How do you deal with hyper-active-focus?

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Fenn
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13 Nov 2022, 8:56 pm

Sometimes my mind will NOT stay on one thing.

Starts and Stops fire from my Executive Function At random, or with very little to trigger them.

I will be reading a web page and some word will catch my eye, or I will need a definition. I will go to look it up in my browser and an image flashes in my head of a question I suddenly need to answer.

(and on and on).

I never finish the thing I started.

Can anything be done?


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Fenn
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14 Nov 2022, 9:28 am

https://www.betterup.com/blog/15-ways-t ... ion-skills

Factors affecting concentration
Some days it seems like our concentration is under attack from all sides. In fact, concentration is affected by both internal and external or environmental factors. If you want to learn how to improve focus and memory, it helps to understand what’s getting in the way now.

Distraction. We are bombarded by a constant flow of information, whether new or old, during the process of doing something. Researchers have found that our brains are so primed for this distraction that just seeing our smartphone impairs our ability to concentrate. We constantly assess whether the information is useful, sufficient, or meaningless. The sheer quantity coming in muddles our assessment of whether we actually need more information to make decisions.
Insufficient sleep. Scientists have found that lack of sleep can lead to lower alertness, slower thought processes, and reduced concentration. You will have more difficulty focusing your attention and may become confused. As a result, your ability to perform tasks especially relating to reasoning or logic can be seriously affected. Chronically poor sleep further affects your concentration and memory. Dr. Allison T. Siebern from the Stanford University Sleep Medicine Centre notes that if you cannot concentrate on what is at hand, it is unlikely to make it to either your short- or long-term memory.

Insufficient physical activity. Have you ever noticed how vigorous exercise leaves you feeling more relaxed and energetic throughout the day? When you don’t do physical activity, your muscles can become tense. You may feel tightness in your neck, shoulder, and chest and such persistent, low-level discomfort can affect your concentration.

Eating habits. What we eat contributes to how we feel, including our mental sharpness and clarity, throughout the day. If we don’t fuel our brains with the proper nutrients, we start to experience symptoms like memory loss, fatigue, and lack of concentration. Low-fat diets can ruin focus because the brain needs certain essential fatty acids. Other restrictive diets may negatively affect concentration by not providing the nutrients the brain needs or by creating hunger, cravings, or feeling of unwellness in the body that are themselves distracting.

Environment. Depending on what you are doing, the environment can affect your focus. Obviously, a noise level that is too loud is a problem, but many people also have difficulty concentrating when it is too quiet. It isn’t just the overall noise level but the type of noise that matters: the high-energy, anonymous hum of a coffee shop might bring focus while the overheard conversation of two co-workers derails it. A favorite song quickly has you singing along, happily distracted, while less distinct instrumentals might keep you attuned to the task. Lighting that is too bright or too dim can affect your vision. A room that is too hot or too cold creates discomfort.
All of these elements can affect your concentration. Happily, they are also all addressable.


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kraftiekortie
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14 Nov 2022, 9:41 am

My problem is just the opposite: I can't get away from "one thing" sometimes.



Fenn
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14 Nov 2022, 9:51 am

I had one co-worker who called it being "event driven" which is a computer programming term where there is no one part of a computer program that says "do this list of things in order" instead there is a part which says "look for something to happen, if nothing has happened, wait a very short amount of time (fraction of a second) and look for something to happen again, then react in a standard way". This loop is sometimes called "the event pump" and "the event" is a chunk of data that contains the type of the event (keyboard event, mouse event, button click, flyover) and also relevant event information (the numerical id of the keyboard key, the x y coordinates of the mouse click, the id of the on screen button, or object which the mouse has flown over). The loop is needed because these things are not really events, or because the event objects go into the event queue, so as not to be lost when a new even happens. Some events do not need an event pump. If the network card detects an incoming packet it can trigger an interrupt, which causes the CPU to switch the instruction pointer from one list of instructions to execute to another list (or another place in the huge list of all instructions).
Sometimes my brain seems to be event driven.


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stratozyck
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14 Nov 2022, 8:54 pm

I am ADHD as hell as well.

I know what you mean perfectly. Often my brain won't shut up and it will go to like ten different things in a span of 5 minutes ("I got a plan to solve XYZ, I need to get new wipers on my car, I haven't looked up the population of Uganda in a while I wonder what it is?").

I hate to tell you, but the solutions are not easy. I am 39 and I got a PhD in Applied economics when I was 30.

It was extremely difficult for various reasons, but most of which was it was so damn hard to specialize. I love learning about new things but as soon as I figure it out, or figure out the gist of it, I get bored. But to do a PhD you have to focus on one topic and do it thoroughly to write a dissertation.

I got it but honestly, I think they passed me so I'd leave. I just kept at it until they kicked me out (with the degree).

Here is what I have learned:

1) Exercise is a must. Walking will make your body focus more on one thing.

2) Coffee - with ADHD remember stimulants calm you. I can drink a cup of coffee and take a nap.

3) If you are in an area where THC/CBD is legal, I strongly recommend this. I find that vaping THC/CBD was a life changer for me.

When I was in graduate school I smoked pot, but pot is inferior. Smoking it is more recreational whereas the pure THC/CBD is more medicinal. My go to productivity is to drink some coffee and vape THC/CBD. I spent the first three years of my career not using it and my career improved after I started using it. With just coffee I can do the work, but with THC & CBD I am better able to handle the social aspects of work better.


Next is the productivity cycle. You must understand this is how productivity works. This applies to jobs that you do on a computer, not physical jobs or food sector jobs.

You do not need to work 8 hours a day. A full day is actually 3 hours of work on the actual job. The rest is planning and explaining what you did.

So, here is a rule - do not sit down to work with something unless you have walked around for a bit to think about what you are about to do. Most importantly, you need to come up with a "stop" plan. As in, "I will do this and this, then stop for a bit."

A full day of work is drink coffee - walk for 20 mins to plan what you are about to do, do it for about 60-90 mins, then stop and rest. In the afternoon I repeat and drink another cup of coffee.

That is how I've managed to hold down a job in banking/finance for 8 years. I worry deeply that I won't be able to focus long enough to do my job well. So far I have not been fired!