Do you have jumbled thoughts which keep wondering, irrespective of the importance of the conversation; whether you are talking to your manager or your subordinate? Do you get easily side tracked and forget what you are working on? Do not ignore this problem! You may be having the disorder called ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. This can lead to missing important information and making mistakes.
Although controlling your ability to focus on all the issues may not be feasible, but there are strategies to help you make things better and improve your focus. Here are a few such tips.
Do not criticize yourself
You may feel frustrated of not being able to focus and you try to blame your psychological inability. Instead of doing this, employ these thoughts and energy on solving the problem. Understand and keep telling yourself that it is just a symptom of your disorder which can be corrected.
Think in positive terms to help you focus better. Think of the successes you had in the past and build confidence that it is possible even now if it was possible in the past. Keep saying certain power words regularly such as “focus, focus, focus…”.
Keep a timer
ADHD makes it difficult to judge how the time keeps ticking, and you may end up underestimating the desired time to complete a particular task. You may constantly run late to your scheduled timelines, meetings or appointments. It is better to have a timer so that you do not lose the track of your time. A sand timer can help you to visualize how time passes by. It is better to avoid your mobile to check the time as it can lead to distractions.
Maintain the To-do-list
ADHD can weaken your memory, and you may forget doing things. Unload all the thoughts running in your brain. As you are assigned with any task with a specific deadline, it is better you write it under your to-do-list. Stick it in a place which you constantly come across so that it serves as a reminder. Maintain a track of things accomplished and the tasks that are yet to be done so that you do not miss doing any important task.
It is better if you can maintain separate note books categorizing them for shopping, songs, office work, movies, etc. to make your work easy and organized.
Prioritize your tasks
People with ADHD often end up missing the important tasks to be done for that day in spite of working continuously for the whole day. Help yourself by creating a chart with columns on the tasks as per their importance and urgency. Allot a reasonable time for the tasks and commit to the schedule so that things go as planned.
Get back with the sensory cues
If you are worried of getting distracted by a particular time of concentrating, recognize it – whether it is for every 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Accordingly, set a sensory cue like a vibration on your watch or phone or a pop-up note on the computer screen so that you can reorient back to your work.
You can maintain a background noise to prevent spacing out. You may turn on a ceiling fan or a song or some machine ON with a low volume to keep you focused. If you are in a meeting, you can fiddle with the soft balls under the desk while listening to the lecture. You may have something to chew on.
You can focus on your task by moving constantly while working if possible. Invest in a chair that allows you to move to and fro or allows for a higher range of movement.
Clean the high traffic around
If you are working in the office with people regularly moving around, you may get distracted. Corner yourself or try to make arrangements such as a temporary cubicle to avoid the excess sounds and visuals. You can get some noise canceling headphones to keep you focused.
Visual clutter can impair your focus. Ensure to clear off the unwanted traffic from your desk which are amusing and can sidetrack you. Organize your workspace before you get settled to work.
Break down the task
If you think the task is too big and is scaring you, break it into smaller do-able tasks, for example cleaning a part of your house each day instead of doing it all on a single day. This motivates you to get started and pursue with the task.
Deadlines are scary especially for people with ADHD. Instead of thinking of the final deadline for a particular assignment, make mini-deadlines and try to achieve them in a series. Estimate the time for each of the smaller fragment of the task calculating for the whole of it. This approach also calms you down as you think of the smaller fragments of the assignment instead of the bigger one, and what you need to do at that moment.
You can make it more interesting by making arbitrary deadlines like finishing a task by the time a movie or a playlist ends.
Take help from your family member
It is not wrong to rely on your loved ones for help. In fact, they are always in reach for you. Take help from your parent, or your partner or your child or a guide. Let them do things you cannot do yourself and as long as it is not harming anyone.
The other way round is to have accountability of your work with your partner. Make a deal that you are going to finish a particular work by a specific time, and once you finish the work acknowledge the same to your partner. Your partner may award you for doing things on time, and that serves as a motivation for you.
Take up healthy habits
Adopt healthy habits, such as eating healthy, getting a proper night’s sleep, exercising and meditating every day, limiting caffeine intake, etc.
Take the medications as prescribed by your physician. ADHD is a neurological disorder and medicines can help your brain work efficiently.
Do not just stop after reading through this blog. Do it today! Tomorrow may not come in most of your lives for making a good start. Close all the unnecessary tabs in your brain. Plan out everything properly and work on it. Be more aggressive if necessary and a distraction-free environment is possible!