“Why can’t I focus?”
Not being able to focus, especially when you need to, is a daily struggle when you have ADHD. While you can’t force focus, you can create an ideal physical and mental environment. So, stop trying to go with the flow and start going with YOUR flow! Below, check out 5 ways to find your focus.
1. Minimize external distractions
External distractions are ones that originate outside of you, like technology, other people, or noises.
The first step in minimizing external distractions is picking a good setting. If you’re at home, find an empty room and close the door. If you’re at work, ask for a private office.
Then, start a session on Opal and set the protection level to Deep Focus to eliminate any possibility of you getting distracted by someone liking your recent vacation photo, or a message from your college friend asking to catch up.
2. Then, minimize internal distractions
Internal distractions are your own thoughts and emotions, like thoughts about pressing responsibilities or emotions about life circumstances.
Even though remembering that you need to return a missed call is important, it might not be the most relevant to your current work. Try buying a designated journal where you can jot down sidetracking thoughts until they’re needed later.
Then, create a recurring session on Opal to block out a dedicated portion of each day to go through them.
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system in which you work in focused, short intervals with in-between breaks.
Use the intervals to help break up an ambiguous task, like working on a client presentation, into more manageable chunks. Or, use them to work on a more mundane task, like folding laundry, knowing that a short break where you can eat a snack or move around is coming up.
Try the Pomodoro Technique (and work with the Opal team!) by joining an Opal Flow Session.
4. Find clarity and meaning in your tasks
“Why is this task important?” and “How will this task impact myself and others?” are always important questions to ask. When you understand a task’s importance and impact, it can be the motivation you need to get started.
If you need help in finding your own clarity and meaning, try setting intentions. For example, “The intro slide is important because it will be our client’s first impression of the company, so I will work on this first.”
5. Buddy up
Enlist an accountability buddy to help you prioritize goals, chart progress and celebrate successes.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself!
Focusing on a task is hard, let alone when you have ADHD. Remember that you’re doing the best that you can—a little kindness can go a long way!