Focus Essay

29271 Words Nov 5th, 2013 118 Pages
Free Version

A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction
Leo Babauta

focus: about about focus


his book, “focus”, is by Leo Babauta, creator of zen habits and mnmlist. It was written publicly, online, in small bursts, with feedback from

readers throughout the writing process. It would be much worse without their wonderful help.

The book is dedicated to my grandfather, Joe Murphy, who lived a life that inspired me, and whose death has left a gap in my life ... and to my grandmother, Marianne Murphy, who I love deeply and whose strength and kindness have always pointed the way for me.

All content of this book are in the public domain. I hereby waive all claim of copyright in this
…show more content…
You can get the full version at


focus: table of contents section i. step back
1: introduction 2: the age of distraction 3: the importance of finding focus 4: the beauty of disconnection 5: focus rituals

7 9 15 19 26

section ii. clear distractions
1: limiting the stream 2: you don’t need to respond 3: let go of the need to stay updated 4: how not to live in your inbox 5: the value of distraction 6: why letting go can be difficult 7: tools for beating distraction

31 37 39 42 44 46 50

section iii. simplify
1: creating an uncluttered environment 2: slowing down 3: going with the flow 4: effortless action 5: three strategies for prioritizing tasks 6: letting go of goals 7: finding simplicity

55 62 68 72 76 78 81


section iv. focus
1: a simple system for getting amazing things done 2: single-tasking and productivity 3: the power of a smaller work focus 4: focused reading and research 5: walking, disconnection & focus

87 91 96 99 102

section v. others
1: finding focus, for parents 2: the problem of others 3: managers transforming office culture

107 112 118


section i. step back


1: introduction
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh


his won’t be a long book, a detailed treatise into modern life with an exhaustive system of remedies.

It’s meant to be short, simple, concise. We’ll talk about some of the problems we face as

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