Life Improvement

The Key To Productivity Is Sitting In Silence With Strangers

Managing to finally focus despite my ADHD

Daphne Tideman
Published in
10 min readMay 22, 2021
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Well, that explains a lot…

At 26 years old, I found out I had ADHD. So many things suddenly clicked into place, such as,

  • Why I change topics every other sentence, so no one ever had any idea what I’m talking about
  • Why I never look at what I am doing and just end up making an absolute mess by spilling whatever I am carrying
  • Why I always have 60 tabs open at the same time resulting in me restarting my laptop rather than trying to close them all
  • Why concentrating is so fricking hard

The last one really gets to me. I want to focus; I want to achieve a lot. I’ve always been very driven to learn and grow but it has felt like my focus has held me back.

It is exhausting, though, forcing myself to concentrate on just the one thing in front of me. Even now, in the last hour, I have switched from submitting an article to a publication to editing an article I just finished, to writing this one.

Being distracted comes at a high cost: it impacts my productivity and what I can achieve. So how could I better deal with my ADHD?

Dealing with a distracted mind

Since finding out about my ADHD, I have been on a mission to get better at focusing. Discovering the cause is only half of the battle. I’ve found many tactics over the last two years that have helped:

  • Working with a Pomodoro timer: a 25-minute timer where I focus on one task
  • Starting the day with the most important and biggest task (also known as ‘eat the frog’)
  • Working with to-do lists
  • Leaving my phone in another room when I’m working
  • Using a brain training app to train my focus
  • Only checking email and Slack messages at certain times (ok, that second one is a work in progress)
  • Restarting my laptop to kill my millions of tabs



Daphne Tideman

Startup Coach | Love to help eco-friendly startups and growth hackers grow | Author of Growing Happy Clients