Hyperfocus? Hyperfixation? What is the difference? What does it mean? What do they mean? Are they strengths? They can be very useful. Rick shares his personal experience with hyperfocus, both at work and at play. He talks about how he gets in the zone, focused on what he is doing, and how it has helped him get in the zone. He also shows his personal hyperfixation with 50.
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HYPERFOCUS vs HYPERFIXATION
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Two terms that are often used in the media lately, Hyperfocus or Hyper-Fixation, may be familiar to you. You may have missed it because you were too focused on other things. You are busy. Many Patrons have asked …”What’s the difference between Hyper-focus or Hyper-fixation?
Good question! There are many definitions. It is confusing. Others claim it is the same thing, but with different names.
When their child is actually hyper-focused, parents complain that they get too obsessed with video games. Others will confess that they become hyper-focused on having the perfect house or rescuing dogs. That’s my definition.
Here’s my take. This is the Ricktionary’s definition of the difference… It may or not add to the confusion.
First Hyperfocus, which I am very familiar with. When I start something, hours go by and my mind is oblivious. Or my bladder shouts, I’m full. Paradoxically, Hyperfocus can make me quite the opposite. I can become distracted easily, zoned out and tuned out when I’m not there. Yes, it may seem like I’m listening ,… but I’m actually lost in thought. Or thoughts. Your mind racing. Jump, skip and jump. You are here, there and everywhere… (MORE THINKTS).
Yet, I admit that I sometimes find it difficult to stay focused. This is crucial because people will dismiss children or adults who are distracted. Kinda. Somewhat. Often mostly. Yes, I can focus even hyper-focus on what interests me, even if there are a lot of urgent things that I need to do. It’s stuff I might actually be interested in. Or, you have to.
Although I am a little like Goldilocks I would not casually break into bear’s dens without knocking. I understand her search for the perfect chair. It should be soft enough to support the porridge, and not too hard.
Sometimes my attention is too weak… or too intense… but sometimes it’s just right. When I am in the zone, it’s a good thing. Sometimes, I get hyperfocused and it doesn’t matter if I want it to. It’s not like Goldilocks that I can just switch to the next bowl. Hyperfocus isn’t a flaw or a strength. It’s a weakness that social media exploits and interferes with my daily life.
We’ve also shown how procrastination can be a problem. In previous videos, we discussed how it is possible to struggle to get started and to focus on the important things. But, there are other tasks that make it easy to start. Hyperfocus can be very easy to slip into.
Imagine someone engaging in a hobby, playing a musical instrument, drawing, or even planning.
It happens to me when I’m alone building a world or in front of a crowd ….. No matter what I am building, I find myself lost in the world and hyperfocused. I spent hours building models for the local railway museum. I forgot to track my hours so that I could invoice my time.
I could also start writing a TV script and be locked in for hours. This is great. If that’s the script I should be working on.
Hyperfocus can be helpful, provided I do the right thing. I tend to be distracted by trivialities, non-essentials, or interesting things and neglect to pay attention to the important and urgent matters that are important to me. It can be difficult to find interest in something you don’t like. Would you like to hear me talk for three hours about Model Railroading? See.
It is difficult to choose to be interested in something. Why? What is the explanation? A task or an idea does not trigger Dopamine or Norepinephrine neurotransmitters. It’s continuous. As we do more, our neural pathways strengthen and link with other neurons.
My model railroad was my favorite thing about school. I could focus on trains for hours. Days. That was when I was a child. When I’m tired of boring tasks such as paperwork, I get up and build my model railroad.