Productivity and ADHD

March 29, 2021

Those of you living with attention deficit know the struggle with productivity as all-to-real. I have grappled with maintaining focus throughout most of my life. The following realizations help me maintain efficiency amidst the constant distractions.

1. Streamline your focus

Or 'Context switching.' It is important to begin thinking of your focus as fluid rather than fixed. Since we are predisposed to distraction, our minds frequently oscillate between disciplines. Keep a daily list of tasks that you can switch between when attention for a specific task begins to wane. I am much more efficient when free to navigate through a framework of disciplines rather than constrained to a singular focus.

2. Tune your environment

Surroundings play an important role in maintaining focus. Pay attention to qualities that put you into a specific zone as well as those that extract you from it. Perhaps you work well in more lively environment with many moving pieces, or in a calm, quiet, peaceful setting. Are you more focused at home or away? In a coffee shop or a library? With mobile devices active or silenced? Be aware of how different facets of different environments affect your productivity and adjust your environment relative to those features most beneficial to you and your workflow.

3. Take breaks as needed

The human body is not optimized to perform a single task for an extended period of time; you are not a robot. Do not be fooled or guilted into a false sense of reality by becoming a mindless drone working for hours on-end without interruption. Not only are such expectations unrealistic, more poignantly, they're unhealthy. Realize when you are losing focus and pivot accordingly. Take sufficient time to replenish your focus as you see fit. Be sure to adjust your schedule if it becomes affected by the length or frequency of breaks.

4. Follow your cadence

You are unique in your proclivities. What works well for others may not work well for you - and vice versa. Align yourself with people who respect and champion your rhythm. You are better off without those who work against you rather than with you. The reverse is just as important; others are unique in their habits so treat them with the same respect you wish to receive.

I hope these points help you throughout your focal endeavors. It is important to remember that there are no magic tricks, no one-size-fits-all solutions, and processes are ever-changing. Self-awareness, reflection, audit, and honesty are effective, timeless methods to improving and balancing your behavior.

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Greg Morrison - 2019 ©