Hyperfocus – Even today many steel automobiles and FMCG companies have to struggle much to become a billion-dollar businesses.
But the platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram become a billion-dollar business in a few years.
Do you know what is the reason behind this?
The reason behind this is our attention economy.
At the beginning of history, people used to earn by farming. Means that was an agricultural economy. Then comes the industrial economy and now we are living in an attention economy.
After saying this also, many of you won’t believe it.
So let me show you a little experiment that we are living in the attention economy.
Now either you are standing, sitting on the sofa, or laying on the bed. Notice your body posture and get comfortable and take a long breath slowly.
Huu.., Do you move, have you taken a breath? If yes then, why you have done this?
You are just looking at the screen and reading this article. Even though I wrote this article recently but I have forced you to do something.
Because your attention is on this article right now. Do not get me wrong.
This experiment was only to tell you that your attention is more valuable than your money.
Today’s ads, movies, T.Vs, songs, companies, and even the government, everyone needs your attention.
Do you know what is the reason?
The reason is Whenever some things gain your attention and hold it then it can also influence and manipulate your behavior.
- Businesses can get you to buy their products.
- Politicians can take your vote.
- Religious Gurus can make you a part of their community.
This means your attention can be used positively and negatively.
Whether you believe it or not but attention is the fundamental currency of today’s economy.
Today it is very difficult to focus on one thing for a little time.
Research tells that if a website takes more than 3-4 seconds then more than 20% of people close that website.
40% of people don’t go to that restaurant where they have to wait for some time to eat food.
Amazon knows from a study that If their website takes little more seconds to open then they can get a loss of 1.6 billion dollars every year.
I am giving this example because I want to show you that nowadays we have started living life by being so distracted.
And the same had happened with Canadian author and productivity consultant Chris Bailey.
Chris says that his life had become a series of screens.
This means he used to live in front of a screen from morning to evening.
After wakeup mobile screen, in the office computer screen, for seeing the time smartwatch screen, during travel from home to the office, billboards screen.
And don’t know how many screens were distracting his attention.
But Chris Bailey wanted to change himself. That’s why he travels worldwide for many years. He did much research on focus and attention.
He meet with scientists and experts and wrote the book Hyperfocus. Here is summary of the book.
What is Hyperfocus? Why it is important in business?
#1 Your attention is the most precious commodity in this world
According to a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia “Timothy Wilson”.
The human brain received an 11million bits of information from its environment every second.
But in actuality, it processes only 40 bits of information every second.
It means our brain has limited attentional space.
Attentional space means our mental capacity to process that thing by focusing on it. Chris Bailey also gives the analogy that attention space is like the RAM of the human brain.
Like the more RAM in your smartphone, it can handle big applications easily.
Similarly, the more will be attentional space in your brain, you will be able to complete your task with more focus.
Your aim should be to increase your attentional space.
You can increase your attention space by 58% by taking very good sleep.
The author says that if you sleep 1 hour less, then you are losing 2 hours productivity of the next day.
The more task you will fill in your attentional space, the more you will be distracted.
So when talking about your productivity. You will give attention to the fewer things, and you will become more productive.
#2 Practice Low Stimulation
People think that our minds are distracted. But according to research, our minds are not distracted, it is overstimulated.
We are excited to see –
- Instagram reels
- WhatsApp status of others
- Facebook posts of others
- Likes count that you have got on our photos
- Followers that you have gained on your social media
This means that our brain always needs new information and new experience.
And the author tells this mechanism of the brain as novelty bias.
Like our body needs food to function well and what we eat daily makes our body fit.
Similarly, we consume content for our minds.
If you see then many years ago, people used to read novels for their entertainment that took many weeks to complete, and people had to focus on one novel for a long time.
That’s why people’s attention span and focus ability were very good.
But studies tell that people’s attention span is decreasing every year.
and which is true.
Because people started watching T.V and movies by which they only need 3 hours to release dopamine.
But today extra funny, extra stimulating fun to watch content like memes, reels, and short videos have made people’s minds hollow.
Because of this type of content your brain gets a dopamine dose every second and your brain stimulates every few seconds and whenever you do your important work then you become bored.
Because your mind achieved the habit to stimulate every few seconds that’s why its searches for the distraction every second.
That’s why You have also observed that whenever you are doing some important work you remember other less important work also. Because your minds want to stimulate every second.
So it tries to distract you by reminding your pending work.
As per the study, one teenager spends an average of 10 seconds on one Instagram post and by doing a single swipe, thousands of new things get ready to stimulate your brain. By this habit, people’s minds are overstimulated and an overstimulated brain gets distracted easily.
Chris Bailey says that you can work with a highly focused mind when your mind is low-stimulated means you can bore yourself.
The author has done many different works to bore himself. One day he has gone through the Terms and Conditions of the Home loan for one hour. I think no one reads that now.
One day he counts the zeros of the first 10000 digits of pie and one day he counts the number of grains in 250 grams of rice.
He continues to work on this type of boring work for one month.
After this author noticed that his attention span increased.
Now he was able to focus on anything without giving more pressure on his mind.
This was not because there was less distraction around him.
This was because now his mind is low-stimulated.
And the best method to keep yourself low-stimulated is to set the standard for your media consumption.
Like before opening any audio, video, or link first think that if this information is required for me or if I’m watching in the flow of my emotion.
The author says that stop living in autopilot mode and learn to tolerate boredom.
- Workout without listening to songs and podcasts.
- Sometimes spend your day without reading a newspaper.
- Stop seeing videos on YouTube.
After doing this observe that are you able to tolerate that level of boredom? If yes, then no distraction can harm you.
#3 Doing nothing is not a waste of time
The author says that the way hyperfocus is the productive mode of our brain. In the same way, the mode in which our mind is creative is called Scatterfocus mode.
See, this is the fact that, maximum great ideas and plan that comes to people’s minds, that does not come during thinking. It comes when they are doing some other work.
For example, Newton’s got the idea of gravitational force when he was resting under a tree. And some more great ideas come to great people when they were bathing, cleaning the pot, or sitting in the bathroom.
So Scatterfocus mode also tells that do the mindless activity once a day.
Like, going for a walk, cleaning your room, cooking your favorite dish, or observing the people by sitting.
With this thing your minds get free and it connects the dots of things learned in past.
This is the reason that sometimes you get the solution to your problems suddenly. Which is also called Eureka Insight.
The author says that take a disconnection ritual every evening.
The favorite daily ritual of the author is that he does not use the internet from 8 pm to 8 am in the morning.
He and his wife have also a weekly disconnection ritual.
They both are disconnected totally from the digital world every Sunday.
By which they can spend time with nature and family.
You may have seen that some people are busy on their mobile the whole day.
Which Chris didn’t like at all. So whenever he goes to dinner with someone then he uses the phone swap technique.
This means, he gives his mobile to another and takes another’s mobile himself.
By which both people give importance to each other without distracting with mobile.
The author says that your attention makes your life.
If our mind is distracted every second and is overstimulated, then we will create a very distracted life.
But when we learned to get bored, then we will become less stimulated.
Then not only do we get things like productivity, focus, and ideas but also live a better life due to this.
Finally, let’s summarize the entire story. The quality of your attention determines the quality of your life.
So gives attention to that thing which is valuable for you.
Learn to tolerate your boredom. Chris Bailey thinks that bore yourself a little bit by leaving technology behind. You don’t need to bore yourself for 1 hour. Only for a few minutes but bore yourself a little.
Do the activity by which you get a lower level of stimulation.
Like, count the switch of your room by laying on your bed and bore yourself because in this state your brain will be low stimulated. and a low stimulated brain increases your mental toughness.
Note – This article is a summary of the book – Hyperfocus: How to Work Less to Achieve More by Chris Bailey he is a productivity expert and best-selling author.