When you’re hyper focused on something, it is almost always not good.
I mean, it might be the thing you’re supposed to be doing, but let’s face it, you’re not focused on it because it’s the right thing to be focused on.
The truth is, when I’m hyper focused on the right thing, I couldn’t pull myself away from it if I wanted to. Well, not without a huge amount of effort and an internal emotional backlash that I would then have to deal with.
So, when I’m hyper focused on the right thing, it’s luck.
Okay, yes, it’s good luck, until something more important needs my immediate attention.
And then I either ignore the thing that needs attention, or I break my concentration and risk being angry, moody, potentially abusive to those around me. I know myself reasonably well.
But what causes the anger?
I’ve given this a great deal of thought, and like everything I ponder, it turns out there isn’t a simple answer to that question.
The most obvious answer is that I was enjoying what I was doing. No one wants to go from enjoying something to not enjoying some other thing.
But the reality is that, once I’ve taken care of the other thing I should be able to go back to the first thing, right? (“Thing” is a technical term I’m using to describe the stuff that I do.)
That reality isn’t really real … ??
The real reality is that while I can go back to doing the first thing once the second thing is taken care of, there will be differences.
First, I have to remember that I had been doing the first thing. Don’t laugh, as fun as it was, that was a whole thing ago. My mind has been a thousand miles on another road by this time.
The next thing is that even if I remember, I am not in the same emotional or intellectual place I was before.
Fingers in pages
A few years ago I described computer programming with a mind like mine. It involved constantly researching and I would often find myself with the fingers of a hand shoved into four or so places in a reference manual while I compiled the required code from pieces of other examples while using my own variables and constants.
I noted that the way I did things was often like that, my mind would have mental fingers stuck in virtual pages while I contemplated some complicated task.
Working like that is like being in heaven. Why would I want to interrupt that?
And also …
If I set that aside to do something else, I’m going to have to pull my mental fingers out of those virtual pages just to be able to assess the new task.
Think about it this way, what would it be like to have a model kit to build that required you to put all the pieces together while holding them, and then at the end, put glue on one piece that held it all together?
Now, what would it be like if you were three-quarters of the way finished and you had to set it down to do something else and as soon as you set it down it collapsed into a pile of random pieces again?
Welcome to ADHD Hyper Focus.