If you have ADHD, you probably know that multi-tasking comes pretty easily for you. You have an abundance of energy sometimes, can work on a variety of objectives at once.
The endless sea of tasks can be fun to mentally tinker with, but can also become overwhelming. The faster we learn something, the faster it is for us to execute seamlessly. For the curious ADHD mind, this can inspire taking on bigger workloads that ultimately lead to burnout. This type of self-inflicted stress is something many people are not aware about.
Maintaining Mental Health
Mental health is on the forefront of every employee and employer’s mind, especially in our post-COVID culture. At Frasca Digital, this article hits home since I have personally struggled with overcoming ADHD and bipolar disorder for my entire career and personal life. There is a tremendous amount to learn and overcome, but there is hope.
Being afflicted with a mental disorder can be a struggle for anyone. But there are some quick tips that we’ve developed based on our experiences and learnings over the years. These tips also come from the expert DBT Team at Gladstone Psychiatry, so rest assured that these tips can come in handy.
Here’s our short list of takeaways to help those in marketing agencies or in-house departments to cope with ADHD:
- Make lists; use a project management tool like Trello. When you are handed a project or task, put it in your “to do” board IMMEDIATELY. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re trying to remember all the tasks you have to do. Getting them out of your head and onto a to do list helps tremendously.
- Only “touch” emails once. Meaning, when you see them, answer them. It’s easy to overwhelm yourself with unanswered emails piling up. Further more, don’t leave email open while working on a task. It can be the most distracting thing in your workday. Check your email in-between tasks and try not to let them break your focus.
- Have time for deep work every day. When you have a block of time outside of meetings, turn on social media blockers, a timer set for the duration you want to work, turn your phone off, and focus on nothing but the task at hand. This is, of course, difficult for the ADHD brain, but like a muscle, with exercise this ability gets stronger every time you do it.
- Not sure if this is an ADHD thing specifically, but working with headphones in helps me. I listen to either white noise or a classical music playlist. Avoid music with lyrics, as it tends to distract.
- Remember to take breaks and walks. Whenever the ADHD brain takes over and focusing seems impossible, take a stroll, even if just around your building. This always helps me work off some of that energy.
- Slow down. When racing thoughts come in, take time to slow down and practice paced breathing. This can truly help reduce anxiety, and inspire focus.
- Practice mindfulness and try a guide meditation.
There are many industries where individuals work under extremely challenging conditions. Individuals in the retail, healthcare and hospitality industries immediately come to mind when we think of harsh working environments. This is not, however, to discount how mental illnesses can be a daily struggle to over come.
Looking for guidance? Seek professional help.
We don’t claim to be a healthcare professional on this topic – I speak only from my personal experience and the tips that have helped me over the years to cope with ADHD in a marketing department of endless distractions.
What I do know is it sucks to battle with matters and illnesses associated with mental health. Today’s modern in-house marketing departments and agencies promote a “work hard play hard” mentality that can do more harm than good to those with mental illnesses.
What’s more, many of these work cultures stigmatize and discriminate against those struggling mental health issues, leaving them feeling ostracized from those who are… “normal”.
For those on the receiving end of this unfairness, it can sometimes feel embarrassing, shameful, and even lonely. This can lead to isolating behavior and even depression over time.
Our advice to those who truly suffer with ADHD?
Don’t just talk or joke about it – seek help and treatment.
If you have ADHD, consider some of these tips above to cope ahead for the work day. Continue to consult with medical professionals and gain insight specifically around your diagnosis so you can get back to focusing on marketing and generating results!