Managing ADHD at work

Working in healthcare requires concentration, organisation and strong time-management skills. As someone with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that might sound impossible, but with the right support and techniques, we promise you it isn’t! Carry on reading for our top tips on how to organise your workload as someone with ADHD.

Shake up your environment 

Healthcare professionals with ADHD might find it hard to stay focused when remaining in the same environment for a prolonged amount of time. While there are limitations around this, there are a few ways in which you can shake things up to keep your brain focused during your shift. For example, try going for a walk on your break, or making a cup of tea when you have 5 minutes to spare. 

Try the pomodoro technique 

If you have ADHD you’re probably already familiar with this approach, but it’s a great one for those with short attention spans. The pomodoro technique works by setting a 25 minute time limit on the task at hand. When the timer goes off – regardless of whether the task is complete or not – you take a five minute break. Repeat this cycle until you finish. After the fourth break it is recommended that you extend the five minute break to around 15 minutes. Obviously, you can’t use this technique when working directly with a client, but it is a good approach for getting paperwork and general admin done. 

Break things down into manageable chunks

With inattentiveness being one of the main characteristics of ADHD, long tasks that require uninterrupted concentration can seem almost impossible for those with the condition. That’s why breaking your workload into smaller, more manageable tasks might be more productive and harness better results than trying to do it all at once. 

Before you get to work, also try writing down everything that needs doing that day, in order of priority. This way, you know what you need to focus your attention on and what can afford to wait if you have a bad concentration day. 

Use your ADHD to your advantage 

This will be a process of trial and error, but try completing more complex tasks when you know you’re going to be hyper-focused and save the rest for periods when you have a lower capacity for concentration. 

Consider medication 

Granted, there is a very long waiting list for those wanting an official ADHD diagnosis in the UK right now. However, it is definitely worth seeking treatment if your condition is starting to disrupt your ability to do your job. 

Ask for support

If there is anything you think would help make your job more manageable as someone with ADHD, then make sure to flag it up to senior management or your supervisor. At the very least, it is important your employer knows about your diagnosis so that they have a better understanding of the condition and where adjustments may need to be made. 

Need help looking for a role in healthcare? Amaré has a variety of open vacancies, including roles in occupational therapy and physio. 

Give our consultants a call on 0203 929 4017 to find out more.