• Hyperfocus

  • How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction
  • By: Chris Bailey
  • Narrated by: Chris Bailey
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (842 ratings)

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Hyperfocus

By: Chris Bailey
Narrated by: Chris Bailey
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Publisher's Summary

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
  • 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.

©2018 Chris Bailey (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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

What listeners say about Hyperfocus

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Buzzwords and Common Sense

Save your money...

- Limit distractions to “hyper” focus your attention
- Meditate, because of course :-)
- Use “scatter” focus for creative problems/tasks
- Setup an hourly awareness alarm to remain aware of how your mind wanders
- Be more aware of your mind states

36 people found this helpful

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Modern way of just getting more out of Life

I really enjoyed Chris's first book "The Productivity Project", so I couldn't wait for this one. This book is the more focused culmination of Chris's work and much more of a how to than a how about.

My criticism does not detract from the book, but when it came to the 4 types of tasks grid, I did not like the rebranding of the more traditional quadrant 2 activities. for some reason for me I had trouble visualizing when he would say productive attractive or top right and I much prefer quadrant 1 2 3 4. This system has been around, but I understand Chris is wanting us to look at the way we approach GTD or Productivity differently.

Overall, the book really is applicable to people in all age groups wanting to actually accomplish things in life. I consider Chris the how to go from setting goals to getting them done. If you can set a goal and figure out the first step and then apply hyperfocusing techniques. You will succeed.

I love the audible versions of Chris's books and he is easy to listen to. I wish you the best Chris, and I will avoid FOMO even if it did make me answer an email and pre-order the book. To everyone else, don't hesitate to spend a credit or buy it..it is worth it.
Donnie

32 people found this helpful

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Another Masterpiece by Chris Bailey...

The motivation for writing this book (by 'the most productive man you’d ever hope to meet') was so plain and honest, that made me buy this audiobook right away.
I always loved the author's productivity experiments, and his conclusions, which often gave me an instant edge over the my peers. This book, however, goes beyond any expectation I would hope to encounter. The simplicity and the insightfullness is so powerful, that it is deeply appreciated that such (individual) knowledge is so openly shared to a Public which constantly seeks to stay more focused.
As for me personally, thank you Chris, for improving my life once again, just by acknowledging and applying some very simple concepts.
Waiting for your next book. Please let me/us know.

25 people found this helpful

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6 hours to say "disconnect to focus"

The author goes on long boring personal anecdotes. I'll save you the 6 boring hours: disconnect to focus an be more creative. That's what the author repeats after the long boring anecdotes.

15 people found this helpful

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Similar to his first book

It's along the same vein as the author's first book 'The Productivity Project.' If you like his podcast 'Becoming Better,' you'll like this book. It's more about productivity coaching rather than any new, insightful guidance on focusing. The four stages of hyper focus are:
* Choose a productive or meaningful object of attention.
* Eliminate as many external and internal distractions that you can.
* Focus on that chosen object of attention.
* Continually draw your focus back to that object of attention.

Develop productivity rituals:
* Choose 3 things to accomplish each day. Weigh unexpected tasks against the intentions you set.
* Consider the consequences of each task, both short-term and long term - will it be better by doing that task?
* Set an hourly alarm to see how often you're immersed on productive tasks.
* Block time for hyper focus, starting with 15-20 minutes and increasing it over time.

12 people found this helpful

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Perfect for Freelance Writers Like Me!

Really practical stuff, especially the kinds of focus applicable for objective and creative types of work. Highly recommended! :)

8 people found this helpful

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A great follow up to The Productivity Project

This is the second audio book I've listened to from Chris. I thought the content might just be more of the same from the Productivity Project but was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case - instead it compliments the information from that book really well. You don't need to read the Productivity Project first to enjoy this book. They both stand on their own and provide great insights and advice on productivity.

Some of the studies he mentions in here is fascinating, particularly the one that illustrates just how much we avoid being alone with our thoughts and seek distractions.

My personal big 3 takeaways from this book that have the biggest impact on my productivity:

1. Be intentional with your actions.

2. Limit distractions, specifically managing those on your phone. One pet peeve I have which he specifically mentions here a few times is when you are out, or carrying a conversation with a friend/family member or co-worker and instead of being in that moment, a lot people focus on and get distracted by their smart phone.

3. Taking breaks is a good thing, you are much more productive if you disconnect and take a refreshing break instead of trying to power through and meet your deadline. This is something I struggle with a lot in my profession particularly during busy periods.

Overall a good listen, also wanted to add that Chris's narration has improved from his first book. Definitely would recommend the audio book edition of this.

8 people found this helpful

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Good points - but could have been half as long

I think the editor was asleep at the switch halfway through. I recommend reading the first half of this book and skimming the second half. Helpful nuggets, but it would be a better pamphlet than a book.

8 people found this helpful

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A must-read to improve productivity

I really enjoyed this book. The first half was very helpful in breaking down the steps to hyper-focusing. The second half was very interesting. It's about the importance of scatter-focusing. The data on experiments on boredom are incredible. I have never thought about meditating but I am very encouraged to start now.

5 people found this helpful

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Prefer the book atomic habits

I did not love this book. I appreciate the information provided. I just finished the book atomic habits and preferred it to this one. it seemed redundant.

4 people found this helpful