This piece was originally published in Hillgrove Magazine.
What do you say you make yourself a hot tea or coffee and get cozy with me?
We recently launched our “Ask The Sister Project” series and I am so excited to answer my first question!
This one came from Kristen all the way from Portland, Oregon.
She asks, “What natural suggestions do you have for adults managing ADHD during the workday?”
Oh, let me count the ways, Kristen!
Adult ADHD and how to manage it is one of my favorite subjects. I was diagnosed at 40 and have been educating myself on the subject and implementing tools to improve efficiency and productivity on the job ever since.
The hyperactivity component of ADHD is often misunderstood, especially in adult women.
It feels like there are too many tabs open in our brains and our brains are lacking the ability to focus on one tab at a time.
Our beautiful ADHD brains thrive on structure, deadlines, and brain breaks, and, as many of us with ADHD know, executive function is not a strength that comes naturally.
Rather, it is a skill that must be honed.
These are my tips and tools to help maintain clarity and a sense of calm throughout the workday. Without them, I am left feeling scattered and walking in circles.
The Focus Keeper timer is my go-to app which uses the Pomodoro timer method. There are four long segments of work time with a small break in between each, and then a longer break after the four sessions are completed. I save all my texts, calls, and mindless scrolling for break time.
This is such an effective tool whether you have ADHD or not.
Lauren and I like to practice what we call “Mom Hygge” during those long breaks. It’s a good way to ensure some much-deserved downtime during busy workdays.
Mom hygge is little sips or bursts of momentary joy that offer you feelings of warm and cozy contentment.
The work-life balance struggle is real which is why mom hygge is so effective. It might be five minutes and look like a cup of tea and a few pages of your favorite book or magazine or a little walk around the block with Rover. The point is, short breaks are better than none, and your overactive, slightly impulsive brain will thank you later.
Another way to stay on track is to take advantage of the focus options your phone provides. The DND (Do Not Disturb) option allows you to double down on your work without any interruptions. Interruptions almost always guarantee errors. All you need to do is swipe down and choose your purpose for focus.
Full disclosure: this tool annoys family and friends because they feel like they are being ignored when the phone goes right to voicemail. Guess what? They are! The most important thing to remember is that a solid foundation for a productive workday, whether you have ADHD or not, is to start with the basics which are good sleep, mindfulness, and daily physical activity.
For more on the importance of sleep and the benefits of good sleep hygiene, check out our recent podcast episode: 218 | Sleep Health and Hygiene with Sleep Specialist, Kelly Murray.
Cozy Conversations can be streamed on Apple and Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Do you have a question you would like to Ask The Sister Project?
Email us at [email protected] and ask us anything about relationships, entrepreneurship, the cozy life, or whatever burning question you might have.