[Editor's note: ADD/ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by difficulty sustaining attention, lack of self-control, and impaired working memory. Nearly 8 million adults in the U.S. suffer from ADHD, and it's estimated that less than 20% are diagnosed and treated. The non-medical treatment options vary and although the items on this list might not work for everyone, we hope they can get you started.]
Managing ADHD symptoms at work can be incredibly difficult.
We spoke to Dr. David Goodman, Assistant Professor at John Hopkins and director of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Center of Maryland, Russell Barkley, Ph.D., ADHD expert and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Medical University of South Carolina, and J. Russ Ramsay, Ph.D, Co-Director of the Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
1. Keep a sand timer in your room if you're constantly running late because you lose track of time.
2. Sort your email inbox so it prioritizes important unread emails at the top, and includes everything else below.
3. Use an old-school cooking timer instead of your phone, which is full of distractions.
4. Keep a new to-do list on your desk every day.
5. Use sensory cues to remind you to focus if you tend to ~space out~.
Recognize your degree of distractibility, Goodman says — whether it's every 10, 15, 30 minutes you tend to zone out. Make sure you have a cue, such as a vibration on your phone or watch, or a pop-up on the computer that can re-orient you and remind you to focus.
6. If you work in an office, try to make sure your desk isn't in a high-traffic area.
7. Unload all your distracting thoughts, ideas, or questions onto paper.
8. And keep it all in the same notebook.
9. Prioritize your tasks according to importance and urgency.
10. If you're avoiding a task, find out how you can make the first step as easy as possible, then do it.
11. Make yourself mini-deadlines for a project that isn't due for a long time.
12. Maybe even create arbitrary deadlines, like finishing one task by the end of a playlist or album.
13. Set a timer for when you need to finish a task and move on.
14. Set calendar alerts for EVERYTHING. Make them aggressive if necessary.
15. Use a stress ball or grip-strengthener when you feel fidgety.
"People often have trouble sitting still during long meetings and become so fidgety, it distracts other people," says Ramsay. Try something like this so you can move around without disrupting the meeting.
16. And if you sit at a desk all day, get a chair that allows you to move around.
17. Block any non-work related websites.
18. Take frequent stretch breaks or light exercise breaks.
19. Keep something to chew on.
20. If you can, turn your phone on silent and keep it out of sight from your workspace.
21. Get some noise canceling headphones
22. And play music that drowns out sound but doesn't have distracting lyrics you can sing along to.
23. Keep your workspace as organized as possible.
24. ...Or keep absolutely nothing on your desk but the work you need to do.
25. Take a break to color an adult coloring book, so you keep busy but your mind can wander.
26. Reward yourself when you stay on track or reach your desired goal.
27. If you're comfortable doing so, communicate your needs to coworkers so you can be your most productive.
28. When you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, take a moment to pause and reset your mind.
29. Don't fight your natural process too hard — instead, learn how to improve it so you're most productive and happy.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor about your personal health and wellness. BuzzFeed posts are for informational purposes only and are no substitute for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.