Focusing on ADHD

There has been a lot of conversation lately among my internet friends about focus, procrastination, and productivity - all things people with Attention Deficit Disorder can relate to. Well, maybe lack of focus.

Anyway, the past four days I have been in a focused zone, working hard to create and introduce some new products.

Today I’ve been spinning my wheels, trying to figure out what to do next. I’ve completely lost my direction and sense of momentum.

I got an email today from someone whose work I admire, and he suggested that multi-tasking is not the wonderful thing most people think. In fact, he said that multi-tasking is taking your attention from one thing to focus it on another. By spending small amounts of time on each thing, and switching back and forth between them, you are actually being very inefficient.

It makes sense, if you think about it.

And if you’ve got ADHD, it’s probably a frequent problem. (This weekend, when I spent most of my time working on those new products and noticing little else, I was hyperfocusing, which is another ADD trait.)

So what can you do to maintain your focus?

Well, I’m not sure I’m in a position to answer that right now, but I’ll try.

There are computer programs that can be set to pop up every so often and remind you to stay on track. There are watches available that vibrate or beep for the same purpose. I’ve never tried either, so I can’t tell you if they’re effective. I’m guessing not.

I think that one of the best things you can do is to probably have a plan beforehand. Yeah, we’re not so good at that, either, but we can try.

You start with a goal: I want to win the worldwide basket weaving competition next year.

Then you break it down into smaller steps:

    Learn to weave baskets
    Find out what I need to do to be eligible to compete
    Start weaving baskets

Then you take each of those steps and break them down further. So learn to weave baskets breaks down to:

    Look for places to learn basket weaving
    Decide on a class or teacher
    Find a place to buy supplies
    Buy supplies

I think maybe the harder part might be defining your goals. I think that’s where I’m stuck now.

I’ll continue to read and learn and think about this topic. Maybe I’ll have some more to share later.

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