Do you lose track of time, skip meals and stay up late because you are so engrossed in something interesting, then realize that you forgot an appointment, ignored a commitment or got sick? While focus is necessary to be productive and achieve goals, sometimes hyperfocus can be detrimental. When those with the tendency to hyperfocus (common for many people with ADD/ADHD) get stimulated by something, they often turn away from everything else and stay with it as long as the stimulation remains — sometimes for too long, at the risk of neglecting other important needs.
Fortunately, hyperfocus can be harnessed to be your productivity ally rather than foe. With practice, hyperfocus can be used to help you accomplish any task, even routine or less interesting things. One way to harness hyperfocus is to use rewards. When neurotransmitters get stimulated, it can be hard to stop doing whatever is keeping them stimulated. But if you make the emotional reward of completing a goal significant enough, your neurotransmitters will seek the stimulation from larger goals as much as from smaller ones.
Plan a reward for yourself, something you enjoy that you will do after you complete a task. (The best rewards are inexpensive and healthy, like a walk or tea with a friend.) Practice believing that you can and will finish the task – visualize it and say it out loud to bolster your commitment. Then, with your goal visualized and clamped, and your hyperfocus harnessed, when distractions arise you will be better prepared to stay on your path.
Having trouble focusing? Contact us to learn more about how our professional Productivity Consultants help people develop productive habits and achieve their goals.