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3 Ways to Stay Focused for those with ADHD

3 Ways to Stay Focused for those with ADHD

You may think that we’re very organized and professional here at Spark and we are. We’re also squirrels looking at sparkly things in need of herding. Which is slightly better than being cats. We’re just nuts not ego maniacs. Plus we really like nuts….

Where was I?

Oh yeah, tips on staying focused. I remember now. In case you haven’t met me, I’m Ruth. Glitter is my favorite color, my Petronis is a unicorn and I’m an adult with ADD. They’re calling it ADHD but I’m not so hyper these days just nuts. My brain doesn’t cooperate most days which can interfere with productivity.

Suzanna is also ADD. Her’s is not mine and yet, we’re both adults who are either easily distracted or hyper-focused. Are you like us? Do you struggle with staying focused? On track? Managing the anxiety that comes with being overwhelmed and all those expectations? We feel you.

Yet there is hope. We’ve both proved it. Using these three tips you may discover your ADHD can be a superpower when harnessed for good.

Tip Number 1.

In the book, A Mind for Math, the author talks about the importance of focused and dispersed thinking. Picture a small bird eating. The act of pecking at seeds is focused yet, in order to survive predators, the small bird must also be constantly scanning the skies.  We naturally do this when driving. We’re focused on where we’re going and the road ahead. We’re also constantly scanning in the car, around the car, in front and behind.

Capture this natural skill and bump it up to superpower by creating a project board. It can be like Suzanna’s – a poster board with sticky notes, it can be digital. I’ve used a dry erase marker on the mirrors and shower door in my bathroom. Whatever it takes to get a dispersed picture of the entire project. This allows you to see both the tasks you need to focus on and the big picture. As a bonus, this behavior is already a part of your natural DNA whether or not you have ADD/ADHD.

2. Magical Glitter Bottle

Never underestimate the power of glitter. So sparkly. So calming. It’s magical because it’s a tool for hyperfocus. An ADHD brain doesn’t filter much. When the rest of the world is able to listen to a conversation and watch just the person speaking an ADHD brain is also noticing what type of gum is sticking out of the corner of their bag, what color the doorknob is, that spot on the baseboard, the art in the room, the annoying smell from someone’s hairspray. Each stupid detail demands equal attention. This is why ADHD kids seem like they can never focus.

It’s either all or nothing. Because the flip side is focusing so hard you almost forget to breathe. My son has ADHD and when playing video games he forgets to use the bathroom, drink, eat, talk… it’s a problem.

However, the flip side is using hyperfocus to in fact, focus. A magical glitter bottle has so many details to focus on you can use it to push out the other details and have millions of sparkly pieces of glitter to focus on. Which is as calm as we can get somedays.  While staring at the sparkle we can engage our dispersed thinking, as mentioned above. Allowing us to find calm and direction while focusing on glitter.

Seems silly, but it’s cheap, it’s easy, and by gosh it really works! 

Here are the instructions for the bottle Suzanna made: two parts warm water, one part clear or glitter glue. Then all the glitter. Consider gluing down the lid. https://youtu.be/LVQSE82-c3Q

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3. The Pomodoro Method / Technique

According to Wikipedia:

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. These intervals are named pomodoros, the plural in English of the Italian word pomodoro (tomato), after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.[2][3]

The technique has been widely popularized by dozens of apps and websites providing timers and instructions. 

There are six steps in the original technique:

  1. Decide on the task to be done.
  2. Set your timer (traditionally to 25 minutes).
  3. Work on the task.
  4. End work when the timer rings and put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than four checkmarks, take a short break (3–5 minutes), then go to step 2.
  6. After four pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes), reset your checkmark count to zero, then go to step 1.

The stages of planning, tracking, recording, processing and visualizing are fundamental to the technique. In the planning phase, tasks are prioritized by recording them in a “To Do Today” list. This enables users to estimate the effort tasks require. As pomodoros are completed, they are recorded, adding to a sense of accomplishment and providing raw data for subsequent self-observation and improvement.

The goal of this is to increase learning while reducing interruptions to workflow. Trust me, it really does all that. I find it useful when working alone, with people, training my kids, working with my dog, learning a new piece on the piano, you name it. Either way, our butts and our brains need regular breaks to learn.

Plus, I’ve heard that sitting is the new smoking so it doesn’t hurt to get up and move every 25 minutes either. Anyway,you decide to break up your time, do try using a timer.

So there you have it!

This is how the squirrels are herded at the Spark Offices. I know you feel smarter knowing this. Let me know in the comments which of the three tips you’re going to start trying now. I love hearing from you guys. If you’ve already been doing these things, switch it up. Our brains need to be stimulated. Not getting into ruts makes us grow.

 

Bonus Tip: Weight on your chest is calming – letting my little dog cuddle on my helps.

 

 

Suzanna Kaye is a professional organizer and owner of Spark! Organizing, LLC.

 

suzanna kaye, florida organizer

She has special experience with organization for office, financial, ADD/ADHD, elderly, disabled, overwhelmed and special needs. With the belief that cluttered people are some of the most creative and interesting people she knows, she loves working with her clients in a supportive and loving environment.

For more information about Suzanna visit our about us page, email info@SparkOrganizing.com or call 321-234-5499

 
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