Reply To: Do I Really Have ADD?


Hi, it sounds like you are a very visual person who follow visual instructions such as written ones and ikea pictures + words.

My supervisors realised I’m terrible at following verbal instructions (I understand English but I end up doing weird things) and although I’m visual, I can’t really concentrate on what they say if they talk really quickly while showing me something. I need to see something first and process the logic behind it after that. I read online that some visual folks may have difficulty in processing verbal instructions because they need to translate what they heard into pictures.

What helped:
1) My supervisor would just show me quietly how to do it 1-3 times and watch me do it on the spot after that. My guitar teacher would usually tell me to watch first and understand before I write what I understand, because if I’m just writing, I probably won’t fully understand and make a lot of mistakes.

2) Another supervisor told me the task, such as ‘make a crème Anglaise’ , asked me how I would do it and correct me immediately needed.

3) My supervisor would ask about the most important parts of my task, such as ‘what temperature does the sugar syrup need to boil to and why?’ as well as the consequences of my mistakes if I accidentally burned something while multi tasking.

4) As my multi-tasking skills are not great, my supervisors gave very specific instructions on how to complete each task quickly or multi task simpler tasks, such as ‘boil this at a high temperature, stir quickly, add A + B and boil for 2-3 minutes’ and ‘put the eggs and sugar in the mixer and grab other ingredients while mixing’.

5) Summarising what I heard and telling my supervisor what I understand, as well as telling them what kind of instructions are easier to follow. After I finish something, I will think about it and ask for feedback such as I spent 3 hours doing these few things but I suddenly got stuck in the middle because I was doing it this way. How can I change the way I work eg do it in a different sequence or something so that things go smoothly? I find myself making mistakes in this area or this kind of mistakes, what am I missing and how can I prevent it?

6) Practicing at home how to prioritise and organise my thoughts when I do housework. Eg in 1 hour, I will put the laundry in the machine, mop and clean my room, tidy up some things. Or if I learn a guitar song on youtube, I would set a time limit and think of how I will learn different parts.