Friday, March 9, 2012

Hocus Pocus, You're Focused! (Arthur Laud)

Hocus Pocus, You're Focused!
Arthur Laud
Andrew Kasch Publishing
Nonfiction, Self-Help
***+ (Okay/Good)

DESCRIPTION: Sometimes, it seems modern life is nothing but stress and distractions. Boring jobs, app-loaded phones, half a hundred things to do and no time to do them... is it any wonder so many people just throw up their hands and let it overwhelm them? But procrastinating and daydreaming don't help. In the long run, they only make a bad situation worse. Retrain your brain so that it works for you, not against you, and watch your life improve - today!
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: It's no secret that I'm a procrastinator, not to mention a lifelong daydreamer. I know firsthand how easy it is to distract oneself, and how hard it is, once the brain is used to such distractions, to force it to actually focus and accomplish something. (This pretty much sums up my life to date, to be perfectly honest, but I digress...) Laud offers some explanations for why this habit starts, how to track it to its roots, and methods for heading a wandering mind off at the pass. I'm not entirely sure he always hits the nail on the head, though, and he tends to make it sound much easier than it actually is to alter an ingrained habit. His advice often boils down to "just stop doing that and start doing this," which isn't particularly helpful when one has decades of "doing that" to contend with. (I also know my own mind enough to know that the occasional daydream is a vital component of its functioning, especially when I'm creating; it's just when it skews off in pointless directions and/or drifts in idle circles, as it too often does, that daydreaming crosses the line from being a fount of energy and ideas to a mental quagmire.) I commend Laud for addressing the all-too-common problems of unfocused daydreaming and procrastination, even if I'm not convinced that his methods necessarily constitute a cure.

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