Posted by Coach Kim Collins on January 12, 2011
Are you tired of getting caught in hyper-focus at the wrong times?
The ability to hyper-focus or concentrate intently on one task for a long period of time can be a gift when it’s not standing in the way of accomplishing other things that are important. Here are some strategies that may help you rein in your hyper-focus so that you can use it when you need it.
- Pay attention to what types of activities or tasks you tend to hyper-focus on and plan to do those types of tasks when you are not in danger of missing an appointment or deadline.
- Practice stopping. Set a timer across the room (out of reach) to go off every 30 – 60 minutes and no matter what you are doing – stop, stand up and go turn off and reset the timer. By practicing this you are conditioning yourself to work in 30 or 60 minute blocks and to react to the alarm when it goes off.
- You can also place a post-it note on your timer to remind you why it’s important to stop and move on to the next task.
- It may be easier to break away from a task when you make it small enough to do quickly. So, break your tasks into bite-sized action steps that take 5 – 15 minutes.
- Plan time to hyper-focus. Clear the decks of other essential projects and then allow yourself to work on a task for a large chunk of time. You might want to have someone call or come and get you so that you won’t work too long without taking a bathroom or food break.
- Afraid of interrupting the flow of creativity that hyper-focus brings? Learn to bookmark your spot so that you will be able to come back to where you left off. Practice this by using the last 5 minutes of a task to tie up loose ends and note what you were thinking and what your next step should be.