8 Secrets to Finding Focus While Working from Home with ADHD
Working from home lets us sleep a bit longer, take movement breaks, and listen to whatever music we want — at any volume. It also requires us to conjure independent motivation, ignore new distractions, and hammer out a schedule that works. Here are 8 tips and tricks used by ADDitude readers to help them focus on work while at home.
Nearly 40% of ADDitude readers are now working from home for the first time in their adult lives. According to a recent survey, more than half of you are making a home office work — many while also homeschooling kids, ordering groceries, sanitizing everything, and resisting unending distractions. In this new working reality, focus is fleeting for ADHD brains.
So, what keeps you focused and productive while working from home?
We asked this question to ADDitude readers recently and more than 200 of you responded with tips and tools that boost productivity while working from home. Here are the 8 most common and helpful strategies from adults with ADHD, for adults with ADHD.
Routine for Focus at Home
“I find that keeping to a routine and spending 15 to 20 minutes a day doing exercise or yoga helps me to stay focused and motivated to work from home.”
“I have been trying a 10-minute or 10-item method. I can do anything for 10 minutes. If I have some things that need to be filed or put away, I deal with 10 things that need to be put away.”
“I am trying very hard to keep to my actual in-office work hours so that I don’t lose myself. I love Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube, so that helps me get some exercise and centering while indoors.”
“I rewrote old routines and updated them in Brili. I’m still using rewards for my least favorite tasks. I’m still using accountability from some friends to help me stay on task.”
Following Your Personal Productivity
“Since my work schedule is flexible, I have allowed myself to work on my own schedule according to my natural bio-rhythms. I get my best work done from about 4pm to 2am when I feel my hyperfocus kick in.”
“Working on difficult tasks during the time periods when my brain is most ready to work (which for me is the afternoon/evening) helps me get tasks done quicker, rather than wasting all morning procrastinating on them.”
“I have structured my day around the times I have found myself to be most functional and alert.”
Timers for Focus at Home
“To help my productivity, I have begun by purchasing multiple timers to assist with time awareness (especially when I become hyperfocused on things I enjoy).”
“I am 74 and retired and have no structure in my life. Setting a timer helps me to get some housework done. I can’t quit before the timer goes off.”
“I use the Pomodoro technique to schedule and structure my life and make me more aware of the smaller time chunks during my day. My Pomodoro app can also play a tick-tock clock sound in the background during work periods and that helps cue that I need to get work done.”
Headphones and Music for Focus at Home
“My partner and I share a home office and now both of us are working from home, so I use noise-cancelling headphones. I just listen to podcasts on them while I work and then I’m not distracted by my partner.”
“I have been able to be productive and complete tasks at home when I listen to audiobooks. This is helpful when it is a “clear & sort” type of task only though, not something that requires concentration.”
“In order to try to be as focused as possible, I control my distractions. Listening to music, usually with earbuds, allows me to tune out other noises that may distract me from focusing.”
Designated Work Space for Focus at Home
“I have established a certain area in my house as my ‘office.’ I have baskets organized with water, pens, highlighters, staplers, calendar, and my folders so I don’t have to run all over the house to look for what I need.”
“The closed door and a supportive spouse are key for my work right now (and my office moves based on whether the kids are eating or bathing, but the change of scenery can help too).”
Meditation for Focus at Home
“I have been meditating to help reset and recharge my brain. Then I usually eat dinner and watch something either funny or educational.”
“I incorporate yoga and mindfulness into transitions and have fidgets to use.”
Written Reminders for Focus at Home
“I use a productivity planner that helps me prioritize the essential from non-essential. Even a simple checkbox to-do list that I remember to always come back to helps re-direct my attention to the task at hand when I drift.”
“I need a timer and an alarm to keep me on schedule. Every night I plan my next day and set some alarms and make my lists of things I want to accomplish.”
Apps for Focus at Home
“I use the Forest app for my phone and for Chromebook, which allows you to set ‘whitelisted’ apps/pages that you actually need to use. You decide how long you want to stay focused, and start the countdown, which plants a tree in your “Forest.” If you try to open an app or page that isn’t whitelisted, it will pop up with a warning, “Your tree is still growing.”
“I use Time Cubes from Datexx to try and make sure I get up every 50 minutes to an hour and do not spend the whole work day sitting.”
“I put on energetic music and use an app called Glena because of its nice Pomodoro interface. I will try to set up a standing desk and wake up earlier. Wish me luck as I need to finish a report!”
“Using the app FOCUSED has been HUGE for us as it impedes us from checking any of the family ‘blacklist’ sites; ie. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.”
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Updated on May 11, 2020