View Full Version : How to increase productivity?


bluelephant
12-01-15, 05:02 PM
It's been almost a week since I went back on Adderall XR, and while I see an improvement, I feel more present, happier, more involved in my relationships, more efficiency in multi-tasking, and small task follow through, I am still not completely focused (took me 30 minutes for my brain to start tuning in during lecture) and my productivity for important tasks "studying", is still being diverted to smaller fixations that my brain is experiencing? What can I do to improve prioritizing and focus on one specific task? Is there anything I can do to help eliminate distractions? Since a chronic problem for ADHDers is focusing on tasks they are not interested in, is there any technique I can employ to make my functional brain more concentrated on what the rest of my brain knows is necessary??

I am ADHD-PI.

Socaljaxs
12-01-15, 05:12 PM
For me I have found iPhone apps really helpful in regards to productivity..this is easier to control on medication but I can't just as easily focus on everything else verses what is needed of me! Also, I looked into ADHD coaching but it was too costly, but I was able to find a few meet up groups that have been helping me with tips and tools to combat this.

anonymouslyadd
12-01-15, 11:08 PM
For me I have found iPhone apps really helpful in regards to productivity..this is easier to control on medication but I can't just as easily focus on everything else verses what is needed of me! Also, I looked into ADHD coaching but it was too costly, but I was able to find a few meet up groups that have been helping me with tips and tools to combat this.
Which apps have you been using?

Lizzie80
12-19-15, 10:57 PM
It's been almost a week since I went back on Adderall XR, and while I see an improvement, I feel more present, happier, more involved in my relationships, more efficiency in multi-tasking, and small task follow through, I am still not completely focused (took me 30 minutes for my brain to start tuning in during lecture) and my productivity for important tasks "studying", is still being diverted to smaller fixations that my brain is experiencing? What can I do to improve prioritizing and focus on one specific task? Is there anything I can do to help eliminate distractions? Since a chronic problem for ADHDers is focusing on tasks they are not interested in, is there any technique I can employ to make my functional brain more concentrated on what the rest of my brain knows is necessary??

I am ADHD-PI.

Without seeing your physical space or knowing your organizational habits, it's hard to say for certain where I can offer exact help, but I'll try to offer some things that have helped me. I think there's one key thing that was hard for me, but I wish I'd "gotten" early on. Acceptance of the daily work and daily repetition (review) of college is something hard for many ADDers, because we like novelty and newness...and that's not going what we're going to get after the first few weeks each semester. This is especially hard if we're in a school where there are lots of opportunities for distractions in the forms of roommates, partying, extracurricular activities...it's not easy. The ADDer typically CANNOT afford distractions, and may have to study more than the non-ADDer to get the high grade they want. We have to accept college may require us to use parts of ourselves that are weaker, untrained, or underdeveloped. College is just like a job. Showing up and putting in the hours to get "the pay" (the good grades) is as non-negotiable in a college course as it is in any job.

1) Make sure you're in a non-distracting, uncluttered environment to study and work in. If you're in a place that distracts you by making you want to do other stuff...danger, Will Robinson! :D I don't know if you live at home, in a dorm, whatever, but try to work somewhere alone, where you won't be disturbed. It should be a motivating, well-lit, comfortable space. If it can be a place you dedicate as your study space consistently, so much the better. Simply having that space allotted set up the brain to know it's "Work Time".

2) Realize that you might need to do things outside the box, or have unconventional methods of getting stuff done. Some people can study at a desk...I personally cannot. It hurts my knees and back. I spread out my stuff on the floor of my living room and have my yoga mat + two pillows underneath me. :) Have enough space that you can spread out your stuff comfortably. Your binders, textbooks, computer, etc. That said, keep the stuff that you know will distract you OUT of the space. If you can't stay on-task if your computer is nearby for example, get away from it. Tell people you're studying and not to bother you unless it's an emergency, if needed. If you don't like working in silence, put on some classical music or something else ambient to avoid being distracted by little noises around you.

3) Consider using a timer. If you have trouble getting started on a task, set a timer for fifteen minutes and put your full focus on that task for the allotted 15 minutes. If you feel like you can't keep working, stop after fifteen. Chances are, you'll want to keep going. (For me, getting started is often the hardest part.) Also use it to keep yourself from going into overtime on one task or course too long...we often hyperfocus as ADDers. Timers help us remember after an hour or so, "Okay, time to move on from calculus and get that American history work in!", for example.

*Calculate how much time you need to devote to your studies for each course in advance; professors will often list an estimate in their syllabus of what will be needed, but that is not set in stone. Don't underestimate how long it takes an ADDer to do stuff, either. Time yourself when reading and notating from a chapter of work once, and then use that as a basic template when planning that type of studying, for instance. Know yourself. After several semesters, I know I have to spend a minimum of one hour a day, every day, for every single course...and that's if it's an easier class. Plan for this.

4) I'd say respectfully to be cautious in utilizing lots of tech and apps for productivity (speaking from personal experience, trust me!) They can end up being more of a distraction and mini-obsession for ADDers than we realize at first. Apps can be helpful, but we must realize that sometimes they're simply not the greatest for an ADDer. We often start stuff with the best of intentions, set up elaborate systems, create beautiful beginnings with new products or applications or tech...only to abandon it. Whatever you use, be consistent and use something that isn't overly time-consuming.

*Google Calendar is good because it will email you reminders of what needs to get done. Large paper calendars hung on a wall you can't miss, where you've written down exactly when exams are and other big events occur, is another good idea. A paper or electronic planner and/or calendar should be carried with you at all times. If you don't already understand time management and organizing yourself, your spaces, and your items well, then college is the time one has to learn them. This is not necessarily an ADDer strength, but it is essential for our success, IMHO.

5) Use a homework planner of some kind. (Google Calendar can work, but I prefer to print out a template that's free online and write it out on paper.) Know exactly what needs to get done and when, by writing or typing up your tasks in advance - including an estimated time needed for accomplishment of the task. I write out all of my known homework for the week ahead each Sunday, for every single course. I pay special attention to deadlines on turning in papers and when test days are, noting them in my planner. Productivity can go up when you know exactly what you're supposed to be doing each day. This takes advanced planning, but it's worth the lack of stress and lost time later on.

6) Really look over your professor's syllabus, topical outline, schedule of assignment due dates, weekly objectives, lecture outlines for each chapter, and so on. If they've developed those pieces of written work, use them. Understand them. Contact the professors ASAP if you have any areas of confusion. Knowing what is due when, breaking down big assignments into bite-size chunks of tasks, keeping up with the assigned reading and such...this reduces stress. Lower stress = higher productivity.

Never underestimate the power of simply opening up the textbook chapter, scanning the bold print and just letting your eyes do a visual outline of what's coming up in the chapter you're about to read. Reading the learning objectives the author (and/or your professor) wrote up, and being able to answer them - which I recommend doing in writing - is essential. Reviewing your already-written notes each day for deeper understanding is needed. If your textbook is unclear, do a little deeper research from another resource, talk to your professor, or ask a fellow (knowledgeable!) classmate. Read the material out loud to yourself. You could do stuff like record definitions of key terms on your phone or computer and listen to them daily, ESPECIALLY if you are an auditory learn primarily. Experiment with methodologies, within reason. Sometimes trying out a new study method can create the "newness" ADDers need to stick with a subject.

7) It sounds unrelated, but fuel yourself properly. Exercise, drink plenty of water, eat protein-based meals and snacks with fruits and vegetables each day, get your sleep...ADD meds are terrific. They work their best when we live the healthiest life possible. Take time out to energize yourself throughout the day when studying by getting in a walk, doing some stretches, etc. Seriously, this can be the difference between a great, productive day and one where nothing gets done.

8) When all else fails, get back to basics. Forget about apps and newbie tricks. Put one thing, for one assignment, for one course in front of you and make that your SINGLE focus for a good hour or two. Act like you're a student of old when you had the school library, one textbook, the notes taken in class already, and handouts from the professor to go on- nothing else. There are limitless resources available today, but we cannot use them all. ADDers are especially tempted to take advantage of all these "extras", IME. Stick with the tried and true. When reading and re-reading a textbook chapter, listening up in class, and reviewing your careful notes already written up repeatedly (to engage that long-term memory) was king...sometimes we just need to get back to that attitude.

9) With stuff due ASAP, pretend like it's an assignment given from your boss in a high-paying, very important job that you don't want to lose. That you're on deadline according to that boss, and you've got a client who is very important to satisfy. That you'll be out of a job if you don't get the work done, so procrastination is not an option. In other words, prioritize well and be single-minded.

danyyyy101
12-29-15, 07:49 AM
Productivity is the combination of intelligent planning and focused efforts. Staying productive at work or at home can be a challenge. Every time the work day ends, odds are that you are not satisfied with what you have accomplished. Productivity can be continuously improved, but here are some points that have really worked for me.

1. Seek help / Delegate tasks accordingly

Everybody needs help and should never take on large tasks alone. Two of the biggest barriers for getting help is trust and introversion.

In order to get help from others, you need to trust your colleagues in helping you complete work. If you tell your colleague what the deadline is for the project, then they will likely take it very seriously. Make sure to give your colleague all of the resources that he or she needs such as relevant documents or spreadsheets in order to reach the best deliverable.

2. Do not get sucked into unnecessary meetings

Time is the most important currency in your life. While it may be tempting to meet with as many people for the benefit of networking, the time you get at your desk is extremely valuable. Knowing what meetings to refuse is very important.

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