The most telling symptom of ADHD is a lack of focus that goes beyond merely being unable to pay attention. It also implies that you are easily distracted. When someone is in hyperfocus mode, they become so engrossed in what they're doing that they lose track of what's going on around them. When you try to get a youngster with ADHD's attention while they are playing a video game, you may observe this. You call them, but you don't get a response. You try yelling louder, but there is still no response. Finally, you raise your voice to a shout, but you still don't get a response.
Kathleen Nadeau tells a story about a woman with ADHD who became so hyperfocused on a paper she was writing that she was completely unconscious her house had caught fire in her book, Adventures in Fast Forward. "She had missed the sirens and the ruckus and was eventually located by firemen, working quietly in her room while the kitchen at the back of the house was engulfed in flames," Nadeau writes. Fortunately, this woman was able to safely exit the residence. (It's also likely that her paper was exceptionally well written!)
Adults and children with ADHD can benefit from hyperfocus.
When you have a deadline, you can put everything else on hold and focus solely on meeting it.
You acquire a reputation as someone who is talented and dedicated to their work if you hyperfocus on work-related duties. It also indicates that you enjoy your time at work.
You might be overly focused on the person you're dating at the start of a relationship. Your date will find this amount of focus attractive and seductive.
A parent can become engrossed in an activity with their child. Having a parent who is completely absorbed in a shared, enjoyable project makes a youngster feel extremely unique.
A child may get obsessive over an activity that boosts their self-esteem. This is quite encouraging, as living with ADHD can have a negative impact on a person's self-esteem. The activity itself is less essential than how it makes people feel, whether it's learning to skateboard or programming a computer.
The ability to stay "in the zone," focused and engrossed in a task for hours on end, has resulted in some of the greatest discoveries and creations.
Unfortunately, if hyperfocus is not adequately handled, it can lead to a slew of issues. Some people withdraw into their own worlds, ignoring those around them and failing to complete critical duties. If this happens, performance in school and at work suffers, and relationships become tense. Consider the following scenario:
Because you are hyperfocused on the aspects of the job that you enjoy, you may skip meetings or get behind on your tasks at work.
Your partner may become irritated and furious with you since you only seem to do things that you enjoy while they are left to do the housework.
Parents become angry with their children when they are hyperfocused and fail to come to the table when dinner is ready, complete their homework, or assist with household duties without being reminded.
When you're hyperfocused, it's easy to lose sense of time, which might throw your life off. As a result, you won't have time to do things like cook healthy meals, go to the gym, or spend time with your loved one.
You can become critical of yourself and expect to be able to concentrate at all times. If you concentrated intensively for 12 hours one day to achieve a deadline, you might wonder why you can't do it again the next day.
5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Hyperfocus
To make the most of hyperfocus, try out these strategies.
Match your hyperfocus activities to your career. Choose a career path that corresponds to your areas of hyperfocus. "Choose what you love to do as your life's work," Nadeau says. In this way, your hyperfocus will help you advance in your work. Plus, doing what you enjoy will make you lot happy.
Determine what your youngster focuses on if you're a parent of a child with ADHD. Knowing what your child intensely focuses on might help you understand their interests and motivations. It's possible that it's not something that a typical 9-year-old is interested in! You can alter their activities to accommodate this area of interest once you have this information. For example, Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps suffered in school when he was younger. His mother planned his education around his passion for swimming. She gave him the sports section of the newspaper to help him read, and she made sure his arithmetic problems were swimming-related.
Determine which of your hyperfocus activities you engage in. When you know what you hyperfocus on, you can pick and choose when you do it. Don't start a hyperfocus activity if you only have a few minutes before going out with your spouse or before going to bed. Instead, schedule them for the weekend when you have more free time. As a parent, you can assist your child in doing so.
Set time limitations for yourself. Setting strong time limits around "escapist" hobbies in which their children tend to hyperfocus is beneficial for parents. Sit down with your child and talk about the problem; together, you may come up with time limitations. Adults can also unwind by watching television, watching videos, or participating in internet chat rooms and forums. Limit your time spent on hobbies that isolate you from the rest of the world. Set aside a specific amount of time to participate in the activity, and adhere to it.
Make a list of reminders. Determine how to create cues that will tell you when it's time to stop doing something. Adults might want to set an alarm to assist them take a break from their work. Parents can assist their children in doing so as well. Parents can also remind their children with verbal and tactile reminders. Turning off the video game with just a verbal command isn't always enough. To grab their child's attention and help them change to another activity, a parent may need to tap them on the shoulder or even stand directly between them and the video screen.