July 24, 2018 at 8:11 am #89217
My boss and I share an office and I’m very open with her about my ADHD. She is always amazed and how neat and tidy my desk is and how I try hard to prioritize and stay on tasks. She’s also impressed by my coping tools(use pomodoro method with hourglass timers, have puzzles on my desk for breaks, have a standing desk and wobble board to stay physically engaged) but what she doesn’t understand is it is STILL SO HARD for me. Especially sharing a space with someone! She constantly interrupts me to “bounce ideas off” or tell me about her cat (I’ve thought before maybe she is undiagnosed for this and many other reasons) and other things like that.
It drives me NUTS!! It derails my focus every time and it takes so long for me to get it back that I am not nearly as productive as I could be. I’m already hard on myself about not getting things done…because I’ve had a lifelong trend of that! Now that I am back on meds and able to really put out great work, I wanna do that!
So, what are accommodations you’ve asked for and how did you ask? She’s very sensitive and I’m afraid to hurt her feelings if I ask for a separate office — plus I don’t know that one even exists that I could use. But I can’t keep going on like this! I need undisturbed alone time at least half the day to really do my job to my high standards.
July 26, 2018 at 9:00 am #89420
This is a common practice in shared working spaces. Most people can be interrupted for casual conversation and then get right back to work after that. So, it’s hard for them to realize they might cause a negative effect just by being friendly and sociable.
Instead of trying to get her to remember, come up with something that makes it obvious when you don’t want to be interrupted. For example, I use earphones (sometimes without anything actually playing in them). And I tell people, “When I have my earphones on, I’m in the zone and can’t be interrupted unless it’s an urgent issue that needs immediate attention.”
This way, it’s not a conflict, you’re not blaming others for doing anything wrong, and you’re still allowing for times when being interrupted might be OK (when no earphones are on).
Side note: I usually can’t listen to music while trying to be productive because of my interest in music. But I did discover binaural beats, which is a great way of drowning out background noise and putting your brain into the zone. So, sometimes that’s what I’m listening to in my earphones.
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