Reply To: Accommodations at work: what to ask for?

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#64641
weston.hartman
Participant

I am a 30 y/o mechanical engineer who was diagnosed when I went back to college at 22 and really started struggling to NOT procrastinate on assignments and reading. College took me 6 years, as I transferred from a community college, but I got through it with 1.5X time for taking exams and really working with a McBurney counselor on time management and executive functioning skills. What really helped in scheduling my entire day in Gmail’s calendar (with alerts!) for: classes, lectures, meetings, team meetings, appointments, studying times, reading blocks, etc. It seemed like extreme OCD to my friends but it worked for me.

After finally graduating (with a not so stellar GPA, but a BS in Mech Engineering from a Big 10 school) my first two roles at my current big aerospace manufacturing company were supervising first two department of 30 total ppl, and then 4 months later a single department with 12 ppl. This was in operations and I actually thrived at the quickly paced day-to-day chaos, as it kept me moving and the days went by much quicker. I was able to fix many big issues that other past supervisors couldn’t and actually had back to back record quarters in my departments. I have learned I work better under stress/pressure as it keeps my brain stimulated and focused.

Once my time was done supervising, I transitioned to a new role as a Manufacturing Engineer. My biggest struggle was sitting at a desk and doing project management and completing tasks in a timely manner with an open “work at my own pace” environment. This was a new role here and my boss and I never set hard due dates until 6 months in. I have a great working relationship with my boss, but I feel that people with ADHD are SO self-aware of their short-comings that it effects day-to-day functioning. I find myself taking twice the time on projects just because I lose interest, can’t complete things that have drug on for too long, or spend far more time proof-reading my work or emails just to not make these mistakes. I am also constantly comparing my work with other peers, which takes a toll on my self esteem.

One tool I used as a vehicle team leader in college, and continued using at work, is a website tool called Workflowy.com. This is a very simple bulletin point note taking tool that has helped my daily functioning exponentially! I open it as soon as I get in every morning, and throughout the day I use it to add and organize daily tasks for projects and newly developed problems that arise. I have an on-going “Monday To-dos” thread at the top, followed by all my 20+ projects I am working on (yes, 20, that has been another issue I have been working on with my boss). On Tuesday I simple change Monday to Tuesday, shocking, as so forth. I use the site during meetings and the simple Workflowy App when I am walking around the plant (or outside of work) to add needed action items to my to-do list. This also comes in handy at night when I remember I forgot to do/add something.
The key to this site is its simplicity. I highly recommend trying it. It made sense for me to upgrade to the paid version, as I was able to get compensated for it, maybe it will work for you too.
Also, look into Asana.com or Basecamp for more project management tools. I have found the quickness and simplicity of Workflowy is perfect for my fast paced brain however. I know every ADHD person is different, as the scale of our weaknesses vary across every trait (I don’t struggle with forgetting little details too much), but this has worked wonders for me professionally. Hope this helps someone!