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Working from home with ADHD – some guidance from an occupational therapist

A large part of the population has started to work and study from home. For you or your family member with ADHD this can be more challenging than others think. The challenges for people with ADHD differ between all individuals, though, we took this opportunity and asked our colleague Åsa Östlund if she had any general advice or recommendations to share on this topic. Åsa is a trained occupational therapist and has worked at Abilia for eleven years.

 

Calm environment

 

 "Create a calm and harmonious environment where you experience as little disturbance as possible. Maybe you need to place yourself with your back towards the room or your back towards a window to lose focus?" says Åsa. "You need to ask yourself what conditions you need to be able to work from home because it is very different for everyone: Some people perform at their very best when they listen to music, others want silence."

 

Avoid distractions

 

Working or studying from home equals digital work for most of us, and many of our digital tools are also used for other purposes: Social media, games and other apps will push notifications to grab our attention. "My recommendation is to turn off as many notifications as possible to avoid unnecessary distractions", says Åsa.

 

Planning

 

Most of us are using a calendar and if you are diagnosed with ADHD you might know the importance of having a structured day. "It could be of great value to specify what work should be done on what times during the day, using your calendar", says Åsa. "If you need inspiration or are curious about how we have built our HandiCalendar, it is possible to download our free demo version."

 

Activity

 

Schedule daily activity to get outside and get some light exercise. A short walk around the neighbourhood will most likely have significant positive effects on both body and mind. "Movement helps against restlessness and exercise is always positive," says Åsa.

 

Reconciliation meetings

 

Schedule digital reconciliation meetings on a regular basis during the school or workday with the one who distributes your work. It is a way to create a routine even though everyday life looks very different than usual. "Use the sessions to ask for help with starting or finishing work," says Åsa. "My view of these meetings is to get that extra boost for your motivation.”