Work and Life Balance with Adult ADHD

June 15, 2012 Andrew Foell, MA Ed.

Last month I wrote a post about finding the right work to fit with ADHD symptoms. One reader, Jeff, wrote in to state that he found journalism to be a fantastic career for him because there is "lots of variety [and journalism] allows for spontaneous changes in direction throughout the day."

I like Jeff's thinking on this issue because as the DSM IV states, I "often [have] trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities." So, like Jeff, I prefer a lot of variety in my day as well as some spontaneity.

Work and Life Balance with Adult ADHD

The challenge for me has been finding that balance between variety and spontaneity and the push to get things done that comes as a result of working for someone else. You see, at the end of the day, Jeff is still accountable to his employer. Currently, I am working several remote-hire positions with no direct or immediate supervision, and that is providing a challenge for me, especially at home. Yes, I have specific duties, and yes, I am responsible to my employers--I have several--but it is easy to become distracted, especially during this transitional time for me as I move from working in one position to working multiple positions in different fields and with different requirements. What I am finding most difficult presently is organizing my time and my day in such a way that I can be productive both at home and on the job.

Strong communication on the home front is going to be a critical factor in my success. Even though I am employed by or contracting with several employers that require me to do work outside my home, much of my work involves doing tasks remotely via Internet. Another factor critical to my success is going to be devising a routine schedule and then communicating that schedule to my wife and children. This will help to alleviate my own stress and feeling of overwhelm, and it will also help to ease my wife's frustration regarding whether I am working or playing.

Balance Between Work and Life When Work is at Home

Because much of my work is done from home, it is my responsibility to ensure that I meet my objectives, and if I don't meet those objectives, I have only myself to blame. Another reader, Nick, took me to task following my post on "ADHD and the Inability to Gauge Time." Nick wrote, "You want to blame all of your failures on your disease? Like a child that says ‘I can’t help it’. Time to grow up and be an adult I think."

Fair enough, Nick. That is precisely what I am trying to do here. I am recognizing my weaknesses and trying to compensate for them. I am also recognizing my strengths and the things I enjoy doing, and I am trying to do work that I feel good about while meeting my needs for variety, spontaneity, and independence. I am also being vulnerable and sharing my journey on what I hope will be my path to success with readers. I don't have it all together yet. I have not yet arrived, but I am doing my best to learn from past mistakes and pick up the pieces as I continue my journey to living life well with ADHD. I would love to hear "success stories" from other readers like Jeff who have found meaningful careers that complement their ADHD.

APA Reference
Foell, A. (2012, June 15). Work and Life Balance with Adult ADHD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Andrew Foell, MA Ed.

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