Having a smartphone, computer, or other technological device to turn to for distraction can feel like both a saving grace and a detriment when you are living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Apps and websites give you a thousand things to do at a time and bounce between as your fleeting attention seems fit. However, part of living with ADHD means learning how to create productivity in your life. Technology can become a distraction when it gets in the way of your ability to stick to normal routines and get things done during the day. You might be struggling with technology distraction if these things happen:
- You don’t mean to spend as much time on your device as you do: Out to dinner with friends, in an office meeting, or even sitting at a red light, you always find yourself with your device in hand, getting lost in what it has to offer. You feel as though the need is compulsive and it happens without your noticing it.
- Even your time on your device is spent being distracted: When you use your device, you’re rarely attending to just one task. Rarely do you pick up the device just to check a text message without taking a quick look at your email, your Facebook, and photos from last night.
- You feel like you might be missing out when you aren’t connected: During Times when you’ve tried to be separated from your device to be more present, you feel you are missing out. Your attention nags at you to spend just one quick second checking all of your apps and newsfeeds to make sure you haven’t missed something important.
- It feels impossible to get anything done: You need your devices to get your work done yet you feel as though you can’t get any work done. Somehow you keep losing track of time and forgetting to take care of what’s important.
- Hours of time get lost without your noticing: Only five minutes, you tell yourself when opening your favorite social media app. Just one episode, you tell yourself when looking for something to watch on Netflix. Predictably, hours go by, full of small time limits which you are unable to keep.
- No matter what you do you can’t seem to manage your time: Restricting time, unlimited time, deleting apps, signing out of apps- nothing seems to work. Your ADHD is out of control and you know your time management when it comes to technology is no help.
Time management is not the solution to ADHD and technology distractions, man professionals argue. Instead, it is attention management. You can still waste time no matter how much of it you set aside. Instead, set aside time to focus on specific tasks and create set breaks where you can interact with your device. Attention management is one ofthe most difficult but necessary challenges living with ADHD includes. By training your brain to be within one activity at a time, you actually help reduce the intensity of your ADHD. Constant distraction only leads to more distraction. Here are some tips for setting up a routine that works:
- Create time limits
- Use distraction blocking apps and plugins for your phone and computer
- Utilize the “do not disturb” setting on your phone if you have one
- Choose one activity at a time on your phone when you are using it on a break; for example, only check one social media channel at a time
- Determine what is important and what is urgent
Living with unmanaged ADHD can often cause people to feel as though they are failures, incompetent, or will never get ahead in life. With treatment and therapy, ADHD can be managed, leading someone to live a satisfying and successful life. If you or a loved one are struggling with ADHD and are in need of help, call Avalon By The Sea today. We provide mental health treatment to those with ADHD as a primary diagnosis. For more information, call 1 888-958-7511.