Focus tips and tricks

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Focus tips and tricks 2012-04-07T15:39:55+00:00

The Forums Forums Tools, Techniques & Treatments Focus tips and tricks

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  • #90672
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    quizzical
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    Post count: 251

    I thought this could be a place where we post what keeps you focused.

    I personally am most interested in those things that have actually worked for you personally, whether they are tips you read or heard about elsewhere, or something you thought up/stumbled upon by yourself. Overall focus tips are good, but since Rick’s already blogging about those with his bike trip posts, maybe here we could talk about the little nitty-gritty stuff: specific tips for specific tasks, for instance.

    Here’s mine, which put this topic idea in my head:

    I recently got myself some of those rubber dishwashing gloves to help keep my skin from drying out.

    I’ve noticed when I have the gloves on, two things happen: My cleaning efforts fan out just a little bit from washing dishes to wiping down counter tops and table tops (because it becomes “while I have the gloves on, might as well….”).

    But at the same time, I don’t go so far afield as to leave the room, because the gloves are a physical reminder of what I’m working on – not to mention it would be hard to do much else while wearing a pair of wet rubber gloves! So I stay in the kitchen and finish the tasks.

    What works for you? Post it here!

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    #113812
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    Anonymous
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    Good idea quizzical. I usually need external deadlines and motivators to complete tasks. When I need my house clean, I invite someone over and then my anxiety motivates me to tidy up.

    My kids motivate me too. I watched a show about hoarders recently and the effect it had on their children and that inspired me to do a big spring clean to get rid of a lot of the clutter in my house. I used a website in Australia called Gumtree to sell or give away the bigger items. However, I still haven’t managed to get rid of any of my clothes. I just can’t seem to let go. If anyone has a tip on how to choose clothes to save and those to ditch, I’d be grateful. I have a wardrobe that is as long as my room, but no space left. I find that there are piles of clothes all over chairs, bedside table – everywhere! 😯

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    #113813
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    Anonymous
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    hey quizzical :)

    Your tip about wearing rubber dishwater gloves reminded of a cartoon in the 90’s called Dexter’s Laboratory… The main character, Dexter, had a mom who would only wear gloves because she was a clean freak… anyway

    What made me clean my room the other day was when my mother told me our male neighbor was going to put my frame for my bed. oh gosh did i concentrate on cleaning my room with the little time i had. I actually didnt get distracted to design something for my room which makes a bigger mess in my room. So now its just keeping my room clean :P

    When I listen to classical music while doing homework or simple paperwork helps me keep focused at times

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    #113814
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    Tiddler
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    When I clean the bathroom I lock the door behind me. I always start at the same place and work clockwise. There are no distractions in there so it’s the one room in the house I can do in one go, without wandering off to a different room, but if there does happen to be a toy or a book or a wet towel that needs to go somewhere else, the locked door reminds me that I have to finish my task first.

    Love the gloves idea – it should have a similar effect.

    Loud music also helps give me a bit of energy.

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    #113815
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    Scattybird
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    For boring household chores (so that’s just household chores then!) – I plug in my headphones and listen to loud rock ballards. Loud rock creates energy, the ballards are tuneful enough that I can get lost in them. It’s important to wear headphones because then I am in my own world with the particular chore and the music. Headphones limit external distractions and if I sing along that limits internal distractions.

    For office-type work – I use a quiet room, sometimes need white noise like a fan if there’s external noise from somewhere. Blinds closed, spotlight on the paperwork and a big note in thick marker pen reminding me what the task is.

    If in an environment where I am likely to be disturbed (like at work) I have a watch that beeps on the hour and that reminds me of passing time. It doesn’t disturb me if I am focused but it’s a reminder of time passing if I am not.

    I make appointments with myself or with tasks and put those into my ‘phone. It then screams at me 15 minutes before I need to make a transition into another task. I use that for everything from meetings at work to reminding me when I need to leave the house for something.

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    #113816
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    Anonymous
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    Ironically I clean and organize houses for a living lol! But when it comes to my own house I was getting lost!

    Here is what I have been doing that I apply in my job that makes me successful that seems to be working lately in my own home…

    1. Choose the task, lets say cleaning the kitchen for this example

    2. Look at the kitchen and break down what needs to be done in steps, I find I visualize things in blocks so I usually start left to right

    -counter clear, wipe

    -stove clear, wipe

    -next counter clear, wipe

    -sink clear, wipe

    -counter clear, wipe

    -diswasher fully loaded, turn on

    -floor sweep

    -floor wash

    3. In between each step I reward myself for completion of that section

    -things that work for me are a sip of water, checking phone email, squeeze stress ball, pet the dog etc

    -something small that I know I won’t get hyper focused on but is enough of a reward

    4. Only set out to complete something when u know u have enough time, this stops the disappointment of not finishing task I usually leave about 1 hr so accounts for distractibility and u feel great when u complete it faster :-)

    Redsquirrel- I find if I go through clothes in the middle of the season it helps

    I ask myself 2 questions for each piece of clothing (I used to write it down)

    1. Have I worn this in the last 6 months?

    2. Will I wear it in the next 3 months?

    You are going to have 3 piles, keep, give away and undecided

    If I can’t make a decision in 60 seconds I put it aside and move to the next item.

    I find if I do this project in front of the T.V. I get less disstracted and don’t get overwhelmed by the bedroom

    When finished I go through the undecided again doing the same process, then again and again untill nothing left or I get frustrated and put the rest in keep!

    I find this seems to work, good luck!

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    #113817
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    Anonymous
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    sometimes it is useful to play a game with the clock where you give yourself a time limit and see how fast you can go. The manipulation of time is really a key factor in doing any task. Bite sized chunking and constantly letting things go are all good. The part I see that is a problem is that “undecided” section. Put it into a box with the date on it. If you haven’t opened it in six months, chuck it out. You have to counter the “what if…” argument so put it aside and out of mind.

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    #113818
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    Anonymous
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    yeah I also break things down into sections like momlifelove does where you do a part of the room and then give yourself a lil break and then go back to a different part.

    For College exams when they provide a study guide, I look at what needs to be studied and then a day or two before the exam I write down the questions and vocabulary or whatever is on the study guide and write it down on a seperate sheet of paper and then use that as my study guide. For me writing it down myself on a seperate sheet of paper really helps because during an exam if I blank out, I can recall where I wrote it down on paper and visualize everything that is on that “spot” which would be the answer I need.

    Is there such a glove that doesnt make your hands smell? One chore I dont do at all is wash dishes. Dishes gross me out. I’ve tried wearing gloves but that stinch of rubber gloves just stays on my hands no matter how many times i wash them. Am I the only one like this? ha

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    #113819
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Dr.J- I guess for me personally I have gone through the undecided 3-5 times and there is only a few items left so I keep them and when I go through everything again in 6 months I tend to have an easier time letting those few things go :-)

    Taylor55- they make plastic food handling gloves that have no smell, may not be the most environmentally friendly option as they are disposable but whatever works :-)

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    #113820
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    Anonymous
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    I have a playlist of heavy metal with breakdowns that get me pumped up, when im doing the daily house clean ill see how many songs it takes me to get through it. my best so far is 4th song

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    #113821
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Taylor55

    You are not the only one with the glove problem! I dislike that skunky rubber smell too,s and it does not come off for hours!

    What you need is the vinyl gloves like they use in the hospital. They come in a kleenex-sized box at the pharmacy for about $5 for 100 gloves. And since they are not that durable, you might wear them inside the dreaded rubber gloves which are usually roomy enough.

    Now you can do your dishes and feel better! P.S. They are reusable when used in this way because they probably won’t get punctured because they are inside the rubber gloves.

    Cheetah

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    #113822
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    laddybug3
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    I make lists. Each list has 3 things and a treat listed.

    Take today!

    List 1 finish by afternoon

    1) sort laundry

    2) turn on dishwasher

    Reward:Clarinet, TV, Computer, and dance (Listen for timer or dishwasher ding)

    3) Unload dishwasher

    reward: hour or reading or practicing clarinet (set timer for an hour)

    List 2 finish by 3

    1) Reload dishwasher, because the dishwasher was full when I turned it on

    2) Go to library

    Reward: Start book or go on computer

    3) Feed dogs at 3. I still have to do that one.

    Reward: read book, play clarinet, or computer if time allows

    List 3 finish before bed

    1) Make dinner

    2) food pantry at 7

    3) Come up with lists for tomorrow.

    I do allow time overlap, but that is kind of confusing. Doing things in 3s helps. 10s is just too much. I don’t know. Sh** feed dogs!

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    #113823
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    quizzical
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    Post count: 251

    I wear headphones, too – when I remember :) – and it really does help, especially for those room-to-room tasks. I think it helps my brain connect the dots and avoid those “why did I come in here?” moments – kind of like a movie montage, where different scenes are joined with a single song!

    If I don’t have headphones on, I’m not too proud to just recite my purpose over and over out loud until I get to the room I’m headed for: “Library books….library books….”

    The gloves do leave a bit of a smell on my hands, even though they are lined with fuzzy stuff. Maybe I’ll try the vinyl gloves idea; I’ve already got a box of vinyl gloves left over from my painting projects!

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    #113824
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    veronica
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    Post count: 121

    i work really well on deadlines and rewards. even with house cleaning. i give myself an allotted time to finish each task. dishes in 30 min… break for 15. “main laundry” in 2 hours… break for 20 min. bathroom in 30 min… break for 15. each time setting a timer on my phone. if i go over, no break. if i go under… longer break. :)

    and it works well for my kids! i set timers for them to brush their teeth, to change their clothes. it helps them learn that they still need to do things that mommy isn’t always going to be able to help them with. they actually enjoy it and try to beat the clock when it’s allowed.

    i also write a lists… i LOVE lists. of course i don’t let them get too crazy. :) this is a good post, btw.

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    #113825
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    Tiddler
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    Post count: 802

    I’ve used the sticky notes on my computer the last couple of days with good effect.

    Yesterday it was very basic – just a pep talk to get me out of bed and starting my day.

    Today I made a list of 4 or 5 household tasks I wanted to get done and set one per hour. IT WORKED!

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