Hyperfocus Book Summary - Hyperfocus Book explained in key points
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Hyperfocus summary

Chris Bailey

How to Work Less to Achieve More

4.4 (574 ratings)
20 mins
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    Train yourself to enjoy hyperfocus more.

    Think back to the last time you had an unusually productive day at work – when you were on your A game, getting things done with uncharacteristic ease? Days like that might not come too often, but when they do, they're worth examining. But what’s so different about them? How do you manage to get so much done so quickly?

    Well, part of the answer lies in your ability to focus on the task at hand. Instead of seeming like a chore, your work becomes compelling – meaning that every time you look at the clock, another hour has passed.

    When you’re in that mood, your mind’s engaged, undistracted, and incisive; in other words, you’re hyperfocused.

    The key message here is: Train yourself to enjoy hyperfocus more.

    Like most people, you’ve no doubt experienced hyperfocus from time to time, but how can you harness it and make it a regular occurrence? How can you turn it from something unpredictable into something reliable and frequent? To answer that question, let’s look at what you actually do when you hyperfocus.

    For a start, you tend to give one single task your sustained attention. You don’t multitask. Rather than working frantically and jumping from one job to another, you focus your attention on one thing, and you keep it there until the task is finished.

    You also avoid all distractions. On normal days, it’s all too tempting to open your social media accounts and browse for 20 minutes, but when you hyperfocus, you nix time-wasting behaviors before they even start.

    That doesn’t mean you never notice your mind wandering nor feel tempted to check your phone: you do. After all, you’re still human. But rather than succumbing to these temptations, your hyperfocused mind finds it easier to return to the task at hand.

    Simply put, there are four stages in entering and maintaining a state of hyperfocus. First, choose a single, meaningful object of attention. Second, eliminate all possible distractions – including internal ones, like daydreaming. Then, focus your attention on the task you’ve chosen to work on, and, finally, consciously redirect your mind every time it wanders.

    If that seems like a tall order, don’t worry. In the blinks to come, we’ll discuss several concepts and techniques that make hyperfocus easier to attain.

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    What is Hyperfocus about?

    Hyperfocus (2018) is a straightforward guide to reclaiming your attention that lays out how you can boost both your productivity and creativity by learning to redirect your focus. Combining periods of intense concentration with spells of creative thinking sets the foundation for a brighter, more efficient version of you.

    Best quote from Hyperfocus

    Keep one important, complex object of attention in your awareness as you work.

    —Chris Bailey
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    Who should read Hyperfocus?

    • Highfliers trying to become even more efficient
    • Procrastinators with shrinking attention spans
    • Creatives looking to discover exciting new ideas

    About the Author

    Chris Bailey is a writer and productivity consultant from Ontario, Canada. He’s written for the New York Times, the National Post, and Harvard Business Review. He’s also the author of The Productivity Project.

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