Thursday, January 30, 2014

Working with ADD

Working with ADD can be tricky.  There is medication to help an adult with ADD focus.  I would rather not take drugs so my brain and my desk reflect my choice.

So what do I do:

1.  Recognize I work better with a routine schedule.
      If I break routine it can throw my day out of whack which impacts my entire work week.  My office time at the church is as routine as I can make it.  Is changing a thermostat in the church part of my daily routine?  No.    Is stopping to get milk on the way home part of my routine?  No.  So that takes me to:
2.  Use available tools. 
     For the milk scenario above I must put a post it note on my cell phone (then hope I remember to take my cell phone home with me)  I'm also discovering new tools both online and apps that I can download to help me.  I use "to do" lists or task lists.  I write down only the things that in my mind matter therefore I can't keep meeting notes from our staff meetings.  I have the natural ability to take an hour long meeting and condense it into 16 words.

3.  Keep things in the same place. 
     My keys, wallet and phone have to be on the bar at home or I will leave home without them.  Well at least without my phone and wallet cause I can't very well leave home without my keys.  If I routinely keep something in the same general area and it is moved or covered with another object that can throw me way off.

4.  Read in short controlled bursts.
     A story/article/book has to be really, really good to hold my attention.  I read blog posts but if they are more than 3 paragraphs and aren't bullet pointed I don't even bother.  If I click a link to an article and it looks overwhelming I just keep on trucking.

5.  Turn off distractions.
      If I really need to get something done I'll mute the phone, shut the office door, etc.  The devices I use to help me stay organized can even become a distraction and that's a vicious cycle isn't it?

6.  I let people know that the worst place they can attempt a conversation with me is in a room with lots of other people or noise.  Try as hard as I can to focus I won't hear everything you say but I may hear the entire conversation happening behind me and tell it back to you verbatim.

7.  E-mail or Text.  If you tell me something you need me to do while at Sunday morning church or when youth group is happening I will totally forget.  So e-mail is my friend.  I used to carry a tiny notebook around to write that stuff down but I kept losing it because it would never end up in the same location.

8.  I forget a lot of things I am asked to do, pick up, etc.  I live with that.

That about sums it up.  I also have Misphonia but that would be another whole blog post.

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