Rarely do I take the time to look at the positives of ADD these days...mostly because it's been mostly easy to see what I do wrong. I lose things. I forget things. Relationships are a struggle. I am kind of a mess (but I know what I'm doing usually). To the outside world, I appear to be an unorganized spaz...I'm kind of okay with this, but it's not a great thing.
Anyway, I've recently become aware of something at work that kind of surprised me. I'm a quick-thinker. Now, this isn't news to me, I am quick to jump at a lot of things. However, I've recently been paired up with a few colleagues on projects. As a result, I find myself extremely frustrated at what I consider their slow thinking. Only this week did it finally occur to me that maybe they aren't slow...maybe this is part of my ADHD. Either that, or they are slow and the people in charge don't really care!
A few simple examples...
(FYI - I'm an architectural job captain, which means I work on project drawings and management through the design and construction phase)
I'm co-leading a project with a guy next to me. He's smart, a few years younger but knows what he's doing. He is a slow worker though. During the design phase of the project, he was working late regularly on things that I breezed through. I work fast when I want to. Watching him work, I see that he just moves slower than I do. He does a good job, just more slowly. Recently, I've been swamped, so he has been fielding most of the calls for the project. While I tend to jump on responding to calls/emails the second they come in, he takes his time. I do realize, though, that maybe this is what prioritizing looks like. Current project takes precedence, and whatever comes up will get done when the time arises. It's tough for me because I usually feel that I can handle it more quickly.
On a few other projects, I'm working with two other guys, both of whom have been in the field a few years longer than I have and are in the process of becoming licensed architects (I have no desire to do this myself). On every project with these two, I have found myself constantly irritated at their seemingly slow (or unintelligent, really) responses to outside questions. Contractors call with a question from the field, and I often quickly have a solution to propose... both of these guys have (at different times) spend a solid few minutes debating aloud with themselves whether or not a solution can be found quickly. All the while, I'm sitting here thinking, "dude, did you hear me? I solved it already!!!"
One guy is just indecisive and questions a lot: "well, uh, we'll see...umm, if we can maybe do something here, maybe this or that.."
The other guy just annoys the living daylights out of me because he nervously chuckles constantly while attempting to propose ideas (most of which are more complicated than necessary), and if I attempt to quickly respond with my simple solution, he continues babbling on for a good few minutes typically.
For me, critical thinking and problem solving comes naturally and quickly. When I figure out a logical solution, the search for a solution is over... it's been covered. Move on. Maybe this isn't normal. I honestly don't know what "normal" is. Whatever the case, I find it thoroughly frustrating working with people who seem to be slow to grasp what I consider a simple, logical conclusion. I find that situations are often made more complicated than necessary by their way of handling things.
So anyway, this long post was simply about one main thing... critical thinking. It's nice to realize that, thanks to my lifelong battle with ADD, I have honed in on this one skill. I am quick to respond, and luckily for me, my responses tend to work. If I spend too much time dwelling on something, I feel like I'm less likely to end up with a solution.
Of course, the negative side of this is when I'm working on multiple things at once, and I get asked to do things all at once. Rather than understanding how to prioritize, I speed up to hyper-speed in attempt to solve or respond to everything before I put something off until it falls through the cracks (because if I don't respond right away, that tends to happen).