Chris Bailey On Distractions, Overstimulation, And The Power Of Focus
“The state of our attention determines the state of our lives.”
Today we are once again joined by probably one of my favorite guests of all time – I know I'm not supposed to pick favorites – and definitely one of the guests that we've had on this show the most. That is, Chris Bailey.
Chris is a productivity expert, international bestselling author, and blogger extraordinaire. He is the author of The Productivity Project, which has been published in eleven languages, while his second book that just came out, Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction, was published in seven languages at launch.
Chris also writes about productivity at alifeofproductivity.com, and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can become more productive, without hating the process. You've probably seen him in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, The Huffington Post, Harvard Business Review, TED, Fortune, Fast Company, and Lifehacker, among others.
In today's episode, for the first time, Chris and I talked about more than just productivity – we also talked about distraction, mindset, and how to get into the right state of mind so that you can be healthier, happier, and, of course, more productive.
We talked about why he wrote another book on avoiding distraction after Cal Newport wrote Deep Work, which Chris took like a champ. And, as we always do, we joked, we laughed, and we shared our geek out strategies.
This episode is honestly jam-packed full of different strategies that you can use to live a better and more productive life, and, if you take away just one or two of them, I have no doubt that you will be a little bit more SuperHuman.
In this episode, we discuss:
- A funny story from Chris involving his book, a sauna, and our podcast [4:00]
- What has Chris Bailey been up to since the last time we talked? [5:20]
- The power of distractions and why it's important to find ways to tackle them [6:15]
- What is the real problem behind distractions? [9:35]
- What can we do to actually change our overstimulation? [12:00]
- Some amazing tips and apps on how we can remove distractions from our life [12:30]
- We underestimate the power the information we consume has on our minds [14:00]
- The importance of taking control of our phones and awareness [16:30]
- What does Chris Bailey's day look like? [18:55]
- What is the first thing that Chris focuses on every morning? [21:30]
- Should we shower in the morning or in the evening? [21:50]
- Why adaptability is one of the key points of productivity [24:30]
- How did Chris Bailey's new book, Hyperfocus, come to be [25:00]
- The power of letting our mind wander [26:15]
- Why we should be kind on ourselves [28:40]
- What are some of the new productivity hacks Chris has discovered (especially around travel)? [30:00]
- A few more hacks and apps that Chris is using [34:20]
- The power of pen and paper [36:25]
- The importance of taking some time away from the screen in order to think and plan [40:00]
- Where can you find more about Chris and his new book? [42:20]
- Some funny watercooler conversation between Chris and Jonathan [45:00]
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey
- Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction by Chris Bailey
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Cold Turkey
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
- Our second episode with Chris Bailey
- Our first episode with Chris Bailey
- The Rick Rubin episode from The Tim Ferriss Show