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How to harness your ADHD and improve focus at work

2. Inspired intervals 

Working within time intervals and setting out time blocks, known as the Pomodoro Technique, has become a popular way to boost productivity. 

An astonishing 75% of US adults surveyed by reMarkable believed that, “Digital notifications lead to procrastination and decreased focus.” 

So, whether you use one of the apps or website blockers recommended below, or merely the timer and ‘Do Not Disturb’ function on your phone, the purpose is to work for a chosen amount of time such as 25 minutes without any distractions. 

You then take five minutes to decompress and have a break. 

While 25 minutes is the suggested amount of time, those with ADHD may want to start with smaller blocks of 10 minutes and work their way up gradually. 

Along with motivating you to work harder, the added pressure of being under time constraints is an excellent way to learn how to make decisions faster. 

You don’t have time to procrastinate or ponder for long, so you’re more likely to take action and, in my case, get words down on the page faster. 

It’s also important to acknowledge and praise yourself for the fact that you focused and worked solidly in that time block, too, rather than dismissing your efforts.

The best time blocking apps

The best apps I’ve used so far include Forest and Tomato Timer

Allowing you to grow your own virtual tree with every focus block you complete (your progress is lost if you use your phone), Forest is great for incentivizing you to focus as you have an end goal – your very own virtual forest. 

On the other hand, Tomato Timer keeps things simple, allowing you to pick the session and break times, but still forms motivation as you can see time depleting. 

The best website blockers for focus

When your research and work requires you to be browsing, you may also fall into the trap of finding yourself on social media or scrolling through irrelevant articles. 

To prevent yet another form of distraction and procrastination, you can install web blockers to help you focus at work. 

StayFocusd is a highly recommended Chrome extension that can be installed, which “restricts the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites” and makes the websites inaccessible once you’ve used up this time. 

You can either block whole sites or specific pages. An excellent way to overhaul and analyze those procrastination habits, WasteNoTime not only blocks distracting websites, but it’s Time Tracker also produces reports on where your time was spent online.

Accountability can take your focus to the next level

And if you’re still finding your mind straying during this time block and want to learn how to avoid distractions much faster, then get an accountability buddy! 

Set a timer with a friend or someone at home and get them to check in on you when you’re slacking. 

Make sure they point out when you’re cheating or procrastinating during a time block. You’ll soon be far less likely to let your mind wander or check your phone and will find yourself back on track much sooner.

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