I find it almost impossible to read when someone is watching TV in the same room or having a conversation at the next table. These are situations where I don't have control over my environment (I can't make people stop talking or turn off the TV). I'd like to be better at "walling off" the distractions mentally so that they don't disrupt my reading so much. Is this a skill I can develop? Are there techniques I can use to improve my ability to focus in these circumstances? [more inside]
I am having trouble getting work done and work, waking up, and going to bed because of distractions on my phone or on the internet. Lots of details inside, but what strategy has worked to "cut back" on distractions in your life? I know "stop doing all of these things" is the obvious answer, but how specifically would your recommend I try to stop? [more inside]
I just had an email from my doctor that a Pap test was abnormal. I know that the problems are not uncommon (I tested positive for HPV for the first time, and had atypical squamous cells). They told me to schedule a colposcopy. I'm 36, and my mother had uterine cancer when she was fairly young (though unrelated to HPV or cervical cancer). I'm feeling freaked out, though I know rationally I shouldn't yet. Need some tips on how to focus on work and not stress out too much about this...I'm already anxious and having a lot of trouble sleeping for other reasons. [more inside]
I was just given a 2004 Ford Focus. I have a clean driving record, am 39, and haven't been insured for 12 years. Any estimates on what tabs, registration, and insurance is going to cost?
Looking for a strategy to decide what book to read next! I have a huge TBR pile. And I am uncharacteristically having a devil of a time deciding what to read next. What can I do to prioritize the pile? [more inside]
I have a couple of good habits I'm working on instilling in myself (exercising and working on my art), but I never seem to have the time or energy when my SO is in town. What strategies do you use to carve out time for yourself? [more inside]
I ate something that is against my beliefs, for the first time in my entire life (due to a miscommunication). I feel very nauseated - my thoughts focus on my body and wanting to throw up (I tried but am unable to?). Can I refocus thought away from the thing inside me? Or you know any help for nausea that is just psychosomatic? I know I did not do this on purpose, it's that I can't escape my thoughts about the physical act of chewing and swallowing it and about the animal dying for it.
I just realized that I really enjoy stories -- both fiction and nonfiction, and across all media and genres (movies, books, journalism, etc) -- about or featuring extremely focused people. Whether dedicated, pared-down, driven, or even obsessive, sympathetic or sinister, they fascinate me. (Examples inside.) I'd love recommendations for stories, articles, and other materials about people like this: [more inside]
"We've had this conversation before. I don't want to have it again." I'm finding myself on the receiving end of this line way too often, from both my spouse and my employer. The problem is, I keep repeating bad patterns like forgetting to turn off the light as I leave the room at home, or not managing my project time effectively at work. I'm aware of the problems and I know how to fix them... I just don't think to, in the moment. [more inside]
I like Photoshop. I like math. I’m a deep guy. I’m not a fine artist. I’m not a photographer. I like writing. I’m deep, smart, and interested in the world, but extremely unfocused and pretty unconfident in myself and my abilities. Happiness, serenity, contentment and fun is more important to me than being rich. I was thinking of starting to learn how to do web design. I came to this conclusion after doing some research into jobs that use Photoshop. Is this a smart move that’s worthy of my time, given my interests? [more inside]
What do others do to reset themselves and to bring focus and attention on the goals and objectives that they have in their lives? I do meditate, but I feel like I am all over the place and not very centered or focused on much of anything. I just feel very scattered and am not finding anything that really brings me back to a place where I know why I am doing what I am doing. Any suggestions from anyone?
Currently, looking for additional resources to help overcome negative experiences in my past. Yes, I'm in therapy and medical care already. [more inside]
I have been shooting with a DSLR for five years and apparently I still don't get focus, nor can I find anyone IRL to explain it to me. Halp? [more inside]
I've got a 480 square foot studio. The layout's fine, and I've got a desk and kitchen table to use, but I never want to do that, actually I don't feel like working at all when I'm home. How can I set things up so I will? [more inside]
I am faced with a hugely exciting, complex, challenging project of my own devising. It's a chance for me to build my dream and ... I'm sitting here crying instead of working. [more inside]
I'm struggling today with both. The ADHD makes searching for help a little more difficult than normal. Can you give me (really short) one liner suggestions for making it through? Mostly focusing on being productive, and coping strategies, but also maybe ways to be kind to oneself. [more inside]
I am a freelancer and currently have a big, long-term (several months') project to work on. How do I stay focused? [more inside]
I’m still having panic attacks. I’m having a hard time getting my thoughts together because I’m so stressed -- and they’re kind of circular on top of that -- so forgive me if this post is tough to understand. [more inside]
For no apparent reason, I am suddenly super stressed out and completely unable to concentrate on anything... [more inside]
I am really easily distracted, especially by adjacent conversations. Do you have any tips for ignoring them? [more inside]
How do ignore cravings or ideas that seem urgent and focus on the task at hand? [more inside]
I tend to have short bursts of focus at work which results in super productivity, followed by days where I just can't seem to stay focused and be productive. I personally work at a desk job but think there must be some tips to stay focused that can come from any range of jobs. What are your tricks to stay on track and not give in to the distractions of the internet, social media, wandering mind full of to-do lists, etc?
Do you suffer from anxiety or severe depression? What are some coping strategies you have developed that help you overcome and push forward? When medicine and therapy alone aren't enough, how have you stiffened up the sinews, summoned up the blood and conquered? [more inside]
It is very difficult for me to focus when I have any problems at all. Sitting around alone in silence doesn't work for me! What might? [more inside]
Based on my limited cues, can you recommend more music to help my poor ADHD brain focus? [more inside]
Does the significance of a game really affect performance? Is having experience at higher levels a deciding factor in outcomes? Because I'd think that professional athletes don't get to where they are without the kind of focus that makes those considerations irrelevant. [more inside]
What are practical tips for keeping my mind on tasks at hand rather than other things? [more inside]
Is there a way to make my brain more "fuel" efficient? [more inside]
After some serious medical issues, a high pressure job where the standard operating procedure is react react react, and throwing over just about all my book reading time for the internet, I am finding that my ability to settle in and think about one topic at a time is totally shot. I am not okay with this. Have you ever experienced this, and if so, what techniques did you use to regain your ability to sink into deep focus? [more inside]
How do you go about finding (paid) focus groups to be part of either virtually, by phone or locally? I found a couple of consulting firms in town, and signed up with them, but online searches for remote or phone interview groups make me a little uncomfortable because I don't know which ones are legit and which ones are just click-bait.
I'm looking for resources for evidence-based processes, tips, hacks, improvements, ideas, etc., for learning more effectively. [more inside]
What is the technical term for this type of recall? A student (possibly with ADD) plays a puzzle game while listening to a class (there's no relationship between the puzzle game and the content of the class). Later, while relaxing at home, he plays the game again and by doing that recalls the content of the class.
Just started a new job that moves way faster than me. I'm scared that I can't keep up. What can I do to make it work? [more inside]
Most "distracting" sites I can block by an entry in my etc/hosts file (Mac OSX 10.8.2). e.g.: 127.0.0.1 plus.google.com But this method doesn't seem to be able to block gmail. [more inside]
I purchased a 2012 Ford Focus and it has been having performance issues that the dealer doesn't want try and fix. Should I risk aggravating the dealer and try to activate Ohio's lemon law or seek some other form of recourse? [more inside]
Basically I am a SERIOUS daydreamer and while I love this about myself and it makes me-time fun etc I have been told that I seem floaty and spaced out even in social interactions and I have noticed that people don't connect with me as much/take me as seriously!! This has not affected my daily functioning, but it is becoming a problem in my personal life and also in my work life because how am I supposed to achieve my goals if people don't connect with me or dismiss me because I seem 'distracted'... I would like to be more lively and focused and I would be grateful for any advice on that (I am anticipating lots of 'meditation' but would like other suggestions if possible as meditation is torturous and I have tried it and hated it.)
Mom wants a fuel-efficient car . . . what should she get? [more inside]
Problem is that I'm losing steam at this point, facing many more years of school ahead of me if I'm accepted into professional school. How I can shake the feelings of uncertaintly as I keep plugging away? [more inside]
I've got this image of a piece of ground glass mounted in a standard 4x5 film holder. I've googled all sorts of things to try and describe what this is, but I cannot find where I can buy this. I've seen tons of pieces of ground glass that are for specific cameras, but that's not what I want. I want a piece of ground glass in (and sold with) a frame that makes it the exact size and thickness for putting into any sort of large format camera. Basically, what that picture shows. What is this and where do I buy it? Thanks!
What can you tell me about sophrology? [more inside]
How do I change my extremely destructive work habits? [more inside]
Need strategies for not getting stuck in my own mind for hours every day over thinking a new relationship. How to know whether you are ruining things in your own head or things are not right? [more inside]
So, I'm starting out on meditation, but finding it near impossible to stay focused for more than a few seconds. Any tips for not thinking about cheese et al for a while? [more inside]
I am a first-year university student. There are eight days of no class until my week of finals. How should I stay productive and focused? [more inside]
So, you know that "career" thing people have? I managed to spend 2012 without one. The timeout was enlightening, but now I'm itching to move on to a brand new phase. Um, how do I do that? [more inside]
Should I maybe get evaluated for ADD or ADHD? [more inside]
Help with focus when reading dull, dry, and lengthy scientific papers or texts please. Yet another attention deficit question.
How do I maintain my focus and make sure my comprehension is maximized when reading (required) heavy or something I don't find terribly interesting? [more inside]
Any tips on how to stop being a pessimist or on how to stop being pessimistic about optimism? [more inside]
Tips on focusing during workouts, and how to push myself through the hard parts? [more inside]
Please help me focus when I have multiple projects I'm excited about. [more inside]