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Fenn
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11 Nov 2022, 2:17 pm

See Also:

Wikipedia - Pomodoro Technique


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Benjamin the Donkey
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12 Nov 2022, 12:02 am

I greatly enjoy my hyperfocus time and have no desire to change that.


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12 Nov 2022, 5:22 am

My mind is also chaos. It is like a mush of everything all at once. If I want to get anything out of it I have to wait patiently until something recognizable comes up, and then write it down quick before I lose It!

My understanding is that all "thought" comes initially from "feeling". The quotes are to indicate that these are fuzzy concepts, and the boundary between them is constantly moving.
Often in meditation I am dealing with feeling as I cannot separate out distinct thoughts. After much observation of myself doing this I have noticed that there are just a few "felt meanings" that seem to drive all the activity in the layers above. These meanings are like concepts of self that reside at the feeling-body level. The deepest concepts I have of myself. That are feelings not thoughts. They seem to drive everything.
Very very very slowly I get better at watching what they are doing. And I can appreciate that I am not my thoughts. As busy and all consuming as the thoughts are.

It has also helped enormously that I developed a conscious practice with psychedelics. It has helped me to see what is left once all of the persona stuff stops functioning. Underneath all the mind garbage there is a pretty amazing organism that is actually OK.

Well I am now so far off the OP's topic I think I'd better just shut up!! !


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CockneyRebel
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12 Nov 2022, 10:07 am

I use my hyperfocus to my advantage and it helps me to get projects done that I need to do. I've tried mindfulness as well. I just can't do it. I've been trying to learn it in therapy for three years and I'm still the Schultz-like crybaby that I was in the Spring of 2019. I've also read a book where the authour tells you to separate your pain body from your regular body. That did not work like a charm.


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Kaioken
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13 Nov 2022, 4:57 pm

I’ve heard that some people set timers to break themselves out of hyperfocus. But it’s never worked for me.

With interests and hobbies, I allow hyperfocus to take over, and I enjoy it immensely. I have been shamed in the past for being “obsessed” and “fixated” when engaged in hyperfocus and special interests. So when I can, I allow myself that pleasure.

But with other projects - e.g research to work out brand of product to buy - I try to control it. Otherwise I will end up not achieving the goal. However, it is very difficult to do.



Fenn
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13 Nov 2022, 7:57 pm

The Blink Method.
(This sometimes works for me)
Am I sitting at my computer keyboard staring at the screen and clicking?
Can I get myself to stop my hyperfocus session? Do I find myself quitting a surf and getting back to work, only to be back on the same hyperfocus a minute or two later? Am I telling myself "I need to stop" and keep clicking (and clicking, and clicking)?
Can I control ANYTHING?
Can I control blinking my eyes once?
OK - that worked. Let's work with that.
Now I blink my eyes closed again, and count to one, then open them.
Now I blink my eyes closed again, and count to two, then open them.
Now I blink my eyes closed again, and count to four, then open them.
Now I blink my eyes closed again, and count to 8, then open them.
Now I blink my eyes closed again, and count to 16, then open them.
Now I blink my eyes closed again, and count to 32, then open them.
Now I blink my eyes closed again, and count to 64, then open them.

Somewhere around 32 or 64 I seem to regain control of other parts of my body.
If not I keep going to 128. I have never gotten much past 1024.

I can now stand up.
I can now walk out of the room, and go for a walk around the block, or do stairs.
At the end of this physical activity I am now in a slightly different frame of mind.
I might be able to go to sleep, or back to work, or whatever.

(Yes, I am weird - but this sometimes works for breaking hyperfocus).


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IsabellaLinton
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13 Nov 2022, 8:10 pm

I can't count in my head without losing focus.
I noticed when I was a child and people told me to count sheep.
My mind always wandered when I got to about #4.

I wondered what my problem was.
I think it was my ADHD.

These are good ideas though.
I hope they can help the OP.



ToughDiamond
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13 Nov 2022, 8:31 pm

Kaioken wrote:
I’ve heard that some people set timers to break themselves out of hyperfocus. But it’s never worked for me.

I've had only limited success with timers. They work quite well for me when the deadline is reasonably clear-cut, real, and urgent, but not so well otherwise.

One crafty thing I did was to replace the sudden, strident beep of the alarm with a nice gentle bell sound that gradually rises in volume over about 3 seconds, continues at full volume for 3 about seconds, fades to silence over about 1.5 seconds, then is silent for about 4 minutes, and then repeats that entire sequence infinitely until I turn it off. That way, there's no sudden, rude noise to agitate me, and I don't have to interrupt what I'm doing to press any buttons on the thing, I can just decide whether to give myself (another) 4 minutes or break away from my activity to go and attend to whatever it is I set the alarm for. It's a bit nerdy to create the required audio file, but that only has to be done once. It doesn't solve everything and I still don't really like using timers, but if I have to, that one is less of a pain in the butt than anything else I've used.



IsabellaLinton
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13 Nov 2022, 8:37 pm

What happens when you're hyperfocused on something you need to do?
I think back to when I needed to buy a new fridge.
I needed very precise measurements, features, and availability.
I was shopping online obsessively for about 4 days straight without stopping.
I couldn't stop because it was summer and we didn't have a fridge.

The problem was that I couldn't eat or sleep until I found one.
Turns out there was only one in the entire world that fit what I needed.
When I finally found it I was really sick and couldn't even stand up.

I guess other people might be able to hyperfocus and still eat.
I've never been able to strike that balance.



Fenn
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13 Nov 2022, 8:41 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I can't count in my head without losing focus.
I noticed when I was a child and people told me to count sheep.
My mind always wandered when I got to about #4.

I wondered what my problem was.
I think it was my ADHD.

These are good ideas though.
I hope they can help the OP.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chisanbop


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Fenn
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13 Nov 2022, 8:53 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
What happens when you're hyperfocused on something you need to do?


Simple: by my definition that doesn't count as hyperfocus. That counts as focus. Or work. Or pulling a rabbit out of my hat.

Quote:
I think back to when I needed to buy a new fridge.
I needed very precise measurements, features, and availability.
I was shopping online obsessively for about 4 days straight without stopping.
I couldn't stop because it was summer and we didn't have a fridge.

The problem was that I couldn't eat or sleep until I found one.
Turns out there was only one in the entire world that fit what I needed.
When I finally found it I was really sick and couldn't even stand up.

I guess other people might be able to hyperfocus and still eat.
I've never been able to strike that balance.


Wow. Glad you got your fridge. Your "rebuild the destroyed doll" project was cool too.

If my focus violates my life balance then I call it "hyperfocus".

If my focus means I am stuck in a groove, and not able to pull out then I call it "hyperfocus".

If my focus means I am stuck in a groove, and the only way I can get out of it is by doing bizarre things like the "blink trick" then I call that "hyperfocus".

Sometimes it takes me so long to "get in a groove" (in a good way) that I don't dare to get out. But that isn't "hyperfocus" that is how I stay employed (when I did - I am not employed now).


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IsabellaLinton
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13 Nov 2022, 9:02 pm

Ha! You have a good memory to remember my doll!! :heart:
That's another example of where I couldn't focus on anything else.
The house could have burned down and I wouldn't have noticed.

For me, the problem is that I can't choose where and when hyperfocus happens.
Sure I needed a fridge but really? It wasn't a critical emergency.
I needed the right size etc., but I didn't need to lose sleep over it.
It's like a spell comes over me and I can't get out of it.

Unfortunately I can't hyperfocus at will.
99% of the time when I need to hyperfocus on something like studying, I can't.
I wish I could control it better.



IsabellaLinton
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13 Nov 2022, 9:06 pm

Fenn wrote:
IsabellaLinton wrote:
I can't count in my head without losing focus.
I noticed when I was a child and people told me to count sheep.
My mind always wandered when I got to about #4.

I wondered what my problem was.
I think it was my ADHD.

These are good ideas though.
I hope they can help the OP.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chisanbop


This is a cool link - Thanks!

My problem is just when I do random counting of invisible things (sheep).

I'm highly skilled in mathematics and arithmetic.
I can do calculations in my head very rapidly.
I used to show off by doing a 100 question times table page in under 60 seconds.



Fenn
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13 Nov 2022, 9:14 pm

When I am in a hyperfocus that I really cannot break out of, and I miss meals, my mental productivity starts to drop, I am likely to get stuck on solving an impossible sub-problem. Or one where there was a better and shorter alternative. Each keystroke gets slower than than the last.

I think if I had started on your refrigerator project I would never have gotten to the end. I would have gone to bed at 3AM or 4AM or 5AM in a stupor and woken up the next day with no fridge and having to start the whole thing over again.

At least when I code I can sometimes solve things one part at a time - and the parts will eventually fit together. But it can look like a real christmas tree of a project by that point. As long as my boss is happy it is ok. But it is like playing red / black in roulette. A string of losses can easily come up to wipe out all previous gains. Which is kind of one of the reasons I don't have a job right now.


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Juliette
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13 Nov 2022, 9:32 pm

I’ve always done my best work in hyperfocus-mode. I forget to eat, sleep etc. Once complete, then I rest.

There can be a massive, intense period of absorbing all that can be found on a topic & this can be a wonderful thing, especially if the end result benefits others as well. It can involve your job or education, music composition, writing, art, blogging etc. It can be exhausting & require some recovery time, that’s for sure!

If you knew that your health was at risk in this mode, then being self disciplined enough to not allow yourself to stay up beyond a certain hour would be best. For some, this is virtually impossible though, while in that mode.



IsabellaLinton
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13 Nov 2022, 9:40 pm

Juliette wrote:
I’ve always done my best work in hyperfocus-mode. I forget to eat, sleep etc. Once complete, then I rest.

There can be a massive, intense period of absorbing all that can be found on a topic & this can be a wonderful thing, especially if the end result benefits others as well.

If you knew that your health was at risk in this mode, then being self disciplined enough to nit allow yourself to stay up beyond a certain hour would be best. For some, this is virtually impossible though, while in that mode.


I agree with you. I just wish I could control it better or do it at will.
I'm either hyperfocused on something which may or may not be useful, or I'm scattered in 100 directions.
There's no happy medium.
I guess that's the joy of ADHD with an autistic brain: anything can become a temporary special interest.