65: Hyperfocused with Chris Bailey



Ok, this bit was so good I had to pause the podcast to write it down:

“Be effective with the things that are most important. Be efficient with everything else.”


Great show, and I didn’t mind all the meditation talk. I was very regular with my Zazen practice about 4 years ago and have let my habits wane, and this show made me miss that “zeroed-in” focusing feeling I used to have when I practiced meditation frequently.


I’ve been doing TM for about 18 months. In year one I religiously got in 20 min every AM. I never miss it but sometimes curtail my time so I can exercise more. Days like today I think I should just get up a few minutes earlier to maximize time for both


Yeah. I’ve never really felt I had the right forum to discuss it on a podcast but I kind of unloaded with Chris.

Strangely, in next week’s MPU episode (on health and fitness apps and tracking), I stray into again, but much condensed.


One app that’s new but has some pretty good reviews is Waking Up (created by Sam Harris who’s book by the same name is excellent). You’ll also find productivity “gurus” like Tim Ferriss have cited meditation as one of the most common recommendations by high performers from the people he’s interviewed for his podcast.


Useful note for anyone concerned about the religious implications of meditation, in particular the interface between the practice and your own religious affiliations; meditation - much like prayer and worship - is a practice independently used across most religions, and can be included within the context of your own faith (or no faith). While not commonly talked about, meditation has a long history of practice in a Christian context, you can look at the history of the desert mothers and fathers.


I loved the idea of knitting to enhance the scatter focus/attention. My problem with fiber arts (knitting, spinning and weaving) for focus is that I cannot always easily stop to collect those thoughts for future reference/evaluation/processing. I use fiber work more like meditation to empty my mind instead. Or, in the case of spinning, use it to keep my hands busy when watching movies.

My scatter focus or mind sweep stuff is usually done in the car when I am a passenger. We have to travel once a month to buy dog food, a 75 mile trip each way. In the 3 hours we spend on the road I collect thoughts, think of things I wnat toinvestigate, sometimes solve problems etc. I really enjoy that time to just think while my husband drives.


Loved the quick note Chris hade on writing down your accomplishments. I did it for 2018 and it gave me a sense of pride of the things I’ve done that are pretty good, and also a better picture of what I want to get done in 2019. It was very effective to me.

Thanks for the episode, great interview!


I have a LibreOffice text file that I keep a running timeline list of things done. I update each month with only the highlights. It started out as a way to document what years I lived where so I could more accurately place misc unknown pictures and get them documented but has morphed into a great way to track important things that I’ve done or that have happened.