How to 'Hyperfocus' with Productivity Expert Chris Bailey


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The internationally bestselling author of The Productivity Project and Hyperfocus, Chris Bailey, took the time to chat with me about tricks for focusing on what matters most, and how writers can cultivate more calm and creativity through uncertain times.

"Tolkien said, 'Not all those who wander are lost.' I would argue that the exact same thing is true for our attention." — Chris Bailey

Fresh out of college Chris took a full year off to study productivity. He posted his experiments to his popular blog, A Life of Productivity, which went on to become the international bestseller, The Productivity Project.

His latest book is Hyperfocus: How to Manage Your Attention in a World of Distraction, "A practical guide to managing your attention--the most powerful resource you have to get stuff done, [and be] more creative."

Chris’s TEDx talk – How to Get Your Brain to Focus – on the subject of Hyperfocus has received over 5.4 million views. David Allen, author of Getting Things Done said of the book, “Hyperfocus ... is an extraordinary, eye-opening and research-based report of what affects [our attention], and how to take advantage of [it] to achieve greater satisfaction in our lives.”

Chris also co-hosts the podcast Becoming Better with Ardyn Nordstrom, a self-described “nerdy economist,” a show that covers topics as diverse as productivity, procrastination, happiness, gratitude, and disconnecting.

Bailey’s work has received national and international media attention from outlets like the New York Times, Lifehacker, Fast Company, New York Magazine, and many others.

Note: This interview was recorded at the beginning of June, 2020.

Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews. In this file Chris Bailey and I discussed:
  • Some of the neurobiology and behavioral psychology that went into his research and writing
  • Why writers should always carry a notebook (even in the shower)
  • How to stop beating yourself up and be less anxious
  • Why calm is so important to the creative process
  • And a lot more!
Show Notes:


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