How to improve focus?

Seirende

Washed Up Paramedic
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I recently found a new mood monitoring tool and one of the areas that it tracks is focus. After paying attention to my level of focus the past few days, I've realized that this is an area that I struggle in. I'm using "focus" in the sense of directing one's attention and holding it it there. My attention wanders easily and this has been very detrimental to my education. Has anyone here been able to substantially improve their ability to focus and if so, how did you do it?
 

mgr22

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Three things that sharpen my focus are fear of failure, danger, and enjoyment of whatever I'm doing. I know that doesn't answer your question, but if you had reasons to focus, maybe improving your focus wouldn't be necessary.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
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so you're saying this is you?

 
OP
Seirende

Seirende

Washed Up Paramedic
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Three things that sharpen my focus are fear of failure, danger, and enjoyment of whatever I'm doing. I know that doesn't answer your question, but if you had reasons to focus, maybe improving your focus wouldn't be necessary.
I don't want danger and fear of failure is a stressor, which is no bueno with bipolar. Enjoyment is a good one but sometimes that can be difficult to find with the depression side of things. When I can find it, it definitely helps. I will say that this feeds into my thought of needing to meet three requirements to accomplish what I want to get done: motivation, focus, and energy. I struggle with all three. Energy is physical and mental and is mostly helped through medication and trying to stay physically healthy, motivation is found intrinsically through values and extrinsically through reward/penalty (which I'm thinking is more what you're thinking with "reasons to focus"), and I'm still pondering focus but right now I'm treating it as a skill that I can improve on.

so you're saying this is you?
Haha, not quite. I don't need a external distraction to lose focus.
 

mgr22

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I don't want danger and fear of failure is a stressor, which is no bueno with bipolar. Enjoyment is a good one but sometimes that can be difficult to find with the depression side of things. When I can find it, it definitely helps. I will say that this feeds into my thought of needing to meet three requirements to accomplish what I want to get done: motivation, focus, and energy. I struggle with all three. Energy is physical and mental and is mostly helped through medication and trying to stay physically healthy, motivation is found intrinsically through values and extrinsically through reward/penalty (which I'm thinking is more what you're thinking with "reasons to focus"), and I'm still pondering focus but right now I'm treating it as a skill that I can improve on.
I'm surprised to hear medication gives you energy. I would have thought the reverse, but I'm certainly no expert on bipolar disorders. The rest of what you said makes sense to me.
 
OP
Seirende

Seirende

Washed Up Paramedic
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I'm surprised to hear medication gives you energy. I would have thought the reverse
It depends on the medication; some are sedating, some are stimulating. PRN methylphenidate - which is quite energizing - is currently on the menu of options to treat my periods of fatigue, but we're going to see what this trial of fluoxetine does first. My psychiatrist did mention Vraylar as being a more stimulating option that we could try in place of Latuda (which can be sedating, but I take it right before bed) and I'm seriously considering that. The time I tried one dose of quetiapine, I slept through a night, a day, and another night so you're right that medication can be the opposite of energizing. Kind of off topic here but I find being my own personal case study fascinating.
 

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