Focusing Among Distraction

Last Monday, I was reminded of the fact that we all can have ADD tendencies. Especially in this day and age, when we constantly receive distractions from our phone, advertisements, other humans, you name it. So it was refreshing to hear some tried-and-true techniques from an accomplished ADD Productivity coach, Alan P. Brown, our guest at the NAPO Chapter meeting last Monday. 

Alan was also refreshingly open about his personal journey. He went from the low of drug addiction to the high of founding several successful start-ups valued in the millions. He lent his journey, in part, to his experience that a little education in how your unique brain works can make a profound difference in your life.

I like how he said to forget all strategies he shared, except two – the two that most resonate for you. So here are mine:

1.Feed Your Brain

This was a new point for me, even as a professional organizer. Yes, I know eating whole foods and protein will provide sustained energy. But I had never made the connection that this may make a huge difference in productivity for people with ADD/ADHD. Alan put this strategy as #1 in his presentation, and I can certainly understand why. I’ll definitely discuss this strategy with clients in the future. 

2. Multi-tasking is really task switching

Your brain cannot think of two things at the same time. Period. So when multi-tasking, you’re really making your brain switch from one thing to another, then back to the original thing, etc. All that transition time for your brain to reacquaint itself with the task, every time you switch, takes a lot of mental energy. It has been shown to make you 43% less productive, and that your IQ reduces by 10 points. These facts about multi-tasking – just like for Alan P. Brown and I’m sure countless other people – have helped me quit the habit.

So don’t underestimate how educating yourself on productivity strategies can help you bring more peace into your life!

About Sara Luisa Valverde

Supporting people in organizing, time-management, and simplifying has always come naturally for Sara. She´s had the opportunity to hone this skillset in her professional career, most recently while supporting three (incredibly busy) senior professors at Harvard Business School, and while working within a clinical research team at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Since June 2015, she has worked as an independent yoga teacher, specializing in un-learning habitual posture patterns that get in one´s way. Sara honors the act of organizing as both an internal and external process. Her approach is to keep it simple, so you have the mental and physical space for maintaining clarity and peace of mind. She loves that her services in professional organizing bring together two passions: internal and external de-cluttering. She thrives on living a minimalist lifestyle, living as a full-time liveaboard on her beloved sailboat.

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