I was actually on a low dose of Focalin when I was first diagnosed at age 15. My psychiatrist worked with me to improve my time management skills and try to wean me off the meds if I could. I worked really hard and was actually able to be off of my meds near the end of my senior year of high school. That was about 8 years ago. These past 2 years, though, I’ve felt like my ADHD has gotten worse so I’m working on trying to get back on my old meds to see if I can level the playing feild again.
We have a set daily task checklist that I’m technically not supposed to deviate from, but my managers don’t care if I change it up because they know I am doing my job and I’m not trying to weasel out of doing work. I’ve tried a bunch of different checklists by moving tasks around, but I still get stuck doing tasks that I shouldn’t be working on (but I’m the only one that does them so they have to get done).
I wish I could listen to music! That’s how I got through high school and college homework. However, I can only listen to music an hour before the store opens. There is music playing in the store, which helps (especially since I lived through a time when our store did not have any music!), but it’s pretty easy to tune out because I can’t always hear it.
When I’m doing the bedding changes in the back rooms (where our new animals and separate room where sick animals are in) I will have either Coroline or Moana playing on my phone as background noise. But I can’t do that on those bedding change days where the animals are out on the sales floor.
I went ahead and did a Mind Map on paper to see if I could figure out where I was tripping myself up most. I found that a lot of my problems stem from trying to make too many on the spot decisions which kept fluctuating my priorities. So when I first start, I had my check list in order of priority, but then something will happen that I didn’t expect (like finding a sick animal that needs to be isolated) and then ALL of my priorities will change in an instant in a completely different order. Then I’ll start second guessing those as I’m going along and they’ll change again and again.
I actually did try something new today to see if I could help myself. Instead of doing things in sections like normal, I broke everything down by simple tasks and put those tasks into rounds. So instead of getting everything I need to do for the hamsters, then birds, then reptiles, then the back rooms, then the bedding change, I broke it down into rounds: Round 1 is feeding hamsters, birds, the reptiles that eat crickets, putting clean dishes away, then 3 tasks of the bedding change. Round 2 would be going back around and giving everyone water, then a clean up task, then 3 bedding change tasks.
The system actually worked pretty well. But it’s only been one day, one type of bedding change, and there are still some very fine tuning that needs to happen.
I’m still curious to see what other strategies others have tried! It’s nice to have a support group to brainstorm with! Thank you for helping me so far!