‘Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive’ by Edward M. Hallowell

The book is about organising the life and thoughts…
No.) It’s about fixing yourself and forgetting all that ‘you can do it ALL’, ‘you need to be more PRODUCTIVE’ stuff.

Edward M. Hallowell is the expert on Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). It’s usually a children’s disorder when they can’t focus and are hyperactive. But an adult could have it as well. There’s some description about ADD, but the key point of the book is that this could affect a person depending on the social environment = it has the social cases, when it’s not really disorder and is 100% curable.

The author explains why usual make-a-list and manage-the-time advice don’t work. In his opinion, it’s needed to dig deeper, find the root cause and reduce it. As simple as that. 🙂

6 main root-causes are described in the chapter 1:

  • Electronics addiction (emails, social networks checking, ‘imitation of work’ on computer)
  • Multitasking (‘I can do it all’, ‘I can do it now’)
  • Idea hoping (when your brain produces ideas faster that thoughts about bringing them to life)
  • Playing the hero (when somebody is constantly solving everybody’s problems, forgetting about his-/herself)
  • Dropping the ball (this is something interesting.. for people who tend to super-focus on interesting things and who simply can’t hold the attention on something boring, who’re super-energetic but sometimes could be on terrible depression, who LOVE changes… this is something eye-opening.. 🙂 )

All these chapters have life-story of some person, illustrated with struggles times, the reason for help need, positive-negative sides of characters and advice of what to do. I personally really like positive-negative tables as they’re not just negative and I can see something good without focusing on bad things. It does bring hope. Every cloud has a silver lining, and I believe in mine 🙂

It should be mentioned that every chapter’s advice has the same structure around five life components to be fixed:

  • Energy
  • Emotions
  • Keenness
  • Structure
  • Control.

It helps to focus on that and realise how important these parts are.

The second part has some pieces of sweet and simple advice of how to fix such things like attention, energy, controling the mind, people’s relationships, emotions and structure. It’s so simple, sometimes so obvious but yet so useful!

For instance, there’re paragraphs about food and sleep in ‘energy’ section. Don’t you think I didn’t know I should sleep enough to get more of this life? Weird, but only that book has really fixed my ‘sleepy’ trouble!

By now this is my favourite book about productivity and personal effectiveness. I read enough of these kind of books, but this one, I tell you, is not like others. 🙂 Why I like it that much? 🙂

Firstly, it’s very simple and easy to read, but still not silly. 🙂
It contains enough examples like Ashley had to do something because she felt like something… Usually I go crazy when I see this thick – it looks like author tries to ‘explain’ to a stupid uneducated reader his/her theory by a very simple idiotic  example. And usually it looks primitive, obvious and too far from real life. But not here.)
Mr. Hallowell explains cases and reasons of distraction on examples as well, but in this book it looks like someone REAL story with root causes, consequences and rescue.)

Secondly, it has practical advice.
After every case there’s something to take. And there’re no speeches about writing down every step, doing more, making to-do lists – that’s what I love!) It says – 3 goals for the day, 3 goals for the week.. Maximum. No more. You’re not a robot. You simply can’t do everything.

Another amazing thing is that in one chapter I saw complete picture of..me.
I was shocked how similar is that to me. Is it written from me?? I wonder..

And the last powerful thing to mention is that this book finally persuaded me to regulate my food ration and sleep.
I’ve already said that I’ve read enough of books on this topic, but the point is that only this FINALLY persuaded me to FIX my crazy lifestyle.
I’d never had enough sleep during the week, but then got weekends which just rushed by because I used to sleep the half of the day.. I’m not that silly, I understood that I was doing something wrong as I needed that much coffee to at least pretend I was awake. But not now) My biggest WOW was when I finally started going to bed and waking up every day at the same time (well, +- the same 🙂 ). What’s important is that my sleep takes the same amount of time everyday, not depending whether it’s a working day or a weekend. Weekends last more now! Now I can do plenty of things there. And you can just imagine my surprise when I woke up at 7 a.m. on Friday and felt energetic!
What’s about food – now I eat more salads and vegetables, especially on dinner. It really DOES help not to ‘sleep’ at work after the meal. I bought a juice squeezer
and have a dose of vitamins every day. 🙂

And look, it’s full of bookmarks. It’s always near me – that helps 🙂


No doubt, 5 of 5.

‘Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive’ on Goodreads

‘Driven to Distraction at Work: How to Focus and Be More Productive’ on Amazon


BTW, writing this review is one among week’s goals. Completed! 🙂


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