Distractions are now minimal, but I’m still struggling with interruptions

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    • #39871
      Penny Williams

      This discussion was originally started by user MessyMind in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.


      With the assistance of Adderall and my own little set of dos & don’ts for avoiding distractions, my ability to concentrate has improved significantly.  I feel like I’m now able to apply my hyperfocus to things that I don’t really see as interesting.

      However, interruptions break the concentration and often it is impossible to get back to it.  An interruption can be a phone call/conversation where I have to switch topics (which is understandably breaking my concentration).  But it also can be a conversation about the project I’m actually working on.  Or even just knowing that I missed a phone call.  Or knowing that I just got an email (without knowing who from or what about).

      Currently, to be productive I have to feel that I have control of my environment.  Everything silenced, out of sight, all potential interruptions eliminated.  Seems a bit extreme, and sort of diva-ish!

      I’m developing a reputation of being “hard to get a hold of”, “unresponsive”, “unavailable”.  I can’t have that.  But the days where I’m available to emails, calls, etc., I get nothing else accomplished.

      Is this just how it has to be?

      Does anyone have any tips or tricks for successfully switching gears & maintaining productivity?

    • #40988
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user Dr. Eric in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Lifehack recommended the idea of a “Power Hour” an hour per day that you make an appointment to yourself that is as precious as an appointment with another. You put up the Do Not Disturb Sign, play some classical background music and/noise machine, unplug from tech distractions, etc.

      For me, I am a morning person. I just get at least an hour before everyone else.

    • #40989
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user ADHDquirk in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      I put appointments in my work calendar of what I need to be working on. It makes it very full, but people realize which project I am (or that I’m doing something they want) and leave me alone – but I can ‘bounce’ around projects much easier than others. One of my coworkers has ‘days’ for 3 projects. Project A is M/W and Project B is Tu/Thu and anything else he does on Friday and e.g. on M he will only do Project A and not look at project B emails.

      Also, maybe it is something to check with a manager. Could you setup a meeting at say 3pm for them to come to you with everything (rather than getting short questions throughout the day)?

    • #40990
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user ARC in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      While in Human Resources (regularly inundated with calls, emails etc…) I found that setting times to get back to people was the best way to manage their needs and my own. An example would be 8am-9am emails and call backs, 1- 1:30pm email and callbacks, 4-4:30 emails and callbacks. I would leave 4:30-5pm for my last minute details. The tough part was that I could not let myself go over my allotted follow up times I set, so sometimes I would have to email that I was still working on follow up and would respond with an answer before close of business day. People preferred immediate responses, but as they saw I responded consistently had no additional issues with my follow up. Allotting a window of time to myself once a week so that I could catch on, brain storm etc.. also helped me tremendously. Good luck

    • #40991
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user MessyMind in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Thank you all for your responses.

      I’m in a little bit of a unique situation in that 1) I’m self-employed (great that I get to make the rules, just need to figure out what rules work best for me); 2) most calls or emails require a large chunk of time; and 3) my work is creative in nature so stopping to think about a different project(s) breaks my spell. It’s the getting back into the zone once that happens that I’m having trouble with.

      I think the 3x/day checking of voicemail & texts could work, and emails only at the end of the day. I could let clients known that they can notify me via text if an email requires immediate attention. Texts seem less of an interference than emails… maybe because they’re smaller??

    • #40993
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user Dr Eric in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      The problem with texts is that there is still an expectation of immediacy, which can be a problem in a customer based response.

      People are starting to have the same expectations with email, but I find if I am consistent in my response time and always use a more formal, business letter email style, I can shape their expectations.

      At my job, we have a saying. We call business partners, and we text our friends.

    • #40994
      Allison Russo

      This reply was originally posted by user Sandman2 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      One other thing to explore with your doctor is the possibility that you need to modify your medication and or dose.

      Doctors tend to start out patients on a low dose and slowly work upwards based on patient feedback. The problem can arise when the doctor does not tell the patient exactly what to expect, or is too busy to listen, or the communication just is not good.

      According to Dr. Charles Parker in his “New ADHD Medication Rules”, a good guide to how well your medication is working for you (all things being equal) is length of duration. Adderall IR should work for 5 to 6 hours. Adderall XR should last 8 to 10 hours. And something like Vyvanse should last 10 to 12 hours.

      It does sound like you might be undermedicated. Its pretty easy to find out – with your doctors permission, of course. Hope this helps.

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