How to stay focused with ADHD

Hey everyone, Dennis here.

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You sit down to work, but soon find yourself browsing the Web and after a few more minutes, scrolling Instagram. Staying focused with ADHD can be pretty challenging. So this time, I want to discuss a few tricks and tips to prevent you from sidetracking.

Steer Clear of Distractions

Being easily distracted by external stimuli is a hallmark of ADHD. The fewer the diversions, the easier it is for you to focus. Thus, while working, block out all distractions excluding the things that are a must-have for the task at hand. This could entail:

  • Turning your iPhone on “Do Not Disturb” mode

  • Turning off your smartphone altogether until at least you achieve your current goal. Text messages, phone calls, and emails popping up on your phone screen can derail your attention span and focus.

  • Closing your door with a note hanging over it that may read, “I’m busy at the moment,” so that nobody interrupts you during your work.

  • Masking bothersome sounds with a white noise machine, or earplugs.

  • Clearing up the clutter at your desk or workplace (as a messy area can be highly distracting).

Split a Bigger Task or Chore

Having to do one huge task may seem quite daunting and boring, causing you to procrastinate. A good way to tackle this issue is chunking the bigger goal into smaller, manageable pieces.

Take one Task at a Time

Contrary to what people thought in the past, current research shows that our brains are not wired to multitask well. And for ADHD brains, multitasking can be more taxing. When you’re multitasking, you’re just switching from one task to another too rapidly. What do you get out of it? Nothing, actually. You aren’t able to accomplish a single task due to the mental blocks created by switching between tasks. Avoid all this nuisance by sticking to one chore and moving on to the next only when you’re completely done with the given task. 

Assign a Deadline to the Task at Hand

Studies show that people with ADHD tend to bring their A-game under strict deadlines. Why? Well, it turns out the “sluggish” reward system in ADHD brains works well under high pressure. The reward system normally uses a “rewarding” brain chemical called dopamine to motivate us to take steps for achieving a specific reward. However, ADHD brains are short of dopamine, slowing down their reward systems. That said, you can still give a boost to your reward system by assigning a deadline to the present task. Doing so will likely get the dopamine pumping in your brain and help you stay in the zone. 

Clock in and Clock out the Time Spent on Each Goal

Keeping track of the time is vital to ramp up your alertness and productivity. Allot a limited amount of time to each task. Use a timer, a reminder app, or alarm to keep you aware of the time passing by and the time spent on each task. Also, be realistic about the time that you allocate for a particular task. Remember your brain is a bit different than other people’s brains, and it may take you more time to get things done.

Whatever you try, keep in mind that not every strategy works for everyone. You need to experiment a few tips to figure out what works best for you. And if you need any further help, get in touch with us for a one-on-one consultation by calling the office at 310-360-6807.

If you’re interested in treatment for ADHD at our office, start here.