Hyper-focus and not knowing what's going on around you

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katwithhat
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02 Jul 2012, 12:45 pm

I tend to hyper-focus when I'm on my computer and completely block everyone out. Time just seems to pass and what feels like a few minutes can actually be an hour or so. It's never freaked me out until today. My daughter came home, using her house key and walked right past me (so she says). I had not heard her and it freaked me out that I didn't hear her and am wondering what else I have blocked out. Does this happen to anyone else? Is there a good way to have someone grab your attention to 'snap' you out of it?


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smudge
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02 Jul 2012, 1:03 pm

Get them to turn the lights on and off. That's a subtle notice that they're present.



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02 Jul 2012, 2:13 pm

When I am on the computer, my partner calls my name & waits for me to turn & look at her. Otherwise, I can even answer questions & have no recollection of it. And the waiting allows for a smoother, gentler transition for me, so less irritation. If I'm drawn off hyper-focus suddenly, I'm a real b***h. :twisted:



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02 Jul 2012, 2:40 pm

Yes, I am very subject to that. It can be while I'm on the computer, or reading, or in my daydream universes, watching TV, or while doing anything else that I get engrossed in. When I was still able to work, it also happened on the job, as I would sometimes get very focused on the work, and everything else would be in null space--or maybe I was. :lol:


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kirayng
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02 Jul 2012, 2:48 pm

katwithhat wrote:
I tend to hyper-focus when I'm on my computer and completely block everyone out. Time just seems to pass and what feels like a few minutes can actually be an hour or so. It's never freaked me out until today. My daughter came home, using her house key and walked right past me (so she says). I had not heard her and it freaked me out that I didn't hear her and am wondering what else I have blocked out. Does this happen to anyone else? Is there a good way to have someone grab your attention to 'snap' you out of it?


Yes, it happens all the time and I get made fun of for this at work. Someone once called me as*hole very loudly to get my attention and it caused me to meltdown it was so suddenly a part of my internal world.

I'm curious to hear what others' do or tell people to do to snap them out of it too so I can be more proactive at work.



TalksToCats
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02 Jul 2012, 3:27 pm

I hyper-focus / deep concentrate and loose track of everything else much as others have described here.

I find people calling my name tends to snap me out of it.

My husband know this, and will call my name to get my attention when I'm in this state - he can recognise when I drifting off :) and call me back out...

At workplaces I've been at I've warned people then when I'm really concentrating I can go a bit deaf as I get absorbed, so if I ignore them, if they call my name I should snap out of it, this seems to have worked ok for me.

I'm also usually a bit hyper-vigilant (my natuarally slightly anxious self), so a loud bang, or the sound of a door being unlocked will usually jump me out of it, so I may snap out of it a bit easier than others.

My parents use to call me by name, sometimes several times, when I was a child to get my attention, so I guess I got use to it being a signal to come back to the world then.



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02 Jul 2012, 4:36 pm

kirayng wrote:
Yes, it happens all the time and I get made fun of for this at work. Someone once called me as*hole very loudly to get my attention and it caused me to meltdown it was so suddenly a part of my internal world.


Ouch! Did the person apologize?

Quote:
I'm curious to hear what others' do or tell people to do to snap them out of it too so I can be more proactive at work.


See my post above. :)



Alfonso12345
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02 Jul 2012, 4:47 pm

I guess I don't normally become that focused on things, but I do sometimes and then I don't notice other things going on. Sometimes if I am distracted by something, I focus on whatever it was that distracted me, and then when someone says something to me, I don't even notice.



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02 Jul 2012, 5:09 pm

Definitely. With the computer, especially.



theWanderer
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02 Jul 2012, 5:38 pm

This kind of thing happens to me all the time. I can do it on the computer, while reading, while writing; I've held conversations on 'auto-pilot' that I can't recall a few minutes later.

At least in my case, disrupting this state is not a good thing. It "jars" my mind and leaves my thoughts jumbled; the equivalent perhaps of sneaking up behind an NT and shouting "Boo!" so loud they jump and their heart is racing for some time afterward.


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02 Jul 2012, 5:40 pm

With researching things I love on the computer I tend to hyper-focus. I have music blasting in the background and sometimes I can't even hear it! Then people can call me all they want and sometimes I don't hear it! Hours can pass by and I wouldn't know it. But I also have the opposite extreme, where I can't focus for more than a few seconds and my concentration lacks. Then I can't even read a sentence. With me I have opposite extremes in literally everything.



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02 Jul 2012, 6:48 pm

yes I hyper focus quite a bit when I am working on a project I lose all track of time and what is going on around me.


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02 Jul 2012, 6:55 pm

When I first got access to the World Wide Web, this happened every time. But for me, this kind of thing happens mostly while on long automobile drives, listening to favorite music/group, or reading a GOOD book. Then I just zone out & 10 hours can easily go by. Unless my bladder decides otherwise! LOL

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03 Jul 2012, 9:37 pm

katwithhat wrote:
I tend to hyper-focus when I'm on my computer and completely block everyone out. Time just seems to pass and what feels like a few minutes can actually be an hour or so. It's never freaked me out until today. My daughter came home, using her house key and walked right past me (so she says). I had not heard her and it freaked me out that I didn't hear her and am wondering what else I have blocked out. Does this happen to anyone else? Is there a good way to have someone grab your attention to 'snap' you out of it?


yup, got it bad :(


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kirayng
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05 Jul 2012, 2:22 pm

DonkeyBuster wrote:
kirayng wrote:
Yes, it happens all the time and I get made fun of for this at work. Someone once called me as*hole very loudly to get my attention and it caused me to meltdown it was so suddenly a part of my internal world.


Ouch! Did the person apologize?


Nope. It was during lunch service at a busy restaurant so I just left the line and had a smoke. Cigarettes used to stop meltdowns for me but I quit them due to a heart condition.

Quote:
I'm curious to hear what others' do or tell people to do to snap them out of it too so I can be more proactive at work.


DonkeyBuster wrote:
See my post above. :)


I'm very responsive to my name, so that definitely helps. Hubby does the same thing, he'll pause in talking to me until I turn around and pay attention to him because he knows otherwise I won't hear a word he says.



ADoyle90815
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05 Jul 2012, 4:49 pm

I actually lost an internship because of hyperfocusing too much on my job that I didn't acknowledge enough people or make enough small talk. It was the thing that led me to finally get a diagnosis since not only did I lose the internship, the program kicked me out because to get other internships, you had to be interviewed first. Let's just say that it wasn't an aspie friendly program as they had you interview before being able to intern.



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