Bipolar Disorder & Focussing

I know it’s not the usual symptom of bipolar but I have trouble with focussing my attention. Of course, the manic state leaves one scattered and the depression makes one foggy. However, I am talking about a lack of focus when on my meds. It seems I have trouble sitting down to projects and finishing them. I walk around the house looking at projects, talking about them but can’t seem to get anything done. I have writing projects just waiting for me to get started. Then, there are the times I can hyperfocus on researching or organizing a room or drawer. This lack of focus in the inbetween states when I am not manic or depressed is what I am trying to combat.

Tips to Get You Focussed:

Breakdown each task into smaller tasks. Do the smallest part of a task first, then move to the next part.

Keep a planner. Plan your day the night before or even every Sunday plan your week. Write your appointments, exercise time, projects to be done in this place.

Avoid caffeine. In addition, to making your meds not work effectively, it makes you too jittery and scattered. Try herbal tea or hot water with lemons.

Meditate. Try a mindfulness practice for at least ten minutes a day in the morning or at night. Try meditating before you start a project. Then, just doing it.

Remember what Yoda says, “Do. There is no Try.”

Try working in an environment that is quiet, clean and minimalist such as a library.

Shut off the music. Music and podcasts infuse someone else’s ideas into our work. It’s fine if you are cleaning but for thoughty tasks, leave the radio off.

When you feel your focus slipping, count to ten and get back on track.

Remember the times you hyperfocus and analyze what works in keeping your attention. Do whatever it is to recreate this state.

Ride your period of unfocus like a wave and let it go after 60 seconds. Don’t get into an intricate daydream with it. Move on quickly and get back to task.

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