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Watching Videos While Working: ADHD Strategies for Focus

Dec 26, 2023

Watching videos while working may seem like a bad idea. However, evidence both from research and individual experiences point to the potential of this approach in enhancing focus and productivity for certain scenarios. In this blog post, we will explore the role of understimulation in ADHD and how background noise or visual stimulation can improve concentration.

We will also discuss body doubling as a solution for focus and accountability, highlighting its benefits and successful communities that utilize this technique. Furthermore, we will delve into techniques to enhance focus while watching videos during work sessions such as using timed playlists or allowing music.

In addition to these strategies for adults with ADHD, we'll examine parental considerations when supporting children with ADHD who are trying to find effective ways to maintain their attention. Finally, we'll analyze the effectiveness of virtual communities in managing ADHD symptoms by sharing goals within these platforms and providing online accountability resources.

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Table of Contents

The Role of Understimulation in ADHD

People with ADHD often struggle with maintaining focus due to understimulation. Watching videos while working can provide additional sensory input that helps maintain focus on tasks at hand, making it an effective way for some individuals to handle understimulation. However, this strategy needs to be used with care: performance on many tasks will decline if there’s too much extra stimulation (Furnham, 2021). Attempting to study while watching a TV show you haven’t seen before is a recipe for distraction (Chambliss et al., 2017).

The Impact of Understimulation on Attention and Productivity

Understimulation, a common problem among adults with ADHD, can cause difficulty in concentration and productivity due to the brain not receiving enough stimulation. This lack of engagement can lead to difficulty concentrating and staying productive throughout the day. In a study conducted by Woods et al. (2021), it was discovered that introducing supplementary stimulation, such as background noise or visual cues, had the potential to enhance concentration levels in individuals facing challenges related to attention management associated with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

How Background Noise or Visual Stimulation Can Improve Concentration

  • Ambient Sounds: Listening to ambient sounds like white noise, nature sounds, or soft instrumental music has been shown to help people stay focused during work sessions. These types of audio inputs create a soothing environment that allows the brain's attention system more room for focusing on important tasks.
  • Videos: Some people find watching videos helpful when trying to concentrate because they offer both auditory and visual stimuli simultaneously. For example, having a video playing in the corner of your screen might provide just enough distraction without completely pulling you away from your work.
  • Moving Images: Another option is using moving images such as animated GIFs or looping videos designed specifically for relaxation purposes (e.g., cinemagraphs). These visuals can also serve as a calming presence while still providing some level of mental engagement needed for individuals with ADHD.

Not everyone with ADHD will find videos beneficial when working, as some may be too distracted by them. Yet, if you're battling a deficiency of stimulation and have difficulty concentrating on activities, experimenting with assorted types of ambient sound or visuals could aid in locating what is most suitable for your specific requirements.

Key Takeaway:

People with ADHD often struggle with maintaining focus due to understimulation, which can lead to difficulties concentrating and staying productive throughout the day. Watching videos while working can provide additional sensory input that helps maintain focus on tasks at hand, making it an effective way for some individuals to handle understimulation. Background noise or visual stimulation like ambient sounds, moving images, or videos have been shown to improve concentration levels among those struggling with attention management issues related to an ADHD diagnosis.

Body Doubling: The Solution for Focus and Accountability

Adults with ADHD often struggle to maintain focus on tasks, but an increasingly popular solution is body doubling. This technique entails working alongside someone else to enhance concentration and productivity. Utilizing the concept of "body doubling" can be an effective strategy to alleviate feelings of loneliness, as it enables individuals to work collaboratively towards common goals and build connections with others who share similar challenges (de la Peña & Quintanilla, 2015).

The Benefits of Body Doubling for People with ADHD

  • Social Support: Engaging in body doubling sessions provides individuals with ADHD the opportunity to connect with others who share similar challenges, fostering understanding and empathy.
  • Motivation: Seeing another person working diligently can inspire you to stay focused on your own tasks.
  • Inspiration: Collaborating or simply observing others' work habits may lead to discovering new strategies for managing your own ADHD symptoms more effectively.
  • Accountability: Knowing that someone else is watching or relying on you can help increase commitment towards completing tasks within designated timeframes.

Examples of Successful Body Doubling Communities

The rise of virtual platforms like TikTok and Zoom has made it easier than ever before for people with ADHD to participate in body doubling sessions from the comfort of their homes. Here are some examples of successful online communities where individuals engage in this practice together:

  1. Study With Me - TikTok Community: This user-driven community features live study sessions hosted by people diagnosed with ADHD, offering an inclusive space where members can find motivation and support while tackling their daily responsibilities.
  2. Focusmate: An online platform that pairs users with accountability partners for 50-minute work sessions. Focusmate helps individuals stay on track and maintain focus while working, making it an ideal resource for those with ADHD.

By participating in body doubling communities, adults with ADHD can experience increased productivity levels and a greater sense of connection to others who share their struggles. This innovative approach offers a practical solution to the challenges associated with attention management issues related to an ADHD diagnosis.

Key Takeaway:

Body doubling is a popular solution for adults with ADHD who struggle to stay focused on tasks. It involves working alongside someone else, providing social support, motivation, inspiration, and accountability which leads to increased productivity levels and a greater sense of connection among participants. Successful online communities like TikTok's Study With Me and Focusmate offer an inclusive space where individuals can find the necessary support while tackling their daily responsibilities.

Techniques to Enhance Focus While Watching Videos

Maintaining focus on tasks can be a struggle for individuals with ADHD, as they require a delicate balance of stimulation and concentration. Fortunately, there are effective techniques to boost concentration while watching videos during work sessions. Incorporating these strategies into your routine can make it easier to stay focused on your tasks.

Using Timed Playlists to Manage Video Consumption

Organization guru Leslie Josel suggests using 30-minute playlists as a way of managing video consumption during work hours. This approach allows you to enjoy short bursts of entertainment without getting too distracted from your primary task. By setting a timer for each playlist session, you ensure that breaks are taken at regular intervals while still providing enough stimulation for improved concentration.

Allowing Music During Work Sessions

If music helps you stay focused and energized throughout the day, consider allowing it during work sessions. Listening to instrumental or low-lyric content songs might provide just the right amount of background noise needed for better attention management without becoming overly distracting. Experiment with different genres and styles until you find what works best for your unique needs.

Action Steps:

  • Action Step 1: Create a 30-minute playlist featuring engaging yet non-distracting videos or music tracks tailored specifically towards maintaining focus during work hours.
  • Action Step 2: Set a timer for each playlist session, ensuring that breaks are taken at regular intervals while still providing enough stimulation for improved concentration.
  • Action Step 3: Experiment with different genres and styles of music to find what works best in terms of enhancing focus without becoming overly distracting during work sessions.

As you explore these methods, consider using Focus Bear, a productivity app that offers a "Focus Music" feature. This feature provides background music to enhance your concentration during work and other tasks without becoming overly distracting. 

By implementing these techniques, you may discover newfound success in managing ADHD symptoms while watching videos or listening to music during work hours. Remember that every individual is unique; therefore, it's essential to be patient and persistent when exploring new strategies aimed at improving attention management skills.

Key Takeaway:

To enhance focus while watching videos, those with ADHD can use timed playlists to manage video consumption and allow music during work sessions. These techniques may require some trial and error, but they can increase productivity levels in both personal and professional lives for adults diagnosed with ADHD.

Strategies for Enjoying Long-form Entertainment

For those with ADHD, watching lengthy movies or TV shows may pose a challenge. However, rest assured, there are techniques to enhance the viewing experience without undermining attention management abilities.

Utilizing subtitles or closed captions

One effective method is using subtitles or closed captions. This provides a textual representation of the dialogue and audio cues, helping to maintain focus and improve comprehension. Why not give your reading velocity a boost by utilizing subtitles or closed captions?

Minimizing environmental distractions

To create an optimal environment for enjoying long-form entertainment, it's essential to minimize potential distractions. Turn off notifications on electronic devices, dim the lights, or even wear noise-canceling headphones if necessary. By reducing external stimuli, you can better concentrate on the content you're watching.

Implementing mindfulness techniques

Mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing exercises and grounding techniques, can greatly enhance your movie-watching experience. They help you stay present, engaged, and relaxed, promoting mental clarity. For added convenience, use Focus Bear, a versatile app that guides you through short breaks, such as deep breathing, with video demos, promoting presence and relaxation.

Anchoring yourself through physical touch (e.g., holding onto a stress ball) may provide tactile stimulation that keeps wandering thoughts at bay. Additionally, practicing brief moments of self-reflection throughout a film fosters greater awareness and connection to the material being viewed.

Incorporating these strategies into your routine will not only make long-form entertainment more enjoyable but also aid in managing ADHD symptoms. Experiment with different approaches to find the most effective methods for maintaining focus and enhancing your overall viewing experience.

Parental Considerations in Supporting Children With ADHD

When it comes to supporting children with ADHD, understanding their unique needs is crucial. Each child may respond differently to various techniques and strategies aimed at improving focus and reducing anxiety during tasks. As a parent, you can be of great help in aiding your kid to discover the most effective approaches for controlling their signs.

Understanding the Unique Needs of Children with ADHD

ADHD affects each individual differently, which means that what works for one child might not work for another. It's important to observe your child closely and identify patterns or triggers that impact their ability to concentrate on tasks. This information will help you tailor specific strategies that cater directly to your child's needs.

Encouraging Experimentation to Find Effective Focus Strategies

In order to determine the best approach for maintaining focus while working or studying, encourage your child to experiment with different techniques such as background noise or using playlists designed specifically for concentration purposes. Here are some ideas:

  • Ambient sounds: Some children might benefit from having soft background noises like nature sounds, white noise machines, or even low-volume music playing while they work.
  • Focused playlists: There are numerous apps and websites available offering curated playlists designed specifically for enhancing focus and productivity (e.g., Focus Bear). Encourage your child to try these out during study sessions.
  • Pomodoro technique: This time-management method involves breaking work into short intervals (usually 25 minutes) followed by a brief break. This can help children with ADHD maintain focus and prevent burnout (source).

Remember, patience is key when experimenting with different strategies. It may take some time to find the most effective approach for your child.

Additionally, consider seeking support from online communities or local groups where parents of children with ADHD can share experiences and advice. These resources provide valuable insights into managing symptoms and improving overall quality of life for both you and your child.

Key Takeaway:

Parents of children with ADHD should recognize their unique needs and observe triggers affecting concentration. Experimenting with techniques like background noise, playlists, or the Pomodoro method can enhance their focus. Seeking online or local community support can offer valuable insights for symptom management and improving the quality of life.

The Effectiveness of Virtual Communities in Managing ADHD Symptoms

As the trend of body doubling continues to grow, it has become increasingly clear that virtual communities can play a significant role in managing ADHD symptoms. These online platforms provide individuals with an opportunity to share goals and offer accountability, ultimately improving productivity levels among those struggling with attention management issues related to their ADHD diagnosis.

Sharing Goals within Virtual Communities

One major benefit of participating in virtual communities is the ability for members to share their personal objectives and aspirations. Members are motivated and dedicated to attaining their ambitions through this collective method, while simultaneously cultivating a spirit of fellowship among members. For example, ADDitude Magazine reports on various online groups where people with ADHD gather via video conferencing tools like Zoom or TikTok live streams to work together while providing mutual support.

Providing Accountability through Online Platforms

In addition to sharing goals, virtual communities also offer valuable accountability for those dealing with attention management challenges due to ADHD. By regularly checking in on each other's progress and offering encouragement when needed, members can help one another stay focused and committed throughout their journey towards improved productivity. The concept of body doubling serves as an excellent example; by working alongside someone else (even virtually), individuals are more likely to remain engaged in their tasks without succumbing to distractions.

Tips for Participating in Virtual Body Doubling Sessions:

  • Select your platform: Choose from popular options such as Zoom or TikTok based on your preferences and comfort level.
  • Establish a schedule: Determine the frequency and duration of your body doubling sessions to ensure consistency.
  • Create an inviting environment: Set up a dedicated workspace that is free from distractions and conducive to productivity.

Incorporating virtual communities into one's ADHD management strategy can lead to increased focus, motivation, and accountability while fostering a sense of belonging within a supportive community.

Key Takeaway:

Virtual communities can be effective in managing ADHD symptoms, as they allow individuals to share goals and provide accountability for each other. By participating in virtual body doubling sessions on platforms like Zoom or TikTok, people with ADHD can work together towards increased focus and productivity while fostering a sense of camaraderie within a supportive community.

FAQs in Relation to Watching Videos While Working ADHD

Can TV help people with ADHD focus?

Background noise or visual stimulation, like a TV show, can improve concentration and productivity for some with ADHD due to understimulation, but it's important to experiment and find what works best.

Is it hard for people with ADHD to watch TV?

Long-form entertainment can be challenging for those with ADHD, but strategies like subtitles, minimizing distractions, and mindfulness techniques can help enhance the viewing experience.

What are some ADHD coping mechanisms?

ADHD coping mechanisms include body doubling, timers for tasks, mindfulness exercises, and experimenting with background stimulation to manage symptoms and improve daily functioning.

Do people with ADHD rewatch movies often?

Some with ADHD find comfort in familiarity and may enjoy rewatching favorite movies or shows multiple times to focus on different aspects of the content without feeling overwhelmed.


Managing ADHD symptoms while watching videos during work can be challenging, but there are strategies that can help.

  • Background noise or visual stimulation may improve concentration.
  • Body doubling is a helpful technique for focus and accountability.
  • Timed playlists and music during work sessions can also be beneficial.
  • Using subtitles or closed captions, minimizing distractions, and implementing mindfulness techniques may help with long-form entertainment.
  • For parents of children with ADHD, understanding their unique needs and encouraging experimentation is important.
  • Virtual communities can provide support in sharing goals and providing accountability.

If you have ADHD, it's essential to experiment with different approaches until you find what works best for you when watching videos while working.

Dec 26, 2023

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