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Chris Baileyโ€™s book focuses primarily on controlling your attention so that you can get done what you want to get done (i.e. avoiding context switching). This does not cover prioritization techniques, what to do, or how to do it.

The primary focus is on two separate techniques: hyperfocus and scatterfocus.

  • Hyperfocus: focusing outward on one specific task, filling as much of your attentional space as possible without exceeding it
  • Scatterfocus: focusing inward on many things to connect ideas together



Scatterfocus is when your brain is its most creative. Scatterfocus1:

  1. Lets you set intentions and plan for the future
  2. Lets you recharge
  3. Fosters creativity

This is different than letting your mind wander. Scatterfocus is intentional2 and uses your default mode network.

Bailey differentiates between three styles of scatterfocus, noted below.

Capture Modeโ€‹

The goal of Capture Mode is to record anything that is floating around in your mind. Allocate 15 minutes with no distractions. With pen and paper, write down anything you feel is โ€œvaluable and actionableโ€3. By capturing these things, they can be actioned during a Hyperfocus session and help reduce distractions during those sessions.

Problem Crunching Modeโ€‹

Designed for brainstorming solutions to a problem. Think about one problem and think about it from multiple angles. Capture any notable ideas you have.

This seems like it would go well with a 10x10 Design Process.

Habitual Modeโ€‹

Habitual mode is when you do something you enjoy that doesnโ€™t occupy a lot of your attentional space. This could be something like going for a walk in a quiet area or bouncing a ball.

The habit should be something you enjoy so you want to do it, but not so enjoyable that it occupies all of your attentional space. Creative thoughts need to be captured. โ€œA creative thought is useless if it goes unnoticed.โ€4


  1. p.134 โ†ฉ

  2. p.142 โ†ฉ

  3. p.144 โ†ฉ

  4. p.148 โ†ฉ