Managing to Focus

Working from home can make you feel like you have lost your ability to focus.  The constant distractions of a noisy household, the siren call of the refrigerator, the undone household chores, the technology troubles, and the lack of exercise can all add up to missed appointments, lost items, and a feeling of not being able to finish a thought.  Anyone who works in this kind of environment can feel unfocused, but what if you have been diagnosed as having ADHD and you are working from home?  How do you manage the distractions and stay on task?  Since October is ADHD Awareness Month, now is a good time to do some research and try out some tips to see what works for you.

Tips for Managing ADHD Tendencies

  • Create a Schedule and Set Alarms
    The key to this tip is to set alarms.  If you do nothing else but set alarms for important deadlines (start of meetings, meals, medication, getting out of bed, etc.) you will set yourself up for a better day.
  • Schedule Time to Exercise
    Schedule exercise at the same time every day.  For the unfocused mind, exercise is vital.  Exercising at the same time each day helps creates a habit.  Exercise is also extremely useful throughout the day.  Between long periods of work/classes/meetings, give your brain a break and get your heartrate up.  Something as simple as 25 jumping jacks can help refocus your brain and allow you to get back to work.
  • Make Physical To Do Lists
    As old fashioned as this sounds there is a reason behind it.  Using paper or sticky notes to create To Do lists helps you focus on what needs to be done.  If you use an electronic list, you run the risk of being sidetracked by the phone apps.  Of course, a list does no good if you can’t find it, so post it somewhere obvious like your front door, the refrigerator, or your phone case.

These three tips will get you started, but there are so many resources available to help you manage ADHD. 

If you have been diagnosed with ADHD and are struggling, I highly recommend you ask for help.  Student, talk with your parents, your school’s Disabled Services Department, or a trusted adult.  Adults, find a counselor that specializes in ADHD to help you find the resources you need. There are a lot of people willing to help, you just need to ask.

Here are just a few links to help you get started:

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)


ADDA (Attention Deficit Disorder Association)