Table of Content
- Book Details
- Book wrap-up
- Should you read Hyperfocus?
- My Book Notes of Hyperfocus
- Review of Hyperfocus
- My Rating
📃 Book Details
Name: Hyperfocus: How to Work Less to Achieve More
Originally published: 28 August 2018
Author: Chris Bailey
Genre: Self-help book
Page: 256 pages
🚀 Book wrap-up
In a typical fashion, hyperfocus is what you can consider being your ultimate guide for focus management. It teaches you how to focus more and less (you will understand it once you read it), not just to be productive at your work but also to lead a more happy and fulfilling life.
🎨 Should you read Hyperfocus?
Hyperfocus is a guide to focus management and that is the only thing this book does but it does that very well.
The answer to the question of whether should you read Hyperfocus is very simple. It depends completely on whether are you interested in improving your focus management. If yes, go give this book a try because it could really help you.
But if you are not interested in improving your focus management or just want to skim through it to see any interesting concepts, I suggest you find others because you will be disappointed.
📒 My Book Notes of Hyperfocus
CHAPTER 0 Why Focus Matters
Attention Is Everywhere
All of us on this planet are awake at this very moment, we are all paying attention to something. Attention is the backbone of our life and it is all around us.
The reason why focus matters are not just because it helps you work better, it also helps you lead a happier life. Our attention is limited and we need to use it judiciously. This is the essential skill we need in this modern distracting world.
CHAPTER 0.5 How to Better Focus on This Book
1. PUT YOUR PHONE OUT OF SIGHT
Your mind will look for something fun while reading this book, the phone is an unlimited source of entertainment. Keep it away.
2. MIND YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Read in a less distracting environment
3. MAKE A DISTRACTIONS LIST
Create a distraction list where you write down the important task that came to your mind, new ideas, and things that you need to follow up on. Writing it down helps you feel settled and bring back your attention.
4. QUESTION WHETHER THIS BOOK IS WORTH CONSUMING AT ALL
Be aware and judicious of what you consume. Make sure the things you are doing are worth it.
5. CONSUME SOME CAFFEINE BEFORE READING
Caffeine boosts focus
6. GRAB A PEN OR HIGHLIGHTER
Actively consume information that just passively listen to it.
7. WHEN YOU NOTICE YOUR FOCUS WAVERING . . .
Just stop reading and do some mindless task to reset your mind and start reading back. It is okay and normal to get distracted.
PART ONE: HYPERFOCUS
CHAPTER 1 Switching Off Autopilot Mode
We make most of our decisions unconsciously because a lot of the tasks we do are habits. We can’t because fully aware of every second, but we can try to be conscious of some important tasks we do. The aim here is to manage your attention with more intention to lead a happier life.
THE FOUR TYPES OF TASKS
Directing your attention toward the most important object of your choosing—and then sustaining that attention—is the most consequential decision we will make throughout the day. We are what we pay attention to.
CHAPTER 2 The Limits of Your Attention
The first limitation of our attention is that there’s a finite limit to how many things we can focus on.
The second way that our attention is limited is that after focusing on something, we can hold only a small amount of information in our short-term memory.
MEET YOUR ATTENTION SPACE
“Attentional space” is the term used to describe the amount of mental capacity we have available to focus on and process things at the moment. Our attentional space is what we’re aware of at any given time.
Given that this space is so small and can hold only a few things at once, we must manage it well. Don’t cram everything into your attention space.
We can do the following comfortably:
- A FEW SMALL, HABITUAL TASKS
- A TASK THAT REQUIRES MOST OF OUR FOCUS, AS WELL AS A HABITUAL TASK
- ONE COMPLEX TASK
Don’t multitask with complex tasks. Constantly shifting our attentional spotlight to focus on one thing and then another and then another not only prevents the formation of memories but also undermines our productivity.
Live with more intention
Try to be intentional about what you are doing, and don’t let distractions slip in. Train yourself to be better at this.
CHAPTER 3 The Power of Hyperfocus
Hyperfocus is a mental state in which you pick one task and let it completely occupy your mind where you are not bothered by anything else, completely immersed in what you do.
The most important aspect of hyperfocus is that only one productive or meaningful task consumes your attentional space.
THE FOUR STAGES OF HYPERFOCUS
- Choosing What to Focus On: Attention without intention is wasted energy.
- The Rule of 3
- At the start of each day, choose the three things you want to have accomplished by the day’s end.
- Your Most Consequential Tasks
- The most important tasks on your list are the ones that lead to the greatest positive consequences. Prioritize the most important one.
- The Hourly Awareness Chime
- Check whether your mind wandered off every hour to make sure that you are not derailing.
- Eliminate as many external and internal distractions as you can;
- Focus on that chosen object of attention;
- Continually draw your focus back to that one object of attention.
Setting specific intentions can double or triple your odds of success.
“Go to the gym” becomes “Schedule and go to the gym on my lunch break.”
CHAPTER 4 Taming Distractions
By removing every object of attention that’s potentially more stimulating and attractive than what you intend to do, you give your brain no choice but to work on that task.
- There are many apps available that cut you off from distractions.
- Be thoughtful and don’t underestimate (or overestimate) the social costs of your distraction-free mode.
- Treat yourself afterward
- Take stock of the distractions around you.
- Distance yourself
- Introduce more productive cues into your environment.
Two main attributes of music that are allowable in your hyperfocus mode: it sounds familiar, and it’s relatively simple.
Music occupies at least some portion of attentional space—but it occupies less when it’s familiar, simple, and also relatively quiet. As a result, music is no competition for a quiet environment when it comes to focusing, but of course, the music never exists in isolation. So if you’re working in a busy coffee shop, music may help obscure the conversations around you, which are much more complex and distracting than a simple and familiar melody.
CLEARING YOUR MIND
Our brain is for having ideas, not for holding them.
Continuously capture unresolved commitments and ideas as they come up, and get into a habit of revisiting them at a set time later. This will free up a lot of attentional space to spend on better things.
CHAPTER 5 Making Hyperfocus a Habit
THE POWER OF MAKING YOUR WORK HARDER
If you have a relatively easy task, you will fill your time with unnecessary work to avoid feeling guilty. Make your work harder and more meaningful to avoid this.
INCREASING THE SIZE OF YOUR ATTENTIONAL SPACE
Meditation has proven to increase the size of your attention space.
Whenever you are doing a simple task like sipping coffee, intentionally do it, pay attention to every sensation. This activity will improve the attention space.
FOUR (MORE) WAYS TO BATTLE YOUR RESISTANCE TO HYPERFOCUS
- Shrink your desired hyperfocus period until you no longer feel resistance to the ritual.
- Notice when you “don’t have time” for something.
- Continually practice hyperfocus.
PART TWO: SCATTERFOCUS
CHAPTER 6 Your Brain’s Hidden Creative Mode
Just as hyperfocus is your brain’s most productive mode, scatter focus is its most creative mode.
- It allows you to set intentions and plan for the future.
- scatter focus lets you recharge
- scatter focus fosters creativity
CHAPTER 7 Recharging Your Attention
TAKING MORE REFRESHING BREAKS
- Take a break at least every ninety minutes.
- Break for roughly fifteen minutes for each hour of work you do.
For every hour of sleep that you miss, you lose two hours of productivity the next day.
CHAPTER 8 Connecting Dots
Scatters focus helps us to create novel ideas by creating new neural connections.
CONNECTING EVEN MORE DOTS
- Scatter your attention in a richer environment – A rich environment is one where you’re constantly encountering new people, ideas, and sights.
- Write out the problems you’re trying to crack – Writing down the detailed problems you’re tackling at work and home helps your mind continue to process them in the background.
- Sleep on a problem – Your mind will continue processing these things while you rest.
- Step back – the longer you wait before sending an important email response, the better and more articulate your reply is likely to be.
- Intentionally leave tasks unfinished – Leaving tasks partly completed helps you keep them front of mind as you encounter external and internal solution cues.
- Consume more valuable dots – Consuming new dots exposes a wealth of new information and triggers that you can use to solve complex problems.
CHAPTER 9 Collecting Dots
- Consume things you care about, especially when few others do.
- Eliminate some trash. Choose two items that don’t bring you genuine enjoyment, and eliminate them.
- Choose a few valuable things to add. Add something valuable for each worthless thing you eliminate
- Notice what you consume on autopilot mode.
- Veg out… intentionally.
- Reevaluate what you’re consuming as you’re consuming it.
- Get things to bid for your attention. View the descriptions of podcasts, TV shows, movies, and books as a pitch for your time and attention.
- At the moment, zoom out. Try zooming out to a larger time frame if you’re having trouble deciding at the moment between a few different things to consume.
- Invest in serendipity.
- Double down on what’s valuable.
MAKING SCATTER FOCUS A HABIT
Scatterfocus is the most creative mode of your brain. Just as with hyperfocus, it’s worth spending as much time as you possibly can practicing it.
CHAPTER 10 Working Together
INVEST IN YOUR HAPPINESS
- Recalling three things you’re grateful for at the end of each day (a good companion tactic to the Rule of 3, discussed in chapter 3)
- Journaling at the end of each day about one good experience you had
- Meditating (see chapter 5)
- Performing a random act of kindness
WORK AROUND YOUR ENERGY LEVELS
Hyperfocus is most effective during your peak energy times, your Biological Prime Time (BPT). Scatterfocus is most powerful when you have the least energy (Creative Prime Time). A great way to work smarter is to schedule tasks that require focused attention during your BPT and tasks that require more creativity during your CPT.
if the work you and your team does is hyper-collaborative or involves a great deal of creativity and connecting ideas, an open office is probably worth its disadvantages. If your work involves a significant number of tasks that benefit from undisturbed focus, as more and more jobs seem to, an open office can be detrimental to your productivity.
🔭 Review of Hyperfocus
Hyperfocus when you look completely from a theoretical perspective doesn’t offer anything new that many of us didn’t already know. It revolves around the two focus modes of our mind which I have already mentioned in how to learn, The focused mode, and the diffused mode. The hyperfocus and scatter focus are in principle the same as focus mode and diffused mode just named differently.
Despite this alarming triviality, what kept me hooked was the convincing practicality with which the book was written. The books offer rich and nifty practical advice which helps you to apply all these theoretical concepts. I believe that is what this book was meant for and that it does beautifully.
This is a comprehensive and well-rounded book on focus management. Nothing more, nothing less.
💯 My Rating