Focus, man, focus!

I consider myself to be a fairly productive person in terms of academic work, occupational duties, and personal chores. Whenever I’m given something to do, I am usually able to finish it with rather satisfying results. Even if the task seems especially challenging or I come across many problems while handling it, I can at least get it done in most cases.

The actual process of getting things done, however, can sometimes be a little difficult and take longer than it should for a number of reasons. Perhaps one of the biggest factors that contributes to this problem is the fact that I have a lot of trouble focusing on the task at hand. This is partially because, in general, it is near impossible for me to pay attention and stay perfectly focused at any given moment – meaning that I suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). As a result, I have to take some medications each morning to significantly help me concentrate on things like work and studying, while also remaining somewhat calm and non-agitated.

The meds that I take do a really good job at significantly reducing the effects of ADHD on my overall behavior. Unfortunately, they cannot make the ADHD go away completely, and so I still have trouble keeping a steady focus during the day. I constantly find my mind drifting away into space and being so easily distracted by all sorts of things; even when I’m trying my absolute best to concentrate on what I’m currently doing. A lot of the time, my mind will go to something that has nothing to do with what’s at hand, though I’m deeply interested in. To put it more simply, my mind almost never sits still; it’s usually all over the place and frequently keeps me sidetracked.

So, for instance, while I’m sitting in class trying to listen to the professor and take notes, I may end up continuously pondering the logical validity of modern-day feminism. As I’m exercising on Wii Fit U, I will engage in a mental debate concerning the true plausibility of Rand Paul being nominated by the Republican Party for the 2016 presidential election. Even when watching a movie that I really enjoy, I might find it really hard to stop thinking about how Gravity Falls is predominately a kids’ show, and yet contains so much writing aimed for older audiences. Yeah, I think you guys get the overall gist of it.

In situations like the ones I discussed above, this honestly isn’t too much of an issue. However, it can be extremely bothersome when I’m trying to accomplish important tasks. I’m talking specifically about schoolwork assignments, duties at work, and various personal errands here – ones that take a considerable amount of time and require a good amount of concentration. This primarily includes things such studying for exams, writing documents, filing reports, conducting research, weeding the garden, or simply cleaning my room. As hard as I try to stay present to the task and get it done as efficiently as I can, I find it impossible to resist letting my mind drift somewhere else, or sometimes engage myself in another task.

Allow to me use the writing process behind this very post to illustrate how it works. While I am composing it, I’m switching to my internet browser about every minute or less to do things like chat with a friend and check up on my Facebook page. Once in a while, I will look up information on topics that I’m slightly obsessed with, such as which rock songs have been #1 on the Billboard lists for the past couple of years. In fact, just a second ago I looked at my YouTube home page to see if any of favorite channels posted a video during the last hour. After about another minute of writing, I will most definitely go back to Facebook again or surf the web for more information regarding my favorite video game franchises. I simply cannot stay focused on this post for more than 3 minutes at best, although it will most definitely be finished in the end (if I didn’t complete it, then you wouldn’t be reading it right now, would you?)

Indeed, if everything were to go my way, then I would have it so that I could stay far more attentive to what I’m supposed to be doing at the moment. This would mean that I could get my jobs done much quicker and perhaps significantly better, giving me much more free time and allowing me to feel a ton more productive. I could finish cleaning my room in 10 minutes rather than 30 minutes, or complete editing a web page in one day rather than five days – with the same results, of course. Sadly, it doesn’t look like my ADHD is about to leave my body anytime soon, so I have no choice to continue putting up with it. As someone who truly does care about his work and wants to do his very best, the entire issue is rather disheartening and makes me worry about my future at times.

Being a hard, productive worker is not an easy thing to do when I can’t remain focused on my job for very long. Therefore it is my hope that I’ll find a much way to better cope with my ADHD in the near future. I would certainly not like to face being regularly criticized by my supervisor for not handing in reports on time or not being engaged in my work as my colleagues. I think that the best way to do this may be through regularly engaging in activities like exercise and meditation, as well as helpful books such as the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (a book that I highly recommend to anyone). I certainly don’t expect my ADHD to improve dramatically, but it is reasonable to at least hope that it doesn’t impact my life too negatively in the years to come. For now I guess it’s just something that I will have deal with as an Aspie. It seriously isn’t pleasant one bit, and I wish with all of my heart that it didn’t exist, but complaining about it further won’t do that much good.


4 thoughts on “Focus, man, focus!

  1. Tim, I really enjoy your posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences, which many people, even those not Aspies, can relate to on some level.

  2. Hello! Fellow Aspie, but no ADD. That must be an interesting combination to live with. I tend to hyper-focus on my current interest to the point where I have trouble focusing on anything else, so I can relate to that much. My mind wonders to other topics sometimes too (I also contemplate the logic of modern-day-feminism, lol), but mostly it’s my current obsessive interest that prevents productivity elsewhere 🙂

    • Thank you very much for your comment, Shelly. 🙂 I took a look at your WordPress blog and I find it very intriguing, as well as drop-dead hilarious. I particularly love your post on Aspergers because it is incredibly honest, straight-forward, and relatable. I, for one, can absolutely relate to your expressed difficulties with socializing and being obsessed with particular topics. In fact, I plan on eventually uploading something about my own fixations as an Aspie over the years. Also, if you’d like to learn about my problems with obsessive mindfulness (how my mind, similar to yours, likes to wonder off to various topics), I have just recently uploaded a blog post that touches upon precisely this. I will definitely be following your blog and look forward to reading more of your interesting and humorous stories. Thanks again, Shelley, and have a really awesome day!

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