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Diminish Digital Distractions

Diminish Digital Distractions

Staying focused in today's highly distracting, multitasking world is a challenge for most adults, but for grownups living with ADHD it can be especially difficult. One of the worst culprits? Electronics. From cell phones to Facebook and the Internet to Wii, our lives are crowded with attention-stealing digital devices. Can powering them down help adults with ADHD stay more focused? No one knows for sure, but minimizing digital distractions makes sense, and it certainly can't hurt to try. Ask your loved one with ADHD to consider these strategies, or try them yourself:

  • Silence your ringer. Unless your job requires otherwise, silence your cell phone or leave it in the car while at work - especially when completing complex projects that demand your focused, uninterrupted attention. Check messages and return calls only during breaks or, if you must leave your cell on, answer only emergency calls and let the rest go to voicemail.
  • Kick the Facebook habit. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become national addictions. Don't let social media distract you from your work. Solution: Make it a rule to log in during work breaks or at home only.
  • Minimize email interruptions. Constant incoming emails and instant messages can interrupt you all day long, and refocusing your attention isn't so easy. Even if email is part of your job, turn it off, if possible, for large chunks of time each day so you can work without distraction. Designate times -- perhaps in the morning, midday and before you leave the office -- to reply to emails.

Medically reviewed in January 2018.

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