Phone banned at Work! NOW how do I function? (Low-tech strategies to cope)

So I have a bit of a predicament… My phone is my second brain. I use it in conjunction to a journal to set daily reminders and alarms for myself (I have the most SEVERE time blindness I swear, even on meds) but unfortunately Ive had a pretty bad episode of non focus lately it’s almost like there are two of me, one who’s done the job and done it well and efficiently, and the one everyone notices that goes right in behind me making mistakes to reports misfiling mail, and forgetting to forward messages (I SWORE I sent an email about that… sorry!).

Least to say, my work place is aware of my ADHD and they try to make accommodations as best they can but it’s gone too far as of late and I’m basically one screw up away, before my a** is grass essentially. That being said, they told me I am not to have any distractions at work. I work in a soundless room all day manning a desk all by myself so… practically a nightmare for me. I am really focusing in and struggling to remain focused but it’s difficult without my already set in place systems. I’m so worried I’m going to let my boss down when the ADHD monster comes back around to eat me!

What are some low tech ways you guys implement to stay on task and essentially survive the day? I’ve got an outlook calendar to start but it’s rather confusing because I have about 20 others for all the conference rooms I manage in my daily job, and google calendar doesn’t jive with me. I wind up with a day of 40 different things planned on repeat loop and I get so overwhelmed my train of thought instantly blocks it all out. That and I can’t exactly take my work PC with me (3 monitor setup anyone?)

I’d like some low tech suggestions on how to keep up with my time management, medication reminders, my calls for lunch (errand time!) and so on without the use of apps and phone alarms?

(P.S. I’m looking into time minder watches? Anyone have one? How do you like it and does it work?)
(P.P.S I am currently trying a bullet journal… “trying” being the operative word… when I remember to fill it out for the next week that is haha…)

Sorry for the long read! I ramble!


Omg this sounds like a nightmare!

The stuff you need your phone for, does it all still work in airplane mode?

If so, as your workplace says this is to support you, I would recommend explaining what you said above and asking if phone on airplane would be an acceptable compromise. I get that they don’t want you interrupted by WhatsApp and emails etc.

Lol nope, they’re old fashioned. I already asked if it would be acceptable to turn off my data but no dice. Phones in general are the devil and I can’t be trusted not to turn airplane mode off now can i? Evil laughter :smiling_imp:

it’s been a long night and I can’t read that whole thing. Basically what I got is: Mean Business People Take Away Phones because of Probably Boomer Reasons. My solution is to

  1. write or draw every single important thing, make sure to do it uniquely bc that’ll help you remember
  2. Try to find some way to get a doctor’s note or even file a complaint to HR saying that in this modern age, the Internet is required for normal human functioning

oKaY bOoMeR

And yeah, I would make an official complain to HR.

In the meanwhile: I put everything in my line of vision.
That important email? Highlighted.

Everything that’s due before lunch? I have a sticky-note per segment.

My desk is completely covered with papers but it works ( probably in part to my need to tidy it up after every. Single. Break. )

But! Don’t be afraid to get colorful or as messy as needed :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Good morning @Foxsox.
First. Whenever you fall into survival mode, you can take some slow deep breath into your deep stomach area first. Through your nose, out of your mouth. That should relief you from upcoming hectic panic hustles, if you have them. Survival mode is not a good place to solve crisis. It is freeze, run or fight… problem solving excluded.

I know that feeling, half brilliant and half fool. Not a pleasant place to be. So lets solve puzzles and problems. You might not be aware of that your personal office is a big advantage in your hands. Not only that distractions are shield out more likely, you wont disturb others, too. Its a save place for doing things in a brainy way. I am not a fan of the idea tackling your companies rights being the ones setting the house regulations and rules. As far as I can tell, they haven’t acted against law. I think it wont change your days for the better, if you decide becoming a “trouble maker”. That doesn’t end well in most cases.

So I am with you on finding better ways and tools to use. Also a good act for the long term. I am highly low-tech experienced. If you can describe your environment your office a bit further that would be a great help to me helping you. There is always room for optimizing things. So lets focus on that, too.

For example, most people are not aware how beneficial plants actually are. Especially in an office environment. They filter out toxic particles and gases of printers, toners and other machines. A medium large plant covers about 9 square meters room, studies showed. They release also messengers, which lower stress levels especially in the brain. Looking at them can brighten the mood. So I keep some plants as accountability buddies near me. Some plants can live in glass vesicles, fluids only. Seeing what and when they need something from me, turned me from black to a green thumb. Means I stopped killing them accidentally. :sweat_smile:

Which are working the best for you, is also a matter of your preferences. Pen and paper solutions don’t need a recharge. They can sustain in long terms. Can be handy and light weight, really good companions. They are more beneficial when it comes down to strengthen memory. Do you already practice externalizing information? If so, what and how?

I worked with different time tools in the past. One of my personal favorites is the Pomodoro technique. Mobile phones are not the only option for setting alarms. Building up structures and routines, which are guided through and without them, both is possible. You and I will not be able to change all over night at once. That you should be aware of and be at peace with.

Looking forward to hear from you. Lovely weekend brains and hearts.

I’m sorry to hear you’re having a hard time at work, I am as well. Now I myself don’t have the financial means, but if you do would your job be okay with some sort of smart watch or an apple watch? There are android ones but I’m not sure of the price points. I think they can send you reminders and do many things that your phone would do, just on your wrist.

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Can you get a smart watch for your platform ? Apple watch or galaxy watch ? Then turn off the mobile data? Then the notifications will come to the watch give you a little tap on the wrist and a quick glance to see what it is. Maybe combine that with Bluetooth earphones that can let you interact with your phones voice assistant on the sly to set any new reminders ? Perhaps also install the google app on your phone and manage your reminders through google calendar from your work computer and have the notifications then come through the watch. (assuming you have one ). Another option might be if you have or can get Bluetooth on your work computer maybe getting your watch to work directly with the PC. And bypassing the phone all together? I dont know if thats a thing or not but might be worth investigating. But keeping it all in google calendar so its one platform over all devices?

Or if they still exist an old school personal organiser.

What has happened with this would be a nightmare for me like so many people my phone coordinates my life. I use an apple watch because its less intrusive than pulling out your phone to get reminders.

Let us all know if you find a workable Option i think a few people here would find a bit of a disconnect from the actual device and its endless options for distraction a handy tool.

Good luck and sorry you have to wade through finding a work around.


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