I know what some of you might be thinking. How could this make sense? We all know that one of the main problems that individuals with ADHD/ADD face is easily distracted and a difficult time focusing on tasks for a long period of time.
And yes, you would still be right. Focusing on a task is quite a challenge for an ADHDer/ADDer. Especially when the task isn’t interesting and is quite dull. These tasks can (and often do) go unfinished. Cleaning and organizing, for instance, can be a challenge for ADHDers/ADDers, such as myself. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that tasks such as these aren’t my favourite things to do. It can be a challenge to focus on them. And when I do, I don’t focus on them for long. I can easily get distracted.
This sounds like someone with ADHD/ADD, right? For the most part, I think that this is something that most will think of.
However, there is something else that many may not be aware of. As much as ADHDers/ADDers do get easily distracted and have difficulty focusing, there are still times when they are able to focus. It is referred to as “hyperfocus”.
What do I mean by “hyperfocus”? It is when someone with ADHD/ADD is able to focus intently on a task or activity. And usually it is on a task that this individual has a lot of interest in.
When this happens, sometimes, the ADHDer/ADDer will become so focus on what they’re doing that they become oblivious to time and what is going on around them. This is how intently an ADHDer/ADDer can focus on something, when it is something that they find interested in.
When put in these terms, hyperfocusing can be seen as a challenge, which it can be. When you have a limited amount of time, for instance, hyperfocusing is not a good thing to be doing. For instance, if we’re hyperfocusing on a show we’re watching, we might forget about a doctor’s appointment. We might leave late, or miss it completely. Or we might miss a deadline at work, as we’re hyperfocusing on another task we are working on. So, in some cases, hyperfocusing isn’t always a good thing.
However, for some it can be. For instance, there are some writers and scientists, who have ADHD/ADD. For these individuals, hyperfocusing can help them quite a bit, when they are working. In this case, it will come in handy, as they are interested in their work and it will be easier for them to focus on their work. Their hyperfocus ability can be useful in this case.
So, like anything, hyperfocusing does have advantages and disadvantages. There’s a good side and a bad side. The main thing might be to just learn how to use it to our advantage, as much as we possibly can. There are ways that we can manage it.
One advice is to use external cues. For instance, using a timer. One ADHD expert, who has ADHD, uses a timer to help remind her to do things, such as take breaks, or return phone calls. So, this is something that can be helpful for those of us who have ADHD/ADD. It might be a suggestion that I might try, when writing, or doing a chore, or something to that effect.
So, there are some things about ADHD/ADD that can be an advantage. Hyperfocus can be one of them. Especially if the ADHDer/ADDer is in the right setting and with the right tools. Although this could be said about many different things.
For those of us with ADHD/ADD, let’s just remember: there are benefits to have ADHD/ADD, and there are many tools that can help us with things that we struggle with.
Here are two articles, which discuss hyperfocus. Enjoy!
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