"Maybe it's in your head."
I usually hate that sentence.
But it's one I need neurotypical productivity experts to understand about distraction.
When most productivity experts talk about eliminating distractions, they act as though ALL distractions are external.
These are things like your phone, your coworkers, your family, the mail carrier, the air conditioning, or whatever else called your attention away from your work. People and things that pop up sporadically for a few minutes at a time throughout the day. Interactions that can be easily eliminated or dealt with.
But when you're neurodivergent or mentally ill, sometimes you're your own biggest distraction.
Your own brain, with its scattered focus, hyperactivity, intrusive thoughts, and whatever else you're dealing with, is what most often pulls you away from the task at hand. (Not to mention other parts of the body and how their experiences can be distracting.)
And that can't be so easily managed.
Putting up a Slack away message or putting a "currently working" sign on my home office door won't stop my brain from hyperfocusing on the wrong thing, obsessing over intrusive thoughts, or worrying about how the work I'm doing will end up.
If only it were that easy!
Instead, managing these distractions take a lot more work.
But it's possible, and what Work Brighter focuses on. Because if working smarter is productivity for the abled and neurotypical, working brighter is productivity for the rest of us.
If this essay helped you learn something or think differently, please consider sending a tip. I love writing about doing marketing differently, but spending my energy this way has real repercussions for my health and business.