What is the difference? One of my amazing Coaching clients with ADHD recently asked me this question. When you sit down at the computer at 7:30am and look up to see the clock and it is 5:30pm, you have to ask yourself, what have you been doing for 10 hours? If you can answer that question with a full accounting of each time your egg timer went off, then you had a very Mindful Day; (hopefully filled with all that you planned to do each hour). If at 5:30 you keep staring at the clock in disbelief cursing your ADD, and your stomach is rumbling, and the cat drank the very last sip of water hours ago but you weren’t listening to his polite meows (personally, mine scratches the computer tower to get my attention), then you were truly, without ANY doubt, hyper-focusing.
When you have ADHD it can be as difficult to stop hyper-focusing as it is difficult to focus. Actually, I think that it is harder to stop the hyper-focusing because you get lost in time. When you are having trouble paying attention you are very much aware of time as you continue to glance at the clock waiting for it to move.
I hope that we all can take some advice from that clock on the wall; what, your clock doesn’t give you advice? Awwh, what a shame! Seriously, time is a precious commodity and whichever form of focusing or not focusing or hyper-focusing that you are experiencing, the bottom line is that you are giving a chunk of your life away. Take back that chunk. Practice mindfulness. Breathe in and breathe out, stay in your moment, keep thoughts non-judgmental and as your mindfulness and spirituality grow stronger, focusing will emerge as a much healthier and certainly a much more guilt free experience. mindfulness matters!