If you have ADHD, you probably know too well the challenges of having great intentions when you start work or a project that is quickly followed by boredom and distraction, making it seem like finishing a task might as well be climbing Mount Everest. This may have to do with a chemical called dopamine, among other things. To upregulate your brain, behavioral strategies could help to aid the struggle with the restlessness, distractibility, and trouble finishing tasks. In addition to comprehensive medical and neuropsychological treatments, some in-the-moment strategies might be helpful.
1.Try Buzzies. (www.buzzies.com) These revolutionary new wearable devices not only increase attention span, but reduce stress and anxiety in as little as 30 seconds. Preliminary data shows that the bi-lateral alternating stimulation in tactile form (BLAST) technology may reduce the need for restless motor movements and may improve attention in some cases. Buzzies can be a passive, non-invasive way to get you through from start to finish!
2. When you are working, let yourself move! Sit on a (safe) ball, allow movement, create a standing desk and move while you type, or schedule quick activity breaks where you can do whole body movements (think touching your toes and then jumping up 10 times) that will help upregulate if you need to work for a while.
3. Make a deal with yourself to work for short bursts of time and then take small breaks with a smart phone alarm that signals when you need to return to work. If you have a hard time organizing, text yourself a list of tasks so when your alarm goes off you can remember what you need to go back to that’s next on your list.
4. Turn your phone off and limit distractions in the environment that pull you away from what you are doing.
5. Dangle a carrot (not an actual carrot but a reward for finishing tasks). Decide how you want to treat yourself when you finish a task or even when you finish parts of tasks if the larger task seems too daunting. The rewards don’t have to cost money. Allowing yourself to play video games, call a friend, shop online, or put a small amount of money towards an activity can help you focus on a reward for a job well done and this can keep you motivated.
If you do try Buzzies, please let us know how it goes! Share on Facebook or Twitter!