HYPERFOCUS: How It Can Be Your FRIENEMY!

by Tina

Have you ever been so involved in something that you completely lost track of time even to the extent of missing appointments or forgetting to eat?  This is one example of hyperfocus in action. 

As you can see from the given example, there are some good and bad results with hyperfocus.  We must try to learn how to use hyperfocus to our advantage rather than letting it control us.  Some can do this own their own while others may need the help of a Coach to get on track.  Regardless of the approach, controlling hyperfocus is certainly something that is possible.

When you have a task that is to be done within a certain timeframe, it can be very beneficial to be able to hyperfocus.  You are able to focus completely on the project at hand without having many distractions.  You find that your mind is completely taken with the task you are tackling even though you may not realize it until you are done. 

It is very easy to lose track of time when hyperfocus is involved.  Thus, it is important to use strategies to keep yourself on track as to the time if a deadline must be met or if you simply need to remember to eat or go to sleep before you complete this task.  One thing I find tough about stopping a task when I am hyperfocused on it is getting back into the project.  It is very important to leave the project with an obvious parting point so that you can easily return to the project and begin again.

Hyperfocus can be of great help in one’s job, school, or with any projects that require time and concentration to complete.  When purposefully using hyperfocus, it is important to have a comfortable environment, which can be different for each person.  One person may need music or other noise to help him or her concentrate.  Another may need total silence while working.  The workspace may need to be at a desk or sitting in the floor.  Many factors can come into play when considering the best environment for a person’s ability to hyperfocus.

On the flip side, hyperfocus can work against us.  For example, when we get involved in something on the Internet that is merely of interest to us, we can easily get lost in the information, which is a form of hyperfocusing.  This is when loosing track of time is paramount.  Many will miss phone calls or appointments or lose sleep due to the time they spend on-line.  Once I was reading comments related to an article after doing some research on-line.  The comments went on and on, yet they were entertaining to me.  Before I realized it, I had been on-line for at least three hours, and it was around 2:30 AM!  The time passed very quickly, and I had lost sleep that I knew I would miss the next day.

There are certainly ways to control hyperfocus when it works against us.  The use of timers or alarms can help IF you are aware enough of the possibility of getting lost in a project to remember to set the timer.  There are other ways to help one stay on track with his or her schedule when hyperfocus is possible; however, these often differ from person to person.

As you can see, hyperfocus can be your friend as well as being your enemy depending on the circumstances or situation.  It is important to learn about you as to when or under what conditions hyperfocus usually hits.  Once this is somewhat understood, you can begin using hyperfocus to your benefit rather than finding its use being to your peril. 

Do you have things that tend to grab your attention in ways described above?  Are you able to control hyperfocus when it occurs?  I would love to hear your comments!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Grant

I find that when I am well prepared and calm as the “Hyper Focus” hits (a completely random & unplanned occurrence) I can literally get e few days worth of work done in 4 to 5 hours… it’s incredible… I feel like a super genius, everything is crystal clear, thoughts and words come out in logical progression and I am able to make decisions are made instantly. I am able to focus on the big picture as well as the finest detail without getting bogged down. It truly is awesome. And then it’s gone, ‘brain fog’ sets in and I am left feeling like an absolute moron… can’t make the simplest decision like what to do next and I am paralysed with indecision.

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