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From Employee to Entrepreneur: ADHD Tips for a Smooth Transition

Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s full of twists and turns and uncertainty. It’s also filled with urgency, novelty, competition, and passion—the four things that activate an ADHD brain.

Did you know that ADHDers are 300% more likely to be entrepreneurs? It makes sense when you view it through the lens of what activates the ADHD brain. However, there are unique challenges when it comes to having ADHD and owning and running your own business. Here are two key areas that can support your transition into entrepreneurship with ADHD.

Setting Up Routines to Work on Your Own

Creating routines can already be a challenge with ADHD. How do we even start figuring out what a routine could look like for us? Log what has worked in the past. Start building out ideal habits and routines before you transition to entrepreneurship—it's a game changer.

Where to Start:

Step 1: Think back to a role you’ve had where you felt successful and ask yourself:

  • What made me successful in my job?

  • Was the environment ideal for my success? If so, what can I recreate?

  • What tools did I have in my job that supported my ADHD needs?

  • Where do I work best? Can I take what works there and include it in my own office space?

Step 2: From there, build out your ‘ideal’ morning, work, and evening routines. Use your successful experiences in old or current roles along with what you need personally to feel gathered and calm. Use this as a launching pad to creating your workday routines as you work towards your own business.

Example: Workday Kick-off Routine

Goal: Start my day in a way that gives me a sense of control and less overwhelm, and can complete this routine whether I start at 6 am or 9:30 am.

My Workday Kick-off Routine

  1. Go through my at-home morning routine to get into ‘go to work’ mode

  2. Get my coffee and emotional support water bottle (full of water)

  3. Make sure my desk space is clear of clutter or mess

  4. Review schedule

  5. Identify the top three items to get done for the day

  6. Pick my fidget for the day

These routines can shift and change over time, and you’ll have the supports in place to be successful.

Time Management and Time Blindness

Time Blindness is the inability to tell how long things should take and how much time has passed. ADHDers live and breathe this every day. This can cause challenges with deadlines, project management, and day-to-day workload struggles. As an entrepreneur, time blindness can put us on the struggle bus, negatively impacting our income, client relations, and trust with ourselves.

Tools To Support

  • Setting Three Top Priorities for the Week: Break them down into small, manageable bites and assign them a day of the week to complete.

  • Using a Visual Timer: This helps us see time pass, giving a better understanding of how time passes and how long things can take.

  • Keep a Log of How Long Repetitive Tasks Take: Using a time tracker can seem obnoxious, but tracking how long you spend on activities can be eye-opening. If you want to reduce your time on boring tasks, know how long it takes you!

Taking steps to elevate your routines to support entrepreneurship and addressing time blindness are actionable steps to move you into entrepreneurship while still working a full-time job.



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