Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic.
I’m a registered nurse and, recently, I was assigned to a more administrative position that requires a lot of desk work. Before, I was always on my feet, going back and forth between patients and following a schedule that helped me take care of my responsibilities. Now, I’m in front of a computer most of my shift. As an adult with ADHD, this makes me nervous since I am easily distracted by the many things going on around me. With new duties that don’t really require following a typical nursing routine, I am worried that my ADHD will make work difficult.
Did you know that about 10 million adults live with ADHD in America? Click To TweetDid you know that about 10 million adults live with ADHD in America? These are people who have to drive, parent, and go to work every day while trying their hardest to manage wandering thoughts and what can seem like nonstop distractions! It can have serious effects on their ability to function in their workplace and at home.
ADHD is a brain disorder that begins in childhood and often continues throughout a person’s life. The struggle, like the disorder, is definitely real. And the issue isn’t that adults with ADHD can’t focus or control their attention well at times. The struggle, like the disorder, is definitely real. And the issue isn’t that adults with ADHD can’t focus or control their attention well at times. The real issue is that they often struggle to concentrate for extended periods of time, lose track of time, and have difficulty returning to the task at hand following any distraction.
I bet you’re waiting for the good news. Well, you’re in luck! There are plenty of easy to implement strategies that can help adults with ADHD focus on the important stuff, reduce distractions, and lead fantastically productive lives.ADHD is a brain disorder that begins in childhood and often continues throughout a person’s life. Click To Tweet
Mind Control – The Good Kind
The following tips are meant to help you manage your attention and focus, whether you’re struggling to do so at work, home, or anywhere else:
- Straight and Narrow – No matter what your job is, make sure that the only thing in your line of sight is what you’re currently working on. Keep distractions to a minimum. This means no enticing desk toys and keeping your phone out of sight.
- Reminders Matter – Write yourself a note and keep it in your line of sight so you’re reminded of your task at hand. Set reminders on your phone to ensure that you are on track.
- Criticism Can Wait – It’s important to hold off on analyzing your work until after you’ve completed the task. This can help prevent you from thinking about the small details or derail getting through to the end of your project.
- List It – Do you have other things that need to get done? Write them down so you won’t have to remember them. Some refer to this as a “brain dump.”
- Help is Good – If you have a good pal at work or school, ask them to give you a tap on the shoulder if they happen to catch you beginning to wander or if they see you doing something that is not in line with what your intention is.
- Exercise – When you exercise, your body sends more oxygen to your brain and optimizes its function. Even just getting up to walk around for a few minutes can help get the brain juices flowing again.
- Take a Break – Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to focus. Take a quick break to clear your mind or have a snack before getting back to work.
Beware of the Internet’s Quicksand
Ah, the Internet; One of the most wonderful tools ever created! Yet, for all the help it offers, it has also become a popular mental destination for downtime. Bored? Let’s go on Facebook. Need a quick laugh? YouTube might be nice!
Unfortunately, all of these exciting websites can send an ADHD mind down a never-ending rabbit hole. But don’t fret, if you find yourself in this predicament, there are a few things you can do:
- Replace the Screen – Not literally, of course! If you have trouble prying your eyes away from your smartphone, why not replace this activity with a non-tech option? This can be anything from a daily bike ride, a quick walk around the neighborhood (your dog will thank you!), or reading a book, newspaper, or magazine.
- Schedule Online Time – If you love going online, then schedule specific times to do this, like during a break or your lunch hour. You may even find it helpful to only go online after you’ve completed several tasks.
- Cut the Cord – If the time you spend online is starting to affect different aspects of your life, then it may be time to speak to us.
- Use a Timer – Did you treat yourself to an Apple Watch? If so, one great function I’ve discovered is setting the timer to alert when a predetermined amount of time has passed. ADHD can result in “time blindness” which cause you to lose track of time. Any sort of timer or alarm will help keep you on track.
Rice Psychology Group is Here for You
ADHD can be a challenge to deal with. If you or someone you love is ready to begin the journey towards feeling better and addressing some of their challenges, contact Rice Psychology Group today. Our Tampa-based psychologists and mental health counselors will do everything possible to help you understand your situation, thoughts, and feelings. Contact us in Tampa today for more information about our services.