| ||Ask HN: Those with intense focus, how do you do it?|
64 points by Xcelerate on April 15, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 49 comments |
|I've been having intense focus problems (beyond normal distractibility), and each year they get worse. I'm in grad school, and the inability to focus is becoming a huge problem. It takes so much work to get into something. On rare occasion, I'll be able to get into what I'm working on and then I can focus non-stop for 10-12 hours, but it's near impossible to just sit down and get 30 minutes of work done on something. Even those 10 hour sessions require an hour or two to get started.|
I am looking for advice beyond the normal "minimize distractions". My best attempt has been to go into a plain, featureless room without windows and use a software program that blocks any time-wasting internet site. But I just end up staring at the wall, thinking about other things instead. Or if I start reading a textbook, I'll just fall asleep or read the same line over and over again.
I'm not sure exactly what the cause of this is. The bad thing is that the stuff I need to work on is mostly things I'm really interested in (research) although some of it I am not so interested in (classwork). It's very frustrating, and it doesn't feel like it falls in the "normal" range of focus issues anymore. I'm quite certain it's not ADD, because I didn't really have this problem when I was younger.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know many in the entrepreneur crowd have developed techniques to maintain rigorous focus (otherwise you wouldn't be a very good entrepreneur) so perhaps the HN crowd has a unique solution that may work for me.
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