Managing Stress and ADHD as an Entrepreneur

All of us encounter stress, not just entrepreneurs. However, there are specific stressors that come with being an entrepreneur that other people may not be aware of, and that’s why it’s essential to understand these stressors. You have to handle the taxes for your business, manage employees (with little to no assistance, depending on your situation), and often, you have to do your marketing along with offering the services or content that you provide through your entrepreneurial feats. When you’re one of the 4.4% of the entire population of adults in the United States that live with ADHD, you may find yourself facing additional challenges.

stress

What is ADHD?

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that can affect people of all ages. Though it is often diagnosed in childhood, it does not go away. Many adults live with it and maintain their full lives. Here are some potential symptoms and signs of ADHD:

  • Distractibility or a disparity in focusing
  • Impulse control issues
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble with instructions
  • Poor organization
  • Excessive talking
  • Interrupting others  
  • Jumping from one task to another
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Fidgeting 

People with ADHD can be incredibly creative, clever, and intelligent. While symptoms of ADHD can make things more difficult in your working life, there are ways to make it work for you, and it can even become an asset in many ways. 

Executive function as an entrepreneur

People who have ADHD struggle with executive functioning. It presents something called “executive dysfunction.” The term refers to difficulties with the cognitive processes which allow people or manage time efficiently, organize thoughts, activities, and deadlines, and make choices. The trouble with executive functioning can manifest in behavioral, cognitive, or emotional symptoms. These symptoms can impact you in your professional life, but as with most obstacles in life, they can’t put an end to what you want to do unless you let them. It’s about learning self-awareness. You can notice these things develop strategies to manage them. For example, you might create a habit of setting your keys, phone, and medication all in one place whenever you’re at home. That way, when it’s time to leave, they’re always right there. You might set alarms for things like “lunchtime” or “call with ___” so that you have an alert when you need it. As an entrepreneur, you’re meant to create a new path, so remember that you don’t have to do things exactly like other people. Having systems in place to help you is not something to be ashamed of, and in fact, it is a powerful thing.

Staying focused 

Maintaining focus is one of the most common struggles that come to mind when we think about ADHD. Here are some tips for staying on task:

  • Set alarms and reminders. Keep a digital calendar system if it helps you. You can also use a physical planner.
  • Take advantage of your hyperfocus when it comes, which is excellent for entrepreneurs that set their schedules.
  • Complete things in small steps. Take large tasks and break them down into pieces that you can finish one at a time. 
  • Use a timer to remind yourself to take breaks or check-in with yourself or others regarding tasks. 
  • Use fidget toys or allow yourself to take breaks where you’re able to move around if possible.
  • Use positive self-talk and affirmations. If you get frustrated, it’s helpful to take a break from a task and come back to it later. Remind yourself that you can only do what you can do.
  • Keep a neat workspace. It can be challenging for folks with ADHD, but it can be tremendously helpful in promoting focus. You can temporarily take everything off of your desk except for your laptop, notepad, pen, and a stress ball or a plant. Put it in a box or file folder so that you aren’t working amongst the clutter. 

Every person with ADHD is unique, and different things will work for different people. The most important thing to do is to remember to be gentle with yourself. Use trial and error to find what helps you the most, and don’t beat yourself up if you have a rough day. Every successful person has come face-to-face with a roadblock at some point. To get to where you want to be, you have to give yourself the grace to keep going despite it. 

You don’t have to “do it all” all of the time

As an entrepreneur, you will experience pressure that makes you feel as though you need to “do it all” all of the time. Whether you have ADHD or not, this can be incredibly stressful, and it’s essential to prioritize your mental health as an entrepreneur so that you can be successful in your mission and get things done while maintaining a good mindset. If you find yourself struggling, it’s essential to seek the help of a mental health professional. You can find someone in your local area or work with an online counselor or therapist using counseling sites like BetterHelp. Seeing a therapist is a wonderful way to keep grounded, and entrepreneurs need a space to talk about their feelings. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get the support of a trained mental health professional if you need it.

About the Author:

Marie miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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