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Productivity While Staying at Home

With billions of people around the world experiencing some form of lockdown, shelter-in-place or social distancing, we’ve all had to adjust our lifestyles in unexpected ways. For many, that means figuring out how to do work and stay productive without stepping foot out of the house.

Theoretically, staying at home all day should make us more productive because we’ve got fewer distractions and extra time, right?

But we know it doesn’t necessarily work that way, least of all for people with ADHD.

Working from HomePersonally, social distancing has presented some new challenges to my productivity. Sitting around my apartment for extended periods of time, I’ve noticed that some of my time-wasting tendencies have gotten worse. With transitions between different physical settings mostly removed from my life, snapping into the mindset for different activities has gotten tougher. And the sheer boredom of the situation doesn’t help with anything.

However, there’s one thing that has helped me immensely: I was already self-employed, so I’m used to working from home.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m used to doing everything at home. In fact, one of my tips for self-employed ADHDers used to be to find another place to work from, such as a coworking space. No longer.

What it does mean is I’m already aware of some of the things that help me stay productive while at home. Probably the biggest one is timing. Although I can work whenever I want, I always make work the first thing I do in the morning. More generally, if there’s something you need to get done, it’s a good idea to start your day with it (if you’re like me, anyway).

Even though I don’t have to, I try to keep a strict division between weekdays and weekends in terms of when I do work. This gives me a break, and like doing work first thing in the morning, it also helps with giving my brain time-related cues about when it’s time to work and when it’s not.

With fewer opportunities to be physically active and release hyperactive energy, I’ve also started standing up more while working. I don’t have a standing desk, but my high kitchen counter works pretty well. And as I mentioned before, one goal during this time is to step up my minimal workout routine, which seems to be going decently so far.

I know that I’m still very much in the process of adjusting to this new way of life, which looks to be with us for a while longer. No doubt I’ll discover more strategies for promoting productivity during this time. If you have any to share, please leave a comment below!

Image: Flickr/Hayley Finn

Productivity While Staying at Home

Neil Petersen

Neil Petersen writes regularly on psychology, ADHD and education. In addition to ADHD Millennial, he writes about psychology at Psych Central's AllPsych blog and about ADHD at He can be found on Twitter at @ADaptHD_blog

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APA Reference
Petersen, N. (2020). Productivity While Staying at Home. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Apr 2020
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