I’m a Writer With ADHD. Here Are 11 Things I Can’t WFH Without.
I’m a writer who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, better known as ADHD. It’s a neurological difference characterized by difficulty paying attention, trouble completing tasks, fidgeting, and trouble with punctuality. (Among other symptoms.) For me, ADHD is just the water I’m swimming in, and I’ve found tools to help keep me afloat in my work life and home life. Some are simple, $20 additions to my home office; others are a longer-term investment that pays off. The following products are items that I use to stay focused and perform my best at work.
Designed by a diagnosed ADHD brain and mother of two, this ADHD planner for adults keeps your to-do list and bigger picture goals in the same place. Early on in my role, my brilliant editor (hi!) recommended I have a dual planner strategy with my schedule and tasks in separate lists, but in the same place. I haven’t looked back since.
Fidget toys sometimes explode in popularity, whether it be the fidget spinners or Pop-Its, but I prefer more complex toys that offer additional texture and movement options. This Mindvocates pen provides nearly endless ways to bend, spin, twist, twirl, click, roll, rub, and pull. The ability to have something to move around in my hands while on a Zoom call helps me pay attention all the more. And since this fidget toy doubles as a pen, I’m less likely to lose it.
This is a great example of a sensory toy that has a lot of freedom of movement and satisfying texture. This is something I can mess with while listening to a long presentation or attending an informative panel.
Perfect for stress relief, these magnetic balls fit in the palm of your hand. They’re useful and fun; you can use them as decoration, organization, or for fidgeting. Personally, I like the way they look sitting on my desk. Fidget toys with dual uses are always a win in my book.
One thing that stops me in my tracks is a messy desk. I can’t stand being surrounded by bits and bobs of unrelated items and things that need to be sorted or put away. Most of us these days have desks that are just tables without drawers, and an organizer really helps to cut down on clutter. This modern organizer stores a smartphone, stores pens, scissors, hand cream, and other small items. Spend less time looking for where your office workspace accessories are and more time focusing on day-to-day tasks.
I truly do not know where I would be without noise-cancelling headphones. It’s the way that I signal to myself that it’s crunch time, avoid stressful outside sounds, or manage to work in a busy cafe.
One thing I realized is that if something makes my life easier, I’m going to do it. This pack of phone chargers hasn’t let me down yet. I actually ask for a pack every Christmas and it typically lasts me all year. Yes, I know that cords should last longer than that, but I like being able to grab one from a drawer when I need it—instead of buying a single $20 cord when one inevitably breaks.
Is your phone your greatest distraction during your working day? With the timed phone lock container, you can limit screen distractions to improve productivity. This is also a brilliant tool whenever I want to reward myself. I’ll set a “prize” in the lock box and work to accomplish something before the timer goes off.
I always like to tidy my workspace, and this timer helps me do just that. There’s something about this specific red and black timer that is the bread and butter of my morning and Sunday pick-up sessions. The physical action of setting the timer and hearing it clicking helps me get into the mindset that it’s time to work.
When you’re working from home, there are always chores to be done. Dishes are unavoidable, but I haven’t vacuumed in months, thanks to my trusty Roomba. It may seem unrelated, but having clean floors without having to do any of the legwork is great for my sense of calm and focus. Plus, it lets me devote more time to other things I care about.
This might the most important device in my WFH life. Spotty WiFi is terrible for concentration and focus, especially when you’re already working hard to pay attention. This device is not only a WiFi extender that guarantees a quality signal, it also offers Google assistant functionality. This means that I can set my alarms, add events to my Google Calendar, add items to shopping lists, play music, and even tell it to remind me of any random thing that I might forget.