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Off topic: What do you do when you can't concentrate?
Thread poster: patyjs

patyjs  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:43
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 13, 2008

I have ADD. I was unaware of this until I was driven to investigate my son's behavior over 10 years ago. The realization prompted a resounding AHA! as I was suddenly able to put a new perspective on old challenges. Anyway, that's by the by. There are times when I just lose my focus and can't get back "in the zone" even when there are no external distractions...I get up and sweep the floor...look for something to nibble on...or am swallowed up in the vastness of the Internet... well, you get the idea.

It's happened now, hence this post. It's not a great problem today because I set a do-able deadline for the job. Sometimes, though, when the deadline is tight and the text complicated, it causes major frustration. I know losing concentration is not exclusive to ADDers so I wondered what everyone else does.

(ADD is attention deficit disorder)


Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
Italian to English
+ ...
Happened to me today Oct 13, 2008

I was doing a revision and I kept losing my place in the dense, tiny font source text - so I went and did the shopping. When I came back I managed to get through the revision OK.

When deadlines are tight, doing the shopping isn't an option, but even then a 5-minute break helps to recharge the batteries. I usually go and cuddle one of the catsicon_smile.gif


jacana54 (X)  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
I know what you mean! Oct 13, 2008

Hi, Patyjs,

I know what you mean. To make it worse, I tend to lose concentration when the text is boring but needs to be translated in a hurry.

The first option is, of course, get up and do some housework, of the more loathsome kind. There seems to be an endless amount of that and you will quickly find yourself longing for the translation again.

Another useful suggestion from a friend is to change the way the text looks (only for a while, of course): change the font size or the color of the background ... but remember to change it back when you're done.icon_wink.gif

Or go to with your laptop to another part of the house for a while.

Do not, however, DO NOT nibble too much!!! That may have terrible consequences.icon_biggrin.gif

Good luck!


[Edited at 2008-10-13 17:13]


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Checking my green garden Oct 13, 2008

About a year ago we were building our office and worked from home for some months. I had a chance to watch my green garden in these situations, and after 5 minutes getting rid of some weed or checking my tomatoes I was in shape again.

Unfortunately I cannot plant tomatoes in the office, can I? icon_wink.gif


Ivana Kahle  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
Member (2007)
German to Croatian
+ ...
Breathing exercises Oct 13, 2008

Are you familiar with yoga? If you are, you probably know some of deep-breathing techniques. If that is not the case, stand up, open your window and try do inhale and exhale for 5 minutes keeping your mind focused on breathing. The slower you do it, the better, but don't force yourself, it should be pleasant. You can also stretch your neck and shoulders, these parts of body are usually tensed if sitting in front of the computer whole day long.
Good luck, it happens to all of us from time to time.

[Edited at 2008-10-13 17:27]


Grzegorz Gryc  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
French to Polish
+ ...
Chess... Oct 13, 2008

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:

hen deadlines are tight, doing the shopping isn't an option, but even then a 5-minute break helps to recharge the batteries. I usually go and cuddle one of the catsicon_smile.gif [/quote]

When a cat is home, of courseicon_smile.gif
Otherwise, I play chess on
When I'm really desperate, I start flame wars about the last bug I spotted in Trados.



jacana54 (X)  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes, fresh air!! Oct 13, 2008

Ivana Kahle wrote:

open your window and try do inhale and exhale


I just lost the focus of my translation,haha, and came back to the forum to tell you about this — Ivana has already said it much better than I ever could.

Fresh air! Open the window and let the air in, it will clear your mind.


[Edited at 2008-10-13 17:58]


Marta Fernandez-Suarez (X)  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:43
English to Spanish
ten-minute tasks Oct 13, 2008

I tend to do those tasks that you leave aside because they are boring and do not require much thinking, a good colleage of mine gave me that peace of advice once when I asked the same.

Doing this is not too demanding and it has several advantages. You have less things on the back of your mind, as you manage to tick lots of staff off your things-to-do list. It also gives you a sense of fullfillment, as you are achieving quite a lot in a short space of time.

I need to do these sort of things after eating lunch.

Possible 10 minute tasks: filing, making to-do-lists, winaligning...



[Edited at 2008-10-13 18:13]

[Edited at 2008-10-13 18:13]


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:43
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
KudoZ Oct 13, 2008

I answer KudoZ questions, unless I am frantically busy.


sivtufte  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
English to Norwegian (Bokmal)
+ ...
I know just what you mean Oct 13, 2008

In fact; if a text is boaring, or it's just one of those days I can't wake up, settle down or get started - I play scrabbleicon_smile.gif

BUT now I made notes of all the other good advices, so next time I'll for sure file, do Kudoz, fix the garden, open a window and freshen up my house!

Thanks allicon_smile.gif


biankonera  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:43
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
Music, fresh air and a cat Oct 13, 2008

When I need to concentrate I usually put on my earphones and turn on a radio (preferably the kind where the talking is minimal). Works for me perfectly however its not an option for people who like to work in total silence.

In cases when Im stuck I just go for a walk. If the deadline is too tight I end up spending a bit of time on the balcony and/or with my cat.;)


Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:43
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
adapt your work schedule to your strengths/weaknesses Oct 13, 2008

Hi, Paty, I've got ADD, too--fairly mild and not diagnosed until I was in my 30s. One of my most valuable coping tools is to just accept that this is the way I work--I have hours when I zip through 1,000 words, and hours when I don't get a damn thing done, interspersed throughout the day.

I don't do well being restricted to a rigid 8-hour work day because I can't really put in 8 hours of productive work in a row--instead, on a full day, I may work from 6:30 am to 8:00 am, take care of some family business, work for another good stretch, then do other stuff, etc.--oftentimes working from 8 pm to 10 pm at night not because I'm working "overtime," but because I've only been working on and off earlier during the day.

I also tend to be working on multiple projects at any given time, some longer-term and some small, so I can switch projects if I'm feeling bored with one.

The other thing that sometimes helps is to change physical environments, and when I'm really distractable, finding an environment with no internet and just highlighting all my "dudas" so I can look them up when I'm back online again.


Rosina Peixoto  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
10 minutes socializing is the best medicine Oct 14, 2008

I also have problem concentrating. I was so worried that I went to the doctor (neurologist) and had an electroencephalogram made. Luckily the result was OK. I was prescribed Vitamin E (1000 IU). The next stage will be an intelligence test, in other words something like a test on intellectual performance. In my case, I believe it´s just age...icon_smile.gif

I have read researchers found new neurones are born but they die if we don´t keep our brains active.

Apart from the brain activity that we all perform while translating, socializing is the key for memory boosting.

And here you have 33 hints on how to get organized if you suffer from ADD.



[Edited at 2008-10-14 03:09]


Rosina Peixoto  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:43
English to Spanish
+ ...
Cocktails & Vitamin E Improve Memory Oct 14, 2008

Why didn´t my doctor recommend it?

Cheers icon_rolleyes.gif


Vito Smolej
Local time: 02:43
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
I fall asleep ... Oct 14, 2008

"What do you do when you can't concentrate?"

... I just dont know what comes firsticon_wink.gif

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