We all want to be more productive. And when we buckle down to do so, we typically try to figure out ways to better manage our time. My guest today, though, argues that focusing on managing your time is only part of the productivity picture. You also need to learn how to better manage your attention.
His name is Chris Bailey, and his latest book is Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction. Today on the show, Chris shares research-backed advice on how to improve your powers of concentration, and why doing so is more important than ever. We delve into why you need to be intentional about directing your attention, why multitasking actually causes you to be less productive, and the surprisingly long time it takes to get refocused when you get distracted. Chris then shares tactics you can start using today to become more focused. We then shift gears and discuss the importance of having periods of time when you’re NOT focused, especially when planning for the future. Chris shares how you can organize your day to get the benefits of being both focused and unfocused.
- The difference between productivity and focus
- The science of attention; what’s going on in our brain?
- The truth about multitasking
- How our ability to maintain attention wanes as we use it less
- Why the quality of your attention matters
- The 4 steps to actually getting focused
- The Rule of 3 and setting intentions
- Distractions and validation
- Taming distractions
- How long can we actually stay focused at one time?
- Are there downsides to being super focused all the time?
- What is scatter focus? Why is it important to let your mind wander?
- The effect of alcohol and caffeine on our attention
- Is there an idea schedule or hyper-focus routine?
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- My first episode with Chris about The Productivity Project
- My interview with Cal Newport about deep work
- How to Beat Distraction and Stay Focused
- 11 Exercises to Strengthen Your Attention
- Get More Done With the Rule of 3
- My interview with Caroline Webb about making every day a good day
- How to Finally Beat Procrastination
- Break Your Smartphone Habit
- How to Quit Mindlessly Surfing the Internet and Start Getting Things Done
- The Pomodoro Technique
- Why Boredom is Good for You
- How to Pull an All-Nighter
- Nap Like Dali: The Benefits of the Micro-Nap
Connect With Chris
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