Do you sometimes feel like your life is just made up of ADHD and distractions? At work and at home, you feel you always have to fight against your ADHD and distractions to get things done. We get it.
Distractions that keep you from focusing can drive you crazy. What can you about it, though? You have ADHD, after all. Distractions simply come with the territory, right?
Well, they do, but that doesn't mean that they have to run the show. We know by now that ADHD symptoms include easy distraction and inability to focus. Part of the reason for this may be recent studies showing us that ADHD minds may develop important internal network connections slower than others. This slower development makes it harder for many with ADHD to focus as needed. As a result, distractions creep in and tasks don't get done as they should.
If you have ADHD or parent a child with ADHD, you understand the need to fight or limit distractions on a daily basis. In this article, we want to provide you tools to fight ADHD and distractions well. Whether you find yourself in a school setting or at work, you can use many of these strategies almost anywhere. Read on to identify helpful strategies to limit distractions as you go about your day.
Maintain Eye Contact in Conversations
ADHD and distractions can pop up almost anywhere. When you want to stay on top of your distractions, you need to always remain vigilant against your mind straying. For conversations, this can be particularly true, as getting distracted when talking to someone can lead to an argument or the other person feeling like you don’t care.
To limit distractions in your interpersonal relationships, you should do everything you can to stay in the moment. You should start with maintaining eye contact at all times when you talk to someone else. With maintaining eye contact, you not only demonstrate that you want to listen to the person in front of you, you also limit distractions from catching your eye and pulling you away.
While your mind can still think on other things even if your eyes focus on the person you talk to, still maintaining eye contact helps to limit distractions from creeping in. If you find that you get easily distracted in conversations, take mental notes on how much you look the other person in the eye. If you find that you have difficulty with eye contact, don’t worry, many people struggle with it.
Fortunately, you can find many resources for improving your eye contact on a regular basis. You can start with the ideas in this article here. Over time, you will find that improved eye contact will help limit distractions in the conversations you have.
Eat a Healthy Diet
We have known and discussed for some time that a healthy diet has a positive impact on ADHD symptoms. One of the big ways that a healthy diet improves ADHD is through its impact on your ability to focus and concentrate. Eating healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts, can help your brain avoid distractions better.
In short then, to help make ADHD and distractions better overall, you need to look beyond just the moment that you experience the distraction. You need to consider how you structure your health overall. Do you eat healthy foods that provide energy and help you better focus? Or, do you put junk food and sweets in your body that can help distractions to creep in when you least need them?
Consider ways to eat healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be sure to put special emphasis on how you start your day with breakfast since it provides the fuel for most of your day. Being sure to start the day off with a healthy and nutritious breakfast can help to make sure you avoid the pitfalls of ADHD and distractions later in the day.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Not only does diet impact ADHD and distractions but how you sleep at night also has an impact. Sleep provides an opportunity for your body to repair and refuel itself. Both of these things help your mind’s executive functioning ability, which is another way of saying your brain’s ability to organize information, make decisions, and stay on track. When you don’t get enough sleep or you have overall bad sleep habits, your brain struggles to keep up and your use of executive functioning lags behind.
When you sleep poorly, your mind struggles to concentrate during the day when you need to. Since most people with ADHD have difficulty with executive functioning to start with, lack of sleep just makes the problem worse. To help to limit ADHD and distractions, you need to implement a healthy sleep regimen. This means, you must guard your ADHD sleep routine as much as possible.
In the evenings, make sure you eat a healthy meal. After dinner, do what you can to relax your mind and body. Help your mind start to shut off by avoiding electronics and screens. Then be sure that you go to bed early and at the same time each night. With having the same routine night after night, your body will respond positively and you will find a good night’s sleep will help you focus better during the day.
Sit in the Front
Like real estate, location and proximity matter for keeping focus. We have all heard that students who sit at the front of the class do better. Some recent research even backs up this understanding.
When it comes to limiting ADHD and distractions, sitting up front can also make a difference. If you are a student wanting to limit distractions in class, or an office worker wanting to keep focus in meetings, sitting up front can help keep your brain on target. With sitting up front, getting distracted becomes more problematic because you can be seen easier. This gives you more incentive to keep on track to what the class or meeting is about.
The idea of sitting in front relates also with maintaining eye contact. As with eye contact, sitting closer to a speaker or what you need to pay attention to, limits the opportunities for distractions to draw you away. This limits your field of vision for alternatives for your brain to go towards. As a result, you can pay attention better and for longer periods of time.
Get Someone to Help You Stay on Track
Many times we fail to keep ADHD and distractions in check because we don’t have anyone to help us stay on target. To help you succeed in your fight against distractions, you really need to get support from others around you. If you have a specific task to complete, enlist an accountability partner to check in with you regularly to make sure you complete tasks on time.
If you want to fight distractions while at the office, ask your co-workers to provide this accountability. Have someone close to your desk ask how you have made progress once an hour. Alternatively, you can have someone, maybe your spouse or friend, text you every few hours and make sure distractions aren’t keeping you from getting things done.
Simply knowing that you have someone checking in on you can provide the motivation you need to avoid distractions. Going it alone, whether in trying a new workout routine or quitting smoking or fighting distractions, rarely works for most people. To give yourself a fighting chance again ADHD and distractions, get someone to help provide support.
Make Use of Fidgets
We oftentimes fall victim to the effects of ADHD and distractions because our minds won’t slow down. As a result, we have restless energy that we struggle to get out in appropriate ways. This restlessness contributes to the hyperactivity of ADHD. Many parents know this restlessness well and understand that it can pull kids especially off focus if they can’t release the energy in productive ways.
A simple easy way to help release energy before it turns into a full-blown distraction can be through the use of fidgets. Many times we think of fidgets as toys for children. While fidgets can provide relief for kids squirming in their seats, they can also help adults with distraction at home or in the workplace.
In a work setting, fidgets could be something as simple as a stress ball or even a ball and hoop on the back of your office door. These items should give you a momentary chance to release stress and energy without pulling you away completely from your work. If using fidgets, think of items that you can work with your hands, feet, or mouth, that won’t require your direct attention. For example, chewing gum provides a great simple outlet and can act as a simple fidget for any environment.
If you have never tried fidgets and need help on where to begin, try starting with this article on the types of ADHD fidget toys. Find something that might work well for your personality and give it a try today to try to limit ADHD and distractions.
Write Down Your Distracting Thoughts
Another great way to limit ADHD and distractions during the day involves getting your distracting thoughts out through writing them down. Many times you end up distracted because you can't let a particular thought go. You try and try to get back to your work, but over and over again, your mind goes back to that unfinished task back at home.
To limit distractions unrelated to your task at hand from overwhelming you, you should use a scratch pad. On the pad or notebook, make a list throughout the day of all the unrelated tasks that jump into your mind. As things come into your mind, simply write the items down. Then as soon as you write them down, forget about them until after you finish work.
When you get home later, you can then review your list and complete the items you still need to. This method of containing distracting thoughts should provide you a quick and easy way to get rid of the thoughts that normally nag you throughout the day. Eliminating unhelpful nagging thoughts will help keep you on track when you need it most.
Writing down distracting thoughts makes the list of strategies to get rid of distractions from this article by entrepreneur.com. Make use of this strategy to keep your focus when you need it.
Listen to Music When You Really Need to Focus
When everything else fails to help with ADHD and distractions, you can always turn to listening to music. Evidence shows that listening to specific types of music can help your brain concentrate better. Not only can music help you focus on a topic in general, studies have also shown that it can help increase productivity at work.
With this being said, though, the music you listen to still matters. You need to listen to something that won’t pull your attention away from your tasks but rather will help you eliminate other distractions. Good options might include classical music or instrumental pieces. Additionally, when listening to music to concentrate, be sure to be conscientious of others working around you. This can be especially true at work or school. Use headphones to limit the sound dispersion, prevent distractions for others, and help you to stay on track with what you’re working on.
In general, listening to music provides benefits for your brain and for those with ADHD. In general, you should try to listen to music on a regular basis. This can help improve concentration and ADHD symptoms on a daily basis.
Use Many Types of Tools to Keep ADHD and Distractions in Check
ADHD and distractions don’t have to run your life. Even if you have trouble with staying on task on a regular basis, you can use many types of tools to try to keep your attention where it needs to be. We hope that this article provides you with a few tools to help you do just that.
Distractions come at us in all different shapes and sizes and at all different times and places. This means that we can’t always use the same strategy in every setting. By having many tools and different types of support, though, we can set ourselves up to succeed when distractions come your way.
Ultimately, though, distractions act as just one of the many symptoms of ADHD. We want you to use the tools provided here, but we also want to help you find support in every area of treating your ADHD. Use the strategies here as just some parts of your comprehensive ADHD treatment strategy. Use other resources both online here at FastBraiin and in person to help manage other issues related to your ADHD.