Reader Question: “I have ADHD, and I really struggle to stay focused while I work, but I have so much work due this week. Any tips?”
Read Time: 4 Minutes
I’ve been there time and time again!
I have ADHD, too, and I fully understand how the urge to “check something real quick” ends up wasting half your day and leaves you with no time to complete the task you were supposed to be doing.
🤦♀️Been there. Done that.
Every brain is different, so what works for me; may not work for you. But, over the years, I have picked up some tips and tricks that I personally use and will recommend them time and time again!
While this list only scratches the surface of your Unique Efficiency Style, It is a great place to start.
So, here are some helpful tips and how I use them:
5 MOST EFFECTIVE TIPS TO HELP YOU STAY FOCUSED
Weekly High Five
The Forest App
I love this app! Not only does it keep me on track, but it helps plant more trees! It works as a reward in and of itself but also guides me back if I get off task. Basically, I set a timer for the amount of time I want to focus. While I am working, a little tree slowly grows on the screen. If I stray out off the app, my tree dies. So, out of pure guilt, I STAY ON TASK. But if I stay on task, I rack up points to plant a real live tree on this earth! How amazing is that? Check it out here.
I’m not someone that hops out of bed in the morning ready to conquer my to-do list. For me, it takes time. So, I developed a slow-paced routine that gets me fired up, focused, and ready to work. I start my morning with coffee and look over my to-do list while the house is still quiet. Then, I get dressed and take a short walk. On my morning drive, I listen to a podcast, which I finish while I eat breakfast. Once breakfast is over, I clear my plate and get to work!
Rewarding myself after each task has been a massive motivator for me! A small celebration that brings me joy: a snack, caring for my plants, a dance party, or just scrolling social media for fun. When I schedule my day, I add a short (~25-minute) break after each task. Then, before I get to work, I decide what the reward will be and commit to rewarding myself when I accomplish the goal!
Gear Up Beforehand
While this may seem like a given, neurodivergent people often have two modes: distracted and hyperfocused. Getting up to get everything, while working, can be distracting and lead to procrastination. And if today is a hyperfocused day, you will likely forget you need it if it’s not right next to you (Did you hydrate today?!). So before you start, take five minutes to collect all the necessities: water, a snack, a good pen, a blank notepad, and anything else you may need.
Ongoing Idea List
Do you get the most incredible ideas at the worst times, then worry that you might miss out on its genius if you don’t obsess over it right now? I get it! Trust me! When this happens, set a two-minute timer and write down everything you can think of on a blank notepad. Then, when your two minutes are up, get back to work! This way, you record all of your thoughts to be flushed out when you have more time to focus on them; while staying on task.
This is a topic that I could grab a microphone and do a complete Ted Talk on with zero notice. And don’t worry; I plan to bring a lot of that knowledge to you in the future. But, for now, this list can help you get started. And remember, If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send them my way! I am always happy to help.