ADHD at work
Have you ever heard the saying “Why delay for tomorrow what can be delayed for the day after tomorrow?”, despite that sentence being humoristic in nature, when such tendencies dictate daily conduct at work, a heavy price is paid for it. In our adult lives, we tend to spend the majority of our waking hours at work. While work environments tend to vary, their absolute majority requires us to be efficient, meet deadlines and provide tangible results. Apart from the professional aspect, we also ought to demonstrate good social and interpersonal skills, such as teamwork, patience, being open to criticism, etc. For adults with ADHD, that can be considered a particularly challenging environment, especially during periods of increased pressure, or to the contrary, when work becomes routinized and boring.
Attention Disorders at Work: Difficulties
In order to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves, such as finishing a project or carrying out assignments at work, we employ our executive functions. These functions have a considerate effect on different abilities, such as planning and organization, decision making, response delay and behavior control. Difficulties pertaining to these functions diminish the ability to persevere and persist, to maintain self-control and to generally face complex situations. Many adults who deal with attention-related difficulties at work, tend to describe their experience as having difficulties estimating and managing their time correctly, formulating a proper list of priorities, and persevering in carrying out monotonous tasks. For example: an employee that tends to arrive late to important meetings, forgets vital information, and even tends to not fulfill commitments towards colleagues. When trying to analyze what’s going on from an outside perspective, without a proper understanding of the disorder, that employee’s conduct may seem careless and unprofessional – such conduct may hurt interpersonal relations, promotion opportunities and the ability to last in a work environment. On a personal level, such functional difficulties may create a great deal of frustration stemming from the inability to succeed and to meet expectations, and harms self-esteem and one’s sense of being capable to perform.
Attention Disorders at Work: Strengths
Despite the hardships already mentioned, there are positive points of strength to be mentioned too. Many adults with attention-related disorders in fact do display impressive traits, such as curiosity, and demonstrate a passion for learning new things, as well as multi-dimensional forms of thinking and creativity. These are meaningful traits that lead to great achievements career-wise, and it is thus important not to give up on the potential that’s hidden inside every person who struggles with attention disorders. Development of awareness for the proper usage of one’s abilities, incorporation of a fitting treatment program for the creation of coping strategies, as well as improvement of attention functions, will together result in allowing one to have a positive experience of achievements and success at one’s work place and career.