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ADHD at Work

Late, tardiness

I have found that at the beginning when I started my job.  I was on time, punctual, never missed any days.  As time went by I found that I was missing days some were legitimate, some were semi legitimate where I really didn’t have to but decided I would, and others because I didn’t feel like it.

I developed an attitude like it was ok, or like I was getting away with something, when in fact I was just harming myself. 

Coming to realize this consciously, this is not who I want to be.  It was like I didn’t have control over it and I didn’t even know it was happening. 

Does this happen to others,  and what are the ways to avoid falling into such traps, sometimes I think that is my underlying personality, but I don’t know.


You are definitely not alone. 

Based on my identical behavioral reaction whenever starting an “exciting” new activity…as the sense of excitement wears off, you begin to lose interest (and your interest is what motivated you to be on time). 

Same thing with a new friend or a date…when you realize that the job, person, etc is not as unique as you had hoped, you lose interest, drop it from your priorities, and become distracted by other things that are more exciting. 
Hope this rings true for you.  If so, awareness is so empowering!!

Posted by Louis Wellmeier on Jul 30, 2014 at 2:28pm

I agree, you are likely missing the excitement of something new. Many ADHD Adults struggle with motivation.

ADHD Coach, Sandy Maynard suggests to reconnect to what is important to you in this expert Q & A:

Here are a couple articles on ADHD at Work and motivation that you may find helpful as well:

Good luck!
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 30, 2014 at 2:36pm
Posted by Pinnochio99 on Aug 01, 2014 at 9:10pm

I am a Senior HR Professional and I have the same challenges. You have some different choices on how to deal with this challenge. Some of us ADHD folks have the most difficulty with focus in the morning and the overwhelm can freeze you, or the burnout from overworking the day before can cause you to need time to rest. 

It is always an option to disclose that you have ADHD, get a doctors notice and seek an ADA accommodation for flexible start and end times and commit to core business hours. It depends of the nature of your position how well this will work. I personally have a late arrival time with the flexibility to come early too. I think it’s best to simply explain that you are easily distracted and mornings are a challenge. You could also reinforce that you need time without distractions and the evening is a good quiet time for you etc… You may not need to disclose the ADHD to get the flexibility if you just focus on the challenge. If your request is declined you could move forward with an ADA accommodation.

Perhaps it is possible for you to take on a position that changes frequently and keeps you stimulated. I made a career change to work contract assignments and finally to work independently to have new environments to keep your energy!

If you do request a change you will also want to consider how this change will appear to other staff and manage those perceptions.

Good Luck!

Posted by ADHD_HRGAL on Aug 14, 2014 at 8:05pm

I’m in the same boat. I have been through so many jobs it’s not even funny.  Once the newness and excitement wears off I start the decline.  I lose interest, call off, don’t really care about the job. 
I found that a job in retail works best for me because
there is a lot of change daily.  After 7 yrs. in retail I decided to go back to school to get certified in dental assisting.  That schooling was sooo hard for me but I made it and am proud of myself for sticking to it. I took a job in my field but, soon realized that It was not for me. I couldn’t stay focused long enough and felt to scattered to succeed.  I have since left and am going back into retail.  The pay of course isn’t as good as D.A. but, I’d rather have a job I enjoy and feel successful in .
I think you have to try out a lot of jobs before you find the one that is meant for you.

Posted by cupcake53 on Aug 15, 2014 at 3:59pm

Yes, this has consistently happened to me my whole career. I’ve always been very punctual any time other than the morning though. I think my morning lateness stems from a few things 1) like many ADHD adults, I have a just slightly late circadian clock, so waking myself up from “dead sleep” in the morning is very difficult, and I have a really hard time focusing in the morning (my head is very foggy in the morning) 2) it’s not really going to work that I dread, but the daily grind—going through the process day in and day out of finding the same old boring clothes to wear, getting the cereal and milk, commuting to the same place the same way. This aspect is what makes me later and later the longer I’ve been at my job—it’s basically procrastination because I don’t want to all these boring things over and over again 3) I’m very organized at work, but I’m terribly disorganized with stuff like laundry, having breakfast ready to go, etc. I feel like I’m always running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off looking for clean clothes, remembering to shave my legs, finding the sunscreen, etc. I’ve tried doing it at night before going to bed but that has the effect of making me really depressed because it feels like my whole life is just spent preparing for the next day. As a woman, this aspect of it makes me feel horrible about myself, because I never look “together” and all the clothing and grooming things that women are supposed to do and do well are just so difficult for me. The bad feelings I associate with these things just make me procrastinate, feeding into #2, and all these things are harder for me to do in the morning due to #1, making it all that much worse 4) I like to exercise in the morning, but my current job makes it very difficult to organize this. Whenever I don’t get up early enough to exercise, I feel very guilty, and I resent my job because exercise is supposed to be a big part of my life and I can’t have it. Not exercising also makes me more anxious and less able to focus, and it all feeds back into the other problems.

Posted by LLB827 on Aug 27, 2014 at 8:26pm

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