Mind set – Hyper focused (Aeroplane mode)
Loren explains what living in ‘Aeroplane Mode’ is really like…
Not many people are aware of ‘Hyper Focus’. Hyper Focus is where an intense form of concentration takes place, where you completely immerse yourself in an activity as if the mind goes into Aeroplane Mode.
Hyper Focus is one trait that I’m really grateful for as an aspie (Asperger’s Syndrome).
I could literally sit for a good four to eight hours on a single task or subject and completely ignore my basic needs.
Sleep, hunger and needing to go to the toilet would have to book a later appointment because nothing at all would distract me from doing what I’m doing.
Absolutely nothing else will matter during this intense mental concentration…You could approach me with the most exciting or devastating news and I probably won’t have fully processed it until the next day. #ClickToRespondLater #AllNotificationsCleared
I recently found that I could hyper focus for up to nearly 12 hours of creating portraits of people by listening to the sound of rain whilst sketching. The sound of rain helps me to become more relaxed and as a result the outside world is almost non-existent.
Hyper Focus has enhanced my portrait skills drastically.
In school I remember being able to complete all my maths work quicker than the most of my peers, in fact any subject that I loved I became really good at them real fast. There were times where I’d be so good the teachers would run out of things to give me to do. Shortly after I had finished school I began losing patience with people so I started to teach myself. In my second college year, I was unable to attend half of my classes but I continued to study non-stop at home until I was at least 2 to 3 modules ahead of everyone else. The tutors were shocked at how I had passed all my exams with flying colours. I remember being so proud of myself after completing three major exams in one afternoon – I Häagen-Dazsed the heck out of that evening.
During my first ever work experience I’d never want go home at the times I was supposed to. In fact, I would always feel sad whenever the day was over. My colleagues would always poke fun at me for having to remind me to have lunch or to take a break; otherwise I just wouldn’t go until I see everyone else go. I’ve held off going to the toilet for so long that my body sometimes forgets that it’s bursting to go toilet until I start thinking about it again. Just me. My desk. 8 hours. No food. No drink.
Soon after hyper focusing for such a long time, a sudden rush of needs and wants start flying through my head; headache, bursting to go toilet, food and sleep. #BlinkLikeYouNeverBlinkedBefore
Many aspies who have the trait of being Hyper Focused are known to be really good workers, because it helps us to dig so deep into a particular topic that we enjoy we can become experts in less than no time.
It’s only a shame that having Asperger’s isn’t always seen in a positive light when it comes to employment.
As I have gotten older I’ve learnt to control being Hyper Focused with various strategies and routines. I’d set alarms for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as, when to cook, when to leave work and when to rest. Now I feel my life is a little more balanced.