With Hyperfocus (2018), you will discover how to regain control of your attention. It will show you how to increase both your productivity and your creativity by learning to redirect your attention. Combine rigorous focus with creative thought to provide the groundwork for a brighter, more efficient version of your own self-expression.
Who is the target audience for the Hyperfocus book?
- High-fliers attempting to improve their efficiency even more
- Procrastinators with short attention spans are becoming more common.
- Creatives on the lookout for fresh and interesting concepts
What is Chris Bailey's background?
Chris Bailey is a writer and productivity expert based in the Canadian province of Ontario. He has contributed to publications such as the New York Times, the National Post, and the Harvard Business Review. He is also the author of The Productivity Project, which is a book on increasing productivity.
What exactly is in it for me? Learn how to regain complete control of your focus.
Do you even recall a period when you had a sustained attention span that lasted more than a few minutes? Was there a time when you could glide through work without being sidetracked, and take hours to do something that would now take you days to complete? Realistically, you probably recall a period when things were like that - but it was most likely before cellphones were developed and before Facebook was created. To put it another way, it's been a while. The purpose of this document is to assist you in this process. The capacity to focus may be improved by the use of a few basic concepts and simple methods. This will also help you to be more creative as a result. This set of notes will explain why setting an hourly alarm may be beneficial for your concentration, how daydreaming might aid in planning, and what scatterfocus is.
Train yourself to take pleasure in hyperfocusing more often.
Imagine going back to the last time you had an exceptionally productive day at work - when you were on your game, getting things done in an abnormally short amount of time? Days like that don't come around very frequently, but when they do, they're worth paying attention to. But what is it about them that makes them stand out from the crowd? How do you manage to get so much done in such a short period of time? Well, your capacity to remain focused on the job at hand is a big part of the solution. As a result, your job ceases to be a chore and instead becomes fascinating, resulting in the realization that every time you glance at the clock, another hour has gone. When you're in that frame of mind, your mind is engaged, undistracted, and razor-sharp; in other words, you're hyper-aware of your surroundings. The most important lesson here is to train yourself to appreciate hyperfocus more.
You, like the majority of people, have probably experienced periods of hyperfocus at some point in your life. But how can you harness this ability and make it a regular occurrence? How can you transform something that is unexpected into something that is dependable and frequent? Let's take a look at what you really do when you hyperfocus in order to address that question. For starters, you have a tendency to devote your whole concentration to a single job at a time. You don't do more than one thing at a time. Rather than working furiously and hopping from one project to another, you concentrate your efforts on a single task and remain focused on it until the task is completed successfully. You also stay away from any distractions. Normally, it's all too tempting to open your social media accounts and browse for 20 minutes, but when you hyperfocus, you can prevent time-wasting habits from occurring in the first place.
That does not imply that you are never aware of your thoughts straying or that you are never tempted to check your phone: you are. After all, you're still a person with feelings. Rather than giving into these temptations, your hyperfocused mind finds it simpler to return to the job at hand after the temptations have passed. The process of attaining and sustaining a state of hyperfocus may be broken down into four phases. First, focus your attention on a single, relevant item of interest. Second, remove any potential distractions – even internal ones such as daydreaming – from your environment. Then, keep your attention focused on the job you've decided to do, and, lastly, deliberately redirect your thoughts whenever they begin to stray. Don't be concerned if this seems to be a difficult task. In the following sections, we'll go over a number of ideas and methods that will make it simpler to achieve hyperfocus.
The ability to maintain self-awareness and deliberate concentration is essential for effective attention management.
Almost everything you do in life requires some level of concentration. If you want to give your all to whatever job you are working on, you must pay careful attention to what you are doing. However, there is a problem: your ability to pay attention is severely restricted. As a matter of fact, there is a limit to the number of things you can pay attention to at the same moment in any given situation. The University of Virginia's Timothy Wilson, a professor of psychology, believes that the human brain receives about eleven million pieces of information per second. But what is the maximum number of thoughts you can consciously process at one time? There are just 40 of them. To make matters worse, the amount of information you can store in your short-term memory is much more limited than before. There are about seven things – which may include names, dates, or activities that you need to accomplish – on the list.
So how can you perform at your highest level when you are aware of your inherent limitations? The most important lesson to take away from this is: The ability to maintain self-awareness and deliberate concentration is essential for effective attention management. It may be helpful to conceive of your attention as a tiny, restricted region that can be readily filled — a sort of attentional space – while thinking about how to pay attention. The fact that this area is so large necessitates that everything that enters into it is properly regulated. When you're at a meeting, for example, your mental space should be occupied with your colleague's presentation rather than ideas about what you're going to have for lunch. One of the difficulties is that you get so involved in your own ideas that you seldom take the time to examine them. When you have a wandering idea that piques your curiosity, you subconsciously give up attention space to that thought.
It is at this point when meta-awareness becomes important. Meta-awareness is defined as the capacity to go outside of one's own thoughts and become conscious of what one is thinking about. As a result, you may find yourself daydreaming about your lunchtime meal and purposefully diverting your attention away from the food and toward your colleagues.If you want to concentrate on anything, every time you need to do so, you need to set up a clear objective that you can follow through on. Listening to your coworkers, working on a report, or just reading a book, you should be able to pinpoint precisely where you want your focus to be at any particular moment. As a result, meta-awareness and intent are inextricably linked. Meta-awareness serves as a reminder to check in on your attention space, and goals serve as a guide to where you should focus your attention when it is necessary.
Set an alarm for every hour in your room, and when it goes off, ask yourself, "What is in my attention area right now?"Was it in accordance with my objectives? Soon enough, you'll discover that this way of thinking has become a habit, taking you one step closer to regular periods of hyperfocusing.
Eliminate distractions from your surroundings in order to achieve hyperfocus.
Take a look at this. You're sitting at your workstation. You're putting in your time. Your focus has narrowed to your work, and you are on the verge of becoming hyperfocused on it.Then, all of a sudden, your phone rings. The majority of us will automatically reach over and look at the notice, which is understandable. Whatever happens, your flow has been disrupted because your phone has intruded on your attention area and brought a slew of other ideas with it.These types of interruptions and diversions are among the most significant barriers to attaining hyperfocus. Now, it goes without saying that you can not protect yourself against every possible snag. However, this does not imply that you should give up and submit to any and all distractions that come your way. The most important message is as follows: Eliminate distractions from your surroundings in order to achieve hyperfocus.
Avoid the difficulty and danger of attempting to avoid distractions in advance by removing the risk and saving yourself time and trouble. So, how do you go about identifying a risk? To put it simply, you should examine your surroundings and look for anything that is more exciting and attractive than the job you are required to perform. The term "environment" refers to more than simply your actual surroundings in this context. Think about banning social networking websites from your browser homepage – or just changing your homepage – if this is the case. If your phone is a source of distraction, try leaving it in a different room.
Understandably, not everyone has the luxury of ignoring their phone for extended periods of time. Clients and colleagues may contact you at any moment. Your family may need communication from time to time. For those who find themselves in this situation, try setting your phone to airplane mode and reconnecting at regular intervals. You'll still be reachable this way, but you won't grab your phone like a robot whenever it beeps.The same is true of your email messages. If you're working in a team, it's just not possible to ignore your email throughout the day. Instead, make it a practice to check your email at regular intervals — every hour, or every half-hour if necessary – rather than all at once. Again, the goal is to place oneself out of reach of distracting buzzes and beeps that would otherwise interfere with your ability to hyperfocus.
And if you feel yourself being sidetracked by other ideas, take a moment to stop and write down everything that is on your mind. You may come up with nothing more than a to-do list, or you might come up with a very intriguing concept. In any case, the process of writing down distracting ideas helps to get them out of your mind, allowing you to devote more focus to the job at hand.
Scatterfocus is a tool that assists you in planning and thinking creatively.
Hyperfocus is a very effective tool. A competitive advantage may be gained by being able to devote continuous, focused attention to the activity you are now engaged in. However, despite its value, hyperfocus is not sufficient on its own. Every now and again, your mind needs time to relax and recharge – and, even more significantly, you must allow yourself the chance to be creative. To explain further, hyperfocus is excellent for pushing through long, difficult tasks – but it is most successful when you have already decided on a course of action. When circumstances necessitate the use of creativity and uniqueness, you must take a different approach: Scatterfocus is an abbreviation for ScatterfocusThe most important lesson in these notes is that Scatterfocus may assist you in planning and thinking creatively.
By now, you've most likely concluded that daydreaming is a bad thing. And that makes sense - hyperfocus and a wandering mind are incompatible with one another. Even so, daydreaming isn't always a bad thing; in fact, it shares many characteristics with scatterfocus, a type of creative and diffuse thinking that can be used to plan for the future as well as come up with new concepts and ideas.While there are some similarities, there are also some significant distinctions. For example, while hyperfocus assists you in attending to activities in the present, scatterfocus is very frequently concerned with tasks in the future. It has been shown that when your mind wanders, it will spend 48 percent of the time thinking about the future. When it comes to making plans, this prospective bias, or proclivity to think about the future, is what makes scatterfocus so useful.
For the sake of understanding how to deal with scatterfocus, it is helpful to divide it down into three distinct kinds of thinking. The first of them is the capturing mode. The Capture mode is the most basic, and, for many people, the most boring, of the several shooting modes. It entails taking stock of whatever is on your mind at the time. Once or twice a week, it's worth taking a few minutes to sit down with a pen and paper and write down anything that comes to mind; unfinished jobs, unfinished duties, and unanswered messages are all frequent occurrences. Taking note of these ideas allows you to tie up crucial loose ends and free up your mind to think about other essential things. Then there's the mode of problem-solving. In a nutshell, this is exactly what it says on the tin. A single topic is held in your mind, and your thoughts are allowed to revolve around it, seeking fresh perspectives, ideas, and solutions to the problem at hand.
The last kind of scatterfocus is known as the habitual mode or habitual mode. This comes into play anytime you do a basic, repetitive activity that requires just a portion of your concentration while still allowing you plenty of time for introspection. If you've ever found yourself thinking about something while doing the dishes, you're probably familiar with the concept of habitual scatter-focus.
You may connect the dots between apparently unrelated pieces of information by using scatterfocus.
During a meditation session or while attempting to fall asleep, have you ever paid attention to the flow of your thoughts? If you have, you have probably come to the conclusion that randomness is an important feature of the resting mind. The relaxed state of your mind allows for the spontaneous eruption of memories, pictures, and thoughts that come to the surface uninvited — and frequently without any apparent logic or pattern. When you're attempting to go asleep or concentrate on your breathing, these random ideas may be very distracting. However, if you are attempting to think creatively, they may sometimes prove to be a lifesaver.
In this case, the unpredictability comes from your brain's default network, which is the system that kicks in when your attention isn't focused on something in specific. When the default network is activated, a huge neuronal system that spans many different regions of the brain starts to operate in unison with one another. As a consequence, what happened? Several excellent suggestions. The most important lesson to take away from this is: You may connect the dots between apparently unrelated pieces of information by using scatterfocus. The Zeigarnik Effect is one of the reasons why scatterfocus can lead to new ideas and creative breakthroughs, and it is one of the reasons that scatterfocus may lead to novel ideas and creative breakthroughs. For the most part, this reflects the brain's tendency to dwell on ongoing projects rather than finished ones. You spend more time thinking about current issues than you do about the difficulties that have been addressed in the past.
According to its practical application, the Zeigarnik Effect implies that anytime you leave an issue unresolved, your mind begins working on it behind the scenes. If you come across a piece of information that is related to the equation, you subconsciously incorporate it into the equation - often with surprising consequences. Take, for example, Archimedes. In a well-known tale, he was taking a bath when he saw the water level rising – and instantly understood how to calculate the volume of irregular objects by measuring their volume. Because of the Zeigarnik Effect, the issue remained unresolved in his mind for a long time — until a fresh observation provided the key to solving it. So, what are some creative ways to take advantage of this phenomenon? Do you sit around and hope for inspiration to strike?
This is not always the case. Make it a practice to jot down any issues you're attempting to address and to go back over the list on a frequent basis. Reading it will assist you in keeping your worries at the forefront of your mind, while also keeping you in close touch with fresh ideas and experiences.
Make sure your intellect is well-nourished in order to make the most of a scattered focus.
As a result, scatterfocus assists you in making insightful connections between a variety of observations and thoughts. It enables you to make connections between new and old issues – and, in some cases, it even leads to solutions. However, it is not just a question of ruminating on the situation and waiting for a flash of inspiration to strike you at the right time. If scatterfocus is about connecting dots, then it comes to reason that gathering dots is important as well – since the quality of the information you absorb affects the quality of the insights you will get from it in the future. To put it another way, excellent raw materials are required for scatterfocus to generate good ideas. The most important lesson to take away from this is: Make sure your intellect is well-nourished in order to make the most of a scattered focus.
When compared to your phone, which sometimes runs out of storage space, your brain has almost limitless storage capacity. Unfortunately, in order to create memories, you must rely on a much more restricted resource: your attention, which is not always available. As you've already learned, your attention span is shamefully short; there are only so many things you can concentrate on at any one time on any given day. If you want to feed your mind, you must be picky about the materials you consume and choose only the best. One effective approach is to learn more about your area of interest and to build a mental constellation of connected dots in your head as you learn more. Considering the fact that you are an architect, researching the designs, lives, and working techniques of renowned architects makes a lot of sense.
Having said that, be cautious not to let a single topic take up all of your time and attention. When you think about it, the beauty of focus is the way it mixes different kinds of information. The most essential thing is that the informational dots you ingest should be of good quality, regardless of their area of origination. Binge-watching television and browsing through social networking sites are two sure-fire ways to feed your intellect — reading biographies and taking online courses are two less sure-fire methods. When it comes to information consumption, one approach to becoming more selective is to view every choice as a competition for your attention. What would that TV program say in a pitch – and how would that pitch compare to the offer that the podcast would make – is something we should all think about. Which would provide you with the most amount of scatterfocus enrichment?
In the same way that you select healthy meals for your health, you should make certain that everything you read, watch, and listen to has genuine intellectual worth for the purpose of your creativity.
There are two important points to take away from this set of notes: The first is that by adopting hyperfocus, you may maintain your concentration on a critical job at hand. When you hyperfocus, you eliminate distractions from your surroundings and become aware of what is taking up space in your head. Furthermore, every time your attention wanders, refocus it back on track. Keep in mind that scatterfocus may assist you in solving difficult issues that need the use of innovative solutions as well. The goal of scattered focus is to allow the mind to wander and make unexpected connections.The ability to feed your mind and ponder may aid in the development of a scattered focus.Take actionable advice and drink a cup of coffee to help you hyperfocus on your work. Caffeine and hyperfocus are a marriage made in heaven, according to research. Caffeine helps you stay awake and concentrate while you're working. It aids in your ability to persist when your job becomes monotonous. The ability to enhance performance in a variety of cognitive activities is probably the most significant benefit. Consequently, the next time you need a burst of strong focus, make sure you have a cup of coffee on hand - it tastes delicious, to begin with.
Written by BrookPad Team based on Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey