ADHD and The Phone

Do you have trouble staying focused while you are on the phone or work with clients or employees who seems to lose focus?  ADHD causes very real and sometimes significant challenges when trying to focus during a phone call.  This is especially true for people who work virtually or in a different location from their boss.

I shared my 6 top tips on a recent episode of the Practical ADHD Strategies radio show.  The tips are listed below, and you can listen to the 15 minute show here for more details:  Practical ADHD Strategies.

  1. Determine how long you can effectively focus during a phone call.  Not sure?  Experiment!  15 minutes might be perfect for one person and 45 minutes could be the best option for the next person.  What works best for you?
  2. Go to a place without distractions during phone calls.  Conference rooms, dining rooms and quiet hallways are all options.  Where is the most quiet place in your work location?
  3. Close your computer when you are having a phone call.  If you need the computer during phone call, close all unnecessary programs… especially email and internet browsing.
  4. If you tend to be distracted and lose focus during phone calls, think about ways you can use written communication to stay focused.  Can you text that update to your Virtual Assistant?  Can you send your boss a quick status update by email?
  5. Ask your employee or client with ADHD about their personal preferences.  What works best for them to stay focused?

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4 thoughts on “ADHD and The Phone

  1. Laura,

    What are your thoughts on using fidgeting to keep concenctrated on phone calls? I have heard some comments that is it a help for some ADDers.

    I personally use a stress ball to stay focused and relaxed during phone calls. This is especially useful for long teleconferences where I might get asked a question in the middle of a long “non-interesting” discussion.

    I find it important to use a silent fidget device. Drumming on your desk with a pen is very annoying to others around you and on the line.

    By intentionally fidgeting my brain doesn’t wander far or often. I also us a hands-free headset so I can walk around my workspace and find the physical movement helpful.

  2. Fidgeting is a great way to stay focused during phone calls! I especially like the idea of standing up. I think that can help you increase your focus and engagement on the calls.

  3. Try talking with them before the conversation starts and let them know that it would help you to check for understanding during the conversation.