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Since 2003.

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Topic: Distractibility

October 4th 2016 Meeting Notes for the Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group

Return to Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group Previous Notes Page



Facilitator: Pete Quily

Thanks to Ed for taking notes.


Warm up:

Ask your partner to tell you 3 examples of tactics you have learned to reduce the likelyhood that you get distracted. Why did they work for you?


What are the costs of distraction in your life?


  • accidental death or dismemberment
  • arguments with spouse
  • depression and anxiety
  • expensive traffic tickets 
  • financial costs
  • frustration
  • guilt, shame
  • high rates of underemployment
  • if too many distractions, go blind, feel overwhelmed
  • loss of sleep
  • patients (if working in the health care field) or passengers (if a pilot) might die
  • personal relationships suffer
  • poor work performance
  • Primary tasks don’t get done
  • projects/tasks don’t get done
  • vicious circle
  • wasted time

Check out  the Hunter-Farmer Theory of ADHD by Thom Hartmann



Why are we more likely to be distracted?


  • angst which can leads to hypervigilance
  • boring stuff fills our days
  • higher sensitivity threshold – can be to the level of sensory integration disorder, so can get more overwhelmed by input
  • internet the crack cocaine of ADHD
  • our brains are hungry for dopamine so we look for stimuli
  • we are more impulsive so more likely to follow the distraction

Check out Fidget to Focus the book by Sarah Wright – we often get bored, not enough dopamine so you fidget to stimulate yourself to be able to focus, try doing it deliberately.


ADDConsults Resource to find ADHD resources, professionals, consulting services and products.


A huge part of ADHD is problems with executive functions, I recommend my adult ADHD coaching clients check out this Thomas E Brown pdf on executive functions.


Great site for problems with ADHD relationships by Melissa Orlov, ADHD Marriage.



What reduces the chance of being distracted?


  • exercise
  • interest – schedule interesting stuff before the boring stuff
  • manage your blood sugar; have protein, important for neurotransmitters and dopamine; eat protein in the morning to help focus
  • music to help focus (helps while doing boring stuff)
  • nurturing environment (look for a non-asshole boss)
  • proper sleep
  • what is your general work environment? investigate the boss as well as the job

Check out The Professional Organizers of Canada. Make sure they actual know ADHD and are non judgemental



Practical distracitiblity reduction pair exercise


Get together in twos or threes and ask the other person to answer these questions.


What is the impact of that distraction to you?


What increases the chance of that distraction distracting you?


What reduces the chance of that distraction distracting you?


What will you do and not do to reduce the likelyhood of that thing distracting you?


When will you do it? Pick a specific day and time?


How will you remember to do it then?


How will you reward yourself when you are done?

    © 2003-2015 Pete Quily
    © 2003-2018 Pete Quily