And, just to illustrate how much trouble focusing can be at times, I want to share a little story of an extreme case of an ADHD moment.
Juliet Marillier is a favorite author of mine. It's her "Sevenwaters" trilogy that first got me exploring Paganism (though mom says that I was a Pagan way before I read her books, was in fact born a Pagan), and as such her books will always have a special place in my heart.
So when her book "The Dark Mirror" came out a few years ago I was very excited. It was coming out in Australia and the UK a year before it was coming out in the USA, and rather than wait I payed extra to get the UK edition of it. When it finally arrived on my doorstep I was oh so happy, and started reading it almost immediately. Or anyways, I tried to.
Regardless of how excited I was about it, and how much I had anticipated it, and how delighted I was to finally have it in my hands, I could barely even read one paragraph. Seriously. My focus was that bad. I had to put it down and come back to it later.
This story is to illustrate that my ADHD moments do effect my whole life, not just how I do academically.
Now, on to some of my coping methods!
1) I like to take frequent brief breaks.
2) Listening to music.
3) Listening to an audio book that I'm very familiar with. Believe it or not, this can actually help me focus on reading and writing. I'll read/write whatever I need to, while being semi-aware of what's going on in the book.
4) My new iPhone I'm getting should help me keep track of things and remember to do stuff. Ok, so it won't exactly help me focus, but I thought it worth mentioning. Besides, I think I'll have all kinds of timers on it to remind me to do things like homework. :)
5) I'm planning to talk to the ADA office at my school. My advisor has said that they should be able to help me find methods that help, and find reasonable accomodations for me. I can blog more about that as I go through the process of working with them, if anyone is curious about it.
6) Drink something with caffeine. I don't know that this actually helps me, but it's been recommended and so I do it. Sometimes.
7) This term I discovered that it can help to listen to music on my iPod while I'm in class. Fortunately both of my professors were fine with me experimenting with it. :)
*******I should also note that some of these methods can backfire. For example, music that almost always helps me focus will sometimes totally distract me, in which case I'll have to find another method to help me focus. As I said, my methods are always evolving, and I keep looking for new ways to help my concentration.
By the way, after writing the above I went back to find the old post I referred to in the beginning of this post. I don't mention anything in it that I haven't talked about in this post, but I do talk about some things in more detail.