The War for Your Attention
I spent almost an hour a day between 2016 and 2018 reading the news about him. Like many, I found his ability to control a news cycle mesmerizing. I should have known better.
Having worked as an Irish journalist, I know the primary concern of 24-hour news is to capture our attention.
I don't even have time to spend hundreds of hours a year reading about Donald Trump. I've three small kids, a career as a copywriter within the B2B industry and a side business.
I'm the guy who tells aspiring authors to write a little every day. And yet I found myself on The Washington Post website day after day reading about Trump.
I've prepared for important meetings only to check my phone beneath the desk when they start.
I've spent money and dozens of hours taking courses in social media marketing and still felt behind.
I've bought book after book and complained about not having enough time to read. And yet my weekly screen time report says I've spent hours on news websites and social media. I've found no peace at the bottom of an empty inbox because more work is inevitable.
I've put in 60- and 70-hour workweeks and tried to switch off at the end of the day by clicking on yet another notification.
Why do I, like many, always feel behind, overwhelmed and overworked?
I've tried to focus and found myself wanting.
Work Is Tough
The tools we use every day are becoming increasingly powerful, but many of them are broken. Instead of enabling us to accomplish more, they're chaining us to our desks, the office or devices.
We are fighting in a war for our peace of mind, and many of us are losing.
It doesn't help that entrepreneurs celebrate grinding out one 12-hour day after the next.
Rise and grind.
What's more, old methods of working are failing. Endless meetings and back-to-back phone calls challenge even effective executives and entrepreneurs.
Today, the modern worker is drowning in a river of instant messaging, email and overflowing inboxes. Many complain of a sickening feeling that they're falling behind the competition.
You can't keep on top of it all.
Instead, you need a new way of approaching work that protects from the daily assault on your attention.
Success in the marketplace belongs to the entrepreneur or executive who masters the art of focus.
Success belongs to you.
Who Is This Book For?
Modern work is tough, but many entrepreneurs and executives have figured it out. They're building profitable businesses or careers and still finding time for living. They have mastered the art of focus.
I wrote This Is Work for entrepreneurs and executives who want to succeed at work or in their businesses and find time for everything else life offers.
It features entrepreneurs and executives who are turning their ambitions into reality.
Top executives. Professional gamers. The New York Times best-selling authors. Six- and seven-figure freelancers.
Those unafraid of ambition sometimes wonder if they should work before dawn or long into the night. They possess the endurance and long-term thinking of a marathon runner.
What should you learn today to succeed in the marketplace tomorrow? And how can you push harder while avoiding working on the wrong things?
That's what we'll cover in the first part of this book. We’ll also determine how to learn the right skills for building a profitable business or succeeding at work.
Once you're established within your industry, you'll discover that business is a game, and it's one you can play to win.
Instead of grinding out 80-hour weeks, you need a system that sets you up to win … and finish on time.
Even then, do you have what it takes to say no to an exciting, yet distracting business opportunity? And what types of work should you complete versus delegating to a team member or freelancer?
These are tough but worthwhile questions for today's executives and entrepreneurs.
In the second part of this book, you'll learn how to start work faster and finish work on time consistently.
You'll also discover the power of deep focus so you can achieve far more within a normal workday.
Of course, working isn't sustainable for 24 hours a day. Knowing when to take a break, recharge or even get away for a holiday is a valuable skill too.
Once you earn a promotion or your business hits a revenue goal for the year, congratulate yourself.
When the party ends, consider how you can manage your new team so everyone succeeds. And should you bet more on what's working in your business or invest in a new opportunity?
It's human nature to want more, but success sometimes comes with new problems.
The final part of this book contains advanced strategies for capitalizing on success, much like a top trader.
You'll learn how to manage others on your team, or if you're a business of one, freelancers.
No matter what you do, self-reflection is the cornerstone of growth. Reviewing what worked and didn't work in your business will help you advance faster.
Finally, you'll understand when to quit your job and how to double down on your best professional bets.
Yes, you're fighting in a war for attention, but it's one you can win.