A practical guide to managing your attention--the most powerful resource you have to get stuff done, become more creative, and live a meaningful life
Our attention has never been as overwhelmed as it is today. Many of us recognize that our brains struggle to multitask. Despite this, we feel compelled to do so anyway while we fill each moment of our lives to the brim with mindless distraction. Hyperfocus provides profound insights into how you can best take charge of your attention to achieve a greater sense of purpose and productivity throughout the day.
The most recent neuroscientific research reveals that our brain has two powerful modes that can be unlocked when we use our attention effectively: a focused mode (hyperfocus), which is the foundation for being highly productive, and a creative mode (scatterfocus), which enables us to connect ideas in novel ways. Hyperfocus helps you access each of the two mental modes so you can concentrate more deeply, think more clearly, and work and live more deliberately every day. Chris Bailey examines such topics such as:
• identifying and dealing with the four key types of distraction and interruption; • establishing a clear physical and mental environment in which to work; • controlling motivation and working fewer hours to become more productive; • taking time-outs with intention; • multitasking strategically; and • learning when to pay attention and when to let your mind wander wherever it wants to.
By transforming how you think about your attention, Hyperfocus reveals that the more effectively you learn to take charge of it, the better you'll be able to manage every aspect of your life.
About the Author
Chris Bailey has been intensively researching and experimenting with productivity since he was a young teenager, in an effort to discover how to become as productive as humanly possible. To date, he has written hundreds of articles on the subject, and has garnered coverage in media as diverse as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Harvard Business Review, TED, Fast Company, and Lifehacker. The author of The Productivity Project, Chris lives in Kingston, Canada.
"An engaging book . . . When Mr. Bailey was writing this book, he may as well have pinned my photo above his desk and labeled it 'my audience.' . . . Hyperfocus helped me recognize the limits of my attentional space and make my environment more conducive to focus . . . Mr. Bailey teaches how to re-examine your tasks, determine your priorities and minimize interruptions. . . . When I started the second part of the book, I excitedly placed exclamation points next to all of the examples of places your mind could go if it was left to do its own thing." —The New York Times, "Self-Helped" column
"In this practical and widely applicable manual Bailey . . . identifies distraction as an endemic probem plaguing the business world, and just about every facet of modern life as well . . . Highly germane to any fast-paced workplace, this book is a must-read for readers seeking to regain control of their ability to concentrate." —Publishers Weekly
"Hyperfocus does a remarkable job of unpacking the realities, obstacles, and best practices of managing the subtle but ever-present world of our conscious attention. All of us can get better at how, when, and on what we focus; and this is an extraordinary, eye-opening and research based report of what affects us in this regard, and how to take advantage of this information to achieve greater satisfaction in our lives. Bravo, Chris." —David Allen, author of Getting Things Done
“Becoming more productive isn’t about time management; it’s about attention management. I’d tell you more about that, but I lost my train of thought. Luckily this attention-grabbing book is here to help. Chris Bailey offers actionable, data-driven insights for sharpening your focus—and finding the right moments to blur it.” —Adam Grant, author of Originals, Give and Take, and Option B
"The best productivity plans call for strategy, not just hacks or tactics—and Hyperfocus gives you strategy in spades. When you read this book, get ready to do your most important work!" —Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup, The Art of Non-Conformity, and The Happiness of Pursuit
“Let me guess. You’re like me. You don’t have time to read this book. Or any book! Who has time for books anymore? Well, that’s perfect. Because it means you have the disease. And right now you’re holding the cure.” —Neil Pasricha, author of The Book of Awesome and The Happiness Equation
"I read Hyperfocus on my phone . . . but this book was so engaging I stopped checking email entirely! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to do more of what matters in a distracted world." —Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours
"There are two kinds of focus we need in order to pursue what’s essential in life: focus as a noun (our fixed intent) and focus as a verb (the ongoing process of connecting the dots). This is brilliantly illustrated both in writing and in graphics in this latest book from Chris Bailey. I loved the book." —Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism “Practical, well written and timely, Chris Bailey tackles one of the most important topics today as we seek success at work and attempt to raise positive kids in the modern world. What you attend to becomes your reality. Hyperfocus provides a practical path to using our attention to create an adaptive reality. If you want to achieve greater success and happiness, we need to start by focusing upon what our brain is attending to.” —Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential
“Hyperfocus is a lifeline in a world in which we are all overwhelmed with too much to do and not enough time to do it. Thanks to Chris Bailey’s groundbreaking and timely new book, I feel like I now have, for the first time in literally years, the ability to focus on the most important, value-creating things. Read this book if you want a stress-relieving salve as well as a guarantee to improve both your productivity and happiness.” —Jim Citrin, author of The Career Playbook
“Being hyperfocused in a busy world is a skill every professional needs in their arsenal. Chris Bailey will show you how to master it in his new book Hyperfocus. Using all of the latest science, Bailey gives readers practical, incredible frameworks to change how you work.” —Vanessa Van Edwards, author of Captivate
“There’s no question: your attention is your most valuable asset. Everything in your life—your experience of life—comes from your attention. And Hyperfocus will teach you how to use this tool, how to hone it, leverage it, and even enjoy it. Pay attention to Chris Bailey—this book is well worth the focus.” —Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes
“Attention may be the most important asset of the 21st century. Hyperfocus takes decades of scientific insights and pairs them with practical application to show us all how best to manage and multiply our attention.” —David Burkus, author of Under New Management and Friend of a Friend
“"Chris Bailey's book is a fascinating guide to managing our attention. He describes a methodology that will help us both focus and create more effectively. His book is not just theory, but a wonderful toolbox full of practical and detailed best practices. I can't wait to give these ideas a try.” —Kai-Fu Lee, Founder of Google China, Chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures
"This book will appeal to a wide audience, from those in business to self-help seekers and busy parents." —Booklist