Hyperfocus is one of those terms that may see as one of our ADHD superpowers. In a session with a client of mine, we discussed the role that hyperfocus plays in her life and our conversation inspired me to write this post (I have her permission to share our discoveries). Let’s pretend her name is Isabella. The session Isabella & I had opened up a whole new door into the realm of hyperfocus!
“We discovered that hyperfocus has an on & off switch which we can toggle by adding or removing friction and giving ourselves some perspective.”
Additionally, there are some key components that we uncovered that need to be considered when reaching for that hyperfocus switch! Isabella is learning how to harness her hyperfocus and you can too!
Before I jump in and explain the on & off switch there is something important that you need to know! When we are entering or exiting any task there is a period of transition. Transitioning is that elusive space in time right before we start a new task. I was about to write “the space in time right before we finish a task and start a new one”… but here’s the thing: we don’t always finish the first task, do we?! Sometimes, that unfinished task is still lingering in space while we are trying to transition to start a new task. That’s a lot to manage!! It’s extremely important for you to know that transitions are hard! It’s also important to note that when we are transitioning from one task to the other, the likelihood of us getting off track and distracted is very high.
Let me give you an example: my boyfriend, Adam, and I have this ongoing discussion about our phones. We love them and we hate them. We wish that they didn’t play such a large role in our lives! At times, while we are in conversation, one of us wants to check something on our phone – like a date in our calendar or the name of a song that we are referring to. Do you see that the act of checking our phone is a transition of sorts?! Yes, Adam and I are still in conversation together but one of us are simultaneously starting another task. Here’s the part that makes us laugh. Every.single.time. one of us picks up our phone to check the thing that we wanted to check we get distracted! We get distracted by the new text message that’s popped up on our phone or the recent score in a sports game or the email that we had been waiting for.
This is a “failed” transition. Don’t worry, there’s good news!
“You (now) know that transitions are hard, so now you can do something to set yourself up for success and make transitions easier!”
Enter the concept of the on & off switch…