Hyperfocus Summary 2023 - Deepstash

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Hyperfocus Summary

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Hyperfocus by Chris Bailey
Why Focus Matters

Why Focus Matters

Studies show we can work for an average of just forty seconds in front of a computer before we’re either distracted or interrupted. (Needless to say, we do our best work when we attend to a task for a lot longer than forty seconds.)

We all are distracted by something else all the time. Being busy and being productive are two different things. The first thing lacks focus, which makes the work productive.   


Switching Off The Autopilot Mode

Switching Off The Autopilot Mode

As many as 40 % of our actions are habits, which shouldn’t require conscious deliberation. That is autopilot mode. We can't manage our attention in autopilot mode.

To swith off autopilot mode -

  • Just keep a plan what to do, when to do, and how much time will take to do.
  • Catagorise all of your tasks in the above 4 types.

A perfectly productive person would focus on only the top two quadrants of the above chart. More time on purpose full work, less time on necessary work.


William James

Without selective interest, the experience is utter chaos.



Dense important ideas of the book Hyperfocus.

Take Real Rest

Take Real Rest

When you are tired from doing work, don't pick up your phone to scroll mindlessly. Instead take Real Rest like walking, or a few pushups, or just looking out of the window. This will replenish your energy and will feel refreshing instead of tiring the brain even more.



Practice isn't something you do when you are good at something, it's something you do to become good.





Happiness has been proven to increase productivity and efficiency in doing any kind of work, as it gives a sense of purpose and exitement. So try to stay happy to improve productivity.


1. Embracing the Benefits of Scatterfocus

  • While hyperfocus is vital, Bailey also emphasizes the importance of its counterpart, scatterfocus.
  • This state of mind allows our brains to wander, fostering creativity, making connections, and generating innovative ideas.


2. Optimising Our Environment for Focus

  • Bailey emphasizes the significance of creating an environment conducive to deep work and concentration.
  • By eliminating distractions, organizing our physical and digital spaces, and establishing rituals that signal our brain to enter a focused state, we can set ourselves up for success. 


3. Practice Time-Boxing for Hyperfocus

  • Utilize time-boxing techniques to work in hyperfocus for shorter, concentrated periods, typically no longer than 90 minutes.
  • Set a timer and fully immerse yourself in the task at hand. After the time period elapses, take short breaks to recharge and maintain your productivity throughout the day.


Important Concepts From The Book

Important Concepts From The Book

  • Attention Matters.
  • Your attention is the most precious commodity in the world.
  • Practice low stimulation.
  • Doing nothing is not a waste of time.


Why Focus Matters??

Why Focus Matters??

In any given moment, we are always focusing on something.

Get the phone out of your immediate vicinity for most of the day. This is a theme that I think will crop up more and more in this book, and something I’m become more convicted about.

One of the best ways to foster creativity and additional productivity is learning to unfocus – to step back and gain some space, uninterrupted by something vying for your attention.

Pay attention to nothing and let the mind wander.

Studies show we go an average of 40 seconds when working on a computer before becoming distracted or interrupted


Highlight from 'Hyperfocus' book by me.

How To Get Better Focus

1. Put your phone out of sight

Start questioning why you should open your phone everytime you wanted to. Do you really need to do something with it or you just get boring and try to avoid that?

2. Mind your environtment

3. Make a distraction list

Distraction can come not only externally, but internally (brain or mind).

4. Question whether it is worth

We consume a lot of things out of habit, without questioning their worth.

5. Consume caffeine before

Use caffeine boost wisely to work on an important task.

6. Grab a pen

7. Do something mindless when noticing your focus fading.

Washing dishes, take a walk.


Because of an unfortunate truth: our brain is wired for survival and reproduction, not for knowledge work 🤦‍♂️

Destructive multitasking... ?

Simplifying what we focus on in the moment may feel counterintuitive: when we have so much to get done, our natural impulse is to focus on as much as possible. 

Compounding this is the fact that the brain’s prefrontal cortex—the large part of the forebrain that lets us plan, think logically, and get work done—has a built-in “novelty bias.” Whenever we switch between tasks, it rewards us with dopamine—that amazing pleasure chemical that rushes through our brain whenever we devour a medium-sized pizza, accomplish something awesome, or have a drink or two after work. 


When we think we're productive but we're not at all

You may have noticed that you instinctively reach for your tablet when you sit down to watch TV, that you can’t resist keeping your email open in another window as you work, or that you feel more stimulated when your phone is by your side. Continually seeking novel stimuli makes us feel more productive—after all, we’re doing more in each moment. But again, just because we’re busier doesn’t mean we’re getting more accomplished.


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