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I used work in an open office space – a dream for most creatives, but for me it’s a slippery slope. This is the case for every worker in our society, especially in our modern age, but for ADHD’ers, knowing how to stay focused at work can mean the difference between being employed or unemployed.
I am a massively huge fan of Brain.fm (aff). One of my closest friends (who NEVER buys subscriptions) recommended it to me and I’ve been a heavy user ever since. Originally, I was only using the Focus channel (beach sounds) while I worked, but now I pretty much frequent all of their channels, which also include Relax, Sleep, Recharge, and Meditate.
One of the things I like best about Brain.fm is that it’s backed by science. Through a patented process they have coined “phase locking,” Brain.fm’s music and sounds are optimized for “allowing populations of neurons to engage in various kinds of coordinated activity.”
From noise-cancellation earmuffs to and assistive headphones or earmuffs, you have a few options when it comes to how to tackle your background noise in the workplace (or even at home!). Here are a few places to get started:
General Noise Cancellation Headphones From low-key earbuds to headsets that broadcast to the world you’re on a mission, there are all sorts of directions to go here. Style and budget also will come into play, with brands that range among affordability, stylishness and functionality. Noise-canceling headphones cancel out ambient noise by putting “anti-noise” into your ears as well (also known as active noise control).
Assistive Devices for Noise Reduction Companies like b-Calm (aff) have developed headphones especially for those with ADHD, autism and other disabilities. These assistive devices have been billed to block out noise, increase focus, prolong concentration, alleviate anxiety, and provide clarity in stressful situations. They are developed especially with these conditions such as ADHD and autism in mind, with the research to back it up.
Examples: b-Calm GP (aff) (for adults and children)
Earmuffs If you’re looking for industrial-strength sound protection, you may consider earmuffs. Commonly used at loud concerns, they also are an excellent way to drown out noisy coworkers or neighbors! When choosing a top-quality earmuff, go for something that’s been ANSI certified. You’ll also want to look for comfort and adjustability. If you plan on taking them on the go, try finding a pair that are foldable.
Price: $2.50 to $19.49
Examples: Optime Over-The-Head Earmuffs (aff), Amplim Hearing Protection Earmuff (aff)
While I have tried several journals, there are three that have stuck with me over the years and for various years.
For a quick and dirty “what do you need to do today” captured in a clean, fun format, allow me to recommend the Panda Planner (aff). Even though I don’t use mine every single day chronologically (because: ADHD), I pull this one out when my brain’s been a bit too loosely goosey and needs some law and order. Once I’m back in my rhythm, I rotate onto whatever flavor of the month I’m on in terms of project planning and task management. (I’ve made peace with this – it used to make me feel like a failure, but now I know it’s just what my brain needs.)
To be fair, Panda Planner is more than a “quick and dirty” journal – that’s just how I use it. In fact, the first page has a quick tutorial on how to get the most out of it, and there also are videos to get you acquainted before you jump in.
There’s another part of me that wants to talk about feelings, water intake and other topics that just don’t quite fit with invoices or reports. For this, I use Silk and Sonder (aff). This beautiful journal is sent to you monthly and invites you to find a quiet corner, perhaps with some tea, and really get in tune with your intentions.
Usually, what happens is as soon as I get the journal, I go through the exercises in one fell swoop. Then, as needed, I use the journal to re-center throughout the month. There also is a daily component to this journal, so it’s entirely possible to use this for both wellness and daily task planning. It’s just a personal preference to keep them separate.
For Big Ideas & Goals
For the part of me who’s jacked up about a long-term project or goal, it’s all about the BestSelf (aff) journal. Capturing your life in quarters, you set some grand declarations at the start of the journal, which then gets broken into baby steps. This is another one I’ve been known to put down and pick back up from time to time. What can I say? I have a hard time sticking with one method. But this is definitely my Serious Business planner if, for example, I’m starting a new side hustle or want to run a marathon. Fun fact: I had the privilege of interviewing the co-founder of BestSelf on The Adulting With ADHD Podcast.
Similar to the Panda and Silk and Sonder planners, you really don’t have to keep this separate from the other two categories. This planner very well could cover the day-to-day and wellness – in fact, that’s what it’s designed for. But for me, this journal is the “big guns” I break out when I’m setting big plans for the quarter or am tackling an otherwise ambitious goal. Just the design itself sets the tone that this journal is for getting down to business.