You know what you need to do, but your brain keeps drifting off. What can you do to retain focus and get through the day’s tasks? The key is working with your ADHD brain. Not against it..

#1 Keep all electronic devices – OOS (out of site) and OOM (out of mind). If possible, put them in storage spot (cabinet, drawer or locker), when doing important tasks. This is an absolute must! You can’t force focus, but you can create an environment to help your focus flourish.

#2Work with your body’s Natural Energy Cycles. If you are an early bird, do not expect to be at maximum focus and performance on a complicated project at 8:00 P.M. in the evening. Find you’re most productive time of the day and do your tasks then.

#3 The, ‘But wait a minute rule.’ When you feel your attention and focus fading, give yourself a 60 second break. Drink some water, quick breath of sunlight and fresh air. Stretching exercises, or a quick look out the widow can really help re-focus. But, don’t step away for too long, else you might not get back on task. Limit your break to 60 seconds by using your phone timer.

#4 Do something that is both interesting and challenging to you. This may sound awkward, but if you really enjoy something, plus it’s challenging, you will probably stay fairly focused. When something does hold your interest, you’ll be highly motivated to pursue it. ‘Trouble paying attention’ can also be thought of as ‘flexible thinking,’ which is in no way a bad thing.

#5 Reach out for help. When you hit a snag and you find your mind wondering, reach out for some help. This will help keep you focused on the task at hand. If you find yourself daydreaming, call a friend for ten minutes. A little break and some encouragement from a trusted friend, can help your brain not to dismiss the task, but give you extra focus and determination to finish it.


You have reached a plateau in your professional life. Work is not as enjoyable as it has been the last couple of years. Maybe your new supervisor has come in ruling with an iron hand, and morale in the department has slipped to the lowest in the five years you have been there.

You want a new job. So, let’s take a look at a slow, deliberate and methodical way to cover all of the bases in the employment change process. One that should minimize the ADD “impulsivity monster,” and help you make a very informed, clear and solid career change decision. (This decision process will proceed in a direction from small and subtle to large and drastic, depending on the driving force behind the perceived need for an employment change).

Option #1 Consider a transfer within the organization.  If there are multiple location options to work at, and the ‘alignment’ with the newly supervisor is not as congruent as you would like it to be, a lateral move to another location within your current organization, is all that may be necessary.

Option# 2 – Consider the same position but within a different organization. Take a ‘big picture’ look at the new opportunity from the viewpoint of ADHD friendliness, administrative beliefs, policies, procedures, use of technology, employee turnover, and physical layout of assigned area. Plus look at their autonomy, noise level of work environment, repetitiveness of work and  teamwork. Be as diligent as possible in reviewing these factors. Salary and benefits should be the last items you evaluate.

Option # 3 – Different Job in the same field.  If you have reached the end of the line in the operations part of a job, maybe a consider a total job change. Training or a marketing position may be worth considering.

Option # 4 – Further enhance your career by enhancing your skill set and taking extra classes or a certification program. One word of caution – Perform a cost benefit analysis before you commit.  With the rising cost of all of the various education programs, you don’t want to set yourself up for a big debt. Ask yourself, will the educational program increase salary sufficiently to pay for the cost of the educational in an acceptable period of time?

Option # 5 – Look at an ‘Advanced degree’ in your current area. Again, pay close attention to salary increase in comparison to paying for the advanced degree. Also, consider the possible strain on family life will be short term while the degree is being pursued.

Option # 6 – Complete Career Change. Once again, evaluating educational requirements, time to acquire new skill set. Plus, will an initial pay cut be necessary? And, consider if a complete career change will put any strain on your family life.

The “neuro—normal” person (not affected by ADHD) usually stays at a job for four to six years. However, the employee challenged by ADHD, is typically out looking for new employment opportunities every eighteen to twenty-four months.

This could be because of yet another poor performance at work, or the impulsivity and novelty seeking characteristics of the ADHD brain. This has a major emotional toll on the employee, and their family each and every time an employment change is made. So, before you go out and buy a new set of interviewing clothes, start talking to recruiters, and updating your resume, lets put on the “ADHD Brakes” and  take a very close look to see if modifications to your current employment can be made, so your ADHD strengths can be utilized better, and “ a win-win” situation will result for you and your employer.

If your current employer sees an improvement in your workplace performance, they will much more likely to give you a positive recommendation when you are ready for a job change in the long -term future. So, start by conducting an evaluation of your current job using two sets of factors – External and Internal.

External employment factors are related to work environment itself. The physical layout of your surroundings, modifying your job duties, changes in the way you are supervised or mentored, working with a different team in the department, and changing your assigned shift.

Possible External factors that could be changed include:

  • Training to utilize modern technology (computers, e-mails, texts, electronic calendars, beepers, cell phone alarms, etc.) to perform your job more effectively than you currently are.
  • More structure– Have a check list or some other reminder system that clearly spells out how and when certain tasks are to be completed.
  • More Autonomy – ADD-ers can very creative and outside the box thinkers when allowed to utilize that trait. Working independently, within a well understood performance expectations, and occasional periodic check-ins with management ,may help creative, outside the box ADD-ers flourish. Examples are Pharmaceutical Sales, Financial Advisors, or utility and appliance repair.
  • Less distracting environment – Particular for office- based employment.
  • Less stressful work environment– Employee must still have a very clear understanding of performance expectations and make every attempt to maximize performance and productivity in the new opportunity.

Internal Changes – The important self-directed question for the employee to ask is What kinds of changes do I need to make within myself?

  • Action plan to present and discuss with supervisor regarding compensating for the ADHD Challenges.
  • Temporary mentoring (two weeks absolute maximum) with an employee that flourishes in the area or tasks where you may be challenged (if the employment setting allows this).
  • More frequent interaction with a supervisor regarding the areas where improvement is necessary. A Career Coach can assist setting your deadlines and goals for improvement.
  • Work with a fellow employee or career coach, regarding organization and time management challenges.

Taking a close look at all of these various factors may help the ADD employee find work more rewarding and fulfilling, without the need to see out new employment opportunities.

“It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences.”

Isabel Briggs Myers 

The Myers-Briggs Type indicator (MBTI), is a tool that looks at personality preferences to help guide individuals in taking an in-depth look at personality preferences, and how they can relate to better decisions regarding employment and career choices.

The MBTI is different from most psychological assessments in that it focuses on personal preferences, whereas most of the other models focus on pathological conditions. In creating the theory, Isabel Briggs Myers, and her mother, Katharine Briggs, said, “The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.” Their aim was to make the insights of type theory accessible to individuals and groups.

The MBTI Model takes a detailed look at the four sets of preferences and how they relate to situations or performance in the workplace. The four sets of opposing preferences are as follows:

Extroverted (E) or Introverted (I)

Sensing (S) or Intuitive (I)

Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)

Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

Over the next several weeks, we will be taking an in-depth look at how the MBTI preferences can be applied to the ADHD population in the work force. The areas that will be looked at closely are:

  • Work environment,
  • Structure of the duties
  • Interacting with coworkers.
  • How the ADHD lens can impact the entire dynamics of the entire workplace and workforce.

The best reason to choose the MBTI instrument to discover your personality type in relation to ADHD, is that hundreds of studies over the past 40 years have proven the instrument to be both valid and reliable.

Why use Myers-Briggs personality test if you have ADHD? According to a study published by Kans J Med on the National Center for Biotechnology Information, ( “Personality types occasioned with the diagnosis of ADHD could be useful in establishing/normalizing treatment regimens and approaches to assist families better.”

Questions? Please complete the form below and I will contact you shortly.


Here is a small list of professions ADHD’ers may find themselves successful in. The common characteristics for all of the below employment opportunities are: creativity, high energy, independence and variety.


The beginning attraction here is the ability to be independent and the ability to utilize their creativity. You don’t have to fit in a “standard mold”. To insure maximum focus and concentration on the business, you must be totally immersed and have a passion for it.

Commissioned Sales Position:

Some similarities to self- employment, independence, variety, and minimizes multi-tasking. Organizational Systems can be developed according to your own preferences which may also increase self-confidence.

Medical Professions (Doctor or Nurse):

Work Environment can be very fast paced and challenging with continually varied tasks and new environments.

First Responders:

Everyday is different and being needed immediately to solve a problem in a new situation can be very stimulating to the ADHD Brain, which may even hyper focus -in emergency situations.


Creativity with high energy levels.

Appliance or Utility Repair:

Independence, several new people met every day and each assignment is relatively short in duration.

Construction and Trades:

See the results fairly quickly and the opportunity to stay in constant motion.

Delivery Route Drivers:

For the same reasons as discussed in the two careers immediately above.

Struggling in your career?

Coach Ken is dedicated to helping ADHD men find their career stability. Contact him online at, by phone at (586) 876-2734, or by email at

Questions? Please complete the form below and I will contact you shortly.


Maintaining focus, and increasing your productivity if you have ADD or ADHD, can be a challenge. Follow my Ten Commandments to improve workplace productivity, and to make you more focused, and less frazzled at work.

  • Thou shall start the day with a moderately intense workout. With most ADDers, exercise increases the neurotransmitters in the frontal cortex of the brain, where they are usually lacking.
  • Thou shall consume a high protein breakfast in the morning. Protein are comprised of Amino Acids which serve as the building blocks of neurotransmitters that are low in ADHD. Try eating peanut butter, avocados, tofu scramble or egg muffins for an all-energy, more productive day.
  • Thou shall NOT check your e-mail more then three times daily. Once in the early part of day, once in the middle, and once at the end of your day. Spending too much time on e-mail is a notorious time waster in the ADD population. MAX THREE E-MAIL CHECKS DAILY. Budget yourself extra time following any extended time off, to deal with any mass accumulated e-mails. Coming into work early, or checking work e-mail from home, are possible productivity management strategies.
  • Thou shall minimize distractions during the work day. Strategies include: Sit with your back to the door, hanging a do not disturb sign on the door, and communicate very clearly to coworkers when you are ‘off limits’.
  • Thou shall get physically active immediately prior to starting a task you find dull. A few minutes fresh air outside, five to 10 minutes of brisk walking, or doing a few minutes of stretching exercises, may be a possible effective strategy and increase your workplace productivity.
  • Thou shall listen to relaxing instrumental music when working on boring and mundane tasks. (If this allowed in your workplace).
  • Thou shall leave the immediate work area, for coffee and lunch breaks whenever possible. Connecting with positive coworkers is a great motivator.
  • Thou shall put all important business appointments in the calendar AS SOON AS IT IS SCHEDULED. Using a visual reminder system, such a calendar or post it note is a very effective tool to maintain your focus at work.
  • Thou shall spend 15 (fifteen) minutes at the end of the day handling all of the appropriate paperwork. Use a timer if necessary.
  • Thou shall FOCUS AND REFLECT at the end of the day on three things that went right that day. Even on the most difficult days, three good things happened during the day. Focusing on them can serve as the ‘launching pad’ for productivity incentives for the next day.

Questions? Please complete the form below and I will contact you shortly.


Our lives are a product of all the choices you make over an extended period of time. These decisions good or bad, have the possibility to impact us over a lifetime. There are “Four Pillars “ of bad decision making that consistently challenge ADHD’ers due to their unique brain wiring. Let’s take a long look into each of these “Four Pillars “in a little more detail.

Pillar # 1 – Lack of Dopamine in the Pre-Frontal Cortex – This is the well documented neurochemical basis for all of the symptoms and manifestations of Adult ADHD. Dopamine serves as the “ fuel “ to providing clarity, improved focus and concentration . Lack of these three traits can lead to decisions that may emphasize the “ hear and now” as opposed to looking at the long term implications.

Pillar # 2 – Temporal Discounting – This is a fancy term for saying lack of looking into the future. An ADHD starts setting money away out of each paycheck for the down payment on a new car in 18 months. The store neighbor comes over and offers this ADHD’er a dream vacation for $ 3,000.00. The ADHD person takes up the offer to withdraw the money now, and doesn’t stop and realize what impact and delays it will have on delaying the purchase of the new car. Instant gratification for luxury with long range implications on delaying a very important purchase.

Pillar # 3 – Overcommitment to avoid hurting others – This is very common among ADHD’ers in the workplace. Their goal is to come across as a dedicated hardworking and high performing worker , but instead leads to a frustrated burned out and stressed out employee who has a lot of upset coworkers due to several incomplete projects that may impact business numerous departments in several ways.

Pillar # 4 – Poor Time Management – Those with ADHD have a warped sense of time passage. This can lead to attendance problems in the workplace, Missed personal appointments and business meetings and a poor performance in several aspects of life.

Strategies to better decision making with ADHD :

  • Identify the “true problem “ – Make sure you’re getting to the real heart of the matter and not just a major manifestation.
  • List ALL the possibilities of solutions and options – If its not an ultra important matter that needs to be discussed immediately, take the time you need (suggested no more than 48 hours) to suppress impulsivity and make a very clear and well thought out decision.
  • List the “Pros and Cons” of the top 2 or 3 choices- once again the goal is a well thought decision.
  • Choose the option that you feel the “most comfortable “with- Your conscience, gut feeling and intuition will be “speaking “ to you please listen when they may be alerting you of “ Red Flags”
  • Discuss your choice with others if you feel the need to. Limit it to no more than 3 more people. Too many opinions will delay you making the final decision.
  • If necessary, give yourself “one more night to sleep on it.” But do make and reveal your choice early the next morning. Instead of acting on impulse, make sure you are in a relaxed and peaceful state of mind, so that the best decision can be made with the best possibilities for the immediate future and long term. You have the right to time to think it over. Avoid falling prey to the techniques of “ limited time only “ and other high pressure sales tactics.

Questions? Please complete the form below and I will contact you shortly.

  1. Blinded by the Fog – Relax, take a deep breath, and get yourself in balanced. Ask yourself, “What is my main goal to accomplish here?” Getting caught up in the details can cause a form of “Mental Paralysis” which prevents you from moving forward.
  2. Looking at the Finish Line too quickly – Anticipation of the final result (whether positive or negative) may stop you in your tracks and prevent completion of a project or task.
  3. Not seeing the bigger picture – A task can be very boring, but its end result is very important to your employer. For example, preparing for your department’s audit can be very tedious, but if your company obtains outstanding results, the work can be very satisfying. Learn to look at the “big picture” to stay focused and motivated.
  4. Indecision – When multiple solutions are available, first consider the potential advantages and disadvantages of each, then attempt to discover which one works the best. Once again a “big picture” outlook can fuel your forward momentum.
  5. Lack of Confidence – This can feed procrastination when you expect perfect results from yourself. Ask yourself what is causing the lack of confidence. Is this a complete lack of skill or something that can be learned by additional training or observation? You can then observe a skilled coworker and next time you will know how to do it yourself. This will improve your self-confidence and satisfaction.
  6. The 8 by 8 rule – Short bursts of energy can be very productive. Either work on a task for 8 minutes or file 8 items from the pile that you must organize or put away (e.g. invoices, inventory, or sales documents).
  7. Distraction – Sometimes we use distractions in our lives as a mechanism to not work on what we should be doing. Try going without answering your email, phone, or office door for one to two hours to stay focused on the tasks at hand.
  8. Not allowing enough time – When your “gut feeling” tells you how long it will take to complete a project, TRIPLE IT. This is an effective tool in taking pressure off of yourself and stopping negative energy from preventing you from reaching your goals.

Does your ADD get in the way of your work?

Talk to Coach Ken Today!

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Tip # 1) – Get yourself “In the Mood” – Sometimes an ADHD Brain just needs a kick start to get in the mood to focus on things that are “routine and mundane.” Try 15 to 20 minutes of a moderate exercise (e.g. riding a bike or a brisk walking) or play a game on your computer or mobile phone (use a timer or alarm to avoid becoming hyper-focused).

Tip#2) Consider whether your surroundings are conducive to being productive. For ADDers, sometimes working in a quiet environment can serve as “fuel for procrastination” and makes getting started more challenging. Turning on some of your favorite music may help get things in motion.

Tip#3) “Hey buddy, could you come sit over here for a minute!” – Ask a trusted friend to come sit in the area where you are working to help you stay focused on the boring task – THEY DO NOT NEED TO HELP YOU. It can help keep your body engaged by having someone just sit next to you. This concept is commonly called a body double.

Tip#4) What in the world is causing me to procrastinate? Ask yourself some questions as to why you are procrastinating on a certain task. Do I know how to properly start this project? Am I expecting myself to do this perfectly? Do I dislike to do the task that bad?

Tip # 5) Break the task down into smaller steps – Write each step on a sticky note. Place each of the notes in the proper sequential order. Remove each note only when you are ready to begin that step.

Tip # 6) Establish momentum by tackling the easier steps first – Start small and keep moving forward.

Tip # 7) Are you at maximum mental energy and alertness right now? If the answer is yes, work on the more difficult and demanding tasks while you have enough energy. If not, tackle easier ones and leave the harder tasks for when you are more alert than you are now.

Tip # 8) Pat yourself on the back for a job well done – When you complete an important and boring task, reward yourself with a movie, a trip to a local attraction, or your favorite restaurant.

Interested in working with Ken for your specific challenges?

Get in touch with Coach Ken Today!

Questions? Please complete the form below and I will contact you shortly.

Attention Deficit Trauma (ADT) was first coined in 1994 by leading ADHD Expert Ned Hallowell. It affects some individuals with ADHD but is a separate condition in and of itself. Primarily occurring in the workplace, it hinders one’s ability to effectively perform to society’s standards of professionalism. Being aware of the facts and recognizing the signs of being affected by ADT generates understanding and may help you succeed in your career.

  1. ADT occurs in specific contexts, unlike ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), which is genetically determined.
  2. ADD is always present, whereas ADT can “take a vacation” when the affected client is not in the work environment.
  3. ADT can occur in certain work situations but not in others.
  4. People “develope” ADT as a coping mechanism for dealing with the stress in their lives.
  5. ADT originates externally like a virus and begins gradually.
  6. Those affected by ADT cannot pinpoint as to when it exactly started.
  7. ADT NEVER OCCURS as a single episode.
  8. Those affected by ADT find that it becomes more and more difficult to meet workplace attention demands.
  9. The number of people challenged by ADT has grown as the number of internet users has grown.
  10. People with ADT can wake up in the morning without symptoms.

Reference: Hallowell Driven to Distraction at Work 2015

Think you might be struggling with ADT?

Get in touch with Coach Ken Today!

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