How to Manage ADHD in the Workplace

women adhd workplaceIt sometimes feels like half of the people I know have a diagnosis of ADHD, and I think managing ADHD in the workplace can take some finesse — so I asked my friend A to write a guest post for us. Thank you and welcome, A! – Kat

Managing ADHD in the workplace (which encompasses ADD, an older term) can be very difficult, but what makes things even worse for women (and girls) is that they are underdiagnosed. Misdiagnosing women is common, too — for example, they’re often told that their problems are caused by anxiety or depression.

I was diagnosed with ADHD in early 2016, not long after my son’s diagnosis. I had done well in school, but academic success doesn’t necessarily mean that a girl doesn’t have ADHD. If a woman with ADHD manages to graduate from college without finding out she has the condition, getting a promotion at work can be the trigger for an eventual diagnosis, as can becoming a mom. The new pressures and responsibilities that come with these situations may be beyond what her previously-successful coping skills can handle, and she may feel that she has to seek help. A change like this can bring her from barely keeping her head above water to feeling like she’s drowning. When a child receives a diagnosis of ADHD (which frequently runs in families), it also can lead to a mom with undiagnosed ADHD to wonder if she has it too.

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Five Ways to Improve Your Focus

improve-focus2016 Update: We still stand by the links and advice below, but you can also check out our most recent discussion on how to focus on work (when your thoughts are elsewhere).

Do you struggle with focus at work (or, hey, at home)? What tips and tricks have you found to improve your focus?  I am always looking for the best ways to improve my focus, but keep coming back to a few ideas…

  1. Eat that frog. I have yet to read the book of the same name by Brian Tracy, but I really like the idea: whatever you’re procrastinating on most — your “frog” — get it done first thing in the morning.  As in: eat the frog. (Half of the trick here is knowing what your frog is!)  Once the frog is out of the way, I find that my mental focus is a lot better — or, at least, I’m free to procrastinate on other things. [Read more…]

Dealing with Anxiety (Post-Interview Or Otherwise)

dealing-with-post-interview-anxiety2016 Update: We still stand by the advice below on dealing with post-interview anxiety — but you may also want to check out our latest discussion on how to focus on work (when your thoughts are elsewhere). 

Reader M had a question about post-interview anxiety, something I notice coming up in the comment threads a lot…

I had a second round interview this week, and I’m waiting to hear back. The job is working in-house for a big company. Their legal team is spread throughout their offices, so my first interview was with HR, then my second interview was with their VP Legal Counsel and another Senior Counsel attorney. I think it went well, but I’m so anxious. My first question is what to do with anxiety while waiting to hear back about a job? My second question is if anyone has stories from successful interviews that might shed light on whether or not it went well.

The wonderful thing about interviewing for jobs outside your own company is that they have no idea what a stressball you may be after the interview. (Of course, for jobs inside the company you have to keep your cool, which is even tougher — but hopefully less stress-inducing given that you can “read” the personalities better and they know you better.) There are two interesting questions here: what to do to ease anxiety, and how to know if an interview went well.  I’ll take the second one first.

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Tool of the Trade: LeechBlock

2015 Update: If you’re looking for a similar way to help with focus on Chrome, you may also want to check out Morphine

In this feature, we’ll explore one tool that makes the busy woman’s life easier in some small way.

blocked

The thing we keep hearing from our lawyer friends is that the pay is great, but the job is unbelievably boring about 75% of the time. And almost everyone we know has a problem with distraction — you’re at the office for long stretches doing boring things like reading transcripts (it’s hard to think of something we hate more) and then Perez Hilton starts to call, or the new sale at Net-A-Porter… trust us, we HEAR you, sista. So you spend “working hours” avoiding work by playing on the Internet, and then you have to stay late to actually, you know, do the work. And by staying late, you further blur the line between work and your personal life. It’s a bad, bad thing.

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