How to cope with ADHD as a Product Manager

Take the time today to understand how people with ADHD work, and someone may take the time tomorrow to understand how in some way you work differently.

What’s it like to struggle with ADHD?

Life with ADHD isn’t all negative though…

Graphic courtesy of Jesse Anderson

Check out what the Product ADHD community had to share about the upsides of ADHD

Tips for coping with ADHD as a Product Manager

Block out calendar time to focus

Integrate your Slack and calendar together to automatically update your status

  • Spotting connections between systems that, if linked, could create a better user experience
  • Writing out a list of blockers that key blockers that need to be addressed, but others may have missed
  • Creating a high-level overview for technical teams for how a proposed product/feature works from A-Z, as Betty calls out below:

Schedule meetings with others to get work done

Try out different motivation tools

Try out different productivity tools

Customize tools you already use

  • Use the flag function on your email to mark items for review later, without worrying that you’ve accidentally read and forgot to mark them unread
  • Create email automations to mark emails as unread that you want visibility on, but do not need to consciously read
  • Spend one day a month unsubscribing from email notifications you don’t need
  • Instead of leaving Slack messages unread, use the remind me later function to allow you to read and action certain messages for the end of the day or start of the next day, so that the unread notifications don’t creep back in to steal your attention after being addressed
  • Integrate your project management tool (e.g. JIRA) into Slack, so that you can easily copy-paste comments in Slack and on the spot when action items are raised and not have to worry about combing through for tasks later on

Physically write things down

Photo by

Adjust how you participate in or run meetings

  1. Record meetings to store for later and use a transcription software like Otter to automatically capture the full meeting notes in case you missed something
  2. Include agendas and use timers to time box discussions according to the agenda items to prevent focus from drifting
  3. Limit the time that meetings last to 30 minutes, and follow-up digitally if needed to protect your time
  4. Be willing to decline meetings that you don’t need to attend, but take up valuable time that could be used for focusing
  5. Establish a habit of blocking 5–15 minutes after a meeting to digest the notes and immediately send meeting follow-up action items and owners. Also, be sure to translate action items into project management cards, to ensure nothing slips
  6. Proactively open up a dialogue with your stakeholders to learn how to evolve your team’s meetings or communication to be more conducive for your style and needs

Optimize your career and role

Get a professional development coach

Resources to check out for Product Managers with ADHD

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A curious mind and a passionate personal development coach, specializing in life, career, and business coaching for people in the technology and business fields

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Gabe Kwakyi

Gabe Kwakyi

A curious mind and a passionate personal development coach, specializing in life, career, and business coaching for people in the technology and business fields

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