Extreme Focus — Book Review

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Who doesn’t need a little more focus in their life, right??! I actually could use a LOT more focus. For years, I’ve often wondered if I might have a mild case of ADD. Every report card I ever had said, “Holly is a good student, but she is easily distracted.” Hmmm….. I picked Dominic Mann’s EXTREME FOCUS on Kindle Unlimited because I thought there was definitely room for improvement in focus department.

Synopsis of the book:

Overall, this book is chock full of quotes and examples of famous successful people from scientists to inventors, to athletes and businessmen. Mann breaks the book down into 11 bite-size sections (and then adding on a few more with the reprise of the book). He uses real-life examples and scientific studies to show the benefits of using laser focus to complete the tasks at hand and do them better and more efficiently in the long run.

He suggests these 11 Keys to extreme focus:

  1. Focusing on the 20% work that yields your business the highest results and not the 80% that doesn’t really do much at all to propel you forward.
  2. Breaking your day up into smaller blocks and taking quick breaks often helps your brain stay alert and focused at the task at hand.
  3. Be a Uni-tasker, not a multi-tasker.
  4. Be proactive with your day, not reactive. Work toward a defined goal versus reacting to whatever is thrown your way.
  5. Switch up your routine to get the most out of your day.
  6. Highly successful people have certain traits/routines that others do not. Mann lists 6 things that you can add to your life to increase your your focus and be more successful. (diet, exercise, routine, limiting distractions, etc)
  7. Be Obsessed. The ultra successful are obsessed with their goals/projects. Hard to stay focused if you are not enthusiastic/passionate about what you’re doing.
  8. Focus on mastering and dominating when you’re not thrilled to be working on a specific task. The perfecting the process becomes more important then the outcome/end result of the completing the task.
  9. Our diet can be a huge factor in our physical ability to focus our brains.
  10. Flow or “being in the zone”. Mann provides 7 factors to focus on for each activity you do. If you follow these each time, extreme focus becomes easy.
  11. Record your productivity. Hold yourself accountable. If you give yourself a goal, if you complete against yourself to be better, you will have more drive to get there and more focus than if you don’t track anything. Mann uses the example of a runner who is competing to try to beat their personal best record versus a runner who is jogging with no particular goal in mind.
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A note about this book:

There seems to be two versions of this book by Mann. The title shown in the image here is also available in paperback. About 6 months after it was published, Mann released a newer online-only version called Laser Focus. The Kindle version of Extreme Focus appears to be somewhat updated to the newer version. Laser Focus seems to have similar information just organized into a slightly different format. Both are available on Kindle Unlimited.

My Takeaways:

I believe the first 11 points of Mann’s book are the best and clearly the ones he “focused” the most on (LOL! Sorry, I couldn’t help myself there.) He goes on to have quick sections on 6 other topics related to focus. But I felt these were hurried and feel very much like afterthoughts. I’m assuming these are the ones he “added on” after completing the later editon of the Laser Focus book.

The other sections tacked on are:

  • Practicing minimalism.
  • Developing habits
  • Outsourcing Work (aka the 80% that doesn’t amplify your business)
  • Solitude
  • Smart Drugs–I’m not sure how I feel about this one, other than yes, I drink lots of coffee in the morning. He also talks about Nootropic drugs. And that’s where he went a little over the top for me.
  • Life Hacks for Productivity

Overall, this is a quick book and has some really valuable bits of information in it. Totally worth the read if you like to understand the background of WHY we should utilize things like the Pomodoro Technique or how a high-carb, low-fat diet can affect our brains and ability to focus. I loved the scientific explanations and studies he references. Mann builds an excellent case for why his suggestions for extreme focus should help you. I wouldn’t say any of it is earth-shattering news for anyone who has learned about productivity tips in the past. But I love how he has laid out the 11 Keys and gets right down to actionable ways to zero in on your focus. Definitely worth a look-see if you’re  in-between book club books or have an hour or two to spare on a plane ride.

For a list of all the resources Mann discusses in his book, be sure to check out the Extreme Focus ‘cheat sheet’ in my Book Summary Library!

Go to Book Summary PDF

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