With so many things vying for our time and attention, it’s more important than ever to have strategies in place that allow you to get the most out of the time you put into your business.
Lots of people joke about how little time they have in their day and that their attention is spread in many directions. Some go as far as to say they have ADHD, which seems to justify their lack of focus and short attention span.
There are two schools of thought as to whether Adult Onset of ADHD is real. In some camps, the theory is that our brain has been re-circuited due to all the distractions we deal with on a daily basis. Facebook alone is enough to keep someone in a perpetual state of distraction. Social networks such as FB feed into the FOMO syndrome. FOMO – Fear of Missing Out – causes people to look at just one more three-minute video or read one more comment on a friend’s wall when in reality we don’t even know who that friend is.
“ADHD is a chronic disorder that has a negative impact on virtually every aspect of daily social, emotional, academic and work functioning,” says Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., author of Taking Charge of Adult ADHD (Guilford Press, 2010). “
According to Barkley, 99 percent of people with ADHD develop it before age 16. About 65 percent of cases are inherited, while 35 percent are believed to result from prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco infection, or a brain injury in early life.”
On the other hand, according to an article on WebMD.com, there is the onset of Adult ADHD and it’s very real. “Many people find that distractibility can lead to a history of career under-performance, especially in noisy or busy offices. Often, people with adult ADHD miss-prioritize, failing to meet big obligations, like a deadline at work, while spending countless hours on something insignificant.”
Who do you believe and what is really true? Actually, in many ways, it doesn’t matter. What matters is this: if you find yourself easily distracted and not as productive as you know you can be, you can definitely use this as an excuse or you can accept this and put measures in place to change it.
Whether Adult ADHD has been diagnosed on not, there is more vying for our attention today than ever before. It’s up to us to do what we can to minimize the distractions or we risk minimal productivity day in and day out.
Putting measures in place to counter anything that distracts you is essential if you want to be productive in your day.
First, determine if you want (and need) to make changes. If the answer is yes, the following steps will help you become more focused and productive.
- Challenges. Commit for a short period of time to shift behaviors through specific challenges. Seven and thirty day challenges have proven to work great… if you truly commit to this. You can do health, business, spiritual and financial challenges. Start with one, complete it successfully and grow from there.
- Morning rituals. Have a morning ritual that sets the tone for the day. Taking time to relax the mind, gather your energy and focus on one thing first thing in the morning will definitely take you from scattered to centered. A five-minute meditation will do you more good than you may realize. YouTube is filled with meditations that will get you ready for a more productive day. Just be careful not to get lost in the YouTube maze once you complete your meditation practice.
- Physical movement. Committing to some form of movement or exercise on a daily basis is one of the best things you can do to move from the place of being scattered and distracted to centered and focused. A great many people have minimal movement throughout the day which reduces the oxygen flow and flexibility. Fact is, the more oxygen your brain, cells and muscles get, the better.
- 4. Let go. Be willing to let go of tasks and activities that no longer serve you. Checking emails and your social networks every few minutes because you think you’ll miss out on something keeps you in a perpetual state of confusion. Every change of activity takes several minutes to get back on track with those things that are absolutely necessary to focus on.
- To do list. As with anything, there are mixed feelings about having a daily To Do list. Some say it’s not necessary, while others, myself included, are completely on board with writing a list of activities that keep us focused. The secret to success with a To Do list is to not put so much on it, it becomes near impossible to complete the tasks. Additionally, as you complete tasks, check them off your list.
- Time blocks. If staying focused is a challenge, get an egg timer or an app that you can use to work on one thing for a short period of time. Start in blocks of 15 minutes, gradually extending to 30, 45 and 60 minute blocks of time.
For example, if you know writing blog posts and articles would increase your market visibility, but you have a difficult time completing even the shortest of writing projects, commit to a specific amount of time to do nothing but write. Initially, you may be shocked at how often you get off course, but with consistent effort, you will be amazed at how simple (and easy) this is.
The reality is this: it’s up to you how much you create behaviors that either serve you or work against you. There’s plenty of support by way of apps, forums, groups and online information that work in your favor or not. No matter what you say you want to achieve, as you probably heard since childhood, “Your actions speak louder than words.”
What are your actions conveying?