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Hyperfocus cover

Hyperfocus - Notes and Summary

September 09 2022

Hyperfocus - How to Work Less and Achieve More by - Chris Bailey

Chapter 1

  • Pay attention to one and one thing only, if you want to create or achieve something meaningful.
  • Switch off the autopilot, as the most urgent and stimulating things in your environment are rarely the most significant. → Go pursue something worthwhile, not something expedient

Hyperfocus - four types of tasks

Chapter 2

  • If your mind wanders, write down the distractions(for later reference) and move on.
  • Productivity: Doing the right thing in each moment.
  • Dedicated/Focused work(without distractions) + break ⇒ get stuff done.

Chapter 3

  • Try reaching flow every time:
    • You need a task that is neither too hard nor too easy, a distraction-less environment, to stop your mind from wandering. (Just how one focuses when they are speed reading.)
  • Hyperfocus: Thoughts + External Env ———> On One Thing
  • Intention absolutely has to precede attention
  • Hyperfocus: Keep one important, complex object of attention in your awareness as you work
  • Rule of 3: At the start of each day, choose the three things you want to have accomplished by the end of the day.

On days when your schedule is set—such as when you’re attending a conference—you may not be able to determine how you spend your time and attention. You can, however, change how you relate to what you have to get done. For example, instead of making an intention to “attend conference talks,” opt instead to “connect with five new people at the cocktail reception.”

  • See the whole picture: Don’t make decision on just the immediate consequence

For example, let’s say you’re deciding whether to order a funnel cake for dessert. The immediate consequence of the decision is that you enjoy eating the cake. But the second- and third-order consequences are quite a bit steeper. A second-order consequence might be that you’ll feel terrible for the rest of the evening. Third-order consequences might include gaining weight or breaking a new diet regimen.

  • Keep reminding yourself to stay off the autopilot.
  • Goals need Plans; Plans that include when, where, and which kind of action to take.
  • Use timers/stopwatches

Chapter 4

  • Design your env to be distraction-less (at least)
  • If you are inevitably disturbed, don’t fret and enjoy the break. Just command yourself to be back on the work afterward.

Chapter 6

  • Just as hyperfocus is most productive mode of the brain, scatterfocus is the most creative.
  • Types:
    1. Capture mode → wander and capture ideas.
    2. Problem-crunching mode → hold a problem in mind and let it wander.
    3. Habitual mode → capture while engaging in simple tasks(like washing dishes).

Chapter 9

  • Invest in serendipity: Consume challenging things outside the boundaries of your expertise.

Chapter 10

  • Scatterfocus is most potent when you have the least energy. Your brain is less inhibited during these periods and doesn’t hold back the ideas it generates.

Thank you for Reading.