Long periods at a desk — a situation that drives many ADHD afflicted people into a mild state of depression and angst.
As a writer, I know your pain. And while desk work may never compare to sipping the drink of your choice in a hammock by the beach, the work desk can become a productive and inspiring environment to get things done in.
Here my top three tools for getting in the zone:
Solving idle web browsing and other computer distractions
For maximum “focus leverage,” shutting off ALL distractions is key. And Focus Me is my favorite app for the job, because you can block ANY application or website using any combination of block times and breaks that you want. The incredibly flexible block scheduling options are virtually limitless which means you can break when you want and have the critical unwinding hours that you need.
They charge a modest fee compared to the productivity boost the program instills. I have no connection to this company other than being a loyal subscriber myself.
So if computer work has been a chronic struggle, check out perhaps the best productivity tool there is, and see if distraction elimination turns things around for you.
An old-fashioned clock that actually feels like time
Some things work best in their original form. Consider timekeeping…
A clock… what does the passing of a minute represent? It’s all so abstract and detached from the senses.
But timers of the past had no such issue. Consider the old fashioned sand timer, also known as an hourglass.
After buying several hourglasses, I now keep one front and center on my desk whenever I’m having a bad case of inertia. Nothing fires me to get moving them watching those white sands draining away.
An hourglass is also great for casual glances. I tend look at it as my mind starts wandering, see the pouring sand signifying second is lost… and snap back into action before it’s all gone! It’s a great psychological motivator.
So what is the right sized hourglass for you?
I’ve tried them all. 90 minutes is too long in my opinion, it just feels like you have an eternity before your sand (enhance your time) is gone.
A 30 minute hourglass had me snapping into action in order to get it done NOW! The trade-off was having to constantly flip the timer all day.
60 Minutes requires less flipping but just a little slow. I finally went with a 45 minute hourglass and have stuck with it ever since. Your mileage may vary, but 45 minutes seems to be a great work cycle for desk work in my experience.
Tip: get a color of sand that’s will be easy to see against the color of your desk.
Your own personal work island
Nothing distracts quite like noise. For city dwellers with ADHD, noise from the outside can make it impossible to get any work done.
The flipside is that once you wall yourself off from the noise of the world, you may very well feel like you have a private island all to yourself.
The solution to creating your own personal space in a sea of noise and chaos? A simple fan!
Suddenly the cars driving by, loud people on cell phones, and 90% of other noise is gone for good. And if you live in a hot place, it’ll keep you cool at the same time.
Live in a cold climate, or don’t need the wind circulation? Then download a white noise app for your phone.
Personally I find these to be a bit more distracting than a fan. But if you put them close to a window, and farther away from your desk, they can serve as a good fan replacement as well.
Get started today!
Yes, there are a lot more ways to tweak other distractions in your work area. But with just the 3 ADHD-free environmental hacks above, see how much of a difference you feel. You may very well reach new heights in your work and productive life.