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Dear ADHD Employee, Try This On A MicroManager

Updated: Nov 21, 2022


It seems obvious to employees who are ADHD what the wrong way to motivate us is. Micromanaging is the worst. But let's cut bosses who are 'norms' (have typical brains) some slack. Try this workaround to make everyone happy.


Your Boss Says: "You'll need to check in with me every day at 9 a.m. for the next week until you can show me that you can meet your deadlines." (While that helps your manager take control, it probably infuriates you.) It feels draconian. Instead of being pissed off, why not offer an alternative route to complete the work?


You Can Say: I agree. I have made this project into a nail-biter. I know this work needs to be done. Mornings are my worst time for productivity. Would it be possible to check in at 11 a.m. instead of 9 a.m.? I will work through lunch if you think I am not up to speed. (Note: When everyone's gone for lunch, it's usually quiet and you will do your best work! Grab your favorite sandwich and have at that spreadsheet). Also, you might want to say: Let's check in quickly at the end of the day via email. Or I can come by before I take off for the day—whatever works for you. End with: I will get this done. Thank you for noticing that I need some help. [Yes, the feels forced. Do it anyway. I swear it will work.]


Key Point: Clarify anything that is unclear. Is it the format or the amount of research? Is it who exactly is going to see your work and why? What's the project's purpose? Find out. The reason you procrastinated in the first place was probably because the assignment was ambiguous or confusing to you in some way.


Try It: The key is to clarify and agree on a strategy for getting the work done. What does the end of the day look like? Will you be still handling the entire assignment? In what format should the draft be? Be clear. Now, do you feel like you are a little more in control? OK, get to it and...let me know how it goes, Brilliant Rebel. You got this.

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