Dealing with Distractibility – And Who Doesn’t Really?

Are you an adult student with ADHD? Do you need help focusing on the task at hand? This article is aimed at adult students with ADHD. We have put together some helpful articles and our own advice concerning adult students with ADHD.

Have you recently gone to the refrigerator to grab the milk and wondered why that new can of shaving cream you bought yesterday was there?  Did you then dismiss any further thought of it when remembering, “Oh well, I forgot razors anyway.”?

Perhaps you are one of the millions experiencing . . . umm. . . Oh yeah distractibility.  Here are a few helpful suggestions.

One of the first things I would recommend is that you set your study environment up in a way to minimize distractions.  Turn off instant messaging, email, and your cell phone when you are really trying to grasp concepts.  Here are links to some articles that will help explain the rationale for this:

NY Times Article 1

NY Times Article 2

NY Times Article 3

NY Times Article 4

Essentially, we don’t really multi-task well and the world of technology is tricking us into thinking that we can.  The constant stimulation of emails, tests, instant messaging, etc. serves to exacerbate any underlying issues with attention.

Secondly, I would urge you to become a student of yourself.  What on earth does that mean?   Get to know your best times, settings, and spans (lengths of time) for study.   Use your schedule to optimize your efforts.  If you determine that you study best in the late afternoon in the presence of a friend to help keep you focused (not necessarily interacting, but being accountable to keep on studying) in increments of 40 minutes at a time, then maybe you schedule 10 hours per week in the library with friends after class and attack the material that way.  Reward yourself for each 40 minute increment with a 20 minute break to walk around, visit, get something to drink etc., and then hit the books for another 40 minutes.  Remember that the absence of structure is the enemy of distractibility.   Left on our own without a plan of attack, the distractible mind can stay “occupied” for an amazing amount of time on an amazing amount of material and accomplish / retain next to nothing.  There has to be a focused plan of attack.

This site (Adult Strengths) has several books listed on the left hand side of the page.  Each link takes you to Amazon where you can look inside and peruse a few portions of the book.   Perhaps one of them will be helpful.