How to Achieve Success in the Workplace If You Have Attention Deficit Disorder

Symptoms associated with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) present special challenges to adults in a workplace. Currently, there is little evidence-based research that may help adults with ADD to cope and understand work issues. Most scientific-based studies have concentrated on finding coping mechanisms for children with ADD in school and at home. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that adults with ADD cannot achieve success at their workplace due to the underlying symptoms, such as poor communication, distractibility hyperactivity, impulsivity and poor time management skills among others. Below is a simple guideline that can help these individuals to excel.



One serious problem that prevents adults with ADD from excelling in their workplace is that they are easily distracted from their tasks, making them to fail to adhere to the stringent deadlines. To avoid this, you can request for a quiet office or cubicle where you can work without any interruptions. You can also opt to come to the office early before other people or work late when others are gone. If you are distracted by noise, use white noise earphones to drown out the office commotion. In addition, perform one task at a time till completion, instead of starting various chores and leaving them halfway done.


As an Adult with ADD, you may struggle to cope with impulsivity, as well as flaring tempers at your workplace. No doubt, this will affect your relationship and career progress. Some of the strategies that can help you cope with this challenge at workplace are learning to closely monitor your impulse actions and avoid falling into the trap. You should also use relaxation techniques, such as taking a deep breath or walk out of the room to avoid temper outbursts that may destroy your career. More so, you can also anticipate the challenges that trigger impulsive reactions regularly and come up with coping mechanisms to address these situations.


A majority of adults with ADD struggle with hyperactivity that prevents them from settling down and completing their tasks at work. No doubt, many of them succeed in careers that require spontaneity and allow for a great deal of movement, such as sales, journalism or music. However if you work in the office, you can minimize the boredom by taking intermittent breaks to do other chores, such as going to the mailroom or photocopying. During meetings, take notes to prevent restlessness and distraction. During lunch, spare a few minutes to take a quick walk out of the office to improve your concentration in the afternoon.


Adults with ADD have a strong urge for stimulation and most of them become bored in the workplace, especially when dealing with routine and detailed tasks. To prevent this, you can break up a long and complex task into short activities that are easier to chive. You should also set a stringent deadline for completing each chore. Also, you can get up and take breaks or walk around when you feel overwhelmed by duties in the office.


If you have ADD, you might find it difficult to manage time, which puts you at crossroads with your team and supervisor. You can improve your time management skills by rewarding yourself every time you complete a task on time, using reminders and planners to inform you about deadlines. You should also schedule manageable tasks throughout the day with clear timelines of completion.  


Image source: Outside Raleigh