Currently finding the surface of my desk. I have to file maybe 1/5 of the pile of paper, the rest has become trash.
Noise-canceling headphones can give us control over two main aspects of hyperfocus. The first is staying engaged in hyperfocus. This benefit is related to the most obvious attribute of noise-canceling headphones. It’s easier to ignore distractions when we can’t hear those distractions. The second aspect of hyperfocus that we can control with noise-canceling headphones is auditory cues. These are intentional audio reminders that we can set in the device controlling the headphones. We can set these reminders based on when we need to exit the hyperfocus session. I’ll use an iPhone to demonstrate some examples. Other apps can pause the music to provide reminders and notification sounds when a music app is being used. Since the headphones block out external noise, these auditory reminder sounds are isolated from any other noise. This isolation magnifies the effectiveness of the auditory reminders in grabbing our attention and reminding us to disengage our hyperfocus. Also, if we use the same specific reminder sounds as cues, we can program our subconscious to always reactively exit our hyperfocus sessions.
Another helpful trick is using automated auditory and visual reminders such as the reminder features built into online calendars and task lists. These reminders, or cues, can help us avoid the unintended neglect of other tasks. Also, using timers can help us leave an ADHD hyperfocus session when the planned time is over. For more ideas on online reminders and timers, see my other article about Online Tools. The Apple Watch can be a very accessible and customizable tool for creating effective and consciously perceptible cues. Here’s a link to another article here at the ADHD Lifestyle about the benefits of an Apple Watch with ADHD.
I recently have taken two full afternoons to organize/clean/shape-up my room, and it has made a world of difference on my attitude and well-being. I never realized how much of an impact would be made by hanging art, photos of family/friends, having a plant(s), and lots of shelves/cubby holes. I have a few of those cubby-hole/shelf thingies, and they are pretty awesome! I have a small room, so this stuff is necessary to create more surface space for all the crap I won't let go of.The floors are hard-wood, and a rug has done wonders in making the place feel cozier, and it definitely helps keep it warmer in the winter.There was a trickle affect, and I was able to get through a workout I had been dreading to get back into, as well as get on top of some paperwork I had been putting off.TL;DR make your room an awesome place to wake up in and to go to after work/school. The little things can make a huge difference in all the areas of life.
For auditory reminder cues to be effective, we need to silence the less important smartphone reminders. This means silencing notifications from other apps such as social media. The intended auditory reminder cues are less effective when lost in a sea of other random notifications. Sure, the built-in iPhone timer app is sufficient for the job. However, some dedicated reminder apps provide a bit more flexibility and customization. The list below provides a few timer and reminder apps that are especially useful for creating timed reminders.
Here is a link to my article about music for concentration within this blog, The ADHD Lifestyle.
For adults with ADHD, planning and allotting time for ADHD hyperfocusing can be a challenge. If not planned appropriately, there’s a risk of missing anything else during that time that needed our attention, such as appointments, phone calls, and other scheduled tasks. For many adults with ADHD, hyperfocus can lead to completely losing track of time. So, we need to plan accordingly.
We also need to make the task engaging and mentally rewarding, to help cue hyperfocus. The best scenario would be working in a job that you naturally love, and have a pre-existing interest in the content of your job. According to Herzberg’s “motivation-hygiene theory”, also called the “two-factor theory of job attitudes”, jobs with high content Motivators will elicit more mental satisfaction (Herzberg 1974). The opposite describes job hygiene factors such as tasks that are boring, which do not generally include high mental challenge or satisfaction (Sachau 2007). It’s the high content motivators that elicit ADHD hyperfocusing
Make sure someone has tested the child's hearing and vision recently, and make sure other medical problems have been ruled out. Make sure an adequate evaluation has been done. Keep questioning until you are convinced.
Make sure there is a knowledgeable person with whom you can consult when you have a problem (learning specialist, child psychiatrist, social worker, school psychologist, pediatrician -- the person's degree doesn't really matter. What matters is that he or she knows lots about ADD, has seen lots of kids with ADD, knows his or her way around a classroom, and can speak plainly.) Make sure the teachers are working with you.