bouncing out your extra energy and keeping you balanced when your office chair just won’t do.
Coffee Warmer- To help keep that cup of coffee that never stays warm a nice drinking temperature. And also gives you a spot to routinely return your cup too!
Tray table- For when you need to change things up! Prop this little table up near the T.V. when you need a distraction or take it outside to get some sun.
Portable Computer Stand- Lose that neck pain with a little attachable Computer stand! This one has also saved my wrists so I love that too!
Headphones- Probably a few pairs! I use headphones to muffle sounds around me and listen to ambient music when I need to focus.
Long extension cord- Chances are you might be bad at keeping things charged like your laptop, phone, IPAD and more! So having a long extension cord and a power strip with USB ports is key to keeping your workspace charged and ready to rock.
A Cord Keeper– With all the electronics we need when we’re working at home, a cord keeper can be very helpful for organizing and adjusting all our desk cords. Attach it to the back of your desk if you need to but it will keep your cords from tangling.
Desk Drawer- To keep things minimal I chose to not have a big file cabinet, so I use this drawer to hold my essentials and it doubles as a place to hide my phone when I need less distraction while I work from home.
Desk Note pad- Keeping a desk note pad is a great way to jot down things as they pop up. A desk notepad can help you to keep track of important dates, details, phone numbers and more until you can transfer them to the appropriate space like your planner, phone contact list, or laptop.
Fidget Rings– another great way to channel excess energy and provide stimulation during tedious tasks is a fidget ring. Made with spinning components that you can play with when you need a little low key stimulation fidget rings can be a great way to activate the brain.
Having a fidget ring can help prevent you from getting up from your desk for a distraction when you work from hime.
Work from Home Tips for Women with ADHD
Working from home with ADHD does present some unusual challenges, however times, note taking, and special gadgets can be a big help. Beginning and ending each work day in an “official” capacity with your special new end of work day routine can help you to maintain a better work life balance and make the most of working from home.
These work from home tips for women with ADHD will help your focus and productivity.