I think we can all admit that online sites and activities are easily distracting. For adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, knowing the world is a click away can pull them away from work or other important activities.
The internet becomes the equivalent of Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Tumbling this way and that, they never quite know where they’re going to end up. Adults with ADHD get lost, waste time and miss deadlines, and valuable opportunities pass them by.
When someone first starts ADHD coaching with me, we often spend a good deal of time teaching the person to stop wasting time online.
Even I struggle with this sometimes. Just today I signed on to Facebook to check my Organized for Life page, when, 15 minutes later, I realized I’d fallen down the Internet rabbit hole. Watching videos and reading articles my friends had posted had led me on a chase after the disappearing Cheshire cat.
Why do ADHD adults get lost in the Internet?
I know of two reasons:
- The Impulsivity Factor. When we log-on to check our email or a website we find so many other distractions that our ADHD impulses take us off in a direction we weren’t expecting to go.
- It’s the Shiny Object Situation’s Squirrel! Whether we are procrastinating on our project or don’t know how to get a project started, a fast internet research session becomes a Nosey Nelly’s treasure chest of often unimportant information.
What can you do to stop wasting time online?
Here are a few suggestions I offer my clients:
- Awareness. This is my favorite ADHD management tool. A big thing I do with my clients is help them learn how to stay aware and on track.
- Closed for Distractions. Another suggestion I have for my clients is closing their browser and email and only checking them at certain times of the day. One of my clients turns off his WiFi during the day which helps him stay on track. The notion that we need to constantly check email and immediately respond to inquiries and messages is detrimental to our productivity.
- Zap with Apps. In this technological age there are apps and websites to help control your time. RescueTime is a program a number of my clients have used successfully. There’s a free version but the paid version gives greater control over what websites you can visit. It also sends reports telling how you use your time on the Internet.
Do you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of ADHD digital distraction? Do something! Living with ADHD doesn’t have to be hard. To find out more about how I can help you, please visit my coaching services page.