Let’s take a moment and consider how drastically different our desktops are today, even compared to only 10 or 20 years ago, and how that might affect our Executive Functioning.
I cut my career teeth during the days of physical rolodexes, Selectric typewriters, paper planners and calendars. Co-workers or employers didn’t call me at home unless there was a work emergency—or we were friends making social plans. From this vantage point, I can very clearly see how the workaday changes over the years might be taxing our brain’s Executive Functions.
Going further back, I remember my dad’s secretary, who worked with him for 40 years. She typed up and organized the conveyor belt of papers he needed to read or sign, kept track of his appointments, screened his phone calls, and no doubt much more.
When my father was home, he was home. His head wasn’t in his laptop, and he wasn’t anxiously checking his cell phone for texts. On weeknights, he was mainly watching the endless variety of Western TV series or reading Louis L’Amour novels. On weekends, he was the “fix-it” guy—my brother’s bicycle, momma’s electric iron, the lawnmower. And, he relaxed.
In my presentations—as well as in both of my books—I emphasize the importance of creating “environmental supports” for folks with ADHD. By this, I mean creating cues and physical structures that help to keep you on track—and not dependent on remembering.
Yet, for many of us, the modern workplace exists largely in the ether of our digital devices. Moreover, it exists 24-7. That requires a lot of brain power to manage.
For example, instead of relying upon a physical calendar in front of us on the wall or on our desk, we must remember to bring up our electronic calendar—or hope that we’re not engrossed in something else when the beeping reminder goes off.
To convey this point in a recent presentation, at the 11th International Congress on ADHD, in Mexico City, I shared the short video above. Pretty dramatic, eh?
Momchil Filev is the producer of that video, originally posted here at the company’s site: Best Reviews.
Are you old enough to reflect upon today’s stripped-down workspaces, compared to how it used to be? Do tell!