Can I Have Your Attention? is the handbook for business leaders, overworked and overwhelmed professionals, technology addicts, and anyone who wants to overcome distraction and reclaim focus in their work and personal life.
Email [email protected] to request an interview, excerpt, or review copy.
Curt Steinhorst is on a mission to rescue us from our distracted selves. Having spent years studying the impact of tech on human behavior, Curt founded Focuswise, a consultancy that equips organizations to overcome the distinct challenges of the constantly-connected workplace. He is a leading voice on strategic communication, speaking more than 75 times a year to everyone from global leadership associations and nonprofits to Fortune 100 companies. Curt is the author of the book Can I Have Your Attention? Inspiring Better Work Habits, Focusing Your Team, and Getting Stuff Done in the Constantly Connected Workplace (John Wiley & Sons, October 2017).
Topics I Can Write or Speak About
Distraction: Distractions at Home Invading Work. Reaching a Distracted Customer. Effects of Fake News on Attention. Science of What Captures and Keeps Attention.
Leadership: Leadership in a Hyper-Connected World/Workplace. Productivity. Communication. The Distracted CEO.
Technology: Tech Addiction. Impact of Digital Media on Relationships, Teams, and Organizations. Unplugging.
Headlines You Might Use
“7 Ways to Cut Through Distractions at Work”
“Why Your Employees are Distracted”
“When Unplugging Is Unrealistic: How To Create Balance In A Hyperconnected Workforce”
“How Our Creativity And Critical Thinking Is the One Thing That Protects Us Against Automation and the One Thing We’re Losing”
“The 10 Biggest Ways Organizations Mismanage Their People”
“Why Making Employees “Always Available” Is Costing Leaders More Than It’s Giving Them.”
“How to Stop Drowning in Email”
Featured Articles, Podcasts, & Videos
- Live Inspired Podcast with John O’Leary: Can I Have Your Attention: Hacks to Save Your Attention for Things That Really Matter
- Capterra: 11 Top New Productivity Books Worth Checking Out
- Marriage, Kids, and Money Podcast: Conquering Distraction at Work and Home
- Startup Camp Podcast: How To Overcome Digital Addiction With Curt Steinhorst
- Gigaom: Millennial Optimism About Workplace Technology Ignores a Key Problem—Ourselves
- The American Genius: How distraction nearly destroyed my successful business
- Science of Story: How to Increase Productivity Without So-called Productivity Hacks
- The Weekend Reader: Can I Have Your Attention?
- Leading with Questions with Bob Tiede: The Perfect Storm
- Better Than Yesterday Podcast: Grab Their Attention
- Inc. Magazine: Connecting People to Company Purpose and Values with Micro-Habits
- The Connection Magazine: How to Re-Focus: Leaving in a World Designed to Distract
- GDA Podcast: Interview with Curt Steinhorst: Founder of Focuswise & Distraction Expert
- Faster Than Normal: Past Habits Don’t Define The Future, with Curt Steinhorst
- Counter Mentors: Working While Distracted?
What Others Say About the Book
“A must read for anyone in the business of leading others.”
Ken May, CEO of Top Golf; former CEO of Fedex
“It feels like an impossible dream—to be creative and productive…responsive and efficient…open to others and focused on your own work. In his provocative, pithy, and insatiably readable style, Curt Steinhorst shows how to make this dream a reality. Curt’s book certainly got my attention. I urge you to put his messages to work.”
William C. Taylor, Cofounder, Fast Company Author, Simply Brilliant
“At last – deliverance from distraction in the digital age! Everyone I know (including me) needs this book.”
Geoff Colvin, bestselling author of Humans Are Underrated and Talent Is Overrated
“In our Stanford research we discovered an ‘attention economy’ where companies compete for your mindshare and bet heavily to win your business. Curt Steinhorst has captured profound insights that turn those challenges and confusion into confidence and commitment in world bent on distracting you.”
Mark Thompson, The World’s #1 Growth Coach and NYTimes bestselling author of Admired and Success Built to Last
“Curt is an expert in helping companies reclaim their workplaces from the drudgery of distraction.”
Michael Coors, Co-CEO CoorsTek, Inc.
“In a world full of distractions this book offers practical advice on how to stay focused and productive at work. If you want your team to stay focused you will want to read Can I Have Your Attention?”
Chester Elton, NYT Best-Selling author of All In, The Carrot Principle and What Motivates Me
“Mandatory reading for anyone that wishes that they–or their organization–spent more time focusing on the things that matter.”
Mark Rampolla, Founder of ZICO Coconut Water, Author of High-Hanging Fruit
“When I saw Curt speak I was immediately struck by his ability to think ‘loud-world’ differently and immediately booked him to present to BMLG.”
Scott Borchetta, Founder/President/CEO Big Machine Label Group; American Idol Mentor
“Can I Have Your Attention? is an awesome resource for business leaders who want to inspire others.”
Brian Scudamore, Founder and CEO – O2E Brands
“Curt understands the consequences of distraction and, more importantly, how to capture undivided attention. His insights can help individuals and teams develop intense focus to achieve their full potential.”
John McCain, CEO, NTT Data North America
“If you’re looking for someone who can equip your people to better focus in today’s work environment and do so while keeping them entertained and engaged, look no further than Curt. He makes us think, keeps us laughing, and leaves us knowing how to improve our lives by reclaiming our attention.”
Mike Kaplan, President/CEO Aspen Ski Co.
When people interview me, here are some of the questions they have. Feel free to quote from these.
What first led you to become interested in distraction in the workplace?
Distraction is really the convergence of three core parts of my life: my academic studies in communication, my personal battle with Attention Deficit Disorder, and my professional work as a speaker at the Center for Generational Kinetics.
With that said, the ‘focus’ on distraction started as an entirely personal battle. While I was diagnosed with ADD as a child, I had never experienced serious consequences from it… until I started my first business. I was doing what I loved most in the world: helping people discover, craft, and share their message, but I was floundering. I would look up at the end of the day and realize that I had started 16 emails, 4 projects, spent hours replying to personal messages on google chat and text, but hadn’t finished the work that would actually create a successful business. It was ironic that someone whose entire life’s work, academic study, and passion was on communication was being derailed because of… communication. It was either get a grip on things or move back home with my parents. At that point, I dove head first into the research on attention. Four years and 1000’s of hours later, I was being asked to speak to others on it.
What is the biggest challenge you see business leaders facing today?
They are overwhelmed and ill equipped to deal with the consequences of a workplace without barriers to endless information and communication. Practically, this looks like email glut, an inability to prioritize, increases in conflict, constant feelings of being overwhelmed, and/or the “never fully off, never fully on” approach to work.
Why should business leaders read your book?
It’s not a secret that people are distracted. There are a ton of books that explain the problem. Can I Have Your Attention? is about taking real steps toward solutions.
Leaders need help focusing if they want to thrive. The principles and strategies most leaders use today simply have failed to account for the world altering shifts that have come from a constantly connected workplace. There are a ton of great resources out there that tackle pieces and parts of today’s unique leadership challenges, but this book gives them a framework for focus–an expert system that accounts for all aspects of their work. It also aims to do it while respecting the reality of their limited attention resources.
Can I Have Your Attention? deals with more than just the technological aspects of overcoming distraction in the workplace.
Why is the solution to distraction is bigger than just getting the right communication and product management tools?
We certainly love simple solutions in an attention deprived world. Unfortunately, the nature of what’s driving our inability to focus well at our jobs runs far deeper than choices between slack and email (though those do matter). Our ability to focus is a core part of what it means to thrive as humans in every generation. As leaders, if we want our people to focus, we must be aware of all that impacts our ability to do it.
What should I do about my email?
Stop checking it all the time.
Seriously though, most people who complain about their email volume drive a ton of that same volume in others’ inboxes. There’s a complete protocol we can go through to reduce email volume (ie. move communication to the channels where the work takes place rather than pushing everything back to the catch all inbox), but it starts with a choice by individuals to take control of it rather than letting it control them.
What are your favorite tools for achieving greater focus?
Every day, a new app is designed to ‘solve’ your productivity challenges. Unfortunately, the attention required to adopt these ‘amazing’ tools taxes the one resource you have the least of – attention. For that reason, we limit our suggestions to the very few truly game-changing products.
I love the app Freedom. It turns off my access to the internet when I need to focus.
Evernote is my favorite all-around. It’s the solution to the challenge of information storage. Any helpful idea, factoid, article, or concept I want to remember is saved to it. However, it’s how you use any technology that ultimately determines whether it improves your life.
If you could only tell a business leader one thing that would massively improve the performance of their employees, what what you tell them?
Focus requires community buy-in. It’s great to say you want to focus better, but typically distraction is a function of cultural norms. Those norms are the responsibility of the leader. If you don’t actively set policies that reward focused effort rather than immediate responsiveness, no email hack will solve the problem. If you don’t set expectations for when people can be off of work, then the person who works the most (meaning they are never fully off but never fully working) will do it for you. By sitting down with your team and creating clear expectations, you can move your organization down the right path. I call this a Communication Compact. And it starts with you.
Curt’s Full Bio
Curt Steinhorst is on a mission to rescue us from our distracted selves. Having spent years studying the impact of tech on human behavior, Curt founded Focuswise, a consultancy that equips organizations to overcome the distinct challenges of the constantly-connected workplace. He is also a certified speaker at the Center for Generational Kinetics, the premier organization for generational research in North America.
Diagnosed with ADD as a child, Curt knows intimately the challenges companies face in keeping the attention of today’s distracted workforce and customer. He has coached executives, TV personalities, and well-known professional athletes on how to effectively communicate and create focus when they speak to audiences, lead their employees, and engage their customers.
Curt’s unique insight and entertaining speaking style has captured the attention of audiences worldwide. He speaks more than seventy-five times a year to everyone from leadership associations and global non-profits to Fortune 100 companies.
Curt is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University, where he served a term as president of his class. Curt lives in Frisco, TX with his wife, Kimi, and two sons, Rand and Reed.
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 9, 2017)
- ISBN-10: 111939046X
- ISBN-13: 978-1119390466
- Publisher Page: http://www.wiley.com/buy/111939046X
- Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Can-Have-Your-Attention-Constantly/dp/111939046X