Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – How to Stay Focused at Work

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder- ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects your attention span, behavior, mood, impulsiveness, and activity. Also, it is chronic as it can last for years or lifelong and cannot be cured completely but treatment and medications can help you a lot along with medications, you have to learn ways to cope with it and change your lifestyle for better results. It is first diagnosed in childhood and teens and can continue in adulthood.

It is a developmental disorder so it cannot develop in adulthood without first developing in childhood but the level of ADHD can increase or decrease as the child grows. If the diagnosis is made in the early stage of childhood then levels of ADHD can decrease and if left untreated it can increase leading to several other mental health problems. As per the research, it is found that ADHD is more common in males than females, almost twice that of females. The worldwide prevalence of adult ADHD is estimated at 2.5%.

ADHD can be caused by several factors such as brain injury, premature delivery, substance abuse by the mother during pregnancy, low birth weight, improper nutrition, and environmental risks.

Symptoms of ADHD in Adults

  • Carelessness and lack of attention
  • Starting new tasks before finishing the old ones
  • Often forgetting things
  • Mood swings and inability to cope with stress
  • Misplacing or losing things quite often.
  • Speaking out of turn
  • Inability to focus and poor organizational skills
  • Taking risks for the personal safety or safety of others.
  • ADHD, when lasting for long can, leads to stress, poor relationships, and low self-esteem.

ADHD Brain

ADHD brains are different from the normal brain in mainly three aspects namely brain structure, brain development, and brain functioning.

ADHD brains have low levels of neurotransmitters (neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers related to different functions in the brain) – dopamine and nor-epinephrine. An ADHD brain has higher concentrations of dopamine transporters and this higher concentration results in a lowering of dopamine levels in the brain which affects movement, memory, reward system, and motivation of the human body.

Also as per research, it is found that people with ADHD have a smaller brain as their brain volume in five sub-cortical areas is somewhat smaller than normal brains. These differences in brain volume are found to be larger in children than in adults. Also, the ADHD brain may have some areas which mature slowly as compared to the normal brain and can never reach the maturity of a normal brain.

ADHD persons are highly impulsive and have difficulty in processing emotions this is because ADHD brains have smaller areas for the amygdala and hippocampus responsible for controlling impulsivity and emotion.

As per the various brain imaging techniques studied by various researchers, it is found that an ADHD brain has interrupted blood flow in certain parts of the brain like the prefrontal part which indicates decreased brain functioning of that part. The prefrontal part is responsible for tasks like organizing, planning, attention, and remembering.

How to Deal With ADHD at Work

Every company needs organized, focused, and attentive employees to work for them and in this era of tough competition it is already hard to get a good job and things get more difficult when you are an ADHD person, as ADHD can affect your work in several ways. When you are not able to focus, sit still, and have poor organizational skills then meeting deadlines, attending meetings, and discussing projects with co-workers can be a challenging task for you at workplace. So here are some of the tips that can help you to stay focused at work.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Adhd) - How To Stay Focused At Work

Exercise Regularly

ADHD leads to hyperactivity and impulsiveness, so making exercise a regular habit can help you deal with this hyperactivity. When we exercise, our body releases neurotransmitters called dopamine which help in boosting our attention and focus. Also, a good amount of oxygen reaches our brain when we exercise, which helps in strengthening the functioning of the brain.

You may have difficulty staying motivated daily so keep a workout friend. Working out with a friend helps you to be regular so you cannot miss your daily dose of dopamine. Dopamine is the stimulant drug used to treat ADHD and exercising daily can treat your ADHD naturally.

Relaxation techniques and meditation can also help in dealing with ADHD. Try taking deep breaths while closing your eyes for at least 2-3 minutes when you feel you are about to have a breakdown. Also stretching your tensed muscles for a while can help you deal with ADHD.

Plan Your Day

ADHD makes things difficult to organize, so planning your upcoming day helps you with a lot of things like what tasks to be done first and how much time should be given to each task so that unnecessary tasks can be avoided and your efficiency at work can improve. Also when you plan your day, you can keep a buffer for every task so that your impulsiveness could not hinder your productivity.

Keep Your Desk or Workspace Confined

Your workspace or desk should not have too many objects, files, and papers because that could lead to distraction. Keeping your space confined and narrow line of sight will help you to focus better and to complete your work on time with better efficiency, also ask for a quiet space to work to avoid unnecessary hustle and distractions.

Make Notes

While you are attending a meeting, call or having some important conversation, make notes in pointer form or write keywords of the same. Making such notes will help you in dealing with forgetfulness and also writing helps you stay in the conversation which eventually improves your productivity.

Take a Short Break

After completion of every task, make sure you take a few minutes breaks. You can talk to a co-worker, go for a walk, have me-time, or read a good article. This will help in relaxing and calming the brain.

Set Reminders

Set reminders on your smartphone, watches, or laptops for important meetings, workshops, and conferences so that you are well prepared and can avoid last minute rush.

Know Yourself

Trying to say NO to the unwanted workload and pressure. Know your limits and work accordingly. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses to improve productivity. Never compare your efficiency and pace of work with others. Never push yourself for the work you are not passionate about because it will be more problematic, choose your career wisely and invest yourself to excel in the same.

Everyone is different yet beautiful in their way to be the best version of yourself and seek the support you want and be the support you can for others as well.

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