My recent posts have focussed on ADHD “superpowers” and how they help me to be a better translator. In the next series of posts I want to discuss some of the strategies I use to make me healthier and more productive.
First some background. Why do we struggle? ADHD is a neurodevelopmental which affects our executive function, the brain’s operating system. In addition to the stereotypical symptoms commonly associated with the condition, we might struggle with working memory, managing time, sequencing and prioritising.
We tend to be creative, highly adaptable and excel in crisis situations. This is why so many people with ADHD thrive in the emergency services. I do some of my best work when I’m asked to deliver a last-minute job. But I struggle with the behind-the-scenes stuff: routine tasks, planning, business development and admin.
This doesn’t mean that your colleagues with ADHD will always be late and drop the ball. They probably have multiple strategies in place to make sure this doesn’t happen. For example, I hate being late and am always 20 minutes early for meetings. The only person whose time gets wasted is me!
But our efforts can take a toll on our well-being. Implementing simple, streamlined strategies that do not place excessive demand on our executive function is essential for a healthy work-life balance.
This means that the best tools are the ones that are fun and simple to use. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Indeed, just like most accommodations, these tools don’t just benefit the target demographic – they help everyone. A ramp may be fitted to facilitate access for wheel-chair users, but it has the added benefit of making a service accessible to parents with pushchairs and commuters with wheelie suitcases. In the same vein I hope my tips will help you whether you are neurodivergent or not.
When struggling with a poorly designed product I have often fantasised about being on an ADHD consumer panel. If you want a user-friendly solution to a problem just ask someone with ADHD.
Many of these tools and strategies are a response to my own unique challenges but many are inspired by some great women. Here are some of the resources I rely on the most:
❤ In her Youtube channel, How to ADHD, Jessica McCabe offers some great tips for thriving with ADHD.
❤Tracy Otuska’s podcast, ADHD for Smart Ass Women, Tracy Otsuka is a refreshingly positive exploration of our “strengths, symptoms and workarounds”.
❤ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life is written by an ADHD specialist and a professional organiser and offers original practical tips for organising your home, work and finances.
❤Corinne McKay is a translator and trainer. Her books and courses are not targeted at an ADHD audience but her simple, bite-sized approach to marketing suits my brain perfectly! If you need to market your business, but hate it, Corinne is for you. https://buff.ly/3rZAq2N