How do I come out of a hyper-focus episode?

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How do I come out of a hyper-focus episode? 2011-12-29T10:03:53+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community How do I come out of a hyper-focus episode?

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  • #90336
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    I realize when I get what is termed a “hyper-focus”. Even tonight…well this morning as it is already 4:56AM, I can’t seem to make myself stop. The only reason I actually did rather than stay up more than 24 hours straight again is because I need more sanding paper and know the energy from the sun will aid in painting the cabinets I am repurposing.

    I tried timers and designating specified amounts of time but this only upset me. So, I stopped using them and took my wrist watch off as well.

    If I don’t get better in this regard, I believe it is going to consume me. I totally crash at times and sleep for 12 or more hours, or wear myself down so much that my body forces me to lay as it is sore and overworked.

    Your recommendations, feedback and/or advice will be greatly appreciated.

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    #110824
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    billd
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    Post count: 913

    I wish I had a good solution. In this case, it’s probably more accurately called inability to CHANGE focus. (hyper-focus is often misapplied when it’s really that you can’t change focus, not that you are deeper into it than anyone else would be)

    I get that way in my wood shop. I’m SO determined to get it all painted, the trim up, things sealed and finished, shelves put in, tools put away, and everything cleaned I can loose a whole weekend out there. I try to get other things going I also want to do badly…. so that they are a diversion I WANT to do, makes it easier to break away.

    If it was a computer habit issue, you can install software that will force a logoff or shutdown, etc.

    You can also ask a friend for help –

    in my case, I tell my wife “at 6pm, stop me no matter what – just do it no matter what I say or do, even if I say “just 10 more minutes”, make me stop NOW”.

    If you have seen a doctor/psychologist/ect. check with them – I don’t suggest meds are the answer – but in some cases for some folks, like me, that’s one of the fixes we’re shooting for, and I’m to check back in next March and if I don’t see improvement in that area, she’s going to make a med change for me. This may not apply to you, and I don’t mean to suggest meds are always the answer, or even most of the time the answer, but they can, as they say, give you a leg up so that YOU can regain control.

    Let’s see what the more wise folks here have to say! This is a very interesting topic so close to the hearts of most ADD folks.

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    #110825
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    kc5jck
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    Set a timer to remind you of the KitKat bars and tequila you have in the freezer. This hopefully will shift your focus and reward you for stopping. Let us know if this works for you. (There is a separate thread to let us know about how the alcohol affects you.)

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    #110826
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    billd
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    Post count: 913

    OK, I’d like to see those thumbs-up icons here admins

    http://theamcforum.com/forum/smileys/smiley20.gif

    – and in this case, how about a HUGE ROFLMAO icon??

    http://theamcforum.com/forum/smileys/cheers.gif

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    #110827
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    Anonymous
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    here’s a link to another thread about this issue – it seems to be more commonly internet-related

    http://totallyadd.com/forum/topic.php?id=254

    LIke bill says, what works best is having someone or something else set a boundary for you that you agree on. For me, it’s got to be very specific and involve a time deadline – you can only do this and only until this time.

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    #110828
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    munchkin
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    Post count: 285

    I’ve started going pretty nuts with alarms and timers on my smartphone. Preventative measures are the only things that work for me.

    Once I’m engrossed in something, especially if it’s not during my medicated part of the day, I will keep going forever until something stops me – like back pain from sitting too long, headache, panicked realization that I’m late for work or frustration of other people or dogs trying to get my attention!

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    #110829
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    billd
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    Since I’ve started adderall, that part of my ADHD seems to have actually gotten worse. Today I was so engrossed is gathering some information for a report for my boss, I forgot to eat, got coffee two times and didn’t drink either cup, sat at the computer so long it was finally the very nearly irresistable urge to pee that finally got me to lock my screen and get up. I think it’s helped some things, but made that lack of ability to change focus or start something new almost impossible.

    OTOH – I actually stopped working in my woodshop this afternoon and went downstairs in my shop and started the long overdue repairs on my little SX4 – replacing the front springs and repairing the door hinges and latches. And I actually stopped working on that finally to go in and clean up and get someting to eat. I was about 15 minutes later at stopping than I wanted to be – but that’s really not bad in my case.

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    #110830
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    Anonymous
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    Same here, I forget to drink, but that’s often the best alarm for me as I have to get up to pee. I would forget to eat too, except that my husband loves food and he always prepares our meals. I was much skinnier before I met him 😉

    Just found a topic I am spending a lot of time on researching to see if I want to borrow the book or buy it. It would only be added to the dozens and dozens of books that I already have in waiting, so I am trying to resist, but it’s futile, I still want to know more!

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    #110831
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    Anonymous
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    Thank you all for sharing and offering advice. I can tell each of you were sincere and would like to respond to each of you.

    Billd, your recommendations for installing software and creating a force shut-down is excellent. I believe I could do this during the construction of my designs by purposefully painting a portion so that I have to wait for it to dry. As well when tiling and crafting wood, I have a no cut at night and while raining rule that has helped me. Thank you so much. By the way, I like the smiley icons :0) Awesomeness.

    kc5jck, drinking alcohol is something I have decreased significantly and actually could saw that I don’t even do anymore. This came about as I have been working towards “wellness” over the past two or so years. However, planning an evening out with friends I haven’t seen in a while would work. lol! “wood work” opps…adhd here…lol!. Oh, how did you know? I LOVE Kit Kat bars like no other! I will try incorporating this. Wonderful idea!

    no_dopamine, you hit the nail on the head. When I do work at my father’s business, he gives me prompts. These prompts come about two hours before he is ready to leave and until we actually leave. He begins with “you may want to find a stopping point”. Then, “you have done a lot and it is looking great…I believe you have done enough for one day”. This continues until he says “is this a place where you can stop? I (he states what he needs to do after he leaves)”. These prompts really help. When I have someone around or working with me, I will ask them to help me by providing prompts. I totally relate to your interest in researching topics as well. This is something I do for topics and when I am going to make a costly purchase. How else would a female like me know so much about televisions, tiles and so forth :0) As well, having someone prepare meals sounds excellent! It sounds as if you have a really supportive husband you love dearly:0).

    munchkin, same here. I detest alarms. I tried them for a while successfully but indeed they began to become a nuisance. I do agree with people and animals helping.

    I greatly appreciate each of your comments.

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    #110832
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    Anonymous
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    “billd Member

    billd

    Since I’ve started adderall, that part of my ADHD seems to have actually gotten worse. Today I was so engrossed is gathering some information for a report for my boss, I forgot to eat, got coffee two times and didn’t drink either cup, sat at the computer so long it was finally the very nearly irresistable urge to pee that finally got me to lock my screen and get up. I think it’s helped some things, but made that lack of ability to change focus or start something new almost impossible.”

    Do you have any information on this? I take adderall also. I’ve been out of it for awhile and recently was able to get another prescription. Today was the first time in several months that I’ve taken it and I’ve been stuck on this computer since 7am (it’s 1:30pm now). Is there any way to combat the side effect?

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    #110833
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    kc5jck
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    Post count: 846

    Good to hear from you. We’ve been wondering where you went .. was afraid you might have overdosed on KitKats.

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    #110834
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    LOL, kc, we just discovered TimTam biscuits and they are on sale, you have to buy at least two boxes because there’s an odd number in each box.

    browna7, your father sounds like my therapist, he would probably ask the same questions, they are good ones! I’ll have to think of them when I’m working. Maybe I could send myself periodic emails at different times of the day at random, with different questions! (nope, too much work).

    My husband knows how long it takes to get me out the door in the morning, so if we have to go somewhere and I ask him what time we have to leave, he builds in a lot of time. But lately he is the one dawdling.

    And by the way, the commitment to doing only a certain amount or to a certain time is definitely working for me. I stay more focused when I know the time I have is limited, no computer, no phone, no email. I can do that later. Some days it’s harder than others, but I’m having some success (ooooh, sorry for that word) with it.

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    #110835
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    Anonymous
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    Posted this elsewhere, but I think it might be useful here in this thread.

    I was reading another forum, and here’s a podcast by an ADD coach, talking about project overwhelm. If you can get through the first few minutes where the two speakers pat themselves on the back about how wonderful they are, there might be a few useful tidbits. For one, she says tackle a small project first, a small room. Don’t go for the big stuff. Get a little accomplishment under your belt. I didn’t listen to the whole thing, I rarely do, but I often pick up something useful. Here’s the link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/add-adhd-coaching/2012/01/10/project-overwhelm-and-add-adhd

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    #110837
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Thanks no_dopamine. I will check out the link.

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    #110838
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    Anonymous
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    When you take medications, be careful, you can hyperfocus on whatever you are next to when they kick in. If you are doing laundry, by gosh, you will become obsessionally clean around the laundry tub. Make sure you are at the place you want to do your productive work when the meds kick in. Even then, you will have to be alerted to simple mechanical things like eating and going for a bathroom break.

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