Distracted with ADHD: What to Do

by | Apr 13, 2023 | ADHD Success Skills and Tools | 0 comments

distracted with ADHD

This is Part 2 in our ADHD and Distractions series. Ready for a quick review on Part 1? (If you prefer to start at the beginning, click here – but make sure you avoid distractions and come back!)

Highlights of Part 1: ADHD and Distractions

  1. ADHD is a deficit of brain stimulation. Scientifically speaking, it’s a deficit of stimulation of the neurotransmitter activity that helps you do things like focus, organize, and follow through.
  2. The ADHD brain is always on the lookout for stimulation. We HATE boredom or tuning into the same thing for any length of time. Our brains are attracted to novelty – sound, movement, physical sensations, ideas, thoughts – and this shows up as distraction.
  3. Technology is a HUGE distraction for most people with ADHD.
  4. If you are easily distracted, it has probably caused issues at work and in your personal life. You don’t sleep well, your home is cluttered, items get lost, and you’re not fully present in your life. 

Bottom line – distractions keep us from living the life we want. So what can we do about them?

What You Can Do About Being Distracted with ADHD 

Nothing. Okay, not really. If you have ADHD, getting distracted isn’t a failure of will. All those school report cards about you are wrong – you can’t just ‘try harder’. You need to get smarter about controlling distractions.

Let’s talk about 3 things you can do to control ADHD distractions.

1. The most important, definitely the very best thing you can do — love your brain well. Distractibility soars for ADHD adults who don’t take good care of their brains. That’s why I teach my clients how to help their brains work better through things like maintaining an ADHD-friendly diet, adding in daily exercise, getting enough sleep, and practicing mindfulness. 

You can’t neglect brain care if you want to live more easily with ADHD. Even if you take ADHD medication like Adderall or Ritalin. The drugs only do so much.

Just yesterday, Cali, one of my ADHD coaching clients, told me that she has realized something important about sleep. When she sleeps fewer than eight hours, the next day automatically switches from great to chaos. That’s important information to know! With it, we can focus on a plan to get eight hours of sleep most nights.

What do you know about how much sleep you need? How about how different foods and when you eat affects your focus? Same with exercise. Pay attention to what helps you pay attention!

2. Do a Distracted with ADHD study. Take a few days to notice what distracts you and determine what’s at the root of them. That root cause is important – it shifts you from being a helpless victim of your ADHD to actively creating solutions.

Perhaps it’s an open office door or activity outside your window. Close the door or close the blinds to control your view. (On Tuesday’s ADHD Success Club call, I had to take a moment and close my blinds to stop watching a ravenous squirrel devour my climbing rose bush.) Do what you can to eliminate the external things that can interrupt your focus.

You don’t have to be a victim of distractions from your phone or tablet. Get clear on what exactly pulls you down the technology rabbit hole. Learn how the blocks built into your phone work. ADHD’s best friends are controls like Focus-mode and app time limits.

3. It’s also important to remember that ADHD makes you inconsistent. What helps you focus one day may not the next. Remember that need for novelty? Having a variety of tools and increased awareness of what distracts you is key. You will never stop distractibility 100%. Focus more on reducing it. 

So take care of your brain, become aware of what distracts you and change up your tools. (The ADHD Success Club can help you with this three-pronged approach! Click here to learn more.)

Keep learning about ADHD:


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