1. Narrow your line of sight
While at your desk, keep only what you're working on in front of you. Get everything else out of your line of sight.
— Sandy Maynard, ADDitude's coach on call
2. Give yourself a message
If you need to buckle down and work on a research paper for a few hours, write a note and post it within view:
"This is not the time to clean my room. I can do that tomorrow." "This is only the first draft. It does not need perfect sentence structure and wording."
— Patricia Quinn, M.D., Nancy Ratey, Ed.M., and Theresa Maitland, Ph.D., coauthors of Coaching College Students with ADHD
3. Withhold criticism
Don't critique the job you're doing until you've completed it. That way, you can avoid getting waylaid by perfectionism or frustration at how much you have left to do.
— Christine Adamec, author of Moms with ADD
4. Make a list
If a swarm of concerns is keeping you from attending to the task at hand, take five minutes to write down what you have to do. Once these tasks are on paper and you no longer have to worry about remembering everything, you'll find it easier to focus.
— Thomas Whiteman, Ph.D., and Michele Novotni, Ph.D., coauthors of Adult ADD
This article appears in the June/July 2005 issue of ADDitude.
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To share strategies for focusing at home and work, visit the ADD Adults support group on ADDConnect.