Many leading productivity analysts insist that the next generation of leaders, with its lifestyle of multi-tasking and juggling multiple projects at once, need to refocus on focus. Here are several books on just that topic.
“Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive” by Edward M. Hallowell
Bestselling author Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., the world’s leading expert on ADD and ADHD, has set his sights on a new goal: helping people feel more in control and productive at work.
You know the feeling: you can’t focus; you feel increasingly overwhelmed by a mix of nonstop demands and technology that seems to be moving at the speed of light; and you’re frustrated just trying to get everything done well – and on time. Not only is this taking a toll on performance, it’s impacting your sense of well-being outside the office. It’s time to reclaim control.
Hallowell now identifies the underlying reasons why people lose their ability to focus at work. He explains why commonly offered solutions like “learn to manage your time better” or “make a to-do list” don’t work because they ignore the deeper issues that are the true causes of mental distraction. Based on his years of helping clients develop constructive ways to deal with distraction, Dr. Hallowell provides a set of practical and reliable techniques to show how to sustain a productive mental state.
In Part 1 of the book, he identifies the six most common ways people lose the ability to focus at work – what he calls “screen sucking” (internet/social media addiction), multitasking, idea hopping (never finishing what you start), worrying, playing the hero, and dropping the ball – and he explains the underlying psychological and emotional dynamics driving each behavior.
Part 2 of the book provides advice for “training” your attention overall, so that you are less susceptible to surrendering it, in any situation. The result is a book that will empower you to combat each one of these common syndromes – and clear a path for you to achieve your highest personal and professional goals.
“Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence” by Daniel Goleman
In this book, psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long-overdue discussion of this little-noticed and underrated mental asset that matters enormously for how we navigate life.
Attention works much like a muscle: use it poorly and it can wither; work it well and it grows. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to contend with, let alone thrive in, a complex world. Goleman analyzes attention research as a threesome: inner, other, and outer focus. He shows why high-performers need all three kinds of focus, as demonstrated by rich case studies from fields as diverse as competitive sports, education, the arts and business. Those who excel rely on what Goleman calls smart practice that helps them improve habits, add new skills and sustain excellence.
Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, the book reveals what distinguishes experts from amateurs and stars from average performers.