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  • Rebecca Hirsch

ADHD APPROVED | Give Yourself A Break

Fight hyperfocus to increase productivity.


Stop Playing With Your Life *


When it first released, I used to play Overwatch for weeks on end. I was absolutely obsessed with Mercy and Symmetra, partially because I wouldn’t have to aim with either character. Where other games forced you to learn to aim in order to be successful, Overwatch had characters that focused more on placement or on healing instead of murder. It was the first time I was ever really playing games with my friends. More importantly, I would play this game to the exclusion of all other activities, including other games I enjoyed at the time. I would forget to drink water, eat actual food, and exercise. I would have extremely poor sleep patterns, even for me. Eventually, inevitably, I burned myself out on the game and didn’t touch it again for months, having consumed a lot of content in a very short period of time.


As I thought about my relationship with this game, I began to realize a key difference between video games and real-life. In video games, you get to choose your character. But in real life, you can only be yourself. In both, however, you can experience periods of intense focus, and burn yourself out by going too fast. Many people fail by trying to do too much too fast—they’ll find themselves unable to keep up with projects and production, or unable to keep track of finances, or hiring all the wrong people because they think they just need bodies. While growth as an artist or entrepreneur is exciting, it’s important to make sure you can actually fulfill your commitments. For example, getting a bunch of commissions is great, but can you actually finish all of them within the time frame? Part of long-term success includes long-term productivity. Maximum productivity doesn’t mean being 100% on all the time- it means keeping your focus and getting shit done. Consider this a marathon, not a sprint.


A Different Perspective *


Now, since I’m the last person to be telling people not to sprint to their objectives, I asked others at KIRUNIVERSE for their thoughts. Tori from Community Growth says that what’s important is “just keeping the end result in mind and remembering to stay consistent. There is a process for everything, and we must keep moving to make changes in our life! We can’t get anywhere without “doing.”” Her suggestion for things that can help us stay on track includes “staying organized, making lists, asking others for help or motivation if we feel like we’re losing it.”


Meanwhile, KIRU says “take it one step at a time. Don’t be so fearful of what you haven’t achieved. Every day is the same 24 hours.” His main suggestion for keeping things moving is to stay scheduled. “I already scheduled out most of what I’m going to do. 95-98% of my life is on the calendar. If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist, and I don’t have time for it. I’ve already scheduled my work life and personal life, including sleep. I don’t have time to worry about what someone says I haven’t accomplished... You’ll get to where you need to be, just take it one step at a time.”


Personally, I think the important thing is to take breaks. In my experience, some of my worst periods of hyperfocus happened because I was too stubborn to stop. Stop every once in a while for some water, or to stretch your legs- you can’t go anywhere if you’re so dehydrated that you can’t think straight.


In Summary *


Above all else, remember that, like in video games, there are roles that you’re going to be better and worse at filling out. There’s nothing wrong with having a team, but that team should have diverse skills and ideas. It doesn’t work if you’re all just DPS with no healers or tanks. Choose your character- and your friends- wisely.



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