Stephanie Scheller, the main organizer of the Grow Disrupt events and an entrepreneur with ADHD, shares three methods she has employed to boost her productivity by optimizing her workspace, which could be useful for others looking to do the same.
Consider Your Surroundings
For maintaining focus and intentionality while working, it is important to carefully consider your surroundings, she tells us. One approach is to position your desk facing a wall, with perhaps a window nearby for natural light. This can help to minimize distractions and keep your attention directed towards your work. However, when you need to engage in more creative or expansive thinking, it can be helpful to seek out a different environment, such as sitting on the floor or in a window seat with a view of the room and high ceilings. By being mindful of your surroundings and intentionally choosing where and how you work, you can optimize your productivity and creativity.
To truly concentrate, Stephanie will sometimes isolate herself in a corner or create a confined space, like building a makeshift fort out of her couch, to limit my distractions. She has had to learn this lesson multiple times as she finds her brain easily gets sidetracked by disorganization or clutter around her. For instance, if her pen and paper box is disorganized, she is more likely to focus on fixing it instead of completing work. Similarly, if there are too many papers on her desk, she says her mind will be drawn to tidying up rather than staying on task.
Keep it organized
For Stephanie to perform at her best, she understands the importance of having a clear and organized workspace. She actively takes steps to declutter her desk by discarding unnecessary papers and promptly storing important documents in CRMs or project management software. Maintaining a tidy desk is crucial for her productivity. To prepare for the next workday, she spends three minutes at the end of each day writing down her tasks on her Supernote, an E-ink writer. Additionally, she ensures that her workspace is reset and organized so that she can remain focused the following day.
Stephanie is also a major fan of using sensory triggers, particularly scents, to help her concentrate on specific tasks. She has a collection of essential oils that she only uses before performing, as well as scents that she sprays into the air while working on her business. Stephanie also has specific candles or sprays that she likes to use when working on her creative projects, such as music, painting, or writing her fantasy world. She uses a variety of scents to inspire her to work on different things, and when she feels her attention starting to wander, she can use sprays and oils to reset and refocus.
ADHD affects everyone differently, making everyone's experience with it unique. Stephanie shares what has been successful for her but urges individuals to increase their self-awareness and try different strategies to determine what works best for them. It is important to keep what is effective and discard what is not to create a life that supports our optimal performance, as we and our businesses are valuable and deserving of the effort.