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Adult ADD: What Everybody Should Know... About How To Focus Attention
Focus is a very interesting thing. Itís kind of confusing for a lot of people. Sometimes people have focus when they donít know that theyíre focused. Some people just canít seem to focus. Some people find that theyíre focusing on the wrong things, and not the things they want to focus on. Itís difficult to measure.
Focus is a concept. Itís very difficult to say, ďIím focused" right? Versus, ďIím not focused,Ē because itís very, very subjective. Whereís the focus scale? How much does it weigh if youíre very focused? The concept is very personal. One personís focus is another personís distraction, and you really need to take these ideas into consideration when youíre talking about putting these principles and techniques into practice.
Itís good to develop a skill to turn focus on and off on demand, but you really want to be developing your natural areas that youíre able to focus in on like crazy. I'm talking about hyper-focus, when you really get into that zone where you literally can work on a project, be thinking about something, be reading a book, be watching a TV show, or be engrossed in a conversation about a topic, where youíll forget to eat or where youíll completely miss an appointment because youíre so focused on what you were into or working on.
When youíre working with this principle, technique, or concept, you have to remember that itís a conscious choice in the beginning.
Letís talk about doing dishes. I hate doing dishes and just can't focus on the task. I have hated doing dishes from the time I was a very small child. My parents will tell you plenty of stories about me getting distracted away from doing dishes. To this day, I still donít enjoy doing dishes, and I do my absolute best to outsource it to whoever is eating dinner with me at the time. But sometimes you just have to do the dishes. So, how do you get the dishes done?
Iím going to give you some tricks, and please remember, what weíre talking about here isnít dishes specifically. It's focus. What weíre talking about is your own dirty dishes. Whatever it is thatís like dirty dishes for youómaybe itís your homework, if youíre in school; paying the bills is a very common one; getting your taxes organized in advance. There are some basic things that you can do to focus, that you can modify and plug in to whatever it is that you have to do on a regular basis, that you just donít want to do.
Before I do the dishes, I make myself a nice pot of coffee. The second thing I do when I want to get a household chore done at high speed (because Iím a distance runner and love running), I actually get into my running clothes, shoes, shorts, and shirt, and do the dishes at high speed while dressed up like a runner. Itís kind of a funny sight, but it works. It works really well. Or, whatever religion you are, you can somehow incorporate that into what youíre doing. There are lots of very powerful ways to simply connect things that interest you, and include them in what youíre doing to focus and make what you hate to do less like work.
Itís very interesting the way this works. If youíre diagnosed or not diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, it doesnít matter. Weíre talking about your mental habits. If you need more help focusing, put some of these practices and concepts into action. A linear person focuses on one thing. Their emotions get balanced. Theyíre able to think ahead, plan ahead, and do things in sequence. Thatís pretty good for focusing on one task at a time, such as doing the dishes. Itís a very monotonous, step-by-step kind of thing.
The ADD-type person focuses on one thing, and generally what happens, unless youíre able to hyper-focus, as we discussed earlier, your brain literally shuts down. The part of your brain that is in control of doing things in sequence, planning ahead, and doing things in order literally shuts down. The activity in your brain just goes ďplop,Ē and what happens is your brain starts looking for other things to stimulate it so it can stay active, except itís going on randomizer now, meaning it will just soak up whateverís coming into your senses.
The point here is if you feed your senses with things that are related to what youíre trying to accomplish, youíll stay focused on accomplishing that thing.
There are all sorts of different ways that you can play with this in your life.
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