Jacqueline Vance, RN
Jacqueline Vance, RN

OK can I just sound off a bit? I hate being interrupted multiple times throughout the day when it is just not necessary. I mean, I am at an age where I am seriously affected with AAAD (Age Associated Attention Deficit Disorder). It’s hard enough to concentrate some days as it is, without constant interruptions that could have waited.

Let me explain a typically bad AAADD day at home. I get up and go out to the kitchen make a cup of coffee, but I see mail on the counter and realize I should pay some bills. So I go into the office to pay some bills online but then I see some emails I really should answer. So one hour later, I remember I was going into my office for a different reason but can’t remember why.

So I go back into the kitchen to try to have “recall” but I see that my plants need watering. I get the watering can out of the closet and see I am out of foil wrap. Gee I should put that on a list so I don’t forget to get some when I go to the store later this day as that is a MUST. I go to make out the list but can’t find a working pen and go into my office to get one. I notice some papers that need to be files and think I should do that quickly. But, when I put the papers in different piles to file, I notice more emails and figure I should just answer those before I forget.

 An hour later, I see that the bottoms of my socks are dirty and realize I really need to Swiffer. As I go into the laundry room to get the Swiffer, I might as well throw my socks in the wash. And, I mean, as long as I am doing that, I might as well throw a load of wash in.

So I go into the bedroom but see I have not made the bed yet, but as I go to do that, I get a call from my sister so I need to answer that, of course. Oh, I haven’t had coffee so while I am talking to her, I go to the kitchen and to make a cup.  A half hour later, I cannot remember why I went into the bedroom for something. So I head back there and think I should get dressed since half the day is gone and I’m still in my jammies.

I go to go into my closet but pass the bathroom on the way and think I should clean the bathroom as long as I am not dressed yet and it is Saturday, cleaning day, after all. So I go back into the kitchen and see my cold cup of coffee not yet drunk and go to put it in the microwave. As I do, I think we should really get the door to the microwave repaired and think I better write that down.  But, gee, there is no pen in the kitchen so I go into my office to get one.

When I get there, I see that the mail is still sitting on my desk and remember I need to send out a thank you card to a friend. I should get a stamp. Oh boy, I am out of stamps. I better write that down on my “list” and go back into the kitchen. Um, no pen. Next thing I know it is 4 p.m., I am still in my jammies, still haven’t had my coffee, still haven’t done the laundry, still haven’t watered the plants or paid the bills, or gone to the store or … However, I have met my Fitbit step goals for the day and then some.

Now, max that times 100 when you are at work and you are juggling hundreds of tasks, and people come to you every few minutes with a message or request that wasn’t urgent. Here comes the solution part, kids. 

Arrange when to be interrupted. Ask that perhaps at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. that be when everyone may come to you with requests. Or send and check your email at only specific times when you have planned to review and answer them.

This really works, by the way. When people respect your schedule, you can get so much more done and survive the AAADD days!

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse who also is the director of clinical affairs for AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.