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Things you can do if you're not ready to ask for ADHD accommodations at work

Yesterday, we talked about how to ask for ADHD accommodations at work.

But if you’re not ready to disclose your ADHD to your employer (or don’t ever want to—there are many good reasons to not), there are still some things you can do to accommodate your own ADHD…

  • Block time out of your calendar so people can’t book midday meetings and disrupt your time.
  • Bring fidget tools with you.
  • Work from home. If your company has a general policy for that, use it. If not and you’re feeling bold, you could also just start doing it.
  • Work irregular hours. If you already work remotely and have team members across time zones, you can often time shift your schedule to what works best for you without even telling anyone.
  • Look into getting ADHD medication, drink coffee or tea (caffeine can help), exercise in the morning, or spend some time outdoors.
  • Commander an empty meeting room as your private office.
  • Use a shared space like the cafeteria as your workspace. A busy communal space is often less disruptive than an open office, since no one talks to you directly and the din of the room becomes background noise.
  • Turn off all non-essential notifications. Close your email and Slack/Discord apps. Disable push notifications. Set a reminder to check them a few times a day.
  • Get a smart watch. This is the single biggest tool I have for not missing meetings!
  • Use an app like Toggl (it’s free!) for tracking hours. Set it to nag you if you forget to start or stop a timer.
  • Stop doing non-essential tasks so you can focus on your best work. Often times, busy work is just that, and no one actually cares or notices if you don’t do it.

How far you go in just doing what you want to do your best work will really depend on how strict your company is, how secure you feel in your role, and how comfortable you are with risk.

I’ve worked at places that really wanted tight control over where, when, and how employees did there work. Candidly, those were not a great fit for me.

I’ve also worked at places that didn’t really care as long as you got your work done. There, I was able to just accommodate my ADHD myself without even needing to ask anyone.