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

Links GoodReads
RatingRating 3

Boring and lengthy book. The content can be easily five times shorter. Advise like “Bad focus - drink coffee, bad creativity - have a little booze.” The opposite of hyperfocus is presented as scatterfocus (the brainstorming mode).

Quotes (4)

Distractions Notebook

Whenever I have to focus, I adopt the two tactics mentioned above — and I also bring a pen and a notepad with me. In the notepad I write every distraction that makes its way into my mind—things I need to follow up on, tasks I can’t forget, new ideas, and so on.

Maintaining a distractions list as you read will capture the important things that float to the surface of your consciousness. Writing them down to make sure they don’t slip through the cracks will let you refocus on the task at hand.

Page 20

Right Thing in Each Moment

If our plan today is to write three thousand words, rock a presentation with our leadership team, and catch up on our email, and we successfully accomplish all of those, we were perfectly productive. Likewise, if we intend to have a relaxing day and manage to do absolutely nothing, we’re again perfectly productive. Being busy doesn’t make us productive. It doesn’t matter how busy we are if that busyness doesn’t lead us to accomplish anything of importance. Productivity is not about cramming more into our days but about doing the right thing in each moment.

Page 51

Being Bored

Answer this question honestly: When was the last time you were bored?

Really think about it. Can you remember?

Chances are it was a long time ago, maybe before welcoming devices into your life.

Never in human history have we divided our attention among so many things. In the moment this can feel like a benefit — we always have something to do—but the disadvantage is that distracting devices have basically eliminated boredom from our lives.

Page 132

List of Boring Activities

During a monthlong experiment I intentionally made myself bored for an hour a day. In that period I shut off all distractions and spent my time and attention on an excruciatingly boring task, based on the thirty weirdest ideas suggested by my website readers:

  1. Reading the iTunes terms and conditions
  2. Staringattheceiling
  3. Watching C-SPAN 3
  4. Waiting on hold with Air Canada’s baggage claim department
  5. Watching C-SPAN 2
  6. Watching my turtle, Edward, swim back and forth in her tank
  7. Staringataslowlyrotatingfanblade
  8. Painting a tiny canvas with one color
  9. Watchingpaintdry
  10. Looking out my office window
  11. Removing and counting the seeds on a strawberry with a pair of tweezers 12.Watching grass grow
  12. Staring out a train window
  13. Watching an online chess tournament
  14. Watching one cloud in the sky
  15. Waiting at the hospital
  16. Watching a dripping faucet
  17. Ironing every piece of clothing I own
  18. Counting the 0s in the first 10,000 digits of pi
  19. Watching my girlfriend read
  20. Making dots on a sheet of paper
  21. Eating alone in a restaurant, without a book or phone
  22. Reading Wikipedia articles about rope
  23. Watching a clock
  24. Watching every file transfer from my computer to an external hard drive (and back)
  25. Peeling exactly five potatoes
  26. Watching a pot boil
  27. Attending a church service in Latin
  28. Watching C-SPAN
  29. Moving small rocks from one place to another, repeatedly
Page 133

  1. Deep Work (2016) by Cal Newport Has notes 6 4