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Book Review: Focus: Use the Power of Targeted Thinking to Get More Done, by Jurgen Wolff

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In Focus: Use The Power Of Targeted Thinking To Get More Done, Jurgen Wolff offers solutions to the various difficulties that people have in achieving their goals. He walks us through the process – identifying your goals in work, life, career and health – and suggests ways of addressing common barriers, such as procrastination, multiple project deadlines, and work-life balance.

Jurgen Wolff is a writer, lecturer and consultant. With Focus, he walks people through identifying their dreams or goals, breaking them down into manageable tasks, and dealing with the various issues that arise from pursuing those dreams; from why and how we procrastinate, how to cope with time-consuming tasks that offer little reward, to how to network in a way that works for us.
Focus begins with a discussion of the 80/20 rule. 20% of your time or efforts are said to have 80% value, ie. they make the most difference to our lives with real, positive outcomes – whilst in any given day, 80% of our time is spent on things that sap our energy and time and don’t offer much in the way of reward. We can change this, suggests Jurgen, by focusing on the 20%, rather than the 80%.
He then looks at how we can define our goals and dreams, and how to break these down into manageable and achievable tasks – focussing specifically on those people who find it difficult to do just that, namely right-brain people who may have a more unplanned approach to everyday tasks.
Jurgen offers creative solutions – such as thinking of the journey towards reaching your goal as a ‘hero’s journey’ – and advocates creating different ‘personae’ in order to adapt to difficult tasks, such as Miss Moneypenny (rational, efficient, conservative), or Big Kid (playful, adventurous, open-minded).
The book also suggests ways of dealing with information overload, procrastination, and managing several project deadlines at once. In the case of information overload, there are strategies such as changing your environment, ‘zooming’ in on useful information and working out how connected you really need to be to focus on your goals.
Focus is useful and practical. Following the exercises in the book will help you to identify your goals and give you the tools for managing issues that may arise from pursuing your dreams.

By Lizzie Ward, deafauntie’s resident book reviewer
For more reviews and other writings by Lizzie, visit her website here.

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