You may say, “I’m so ADHD”, but are you? When is it just a simple lack of focus due to stress or bad habits and when might it be ADHD?We can all agree that now more than ever, in life and at the workplace, we have information coming at us around every turn.

We can all agree that now more than ever, in life and at the workplace, we have information coming at us around every turn.

We may be a conference call with one client while checking our phone every few minutes. It’s far from unusual to kick off a meeting only to an interruption to “pick the brain” of a colleague.

Sure, we are pulled in 20 different directions at any given moment in the workplace. With all of this jumping from task to task, our inability to efficiently focus solely on one is a double-edged sword.

When we do a lot of things successfully, we feel accomplished and are given raises and promotions. However, when we take on a lot, we can feel anxious, overwhelmed, and unable to focus fully on any one task. We can get snippy with co-workers, blurting out whatever comes to mind. These are indicators that there could be more going on.

Twenty years ago, one rarely heard about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Now,  ADHD is thrown around and the term stands in for when people feel unfocused, stressed, or just mentally cluttered.

You may say, “I’m so ADHD”, but are you? When is it just a simple lack of focus due to stress or bad habits and when might it be ADHD?

  1. You Have NO Filter and are Highly Impulsive.
    Being candid and opinionated is one thing (many people with strong personalities possess these traits). But do you find yourself getting into frequent arguments with co-workers accusing you of not thinking before speaking or acting and reoccuring insubordination? There’s more to the story.“You have to look at how certain behaviors impact the general well-being of your life, explained Dr. Hafeez.50 percent of people with ADHD struggle to hold a job. In this instance, she said, “It would be wise to get an assessment for ADHD. People who find they consistently miss deadlines and simply forget or rush through them without a careful eye on quality of the output are red flags.””Of course, there are other psychological considerations and implications but having an ADHD assessment is a good first step,” suggests Dr. Hafeez. 
  1. You’re Constantly Putting out Fires.
    People with adult ADHD frequently lose their important papers, documents on their computers, cell phones, credit cards, and keys, among other necessities. Consistently, they will miss appointments, arrive late to work, and feel disorganized and/or scattered. With inattention to details, living life in crisis mode to clean up your own messes becomes the norm.This lifestyle is a recipe for high stress, poor confidence, second guessing everything, and low self-esteem, Dr. Hafeez points out.”When you are constantly cleaning up mistakes or apologizing for lateness you start to question your abilities and judgment. This is the uneasiness that may even lead to depression if adult ADHD isn’t properly diagnosed and treated with the help of a trained licensed therapist who specializes in ADHD,” cautions Dr. Hafeez.
  1. You are either easily distracted or off in your own world.
    Focusing with ADHD frequently effects people in two main ways. First, people may have difficulty focusing so much so that they can’t even endure work meetings or client dinners. Conference calls are a struggle. Remaining engaged in conversations is a major hindrance, as people with ADHD hurry onto whatever is next.ADHD impacts focus, as people can become so deeply focused in one thing that their surroundings seem non-existent. Dr. Hafeez shared, “Someone who is in this hyper-focused state can easily lose track of time and other commitments are compromised because when you have ADHD, nothing is more important than what you are on hyper-focused on.”Additionally, people with ADHD feel they “lost time” because they were focused on one thing for so long and didn’t realize where the time went, she noted.
Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC based licensed clinical neuropsychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services specializes in ADHD and other learning disorders. She offers some characteristics of it that may affect your work performance and that when chronic, could mean ADHD.  Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or