How often has this happened:
The end of the day is rolling around – 8 hours of work — and NOTHING was really done.
You’re not alone. Everyone else with ADHD has also been there, unfortunately. When I was younger, this was just a regular day in my high school (and even college) life!
Focus floats around the ADHD mind like a zoned out butterfly, if given the chance. But only if you don’t know how to put it in a jar. Here are a couple things you can do right away to bottle up your precious focusing powers:
Background noises: far worse than they seem
Research published in the Journal of Child Development found that children age 3 and under spent half as long playing with a toy when there was a TV in the background running an episode of Jeopardy.
Yes. Incredibly, the researchers noted a 50% reduction in attention span from the seemingly innocuous background noise.
As it turns out, it’s the running TV that counts, not the show.
How many distractions do you have lurking in the background? Cell phones? Kitchen timers? Loud noises from outside and inside the home?
It’s not obvious distractions that ruin periods of focused productivity (You’re aware of those). It’s the ones you don’t think about. They slip past your radar because of their seeming innocence, and sabotage your focus.
Kill off those minor background distractions starting today… and watch your focus periods reach new lengths of uninterrupted time.
Focus killer 2: Letting your mind roam like a wild animal
Studies show that holding your mind accountable for its thoughts makes it more focused, attentive, and productive for the things you actually want to get done.
One such study published in Plos Biology found test subjects performed far better at memory related tasks after taking three months of meditation training.
Another study done at the University of Illinois, found that sedentary elderly adults improved their ability to ignore distractions just by getting up and walking around.
Especially from the 2nd study mentioned here, it’s plain to see that ANY effort expended at all seems to force the mind to work in an accountable way, instead of wandering aimlessly around. And a persistent, focused effort leads in more of the same structured thinking
Are you or your child idling around during free time?
Hopefully by now you know the solution: Do something — anything! As long as it requires SOME amount of mental effort (sorry, TV and idle web browsing are excluded)
Bit by bit, as your mind gets fenced in by mentally beneficial activities, it will have nothing to do but improve its attentiveness in response. And that’s a very good thing for those of us who need more of it.