Shifting out of Hyperfocus

Many people with Attention Deficit Disorder have the ability to hyperfocus on things that they have a great interest in. Many times this can be a great way to get something done or to work on a project. The down side of hyperfocusing is that many time people with Attention Deficit Disorder have a lot of trouble getting out of the hyperfocus mode and lose track of the world around them. There are ways to transition out of hyperfocus and come back into the real world. Using external cues are a great way to shift into other activities. Timers and alarms are great cues for many people with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Tara McGillicuddy

ADD Coach

2 Comments

  • Douglas Cootey

    Reply Reply June 7, 2005

    I find life without my PDA unbearable, Tara. I have a Palm Zire72 and because it was designed to play MP3s it has really loud speakers compared to any of the PDAs I’ve owned before. This makes for VERY loud alarms. I can hear it all over the house. Of course you’ve got to train yourself to update the silly thing with your appointments, but having mastered that years ago I enjoy a healthy symbiotic relationship with my PDA. It has saved me many a time from missing important appointments and helped me keep track of my time.

  • Greta Sproul

    Reply Reply June 8, 2005

    Forget the PDAs. I have always used the timer on my stove to signal the end of the time I should be spending in my study, writing, which is what I do. But even with the signal, I find it nearly impossible to refocus on everyday tasks. My abiity to hyperfocus on my writing is so great that it takes me hours to shift my momentum to a non-cerebral place such as housework or cooking. I feel that I am never going to be able to metriculate with “regular” people, and I am very depressed. I WANT clean windows and orderly rooms in my house, but how will I ever have them if I can’t apply the neccessary commitment to the work? And why can’t I–when I know I want to?

    Greta S

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