Everyone pretty much has this mind-eye picture of someone with ADHD: can’t settle, always on the go, can’t do just one thing. Blah blah blah. And you know what, that’s pretty accurate. The whole point is that somethings messing up the ability to focus. When my SiL mentions that to stay up, she just grabs a couple of projects to work on, that’s a huge shock to me — because I don’t have an attention span after about 7 pm. I’ve used it all up, no spoons left.
It was actually worse when I was in the call center, because there I had no breaks or moments to try to regain my focus. It was a constant, but I tried to make it serve the customer. That repeat what the person said trick? That was really me buying time to sort out what was actually said. I was good there. But I’m far better in my job now because if my attention wanders, I can take a few minutes and let it reset. I’m the single most productive member on the staff, and my supervisor pretty much takes a blind eye to my internet wanderings because my output is twice that of the rest.
My secret is that, these little wanders aside, I work until my focus is gone and then I switch it to something else work-related, like my insurance courses.
The other secret is that sometimes, I’m really not doing any work for hours.
Go back to your mental image of someone with ADHD. That type of inattention is basically the brain going “PROCESS ALL THE THINGS” and attempting to do that by flitting from one to the other. I can actually harness this type at work: I look up a product, I compare a product, I search for a product, I read metafilter and bhuz. No biggie — I might not be able to settle on a single screen, but I don’t need to, I’ve modified the steps to service my needs. I can do that because I am aware of it thanks to my medication, and I can change it through behavior modifications.
But there’s a second form of inattention that I haven’t figured out how to deal with, and it’s why I came home from work early today. It’s basically zombie fog. You know that what you need to pay attention to is right in front of you, but its obfuscated and just out of reach. Eventually, your brain just starts fanning out, trying to find a way through the fog, but it just keeps getting lost along the way. You zone out, you day dream…it’s all very frustrating, because every redirection you take to whatever needs attention is still in the fog when you return to it.
This one happens to me more as I get tired, as my reserves dry up. So on days like today, when I’m sick and didn’t get much quality sleep? Once I’m at that point, the only thing I can do is wait it out until I basically have a hard reset, and I don’t know what that’ll take. I’m struggling with it now, and hoping I’ll get a reset before going to dance class.