ADHD & me
Corporate Files
Corporate Files: ADHD, 9-5, & Me

Corporate Files: ADHD, 9-5, & Me

How to de-stress your work day

Corporate Files is a brand new feature of ADHD & Me that I’ve created to bring some of my ADHD workplace woes and wins to life. I’ve been in the corporate world for 12 years, and have amassed a mental library of awkward experiences that are relatable, cringe-inducing, and helpful.

My aim with this twice-monthly audio series is to share specific stories where my ADHD and anxiety have caused problems for me in the office, accompanied with helpful strategies and lessons learnt.

The format will be a written explainer and a short audio file to bring my stories to life. In true corporate robot fashion, I’ll utilise the STAR technique to explain each story:

  • Situation: what the backstory?

  • Task: what was the heroes challenge? (me 😉)

  • Action: what did I do in response and why?

  • Result: what was the outcome of my action, and are there lessons to be learnt?

Today’s focus 👇🏻

  • Switching gears from one task to another - how a multitude of expectations and responsibilities can wreak havoc on my executive functioning, and how I cope

Let’s dive in…

Switching Gears (sorry for the corporate jargon) ⚙️

We’ve all been there; Excels, PowerPoints, Word docs, back to back meetings, actual work, catch ups. It can get too much for anyone. The constant demands of needing to switch between tasks and also do quality work for our jobs is at the detriment of our executive functioning, especially when we’re expected to change from one priority to another at the drop of a hat.

It’s not effective. For someone with ADHD, this can affect our exec functioning even more so. To explain, I’m paraphrasing the below summary from a really good article, which you can read here:

Quick Executive Functioning Explainer ✔️

  • Executive functions are like a brain's conductor, directing mental activities.

  • The conductor oversees starting, stopping, modulating, and ordering of mental tasks.

  • Task switching requires four executive functions: stopping, switching, starting, and focusing.

  • Executive function resources are limited, like a daily cash allowance.

  • Task switching is costly, using $4 of executive function resources instead of the usual $1.

  • Excessive task switching depletes resources needed for other executive tasks like concentrating, planning, and emotion management.

Task Switching and ADHD 🎯

  • The 'ADHD conductor' has fewer executive function resources (less 'cash') to start with.

  • This system becomes reluctant to spend its resources as they dwindle, leading to resistance to task switching.

  • The ADHD brain's inherent desire to seek novelty exacerbates resource depletion.

  • Depletion can result in feelings of confusion, impulsivity, and difficulty managing emotions and tasks.

How does this manifest in a day to day job, and how can we stop feeling frustrated and confused with a busy 9-5? Here’s a story… 🗣️

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Jordan Moloney