ADHD To The Umpteenth Power
Since I was a child, I have struggled with sitting still for extended periods of time. Only back then, they didn’t classify it as ADHD or prescribe pills or any of that crap. My teachers and parents tried all sorts of techniques to get me to focus. When punishment didn’t work, they tried rewards. That worked. For a little while.
As I got older, I realized that the only one I was hurting by not focusing on a task was me, so I buckled down and made it work. At least for short periods of time. Then I’d have to get up and jump around.
This holds true to this day. I mean, even at the movie theater last night, I was ready to leave by the time the previews were over. And with all the digital distractions around today, I find it almost impossible to remain focused on any one task.
What invariably ends up happening is that I partly accomplish a bazillion things but no one thing gets fully completed.
And when you’re your own boss, this lack of focus is a productivity killer.
And I Used To Like Tomatoes…
In today’s challenge, I have to spell out what a successful and productive day is going to look like. Cue the Pomodoro Technique. Essentially, the technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes and eliminating all distractions. You are to work on only one task for the allotted time because research has shown that we perform better when we operate on deadlines and when our work is condensed. When the timer goes off, you get up and move around for 5 minutes and the resume work for another 25 and so on until the task is completed. You can then start to gauge how many “Pomodoros” any given job might take and schedule out your day accordingly.
One vital tip I’ve already implemented is moving my workspace from the living room to my home office. If nothing else, it helps me feel more “official.” But distractions still abound. I open a window to do research for something I’m writing and then fall into a black hole. Or I feel compelled to check my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn accounts. Ad nauseam. As if something has significantly changed since the last time I checked 30 seconds before. Or I suddenly remember that I need to sweep the floor or do dishes or laundry. Or schedule a root canal.
Needless to say, productivity is severely lacking.
Plan For Success
So I’m implementing a new plan, even whilst writing this post.
- Create the right working environment – I set up home office, but have to declutter. Too many visual distractions make me feel overwhelmed and easily distracted.
- Determine my top 3 MIAs (most important actions) for the day – what are the 3 main tasks I need to accomplish today?
- Set the timer and FOCUS – eliminate all distractions. protect the Pomodoro! Forget the phone is there. Close all unnecessary and distracting windows. No social media!
I am happy to report that I was able to sit still for one entire Pomodoro with no distractions. Ok, that’s a lie. I wanted to reference Rain Man and ended up on Wikipedia for a bit but I caught myself and brought it back.
Just like with my budding meditation practice, this new skill is going to take some getting used to, but I’m determined and up to the task. Bring it!!
What are your distractions and how do you stay on task to be your most productive? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below 🙂
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5