ADHD At Work: Strategies For Staying Motivated and Engaged

In today’s fast-paced world, managing ADHD and being productive in your work and business depend heavily on motivation and engagement. In this article, I share three important strategies to help you empower your workday.

1.  Prioritize your self-care: One of the most important things you can do to bring your best to the workday is to prioritize your self-care. This means sleeping well, because when you don’t, you are certain to wake with low energy, difficulty focusing, and less motivation.

Eating well counts, too. Loading up on processed and simple carbs, even excessive caffeine, may give you that immediate fix but then take you into a tailspin of blah. Instead integrate proteins, complex carbs, and healthy vitamins and minerals known to give your brain a boost.

Integrating exercise or movement into your day is another one. Dr. Ratey, in his book Spark, has demonstrated the benefits of brief aerobic exercise to boost the neurotransmitters and endorphins that keep you going strong. Many of my clients have learned how to use this strategy when they feel the drain to reboot their day and get more done. At the least, pausing to take 5-minute “brain breaks” several times a day is a great start.

ADHD At Work: Strategies For Staying Motivated and Engaged

2. Keep your work and workspace organized: Organization is more than just our space and the stuff in it. Organization involves organizing our time, workspace, our resources and projects, to-do lists, electronic information, communications, creative ideas, and so on.

Organization is considered an executive function skill that calls on many other executive function skills such as time management, working memory, task initiation, goal-directed persistence, sustained attention, and so on. Knowing which executive function skills are your strengths and which contribute to missteps and chaos in your work and workspace is essential. Then plan to bridge the gap to create more opportunities for success and more pleasant experiences in your workday. Building on successes and minimizing setbacks leads to more motivation and engagement. If you are looking to boost skills in these areas for work, consider a program like Productive Days.

3. Integrate more of what makes you tick:  There are ideas to embrace here. First, come at what you do in a way that works for your unique brain wiring. There is a saying out there, and I am not sure where it came from, but it speaks a lot of truth: “If you know a person with ADHD, you know one person with ADHD.” Having the opportunity to leverage your unique brain wiring and strengths in your approach to work is vital when it comes to feeling engaged and motivated. In contrast, judging your abilities and approaches to your neurotypical peers and colleagues may trigger the emotions and negative thoughts that shut you down.

Second, make a connection to a compelling enough why. Why is this work important to you? What about it fits with what matters to you, your interests and passions? Or how does it serve you and those you care about? Keeping this connection in the forefront can also spur engagement and motivation.

Remember that motivation and engagement are key to your happiness and productivity at work and in your life. When you leverage motivation and engagement in your job, you will likely get more done in the day so you have more time for the rest of your life. As you prioritize self-care, strategies to boost organization and executive function and find those meaningful connections, you are setting the stage for more productivity and satisfaction.

Robin Nordmeyer, PCAC CLC

Robin Nordmeyer, PCAC, CLC

ADHD Coach and Life Coach, Executive Skills Coach, Owner/Founder

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