According to ADHD statistics, 2.8% of adults live with ADHD globally, with reports indicating that many adults still go undiagnosed even with this estimate. This may be attributed to the popular belief that ADHD only manifests through constant fidgeting. In fact, it manifests in various ways, such as impulsiveness, poor time management, and lack of focus. With these symptoms, living an unsupervised adult life can often become a problem. Fortunately, there exist various ways to cope with inattentiveness. Here are some tips on how to be focused and concentrate during your everyday routine.
Get a Planner for Starting Tasks
Planners may be the go-to for setting deadlines, but they can also be a multipurpose tool, coming in handy as a reminder of when to start your projects. To get the best out of planners, go for one with clearly designated dates for each month of the year. Plan out your week in advance, and write down each day’s tasks. Your schedule should include time slots of when to start your daily tasks and how long you expect to complete each. The idea is to cross off each when you accomplish it, setting the foundation for a proper pace.
If, however, you cannot find a good planner during your visit to the store, simply create one from an unused notebook. Start with weekly schedules and then scale it up to monthly plans.
Use a Timer
A timer also goes hand in hand with a planner and is another way to focus and concentrate during your tasks. For starters, set your timer to intervals of 40 minutes. If you get your work done during this period, then consider sticking to this 40-minute time slot. However, keep in mind that your time may vary based on the tasks at hand, so consider switching it up for each project. Simple phone timers will work for this, with additional online focus apps also helping you stick to a determined schedule for each task. The latter option often comes with rewards, making it a fun technique for improved motivation.
Start Small and Scale-Up
If you are struggling to get started on any task, it may be causing you anxiety, you are bored of it, or you simply have no proper skill to go about it. Rather than let procrastination derail you, start small on what you can complete. By doing away with small tasks first, motivation will soon set in, allowing you to figure out how to get over the larger hurdles.
Use Visual Reminders
Utilizing visual reminders comes fourth on our how-to be focused and concentrate list. Unlike other focus techniques, these introduce a fun element to an otherwise dull day. They act as another way of reminding you of what you should be doing during various times of the day. Where possible, color code each task on your visual reminder to allow you to view them even when you are away from your desk or workspace. Morning tasks can, for instance, be marked with a different color from afternoon tasks. The most common visual reminders to use include flashcards, with the option of customizing with your home-based art supplies.
In addition to visual reminders helping you stay on track with your current work, they can also help you keep track of your future goals. Rather than using flashcards for this, you can have printouts of rewards to remind you of what you wish to get after each task. This can be rewards such as getting a vehicle after long-term projects or simpler incentives such as a take-out at your favorite eatery.
Clear Distractions Before-Hand
Focusing on getting payroll done when your favorite show runs on your tablet is no way to start your day. Before beginning your work, take note of any obstacles that may cause distractions and get rid of them. This includes phone calls, social media, and chores you may need to take care of. You can, for instance, slot your chores for later on in the day after you complete your work or have your phone on ‘Do not disturb mode’ to help with better concentration.
Have a Consistent Sleeping Schedule
Part of our how-to be focused, and concentrate schedule also comes from getting enough rest, specifically a good night’s sleep. During sleep, your body gets rid of toxic waste, which goes a long way in supporting healthy brain function. This results in better attention spans, allowing you to concrete on your everyday tasks. Focus on implementing a good sleeping schedule with a gradual winding down routine is the best place to start. Allow your body to transition from your everyday activities such as watching television or doing chores. This means minimizing electronic usage as your bedtime nears and any harmful vape habits you may have grown accustomed to.
Some practices to consider implementing include taking a warm bath or reading a book. Stick to your preferred schedule until your body fully adapts to it for better attention spans during the busy parts of your days.
Switch Up Your Tasks
Concentration can sometimes be fleeting, and no matter how hard you try, it may still be unforthcoming. When this happens, try switching up your tasks to get multiple jobs done at a time. The rule of thumb on this seventh is how to be focused and concentrate tip is to switch it up to three tasks at a go, as juggling more can signal a downward spiral. If you cannot focus on your chosen task for the hour, move on to the next chore on your plate. Depending on how long each lasts, you can go back and forth in intervals until you get both done. As you get the hang of it, try sticking to your laid down time frame for both to ensure that you do not waste any time.
Schedule Breaks In Between Your Work Sessions
Another tip of how to be focused and concentrate on taking breaks between work sessions. These can comprise 15-minute dancing sessions, lightly walking around the house if remote working, or going for bathroom breaks. You can also check your email during this time, with priority falling on urgent work-related emails. Breaks should allow you to unplug from your current work, allowing your mind to wander just enough without getting you too distracted.
Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing also acts as another method of focusing and concentrating, helping you stay in the present when your thoughts seem scattered. For your deep breathing exercises, breathe in slowly and count to 10. Let your abdomen rise with each inward breath and feel the release with every outward breath. Do this at least 10 times as you focus on your breathing. Along with this, practice mindfulness consistently, with meditation working well for this. It will especially come in handy when you have a business dispute to take care of or when you have a pending case of giving baby up for adoption for your client that can often seem overwhelming.
Use Hand Held Fidgets
Numerous people take to work their fidgeting and stress relieving toys, with the Koosh ball acting like a favorite for most. As an adult trying to cope with ADHD at the workplace, this is another ideal how to be focused and concentrate tip that helps you channel your distraction. Shop around for what works best for you and utilize it when you feel inattentiveness kicking in. If you prefer to keep it minimal, a pen and paper will work just as fine. Write down notes during meetings and any thoughts during these sessions. You can also use your pen as a fidgeting device to roll around your fingers for this concentration technique.
Get Support from Your Co-Workers
Being an employee with ADHD comes with its unique set of difficulties and can often present challenges when working with colleagues who have no proper way to address it. Try opening up to supportive workmates when you have difficulties maintaining your focus at work. Educate them on simple how to be focused and concentrate practices that can help you stay on track and ask for help when you need it. This can include requesting better work accommodations such as having your desk away from open areas and pathways that cause distractions. Where possible, you can also ask for closed office spaces.
ADHD support groups can also help in handy when you have no workplace support, with most online platforms offering avenues when you need help. They also allow you to have an accountability partner to help you prioritize your goals, keep in line with your progress and celebrate wins with you.
Use ADHD to Your Advantage
ADHD can often be frowned upon as a disability, while it has its share of positives. Numerous adults with ADHD work best in different scenarios, an aspect that often comes with heightened focus during these periods. Take note of conditions that favor you, with the most common being music in the background and, in some instances, being in noisy rooms. Work with your strengths and recreate these conditions in your workplace where possible, with earplugs coming in handy for the above-listed examples. If, however, you prefer the outdoors, consider requesting office work arrangements or consider getting your work done during your commute to the office. Suppose you are a young adult looking to complete your education. In that case, you can also sign up for community colleges to allow you to accelerate your learning period rather than get stuck with extended study periods that may not work in your favor.
Get a Regular Exercise Routine
Exercises have been found to provide a mood boost for the majority of people, often injecting a fresh burst of energy both physically and mentally. Exercise releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine which helps with better thinking, a chemical that most people with ADHD have a shortage of. Some exercises that come with these benefits include:
Light exercises, specifically aerobic-based, target your heart, an essential component that aids in better concentration. Depending on your preference, a 30-minute workout session is enough to create pathways in your brain that allow it to receive chemicals that boost your attention span. Some aerobic exercises to try include swimming, running, riding a bike, and even walking. While these can be performed indoors, performing them outdoors will reduce your ADHD symptoms considerably, so consider getting these out in nature as you soak in the solar.
Martial arts have been considered a building block for self-control, which also goes a long way in building a stronger mind. By practicing martial arts, you benefit from improved motor skills, better memory, and overall increased focus and concentration spans. Sports that fall under this category include judo, jiujitsu, and karate.
For more experienced exercise fanatics, exercises targeting strength work can also help improve concentration. You can try out lunges, pushups, squats, and weightlifting.
If, however, you prefer group exercises once in a while, switch it up with basketball or soccer. Apart from helping your brain stay active during your weekly sessions, group exercises will also allow you to stay in touch with colleagues and friends, making for better social support.
You can also scale up with a mix of other exercises, most notably yoga, rock climbing, and gymnastics. As with the rest, aim for about 30-40 minutes of activity. This will be enough to get your heart rate up and allow your muscles to feel tired.
Consider Neurofeedback Therapy
Neurofeedback may not be a widely utilized procedure for helping adults with ADHD cope with focus given the costs that it comes with, but it has been shown to have its share of positive side effects. To break it down, neurofeedback is a non-invasive form of neurological rehabilitation aimed at changing the behavioral attitude of ADHD patients by changing their brain’s functioning. Among the benefits it has been shown include medium scale improvements in hyperactivity and large scale improvement to attention and impulse tendencies. These aspects constitute a large part of any adult’s life living with ADHD, suggesting that this therapy may prove effective in improving focus and concentration deficit. Note, however, that before getting neurofeedback, first check with The International Society for Neurofeedback and Research to ensure that your practitioner is certified in this area.
Living with ADHD does not have to be a struggle. With the right systems in place, you can enjoy a fulfilled work and personal life balance, helping you live each day to the fullest. Consider utilizing the above-listed tips of how to be focused and concentrate for an improved life with ADHD.