Stone ADHD Coaching Blog

    From Distraction to Action

    [fa icon="clock-o"] Sat, Aug 15, 2015 @ 11:56 AM [fa icon="user"] Marla Stone, MA, CMC, PCC, CSS


    All of us get distracted at some point and some of us are more easily distracted than others. It doesn’t have to be just an external interruption since even our own internal thoughts can waylay us from our task at hand. Aside from tracking down racehorse blinders and a friend’s noise cancellation headphones, here are a few suggestions to help keep distractions at bay so you can complete a project at work or study for that looming chemistry exam.                    

    We know technology has its benefits and we may be attached to our phones and computers, but there are times when being “disconnected” is worthwhile. Answering a text takes only mere seconds away from a task. Getting back to the task isn’t as quick and it doesn’t mean you immediately return to the level of focus you were at before you glanced at your phone. Indeed, according to Gloria Mark, professor in the department of informatics the University of California, Irvine and who studies digital distraction, once a person is distracted, it can take them 23 minutes to get back on track. So, you may want to rethink taking a peak at Facebook or keeping your phone nearby when you’re faced with an important task. The following may help reduce distractions so you can complete what you need to do and move on to what you want to do.
    • Set your phone on silent or better yet, place it somewhere out of easy reach when you’re working.
    • Try to reduce temptations to check out non-essential websites while you’re working. Consider one of the following to help you resist doing so:

    I Focus on Work It’s for PC and a tool that allows you to track and restrict your computer use. It helps you improve time management and fight procrastination, too.

    Stayfocused It blocks sites after a set amount of time. It’s a Chrome extension and free  It’s also available through Android apps on Google Play

    Focus booster For Mac or Windows. It’s based on the Pomodoro technique.

    Mac Freedom It’s available for Windows/Mac, and Android. It’s $10 with a 60-day money back guarantee

    • Keep a notepad next to you and “park” any thoughts that run through your mind that aren’t relevant to the task at hand. That way, you’re saving your energy and not depleting your willpower muscle trying to remember to make a dentist appointment or to call your mom tomorrow to wish her a happy birthday. You get those thoughts out of your head and on paper so you can stay focused on what you need to be working on.
    • Try to work in an environment that’s most conducive to your working style. Maybe for you, that means a little background noise to quiet the chatter in your brain. Or, perhaps, you need absolute quiet and a library or private office is a better spot, not your dorm room even though you may try to convince yourself that you’ll save precious minutes if you stay hunkered down in your dorm room rather than to trudge to the library. Feel too anxious to focus? Do you like a little music? Ambient sounds, perhaps? Do you prefer a coffee shop but can’t take the time to get to one? Here are some suggestions:

    Musicovery is a free web radio that allows you to choose songs according to genre and mood. (It is suggested that listening to music with 60-80 beats per minute that coincides with your heart rate is ideal and so is listening to music in another language or to songs that only are instrumental so the words won’t be a distraction.

    Pandora enables you to create playlists. “Japanese Pop Stars” has a steady beat that’s great for working.

    If you’re bothered by noise, try Ambience You can choose from over 1,000 sounds. Ambisci 100 combines electronic music loops with binaural beats than help you to focus. and stopbreathethink offer relaxation/meditation exercises for as short a time as 2 minutes to enhance your focus so you can be less distracted.

    If you love working in a coffee shop but that’s not always an option, there’s an app, coffitivity, that sounds like a coffee shop! It’s available at

    Well, enough with the reading here. It’s time to get back to work!


    Silverman, Rachel Emma, Workplace Distractions: Here’s Why You Won’t Finish This Article