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Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,529 ratings  ·  185 reviews
Canada's productivity expert returns with a totally fresh angle on how to do more with less.

Throughout his experiments and research, Chris Bailey came across many little-known insights into how we focus (a key element of productivity), including the surprising idea that focus isn't so much a state of heightened awareness (as we'd assume), but a balance between two frames
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Viking Adult (Hc)
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Sarah
This was an enjoyable read with easy-to-implement strategies for setting yourself up for success on getting things done. I've started scheduling hyperfocus sessions into my week and prioritized items on my to-do list and feel much more on top of my workload! Here are my main takeaways:

1) Be aware of potential distractions – your brain is designed to pay attention to novel stimuli.
- Make a list of your distractions. Eliminate them to the best of your ability. (Remove notifications on your phone,
...more
Mehrsa
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like to read one of these books every now and again. This one helped me have a few really productive days and if I can remember the insights, hopefully I can have a few more until it's time to read another one of these. The basics are clear: you have to purposefully turn off distractions--emails, notifications of all kids, social media, etc. You have to sleep and you have to give yourself some time to just make connections in your free time instead of fighting boredom. The book was short and ...more
Daniel Rodic
This book introduces two important concepts of “Hyperfocus” (focusing on one thing with no distractions) and “Scatterfocus” (deliberately letting your mind roam free)

Focus matters because in todays world the competition for your attention is fierce.

Focus allows you to utilize your most valuable currency — your attention — in the ways you see fit, oppose to letting external forces dictate where you spend it.

Simple tactics to focus better include:
* Put your phone (and anything else) that could
...more
Izzy Myers
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My life will forever be split into "before Hyperfocus" and "after Hyperfocus". And I'm optimistic that the "after Hyperfocus" part will be infinitely more focused and creative than the “before” part was, thanks to this book. I felt like on every page, the author was speaking directly to me. All of the examples were incredibly relatable, and all of the solutions Bailey presented seemed intuitive and something I not only could do, but absolutely needed and wanted to do. I can already feel myself ...more
Sonia Jarmula
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This past year of grad school was my own personal hell, and in the intensely toxic culture of academia I internalized a lot of really horrible beliefs about productivity which resulted in a truly awful period of burnout once I finished. I am still unlearning a lot of things, and I wish I had read this book a lot sooner. It made me feel a lot more forgiving towards myself when I was feeling burnout, especially in how I was struggling to focus on things. This book clarified a lot that I had been ...more
David Manley
Manage your sources of distraction. Meditate. Be deliberate in how you use your mental energy. Etc. Some good tips in there actually but nothing earth shattering. Maybe I'll report back after I've seen the results.
Nopadol Rompho
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the concept of this book. It helps me improve my focus. But for some reasons, I found that it is hard to focus when I read this book. Don't know why, perhaps I should apply knowledge obtained from this book while I was reading it.
James Beach
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't get over how practical this book is. I had a vague sense of how distracted I am all the time - but Chris made me painfully aware of just how much attention I'm wasting every day. And then outlined exactly how I can better manage my attention. Everyone needs to read this book!
Dylan Groves
he describes his process as ordering 10-15 books on a topic and reading a lot of academic articles, and that is exactly how the book comes across.
Rebecca
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a really good guide to achieving focus and improving concentration. Some of the tips I has recently started doing before I read this book so it was nice to see that I was in agreement with this book. I definitely found some interesting tidbits in there and it's a book I could see myself returning to for advice in the future.
Michael Perera-Collins
If you've read any book about being more successful in your career or packing more work into your day, you've already read this book. The gist: focus on one goal, and learn to do that one thing very, very well.
Tõnu Vahtra
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meta awareness - the new word that I discovered from this book and already added to my vocabulary for the confusion of several people. Chris Bailey is aggregating and reviewing productivity methods and tools (also in his book The Productivity Project). Since I have been reading high number of books on productivity and focus myself then it's difficult to find something completely new and novel but the book definitely acts as a focus-check for your daily unconscious productivity/focus inhibitors ...more
Alex Fürstenau
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like his reading style and I like his attitude (check out his Podcast, it's interesting and funny and you get to know his fiancé).

Back to the book:
It's basically divided in two parts. The first is about Hyperfocus (hence the title) and the second part is about scatterfocus (the counterpart if you will). I didn't find too many new things in the first part but it was absolutely worth reading the second part (and experimenting with his ideas).
Manal Omar
An overall helpful and eye-opening read. Good insights and interesting experiments and studies. I liked the concepts it presented.
Hannah
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some great tips on how to effectively focus, and surprising advice on letting your mind wander. Could’ve been a bit shorter, but has some great tips and lessons to keep with you.
Dora
Bailey did not disappoint me, as I expected. Apart from the many interesting findings and statistics he includes in the book to support his ideas and personal experiments with productivity (kudos on that!), I greatly appreciated the sections that explain the benefits of meditation for increasing focus and the suggestion to divide your work into the intentional-unintentional-purposeful-distracting diagram, which could greatly improve the way we look at tasks and prioritize them. There are, of ...more
Pat Camalliere
Heard the author on the radio and the book sounded like something helpful for a household that has two aging people, one who had a recent stroke. I found the book interesting but not life-changing. It seems my habits have developed over the years to have discovered almost all the tactics that are recommended, many of which I do and others I believe I should do. The book was of value to me nonetheless because it validated my habits and routines, and it explained why they work in a way I hadn’t ...more
JP
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hyperfocus assembles all of the latest and longstanding insights about how our brain can use focused attention and open awareness to solve problems and invent new possibilities. We've long been riding modern tools on a path that diverges from our evolutionary roots. Email and cell phones have accelerated that divergence substantially. Throughout this book, Bailey leverages a simple model about our mindshare to illustrate the benefits of using hyperfocus and "scatterfocus" to be intentional and ...more
Jacobo Carballada
The book could be summarized in 20 pages, but the guy repeats over and over the same ideas.
You get a couple of good tips, it is the first book I read about this topic so for me it was interesting but the style of the author repeating himself it is tiring.
Fabricio Rigotto
Very good reading on a tired subject

I am an executive with more than 20 years of experience. I often find this kind of book inaccurate or simply boring. This one is neither! I am enjoying increased productivity and meaningful life just by implementing a few tips. Read this!!!
Stef Havermans
Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey caught my attention because it spoke to me a student with ADHD. I now wish I left the book at the store. Let me tell you why...

The book is based on a bunch of researches. Most of them aren't explained properly and are just statistics out of context. The actual research is never explained and the headlines of the researches are used as anecdotes. The write up between them is horrible.

Bailey constantly showboats his ability to write a lot of words in small periods of
...more
David
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Stefanie
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not generally one for productivity books but this one is a good one. The book is broken up into two parts. The first half is about hyperfocus--how to get rid of all the distractions and really focus on a task. Multitasking is a lie. If you want to truly focus and get something done, it has to be just that thing. Bailey makes all sorts of great suggestions on how to do this based on both his personal experience and research and honest to goodness science. From setting intentions and turning ...more
Said AlMaskery
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most important books i have read lately on self improvement. It really does capture a focus crisis that is hurting the productivity of millions of people.

The book in simple words helps you regain control of your time. Instead of allowing yourself to “drift” and waste time, the author encourages you to drift purposefully with an objective! This way your drifting becomes productive time.

My understanding of how the brain works improved with this book. It allowed me to be aware
...more
Jason Röhde
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Some good ideas to help get through each day by applying different types of focus at certain times. I love the fact Chris considers drinking as an opportunity to “scatter focus.” I’m totally using that as an excuse to have a beer or 3 in the future.

Drink beer to come up with ideas, drink coffee to get them done.
Mark Nenadov
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: productivity
An insightful and engaging read. It's heavily practical and broadly applicable. The categories of hyper-focus and scatter-focus are super helpful. If it accomplishes nothing else, I regard the assistance towards increased awareness of when my mind wanders to be a major benefit of reading this book.
Joséphine (Word Revel)
Initial thoughts: Great book to start the year with. Bailey clearly spent a lot of time researching this subject and experimenting, and it shows. We've all heard that multitasking is bad for you, that we're just rapidly switching between tasks, that we should keep our smartphones away if we are working on something important, etc. Bailey takes it one step further and details the impact on our minds. He outlines why we struggle to focus and explains exactly how we can overcome distractions to ...more
Sami
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of the impactful books I read last year was Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Professor Matthew Walker – which definitely made me reconsider lifestyle habits. This is another book that falls under the similar category.
Unlike Why We Sleep, this is a less academic book – though highly researched – and serves as a nice guide to help us focus on our productivity.
In 2020 I think one should really reconsider how we’re working, studying, and collaborating. We are in an era
...more
Jenny Barin
[3.5 stars] In general, I really, really do not enjoy self-help books. But I'll save my rant about that for another time. Since productivity literature is genuinely interesting to me (including non-productivity literature - see: Professor John Perry's productive procrastination writings), I decided to give this book a go.

It's a solid 3-4 stars, probably leaning more toward a 3. It's not a book to rave about (again, I'm not a fan of the genre), but it gives good, commonsense advice. And as the
...more
Michel Meijer
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hyperfocus of Chris Bailey consist of 3 parts. First he builds the case that people are distracted at work a lot. To become more effective at work you should 1) notice your distractions 2) remove useless distractions, 3) aim your focus more intentionally. Quite some pages are spend around this topic, and practical tips are given to enter the state of flow (or hyperfocus tm) and work more effectively. Some are quite straightforward and easy to apply, such as silencing all notifications on ...more
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Chris Bailey is a productivity expert, and the international bestselling author of The Productivity Project, which has been published in eleven languages. His much-anticipated second book, Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction, comes out in September. Chris writes about productivity at Alifeofproductivity.com, and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can ...more
“An unfortunate truth is that the brain is not built to do knowledge work—it’s wired for survival and reproduction.” 1 likes
“choose a productive or meaningful object of attention; eliminate as many external and internal distractions as you can; focus on that chosen object of attention; and continually draw your focus back to that one object of attention.” 0 likes
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