Retaining Focus with ADHD Using Tech Tools

Overcoming distractions and getting work done.

Craig McWha
4 min readOct 6, 2021


blurred image of the word focus
Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

Many times I’ve sat down to write and oh look a squirrel… What was I doing? Can’t remember, might as well get up and make a coffee.

I have adult ADHD and bipolar disorder. Retaining focus on tasks can be an absolute nightmare. Minor distractions can become full-blown barriers to progress. This has been an issue for many a year. As a previous member of the armed forces, I found the structure present in the military was a key component in remaining on task. Realising that structure was vital for progress, I decided I needed to implement this into my writing life. This is how I did it, and the tools I use on a daily basis.

Working environment

I had been working with my laptop on my knee, lazing about on the sofa. The family kicking about in the same room, chatting away. The TV or radio on. The dog snoring in the corner. Cats walking across my keyboard. Hardly the most conducive environment for productivity.

I bought a desk. Just a cheap thing from amazon. On top of this, I placed a large faux leather mat, for comfort. I bought a USB-C hub and hooked up a portable monitor. I set this up in the bedroom and instantly created a dedicated workspace for just a few GBP’s. This small adjustment was an instant and cost-effective way of creating a space that is (relatively) free from distractions.


The single most useful discovery as far as apps are concerned has been Notion. Free to use for individuals, Notion is a do-it-all app that you can set up to be whatever you want it to be, and work however you want it to work.

I have my Notion homepage set up with several features to the fore.

  • Calendar
  • Daily Goals
  • A database of blog post ideas
  • A free writing draft page.
  • Web clippings (Many of which I later move over to Shooglebox, more on this later)
  • Links to my most-used web pages.
  • Several databases — from mailshots to blog-post performance.



Craig McWha

Former rough sleeper, UK RAF veteran, graduate. Interested in society and social issues. A growing interest in tech stuff and Cyber Security.

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