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Ways To Focus With ADHD

If you’re a sufferer of ADHD, or if someone close to you suffers from ADHD then these ways to focus with ADHD are a worthwhile read. Focusing on one task at a time, without getting distracted is difficult enough at the best of times, but when you have ADHD, the distraction factor is intensified. It’s easy to get mentally involved in the next task without completing the one in hand and by the end of the day, you wonder what you’ve achieved. Here is a simple technique written for Psychology Today by Mark Bertin which may just help not only those who suffer from ADHD, but also those who simply struggle to focus.

Learning to STOP

Ways To Focus By Saying StopTo create this pause, practice the acronym ‘STOP’ with each transition. Before getting up from the table, leaving your desk, or shifting your activity at any time during the day:

  • Stop what you’re doing.
  • Take a few breaths.
  • Observe what’s going on for you, internally and externally.
  • Pick what would be best to do next.

Having paused and checked in, what would it take to finish what you started? With children, you might even review the three steps before beginning a task. Take out the milk and a glass. Pour and drink the milk. And then . . .  step three, put milk in the fridge and the glass in the dishwasher. Check the assignment pad, finish the homework. And then  . . . put it in the backpack. Create reminders to STOP over and over again through the day. Eventually this pause in transitioning becomes a habit, consistently getting you and your child from point A to point C—a complete and well-considered conclusion.

Click here to view the whole article on Psychology Today

These ways to focus with ADHD are helpful to me, and I don’t think I have ADHD. I’ve certainly not been diagnosed with it anyway. Occasionally I get to the end of the day and wonder what on earth I’ve achieved but I think that’s fairly commonplace. What I have found really helpful, is planning the following day, the day before, setting myself allocated time slots for each task (with a timer) and removing all distractions (social media, phone, emails). Exercise is also an absolute godsend when it comes to focusing and also alleviating stress.

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An Alternative Approach To Focusing With ADHD

Procrastination weaves its evil tricks at the best of times, but when you suffer from ADHD, it’s even easier to procrastinate and allow yourself to succumb to distractions. This is an alternative approach to focus with  ADHD written by David D. Nowell, Ph.D For Psychology Today. According to Dr Nowell, those who suffer from ADHD have lower density of dopamine receptors than those who do not suffer from ADHD and since dopamine is responsible for reward and motivation, those who suffer from ADHD tend to struggle to maintain concentration with boring tasks and often seek attention from others.

An Alternative Approach To Focusing With ADHD

And these longer term goals can be broken down into daily step by step action items. Some of those to-do items are not fun, and are not easy. And as we approach boring or hard tasks our brains begin to scan the environment for something—anything—more immediately and intrinsically rewarding.

At my ADHD workshops for clinicians and teachers I suggest that there’s no such thing as procrastination. There’s just choosing. And choosing again. That moment by moment choosing is the “stuff” of longer-term goal attainment. If you know anyone with an academic degree, a savings account, a healthy body, or a relationship that’s lasted longer than three weeks, give them (or yourself) a pat on the back! That goal required day-by-day, decision-by-decision commitment to a mental picture in which you believed, and towards which you strived—even when it wasn’t fun or easy.

Our brains are wired for just this type of visualization and sequencing and “stick-to-it-iveness.” But it’s not easy, and we’re surrounded by seductive distractions. And people with ADD/ADHD are at particular risk of being seduced off-task.

Click here to view the whole article

An alternative approach to focusing with ADHD such as visualization of your goals is thought provoking, not just for those with ADHD, but for non sufferers too. Developing a mental image of your goal using sensory detail, together with affirmations is often advised in a few books I’ve read recently. The penultimate paragraph of advice was poignant:

When you see me struggle with dull or difficult tasks, help me “connect the dots.” Remind me of why I’m doing this and what the payoff will be for me. Describe for me in vivid sensory detail (the smells, the visuals, the feelings) what it will be like for me once I’ve attained that goal.

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How To Focus Your Mind In An Era of ‘Hyper Distraction’

We’re surrounded by distractions and it’s getting increasingly difficult focus, whether the distraction is social media, or texts, phone calls, emails etc.  Margaret Moore, co-author of ‘Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life: Train Your Brain To Get More Done In Less Time’, explains just how to focus your mind in an era of ‘hyper distraction‘.

The answer is ‘not about the to-do list and apps. It’s about using your mind and your brain in the most productive way.’

Not only is there rarely a chance to have a break from the arsenal of bombardments in our ‘hyper distracted’ lives, but we are not allowing our minds to cope and be creative.

Ms Moore says in turn our health takes a hit – which makes us even less focused.

‘Manage the frenzy’, Ms Moore says, so that our negative habits do not ‘impair our ability to do things or to be creative.’

Many turn to lists for help, but Ms Moore says they are too long.

‘We think about the 32 things we’re not doing when we’re doing the one thing we need to focus on’.

Instead, she told the news site that we need to aim to ‘decide what’s important and stick to that for the day.

Read full, original article here

If you believe you’re good at multitasking and are not wondering how to focus your mind in an era of ‘hyper distraction’ then consider the point that not only is multitasking detrimental to getting work done well and reaching goals but it is not good for your mind. The part I found particularly interesting was with regard to how multitasking actually makes you less creative.  When you apply one hundred percent to one task with no distractions, and you complete it to a high standard, you feel more energised. Turn off all distractions and concentrate for 30 mins – see if you can do it!

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Are Drugs The Right Answer For ADHD?

If someone close to you has been diagnosed with ADHD, it’s more than likely that they’ll have been prescribed stimulants to help them to focus. Have you ever asked yourself the question: Are drugs the right answer for ADHD? Here, Laura Flores Shaw talks about alternative methods to train attention.

Adderall does help him to focus on boring tasks, he says, but he doesn’t think it increases his overall effectiveness. In fact, he thinks Ritalin or Adderall would help anyone focus.

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I think it’s quite scary how many doctors are just too quick to prescribe drugs to treat various conditions, rather than taking a step back to try to understand the root cause. Could it be that they’re not in the right environment perhaps? If you have 17 minutes to spare, I thought I’d include this fantastic insight into education by Sir Ken Robinson from the UK. It’s controversial, but so very true.

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