Do you feel like you’re doing so much and yet getting nothing done? You may or may not have a formal diagnosis of ADHD, but struggling with excessive energy at work can be a real problem. We’ll explore how you can harness your hyperactivity to be your most productive self.
Hyperactivity and hyperfocus
Hyperactivity is one of the main symptoms of ADHD, typically presenting during childhood and commonly continuing into adulthood. Brain scans have indicated that areas of the brain may be different in those who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Those with ADHD might find it hard to concentrate on certain tasks, display impulsive behaviour or constantly fidget.
One study focusing on the positive attributes of ADHD gives an insight into ways you might be able to harness your hyperactivity to be more productive. It explored how participants used or regulated their energy to be productive, such as ‘cognitive dynamism’ and being able to hyper-focus on interesting tasks.
Harnessing your hyperactivity
So, what practical things can you do to be more productive in your workday by utilising your hyperactivity?
Plan your day
Learn when you work best and play to your strengths, not against them. Are you an early bird, or do you work best in the evening? Whatever routine suits you best, managing your workday in this way can help you to channel your energy during your most productive hours, rather than fighting against yourself. Ask your employer about the possibility of a flexible working schedule to help you to focus your attention when you work best.
But what if something crops up in the middle of your working time, like an unexpected email asking you for a favour? Make sure you have the time first before you say yes, that way you don’t stretch yourself too thinly or work into your ‘unproductive’ time. After all, rest is just as important as work! Keeping track of all your appointments, deadlines, meetings and other time-sensitive tasks can help you to structure your routine effectively.
Effectively managing your time
Time blocking goes hand in hand with planning your day and the Pomodoro technique. Many people find it helpful to section their day into blocks, where they will work on a set task or topic. For example, from 1pm – 3pm, you might work on writing a report, because the deadline is approaching. Minimise distractions during this time and only focus on the task at hand. Then, from 3pm – 4pm, you might focus on another task.
However, if you often get lost in a task, known as ‘intense concentration’ or ‘hyper-focus’, then setting alarms or reminders can keep you on track and prompt you when it’s time to move onto the next job on your to-do list.
The secret to prioritisation
What do you do when everything feels equally important? It can be challenging to get things done when it all feels like a priority, but working across multiple things at once won’t get them done any faster, and often just gives the illusion of being ‘busy’, rather than productive.
Think about what is urgent, non-urgent, important and unimportant. This can help you to focus your time on the tasks that are moving you closer to your goals in the long-term, even if they’re not the most interesting ones. It’s easy to get lost in planning and preparing, but unless there’s visible progress, it might not be as productive as you think. Of course, planning is important, but that can leave you feeling exhausted at the end of the day and unaccomplished because nothing high up on your to-do list was ticked off.
If you’re avoiding a job because you don’t want to do it, what could you do to make it more interesting? Giving yourself small rewards or turning things into a game can help you to get past those mundane yet essential tasks.
Blocking out distractions
Finally, dealing with interruptions is part and parcel of working in a team environment, whether it’s water-cooler chats or a colleague asking for a favour, but learning how to block out distractions when you need to focus will give you the best chance of success.
- Keep a notepad or post-it note to write down fleeting ideas or thoughts to action later.
- Schedule your breaks so others know when you’re not working and can chat.
- Turn on ‘do not disturb’ so you don’t get pulled away from your task and engrossed in something else.
We have easy-to-implement solutions to help you be more productive and reach your ultimate potential in your career. In this course, you will be let into the secret of how to reduce distractions and prioritise your day to maximise your work performance.
You will learn how to become an expert in time management and organisation. Easy-to-follow guides will help you release your unspent energy, and bring your laser-sharp focus into play.