Work Distractions

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Work Distractions 2010-12-20T16:50:15+00:00

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  • #88847

    wolfshades
    Member
    Post count: 211

    It’s funny – I’ve read posts about the workplace providing accommodation for those who have ADHD and thought “well, what kind of accommodation are we talking about?”. Maybe – don’t give me any work, because that’s the only way I”l be sure not to mess it up. :)

    Then, this morning, I was sitting at my computer, and I could hear various conversations going on. One guy was talking about a hat he wanted to buy (he was on the phone, presumably with his significant other), and another person was talking about an I.P. protocol. And someone else was speaking on the phone in a different language to someone.

    And then it hit me: this is probably the *worst* environment for me, for getting anything done. I need either an office with a closed door to drown out the distractions, or I need to be able to work from home. Normally, I don’t like working from home because I can’t be around people. But maybe that’s an accommodation worth looking into, just the same.

    Anyone else have problems with work distractions? Have you figured out a way around it (short of plugging in ear plugs?)

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    #98168

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    My first real job that I had was one where I actually needed to hear everyone else’s conversations~and I was really good at it! I actually prided myself on it. Too bad the job was less than fabulous.

    I’m a supervisor at my current job (what was I thinking…but I was only recently diagnosed with ADD). I have an office, but can’t shut my door because I need to seem “accessible”. I understand that, but it’s very difficult to focus with the constant interruptions. I actually talked to my boss about it…she had a good idea of scheduling time to meet with my team throughout the day. Then I wouldn’t be the victim of pop ins. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to present this…I’m a friendly person and I don’t want to offend anyone.

    That doesn’t really help you, though. Would you be able to listen to music? At least it’s only one sound instead of many. Working from home would be great~but holy distractions!

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    #98169

    Philabuster
    Member
    Post count: 28

    mp3 player and earbuds will drown out the co-worker chatter nicely. Actually, I get more things done when I have my favorite music playing. Mp3 good, but listening to the radio–and the commercials just get me irritated. Mp3 makes me much more productive.

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    #98170

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I know where yall comin from. I get very frustrated when its too quiet in the workplace…I need that music to continue my work. It seems to help me stay on track and complete my tasks. Im self-employed and fortunately can dictate, somewhat, what music I may play…I also have trouble in corporate environments because of thinking outside the box….

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    #98171

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I actually use an industrial fan to drown out the noise. There are white noise machines made specifically for cubbies, I believe the company is Cambridge Sound. If you’re job is aware of your ADD, they should pay for it, if not, you may be able to use it as a tax write off under medical (check with an accountant or tax attorney on that last thought).

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    #98172

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I tell the ladies in the office that I am not to be interrupted. They email me with the phone messages I have received. I also put my mobile on silent at times when I need to get critical work complete. That way I am not getting frazzled with all the interruptions. The phone noise drives me nuts most days. I can respond to the calls in my time when I feel like doing them. I use my phone as a message reminder so I do not forget to take action on these calls. The 90 staff I supervise know not to verbally tell me things as they know there is a good chance I will just forget to the action required. My strategy is to tell them to put it in an email to me. That way I will not forget and take the required action. If they cannot do this I will whip out my phone and put the reminder in my phone. I do not mean to forget It is a way to survive so my stress levels do not go through the roof. The ladies in the office are very understanding as I will tell them I am having an ADD moment. They can see my stress levels and will protect me from distractions. Another way I have used is just to have the local radio station on in the background. It helps to cut down the sensory distractions. Cheers Brian

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    #98173

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I too am pushing as much as possible to move work stuff to email. For me, it saves me having to trust my memory and attention span, and for others it makes me accountable, because they can not only confirm they emailed me, but even what I said in my response.

    I have a private office at work as I’m a therapist. The up sides are around outside distractions, but I’ve got combined type and there’s still LOTS of distractions I can find for myself besides colleagues. The best work environment for me to catch up on paperwork (the bane of my existence) is my office (NOT at home) when no one else is here (ie. after 4:30 or on week-ends. That way no colleagues or clients distract me, but I don’t have the x-box, home improvement work or my kids to distract me from what I need to get done.

    Like Philabuster, I find an mp3 player helpful. If I’m doing mindless work, I often play audiobooks or podcasts. If I have to concentrate (ie. paperwork, etc) I still put the earbuds in to block out sound but don’t press play.

    Of course, I’ve taken meds for the past 4 years. My career was doable but much harder before. I take them at home too. I’m able to be the kind of patient, kind and attentive father and husband that I want to be, which is MUCH harder when I take a med holiday.

    Ironically, I should have been doing paperwork and phone calls for the last hour instead of looking up and exploring this site. For paperwork (which has to be on a networked computer at my office) I usually find I waste the least amount of time when I don’t allow myself to open a browser or a game on my phone call day, and use audio-only distractions on the mp3 player when I feel I REALLY need a break.

    Oh, and I use an iPHone with Google Calendar and Toodledo (Task manager) to help stay organized, remember stuff and get reminders. I find these tech solutions VERY helpful, although they also allow for distractions if I let them (ie. if installing games on iPhone, etc). I’m thinking of buying an iPod touch for games and uninstalling all games from my phone. That might be a good idea…

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    #98174

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Have earphones been ixnayed in your office?

    I know that my husband works beside a woman who wears noise-canceling earbuds and she doesn’t have ADHD.

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    #98175

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    I have a co-worker whom I totally love and respect but insisted on playing the radio in the office, despite my complaints to the higher-ups. Even with my office door closed I could still hear it- and even if I couldn’t I would know it was there…. and felt distracted the moment I stepped into the office every day. People just thought I was being picky or a drama queen because I would just have to go out and unplug it when I needed to work. I started to work more and more from home where it was quiet just to avoid the distraction. Lucky I had that option, but alot of my co-workers assumed I was just being lazy and didn’t want to go to work. They didn’t get that my workplace was preventing me from working .

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    #98176

    Scattybird
    Participant
    Post count: 1096

    I have to work from home, with black-out blinds on the window and a fan to create ‘white noise’. I have to use an old computer that’s too rubbish to be able to access the internet for written stuff. I try to do the internet side of work towards the end of the day because once I log on with my regular computer I can kiss goodbye to any productive work because it’s a huge distraction. Also, I get more done when I am really tired – I think having to concentrate over tiredness is good for me but that’s probably because my brain doesn’t whir so much then. Also, I usually have a deadline with consequences when I get to that stage so it’s an all-nighter situation. Problem is it takes longer to recover now I’m getting older! Recently I have been trying to go to bed earlier and get up earlier. I find if I roll out of bed have a coffee and hit work (at home!) for the morning, then shower and go into the office for meetings and mundane stuff it works quite well. I am lucky in my job that I can do that sometimes. I walk past my colleagues’ offices and they all look SO focussed and busy. If you look in my office I’ll be playing with a yoyo and staring at the note on my desk that’s reminding me what I am meant to be doing. I envy my colleagues but I just don’t ‘get’ how they can concentrate. There must be a video sketch for ‘Mr Rick’ in there somewhere!

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    #98177

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    You get paid to play with a yo-yo? I want your job!

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    #98178

    Scattybird
    Participant
    Post count: 1096

    Err…not exactly! Hope my boss doesn’t find this site! 😆

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    #98179

    billd
    Member
    Post count: 913

    For me, closing doors doesn’t help because I KNOW the distraction is there even if I can’t see or hear it!

    I have to work when there is NO one around – and I mean NO one, there’s no talking, no nuttin even if I can’t hear it……. it’s a distraction.

    They just don’t get that. I know there’s something on the other side of that wall – I want to be in on it, I want to listen, I need to know.

    Thus my request for early work hours. I had the earlier hours, but they forced me to change them,a nd are fighting me every inch of the way to get them back. The one special nurse person I saw agreed, and was ready to complete the reasonable accommodations forms but then decided to send me to another specialist doctor who she said could do a better job.

    If I know there’s people there, it’s a distraction even if i was in a lead-lined sealed box. No one gets it but me.

    yo-yo’s? I work with ’em, don’t need to play with ’em ;-)

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    #98180

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    billd, I hear you! I wish I’d known that I could have asked for accommodations when I was still in the workplace, but then, that would have meant knowing what disorders I have, which I didn’t.

    I need silence, working by myself. Early hours would be great except that I can’t get up early on a consistent basis and then be alert enough to get going early – unless on meds, and even then, I dare not go near the computer!

    20 years ago when I had my first sleep study, I didn’t remember (or think) to bring earplugs, which I wear at night to be able to sleep. I could hear the technician even just breathing through the little hole in the wall where the wires pass through. I can totally relate.

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    #98181

    Misswho23
    Member
    Post count: 146

    Came across this post and it looks like an older one. But distractions were about the biggest reason why my last job came to an end. I love doing design work but am wondering if working in an Ad Agency is way too distracting for me. This is mostly where I’ve worked. I’m still looking for full time work but have been freelancing at home to keep the money coming in. I’ve thought about an In-House job. Haven’t gotten any interviews but do good getting freelance. But still have a hard time meeting the deadlines I even set for myself.

    I did a temp job last year that was just me and the person running the creative department. So just 2 of us in an office. I liked not hearing so many people and dealing with office politics. And she was nice to work with overall. But still made mistakes on really basic stuff I thought I double checked. However this co-worker had a real fondness for 80’s music that drove me bat Sh!2#$t crazy. Music can really affect my mood.

    And at the last job (the 11 year one) I got complaints about my music coming through headphones. I hate the ear buds. Guess Jane’s Addiction was too rowdy in the morning but Bon Jovi was not when the boss played it.

    And I turned it up loud to block out the noise.

    At the job I had for 11 years (Yes that long because I had gone through so many other jobs I went the other way and didn’t leave when I should have) I actually got written up for “making random and inappropriate noises such as talking to myself or my computer”. And I still didn’t just leave! But I had to endure every personal phone call from another employee that never got in trouble because apparently she “could get all her work done”. I even asked to be moved to an area that was not in the middle of everything. Now I know that was a reasonable accommodation. And they were also trying to get me to just quit. Like when I was told at my last review to explore my “options”. And I had racked up some legit reasons. I think in the years there I maybe was able to get to work on time about 10 times. So maybe once a year I could do it. LOL my boss also said somethings that were no helpful. Like maybe you should work somewhere not so high profile like a non-profit or something. It’s not like we were on Madison Avenue for hell’s sake.

    It’s been a little over a year since that job and still shudder thinking about it. So I’m realizing how ADHD added to all of this and why I was so distracted and no it wasn’t because I didn’t care about the job. It also drove me to go home and drink every night. No excuse but with trying to stay on top of things and working late and still being told I wasn’t cutting it, it just made me look to something to self medicate with. I’ve stopped the drinking and have an understanding of why I did that when undiagnosed. But I’m beginning to feel like I now have PTSD from that job. Applying for jobs gets me all worked up about being able to focus, be detailed oriented and good at time management. Usually the top qualifications listed before they even get to being creative. Which I never got complaints about. But have a bad track record with details and mistakes adding up.

    Anyone had similar bad jobs and any further success in focusing. Working at home I still get distracted way too much. And like Scattybird the all nighters are getting too hard to recover from. Anyone good at proofing cover letters and resumes? Another big stress for me.

    Mostly I feel like I’m talented and good at putting myself in places. It’s just once I get there to keep the momentum going.

    Had to vent.

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