I’ve been working on a project that has taken an enormous amount of time over the past year. It is a project that I have chosen to do–a labor of love.
Some of the work has been extremely tedious, monotonous, and time consuming, but it had to be done to achieve the results I’ve envisioned. My project has a deadline, and as the deadline has neared I have ramped up the amount of time I’m investing in it. I spent most of last week-end working on it and am doing the same this week-end.
The end of the project is now in sight, and I expect to be delighted with the results about a month from now. The final steps are much more creative and interesting than were the early steps. I am finding it easy to lose myself as I work.
While I have never been diagnosed with ADHD as has my husband, Neil, I do find that I have quite a few ADHD characteristics. Hyperfocus is not usually something I experience, however.
Hyperfocus is the term used for the phenomenon experienced by many ADHDers when they become so intensely engaged in something that they lose complete awareness of anything happening around them, including all sense of the passing of time. Today I had some periods of time similar to that, but despite my intense focus I maintained some contact with what was going on around me. This is not possible at times for some people with ADHD. This aspect of ADHD can causes confusion among people who assume that someone who can focus that intensely can’t possibly have an “attention deficit.”
This is a big topic and much has been written about it. If you are interested, you might look at the work of Dr. Edward Hallowell, Dr. John Ratey, Dr. William Dodson, and others. There is also a series of articles on hyperfocus in ADDitude magazine that might get you started learning more about the phenomenon.
Linda Williams Swanson is a partner in Free To Be Coaching, LLC, in Warrenton, VA. Her website is freetobecoaching.com; visit the site and contact her or her husband, Neil, for a complimentary exploratory session. They are presently accepting new clients from age 13-90. (Linda and Neil do most of their coaching either in person, or by phone, Skype, or FaceTime. High school students are usually coached in person.)