When Chris Bailey realized that his life was a series of screens — jumping from his phone to his tablet, his smart watch to his computer — he decided it was time to make a change.
He started with the most invasive of his devices, his phone, and limited its use to 30 minutes a day. It took one painful week to adjust, but afterwards, he noticed that his attention span had improved, he had more ideas, and he had created more plans for the future. This set Chris on a course to experiment with every productivity tactic under the sun for the past decade.
Now, he’s a productivity expert, and bestselling author of two books, who’s been called “the most productive man you’d ever hope to meet” by TED Talks, “productivity mastermind” by Fast Company, and “a quirky and energetic guide through the productivity thicket” by the Harvard Business Review.
Chris recently spoke at a TEDx Manchester event sharing some of his best discoveries on how to get our brains to focus. Today, on average, people focus for about 40 seconds before they switch to something else — jumping from their computer to their phone, from an email to a text. The root cause isn’t just that we are surrounded by distractions, but because our brains are overstimulated. This overstimulation causes our brain to seek more distractions and reward us with dopamine when we find them, continuing the vicious cycle.
In his talk, he walks us through tips to help overcome this overstimulation, and challenges us to take a two-week tech break to rediscover our attention spans and reconnect with what’s truly important in our lives.
The state of our attention is what determines the state of our lives. If we’re distracted in each moment, those moments of distraction and overstimulation build up and accumulate to create a life that feels more distracted and overwhelming, like we don’t have a clear direction. But when we become less stimulated, we become more calm. We get the benefits of added productivity and focus, ideas and creativity, but we also live a better life because of it.
Watch his TEDx talk in the link below to learn more.
Chris Bailey is the international bestselling author of Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction, and The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy.
He provides audiences with practical, tactical advice for becoming more productive, transforming how audiences think about distraction, high performance, and more in the workplace and beyond.
Interested in learning more about Chris and what he can bring to your next event? Email us at [email protected].