There have been countless moments when I’ve struggled with something and sought help or suggestions from others, but I often found myself unable to follow through. When I said, “I really just can’t,” the response was often that I was lazy, stubborn, or too quick to give up. These situations left me confused, sometimes in tears, caught between feeling, “But I really can’t,” and the reluctant promise that I’d try harder.

Spoiler alert: trying harder didn’t help.

Then, I discovered I had ADHD and was compelled to learn as much as I could about it, especially how to focus. This journey helped me understand why much of the advice out there doesn’t work for us and can actually be detrimental.

Myth #1: Strict Routines Are Key

It’s often said that a strict routine is essential for focus. While this might work for some, many of us with ADHD find that too much structure is actually restrictive. I thrive in more flexible settings where I can adjust according to how I feel each day.

Myth #2: Minimize All Distractions

The typical advice is to eliminate all distractions to maintain focus. For neurotypicals, clearing away clutter or turning off background noise might work wonders. However, I’ve found that too sterile an environment actually makes it harder for me to focus. Sometimes, a little background music or a busy cafe is exactly what my brain needs to stay engaged.

Myth #3: Set Long-term Goals

Setting and striving for long-term goals is standard advice. For those with ADHD, the distant rewards can feel too abstract. I’m learning to set shorter-term goals that provide immediate feedback and a sense of accomplishment, which keeps me motivated.

Myth #4: Traditional Time Management Works Best

Time blocking and fixed schedules are often recommended. Yet, these methods feel too constricting for me. I benefit from a more fluid approach that allows me to follow my current interests or spikes in focus, which can change rapidly.

Myth #5: Practice Mindfulness and Meditation in Silence

Mindfulness and meditation are touted for their focus-enhancing and stress-reducing benefits. While I acknowledge their value, traditional still meditation can be challenging. Integrating movement or sensory activities into mindfulness practices has been more effective for me.

While these are the myths I’ve busted for myself, everyone’s ADHD is different. I’d love to hear what myths you’ve tackled and what strategies have worked for you. Let’s learn from each other and build a toolkit that really fits our needs.


A lot of the standard focus tips don’t really gel with ADHD quirks. Things like super strict routines, cutting out every distraction, and aiming for long-haul goals? Not always a win for us. And those usual time-management strategies and common mindfulness practices? Sometimes, they need a bit of a tweak to fit our ADHD vibe.

But hey, we’re all unique! If something works for you, or even just for you today, totally roll with it.

About the Author

Hey there, I'm Susanna Miles, a writer and advocate who understands the ups and downs of life's twists and turns. As a creative entrepreneur with ADHD, I'm here to share stories, insights, and practical tips from my journey.

Join me in embracing the beauty of imperfections, navigating distractions, and finding the balance between creativity and business. Let's celebrate our unique paths together.

Stay curious,
Susanna Miles

P.S. Explore my tailored journals and planners to support your journey.

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