Tag Archives: ADHD

Focus: Intentional Thinking

focusWhat exactly is focus? According to dictionary.com, focus (v) is to direct one’s attention or efforts. To me, that means intentional thinking. I’ll give you an example. How many times have you walked past something in your house and had the fleeting thought that it needed to be picked up, thrown away or otherwise dealt with?

Well, for me it happens all the time. I think, “As soon as I am done with “this” (whatever I am doing at that moment), I will take care of “that” (whatever needs to be picked up, thrown away, or otherwise dealt with). The problem comes when finishing “this”, makes “that”, completely flee from my mind.

True story: I was very mindful that I had an appointment that I need to leave for the second I finish work. I was even thinking about it the moment the clock struck “Time to Leave”. But if someone asked me for help with something at the last moment. SQUIRREL! I immediately started helping them. At the moment I got out to my car, I remembered the appointment. Glancing at the clock, I realized that I could not possibly make it to the appointment in the two minutes I had to make a 20 minute trip.

This was actually the second or third time I had forgotten this appointment. The first three times I met with this person were no problem. It was summer break and I was not working for two months. As soon as school started up, I was unable to make the next appointment no matter what I did.

I called and apologized and told them I would not schedule another appointment. I just didn’t trust myself to not do it again next time.

Lesson learned. No more appointments of any kind for the first few weeks, maybe even months of the school year until I can get back into the routine.

I am just now starting to understand that I have got to take the time to start recognizing the WHY’s of what I struggle with so I can fix them.  If you struggle with things like this on a regular basis, start to look at the situations and understand WHY they happen; what triggers them. Then you can start to prevent them from happening again.

And don’t forget to apologize. I know you don’t do it on purpose. I don’t do it on purpose. The person you have offended may even know that you don’t do it on purpose. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for them. And an apology will go a long way in mending damaged relationships.

Fascination with Electronics

It Started Early

I believe that hyper-focus is very much an issue for me in certain situations.  I found a couple of supporting articles in case you are interested in researching further:

 

My issue with hyper-focus presents itself primarily with electronics; specifically with computers.

Electronics 1When I was in high school, I lived with my grandmother on my dad’s side of the family. She bought me a VIC-20, and then a COMMADORE-64. I remember sitting in front of the television (that was the monitor back then) and writing lines and lines of code at the age of 15 just to make a ball bounce across the screen . And I knew at the end of the day, or if we had a power outage, that my hours of work would be gone. I had no way of saving the program.

Electronics 2Then the day came! My grandmother happened to work for IBM. The day came that IBM offered their first home computer to employees (at a discounted price I am sure). She brought one home for me! I sat in front of that computer for hours and hours with nothing but a three-ring-binder copy of the IBM DOS user manual to refer to and taught myself to program in BASIC.

I have been fascinated with computers ever since. A lot of people I know that work with computers want nothing to do with them when they get home because they have been working on them all day. For the most part, I could sit in front of a computer and work on it 24 hours a day if I allowed myself to and be content.

Absent-Minded

Hyper-focus can be a wonderful thing. But on the other hand, it can also be a dangerous curse. When I was a young adult, hyper-focus caused me to be late for EVERYTHING. I would get so engrossed at the task at hand that I could set an alarm to be on time for something, it goes off, and before I could get out the door (or sometimes off the couch for that matter), my mind would return to the task I was working on and I would completely forget the alarm ever went off. I’ll leave you with the clip from “Flubber” below. It is so funny on film, but in reality it is a downright depressing situation for both the person dealing with it and the people around them: