Sometimes your focus can be as split as a block of string cheese. There are so many people, responsibilities, and adorable puppy videos on social media platforms all vying for our attention at all times. But by serving so many causes, you might end up not giving your best to any. This becomes even more accurate for people who have been diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Luckily, there are some tricks you can implement to help regain your focus and crush the tasks at hand. While there are many over-the-counter remedies and caffeine-laden drinks that can help you along the way, there are all-natural options that you might find useful as well–and more healthyl. Here are 13 tricks you can use to ensure that everything you participate in gets your undivided attention.
1: Make a List of Things You Need to Do
Making a to-do list is the top way to ensure that you stay on track. Every day, write down a list of items you need to accomplish. Don’t think too much about it. Just grab a pen and paper and start jotting away.
Typically, the first few things you jot down are the ones that will require the most attention. So, make sure you allot yourself enough time to accomplish those tasks.
Writing down your goals may seem superfluous. You know what you need to do; those tasks are stored in your head. However, your mind is the same storage space that’s causing all of this divided attention in the first place.
When you write down a goal, it becomes more tangible than a thought. Your goal is no longer floating around in the ether of your mind. Now, it lives on a piece of paper that you can hang up on the wall or throw in your bag.
That’s why those who write down goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. Maybe you should write down, “Improve my focus” as a goal.
2: Take Inventory of Distractions
Lack of focus may start in the brain, but there are several triggers out there waiting to derail our progress. You need to take note of these distractions. That way, you can remove them from your way to better get your tasks done.
Common distractors that might pull your focus away from accomplishing your goals include:
- Social media
- Chatting with co-workers
- Loud neighborhood
As you can see, there are a plethora of distractors in society. Some are more obvious than others. So, before you partake in anything that requires your focus, identify anything that can cause a distraction. Then, make a proper plan to avoid it.
3: Get Organized
It might not come as a shock that those who have ADHD have some scattered thoughts. These tendencies can easily manifest in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, disorganization can be a disaster for productivity.
Before you get started, plan your attack. Think of what you need to accomplish your goal. For instance, say you need to paint the living room. To achieve this, you will need paint and paintbrushes. Are you doing the trim, too? You might need to buy an edger or a thinner paintbrush, as well.
Knowing all the logistics before you start a task can keep you from shutting down when the job begins. You won’t take unnecessary breaks to buy new tools or kick yourself emotionally for hours over a simple oversight. By getting organized, you put out fires before they spread out of control.
4: Just Get Started
Many of us have problems getting things started because the anxiety of beginning a task can be a bit much. The looming uncertainty of completing a project can cause a person to freeze up. As a result, we look for other ways to kill time.
Part of the reason for this tactic is to take our minds off the pressures of completing a task. However, many use procrastination as a time buffer. Procrastination allows time to wrap our heads around the inevitable–which is that the job needs to be finished.
One analysis compared the procrastination levels of adults diagnosed with ADHD to those without such symptoms. The report found that “adults diagnosed with ADHD reported significantly higher decisional and behavioral procrastination.” They further noted that these findings “support the clinical diagnoses that frequent delays in completing tasks may be a symptom of AD/HD disorder.”
Instead of dreading the job you need to do, jump right into it. You will be more likely to complete this responsibility. This theory is called the Zeigarnik effect. One experiment involving adults using the Zeigarnik effect found that starting a task made them 90% more likely to finish the job.
When you begin working on something, it activates the hippocampus. This area of the brain helps you take new experiences and transform them into long-term memories stored in the cortex. Starting a task and working on it for 10 minutes wires your brain to perceive the event as essential. Therefore, you will think about finishing this task more often, which will propel you to seeing it through.
5: Hold Something
Do you need to cram for a test, work on a speech for work, or finish planning your bestie’s bachelorette celebration? All of these may sound like a nightmare come true. This kind of responsibility can cause anyone with ADHD to get nervous.
One of the most common symptoms of ADHD is the inability to sit still. When we become stressed about future endeavors, these nervous ticks can pick up intensity. Thankfully, there are a few little tricks that can help you stay focused.
For one, fidget spinners have grown in popularity among the ADHD community. The constant movement of the spinner helps anxious people feel balanced. They channel their nervous energy and propel it away from their bodies. That way, they can focus on the task-at-hand.
You can also try other tricks that may work for you. Some find that tapping a pencil helps them get some of their nervous energy out. While others find it therapeutic to flick a rubber band in their palm. Try out any of these tips and see which one works best for you.
6: Do One Task at a Time
We all like to think we’re amazing multitaskers. However, this facade is something we fabricated in our minds. We hate to burst your bubble, but not many people are effective at doing multiple tasks at once.
One study noted that men who multitask have a temporary drop in their IQ score. Those who participated saw their IQ drop by 15 points. Analysts projected that their IQ was equivalent to that of an eight-year-old in these moments.
Attempting to multitask leaves you a jack (or jill) of all trades and master of none. Take your to-do list one task at a time. After you cross out one responsibility, then you can move onto the next one.
Otherwise, you’re like a dog chasing your tail. You’ll never fully get it. Even when you think you do, it ends up hurting you in the end!
7: Throw Perfection Out the Door
Many people with ADHD get anxiety that what they’re doing isn’t going to be good enough. They fear their boss won’t love their presentation, their friends will hate the birthday party they throw, or their teacher will give them a bad grade on the test. These toxic thoughts are products of our own minds. Nobody is perfect, and no one expects it of you.
Create a mantra before you take on any task. Think in the future and say, “I did a great job.” This short sentence covers a lot of ground.
For one, it’s in the past tense. “I did a great job” implies the job was completed. Furthermore, it was done satisfactorily. With that mindset, you will be more apt to perform to the best of your abilities. Not to mention, the results will be far better than you initially anticipated!
8: Keep a Notebook Handy for Things That Come Up
A blessing and a curse of having ADHD is that your mind is always on. This trait is definitely a curse when the clock is ticking and you’re on a deadline. However, these racing thoughts are also home to some of the most brilliant ideas.
Just because you’re trying to stay focused doesn’t mean that you can’t acknowledge what’s going through your mind. We’re just telling you not to dwell in it. When a thought comes to you, jot it down. Then don’t pay that thought any more mind. Get back to what you were doing!
After you complete a task, you can revisit the idea that popped up. Heck, you can even reprioritize it above other things on your to-do list. However, don’t stop what you’re doing at the moment that the thought popped up. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done.
9: Acknowledge When You’re in the Zone
People who have ADHD are super passionate about what they’re doing. When they’re engaged, they can engulf themselves in what they’re doing. This sort of passion can spawn some fantastic results.
Just as those with ADHD can be easily distracted, they may also become hyper-focused. When hyperfocus happens, go with it. Acknowledge the open floodgates and go along for the ride.
If these creative and proactive juices keep flowing, hop onto the next task. Take advantage of this blessing. However, if you’re feeling a bit drained, then take a step back. Finish a task and do something more menial. Take that time to pay your bills, file some paperwork, or make appointments.
10: Make Time for Good Distractions
Just because you’re in the zone doesn’t mean you need to bombard yourself with work. There are some welcome distractions out there, even for people with ADHD. Bask in those distractions, as they may be the energy burst you need to finish pushing through.
Think about it. Researchers suggest that we reboot our brains every 15 minutes. Just because you have ADHD doesn’t mean you are different. However, you shouldn’t go down the rabbit hole of bad distractions either.
Don’t pick up your phone and start scrolling. Stop shopping on Amazon. Don’t even think about sneaking in one episode of The Office. Instead, do something that will actually benefit your overstimulated mind.
Don’t sit around and burn more brain cells. Instead, do something that will benefit both the body and mind. Go for a walk outside. Take a moment to meditate. Sneak in a quick workout. These good distractions will help you be more productive in the long run.
11: Get an Accountability Partner
Those with ADHD have a difficult time keeping things on track. There’s nothing wrong with admitting this and reaching out for help. Buddy up with someone who will hold you accountable.
Talk to a co-worker about the upcoming deadline you’re stressing about. Ask them to check in on you every so often to ensure you remain focused. Tell your mom when a project is due and which day you’d like to work on it. Trust us; your parent will have no trouble keeping you in line!
Having an accountability partner takes the pressure off of you. You don’t need to worry if you’re getting off track. Let someone who doesn’t have ADHD worry about it instead. Just focus on what you need to work on. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish with this kind of peace of mind.
12: Don’t Ignore the Negativity
Anyone with ADHD can attest that completing tasks can be a very frustrating process. There’s no worse feeling than thinking that you can’t control your wandering mind and impulses. The more you get distracted, the greater your bouts of hyperactivity may ramp up.
Acknowledging that you’re behind schedule can cause even more anxiety, which may result in involuntary responses. Don’t fight it. Let these emotions out.
Bottling up these negative thoughts is like holding in a sneeze. You have this internal explosion going on inside. It’s not doing anyone any good to hold onto it. Just let this negativity out.
When you get frustrated, take a breath. Say out loud what these fleeting thoughts are, come up with a quick plan of action, and move on. “Yes, my dad made me mad last night. I’ll deal with it later.” “I know this deadline is in two hours; I’ll get it done in time.” “Sure, I fell in front of my crush last night. Oh well, maybe I can laugh about it with them next time.”
Realize that all of these outlying factors and racing thoughts can’t be fixed at the moment. You’re doing one task at a time. They’ll have their moment, too. Write it down in your notebook and move on.
13: All-Natural Supplements like Focusene
If you’re looking to increase your focus, look no further than all-natural supplement with “focus” in its name. Focusene is an excellent non-habit-forming way to give yourself a mental boost.
This supplement is rich in botanicals and natural chemical compounds that help boost neurotransmitter production.
By using Focusene, you can improve levels of:
- Dopamine, which improves cognitive function and regulates cellular and motor function
- Norepinephrine, which boosts concentration and alertness while activating the brain’s reward system
- Acetylcholine, which helps with learning and memory and accelerates brain signaling
Focusene can give you the support you need to cross everything off your to-do list. It’s enriched with Ayurvedic herbs, such as dandelion and Forskolin. These botanicals improve cAMP levels in the brain that provide energy to brain cells.
The formula is complete with amino acids such as phenylalanine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and L-theanine. These building blocks of life are responsible for the production of essential neurotransmitters that boost concentration levels. That makes Focusene the ultimate supplement for those trying to get things done in an overly stimulating world.
How do you deal with focus issues? Give advice to others who struggle to get things done in the comments below!