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.


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:

Check Lists or Bust: Visual aides to help organize

Check listsIf I don’t have check lists of things I need to get done, I am lost!

I have often described to people what it feels like to have ADHD by telling them this:

Imagine you are standing in the middle of a dome-shaped room that is completely wall-papered with hundreds of televisions all tuned to different stations. You are so overwhelmed with trying to figure out which screen to focus on that you have to just walk out of the room.

Feeling Overwhelmed

This is what it feel like to me to walk into a kitchen with dirty dishes and clutter on the counters. I have to intentionally force myself to walk to the sink and just focus on one section of the task at a time.

As an adult, this is a tedious, frustrating thing to deal with. For kids, a lot of times it causes some serious attitude. The best thing I can do for a child in this situation is to give them a checklist.

    • Stack all of the dishes close to the sink or dishwasher
    • Take care of everything else that is on the counters
    • Wash off the counters
    • Load the dishwasher
    • Clean dishes that can’t go in the dishwasher
    • Dry and put away the dishes  you just washed
    • Sweep the floor
    • Steam or mop the floor

For those of you reading this that do not suffer from ADHD, this may seem utterly ridiculous. But the fact remains that doing this for your child that does suffer with it will relieve more stress and chaos in your home that you can ever imagine. Exacting their focus on one task at a time will make a world of difference.

Check lists also offer encouragement in the form of accomplishment. Just being able to check something off the list and having a visual representation of progress can go a long way. Even if it sounds silly to you, give it a try. You may be surprised at the difference it can make.