I can confidently state without hesitation every person on the planet has experienced difficulty figuring out how to stay focused on the primary task at hand. The difference for a business owner or leader is your livelihood depends on your focus. Constant distraction can literally destroy everything.
This isn’t a discussion on ADHD. Everyone also claims to have this. In fact, I don’t really believe it is the problem society has come to claim. You and I both experience periods of inattentiveness, impulsive behavior, and crazy hyperactivity. Creating a label for it does nothing for you.
Realistically and practically, you serve yourself better if you find a way to downplay your weaknesses and up-play your strengths. Even ADHD experts like Dr. Abigail Levrini agree in her book “Succeeding with Adult ADHD.”
The things or tasks you don’t want to do require willpower and quickly drain your willpower reserves. You have problems focusing on them and they can best be dealt with in your business by hiring someone else to do them as soon as you can.
For me, one task I hate is making graphics. Images are important, but I can’t stay focused trying to make them because it is not something I want to do. So I have someone else make my most important graphics.
For those tasks you want to do, whether you think your the ADHD poster child or not, here are 4 ways to deal with staying on target…
These are extremely paraphrased from Dr. Levrini, but here goes:
Experience a Break Up.
No, not in your personal relationships. Include breaks in your most tedious aspects of your tasks. When you do something boring, even if it’s part of something you want to do, the worst thing you can do is try to power through them. If you do, it will take longer then if you take a break, and do just about anything else for a couple of minutes.
Understand Your Style.
What style? Your learning style. This is all about organizing your information to fit your way of dealing with tasks and goals.
Some people are visual learners, some are auditory learners. You can even break each of these down further. Visual learners need to see things a certain way, and auditory folks need to hear things to get it all together. Organize around your learning style.
Jump on the sofa.
Not literally, though this may work from time to time. It’s about playing with something in your hands. Doing a little fidgeting is good, even if your co-worker hates when you do it.
Dr. Levrini says it “frees up your mental energy so you can focus a little better.” I agree. I’ve been fidgeting with things all my life, and it does help me stay focused. So leave me alone when I am twisting my pen around in my fingers. I am focusing.
Get a GPS.
OK, I’m messing with you again. However you do need to map out your day and your tasks to obtain a goal. Your map should focus on your goal. If you map out tasks with no ultimate goal in mind, then you likely won’t complete the tasks, regardless of how well mapped out they may be.
Include some free time for exercise, or something even just a little entertaining. If you are a visual learner, color code it or use lots of visual cues.
If you learn by hearing, then use auditory signals to cue you to the tasks. The key to tasks completion is first getting started. Second, it must be a part of a goal you want, or you likely will lose all focus.
Put these to work, and don’t hesitate to provide comments or suggestions below on how you maintain focus during your biggest “ADHD” moments. I want to hear from you.