Blog Post Written By: GoAskAlex
It takes a lot of focus and motivation to be a successful Sex Work CEO - but what if your brain isn’t wired that way?
Receiving my ADHD diagnosis later in life was like finding the missing piece of a puzzle. Unfortunately, it was a puzzle that I’d already thrown out years ago - so the missing piece wasn’t all that useful anymore.
Recently I've come to see my neurodivergence as an important aspect of who I am, and my diagnosis as something that has empowered me rather than as a hindrance.
In retrospect I understand why school was always so difficult for me. It’s frustrating to know that so many of my struggles in adolescence could have been prevented, but I’m grateful that I now understand myself on a deeper level.
Recognizing why it’s so difficult for me to focus was essential to learning how to focus.
Over the past couple of years I’ve taken time to reflect on what I can do to keep myself motivated and centred (most of the time!).
With the hopes that it might help you, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite methods battling ‘executive dysfunction’.
1. Let go of the expectation that you can ‘remove distractions’.
You can’t remove distractions entirely, but you can learn to minimise them!
For a lot of neurodivergent people, having a disorganised space makes concentration even more difficult. Unfortunately, having ADHD makes it far more challenging for me to declutter my work area. Since cleaning isn’t always an accessible solution, I have a small desk that I face towards a blank wall when I need to remove distractions. Pointing my computer at something less stimulating makes it far more difficult for me to look at anything other than what’s right in front of me.
Distractions still happen, but it’s much easier to get back on track when I can’t see an entire room of distractions in my peripheral vision!
I love listening to podcasts and music when I’m cleaning or cooking, but I need calm instrumental sounds when it's time to focus on cognitive tasks. For motivating background music or white noise I highly recommend the website MyNoise as it has hundreds of sounds to choose from. You can personalise your preferences for each sound setting to suit your specific needs, or choose from their gallery of presets. https://mynoise.net/NoiseMachines/thunderNoiseGenerator.php
2. Take a break to change the pace
Taking a break to switch from one task to another is a great way to ‘reset’, but for those of us who are easily distracted a ‘quick break’ can quickly transition to mindless scrolling (pinterest, anyone?). I’ve found that standing up and physically changing what I'm doing (going out in the garden etc) is leaps and bounds more helpful for my motivation as compared to opening another browser window.
Since many of us have a tendency to be sidetracked and are prone to time blindness, setting a timer for a 30 minute break is a great reminder to get back to it (even if you have to click snooze a few times).
3. Resist the temptation to scroll (especially in bed!)
Oh, the bittersweet love/hate relationship we have with technology! As successful Sex Work CEOs we utilize social media to network, promote, and find clientele.
Since most of us work (at least partially) in the digital sphere, “scrolling” for hours on end is second nature. On top of that, it’s not surprising to learn that social media is formulated to be as addictive as possible. This is especially true for those of us with ADHD who naturally lack in dopamine and serotonin!
When you have a brain as busy as ours, laying in bed awake at night can be agonising; thus it can feel impossible to resist the temptation to scroll on your phone. One trick I use to prevent getting stuck on my phone is changing the settings on my phone to send a notification when I’ve spent over 15 minutes on any social media app at once.
Lastly, I find it extremely helpful to turn off notifications, or at the very least to set up a ‘bedtime’ when my phone goes on ‘do not disturb’. My phone now reminds me that it’s time to wind down soon around 9pm, and by 10pm my notifications are snoozed. A deep sleep is one of the BEST ways to boost energy and focus!
There will always be distractions in life, and especially in work.
By learning to minimise distractions, and to cooperate with the ones you can’t eliminate, you will see a noticeable change in how much you can accomplish as well as the quality of your work, but remember - progress isn’t linear, and that it’s ok to have days that aren’t ‘productive’
It’s far more important to feel happy at the end of the day than it is to feel accomplished, but with a bit of practice it is possible to have both!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the blog post above are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SexWorkCEO or MelRose Michaels. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.