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Find Your Focus Zone: An Effective New Plan to Defeat Distraction and Overload Paperback – April 2, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"Coaching people to optimize their brain's functioning is a new and much-needed field in our overloaded world. Civilization and our cyber world have clearly outstripped our brain's ability to deal with all that information, so we need all the help we can get. Lucy Jo gives practical tools to help all of us deal with the constant overloaded state in which we find ourselves immersed." -- John Ratey, MD, author of "A User's Guide to the Brain" and co-author of "Driven to Distraction"

About the Author

Lucy Jo Palladino, PhD, is the author of Dreamers, Discoverers, and Dynamos: How to Help the Child Who Is Bright, Bored, and Having Problems in School (formerly titled The Edison Trait). She is an award-winning psychologist and attention expert with thirty years of professional experience. Dr. Palladino, who lectures nationwide, has received several federal research grants, published numerous articles in professional journals, and presented papers at national conferences. She has also taken advanced training in sports psychology and served on the clinical faculty of the University of Arizona Medical School. Her research findings have been featured in Family Circle, Men's Health, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Web MD. In recent years, she has appeared as the resident psychologist for the The Morning Show on KFMB-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Diego, California. You can learn more about her work at

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (April 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416532013
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416532019
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #341,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and raised in NYC, Lucy Jo Palladino attended Fordham University. After teaching for several years, she went west to complete her PhD at Arizona State University. She conducted research and served as a clinical faculty member at the University of Arizona Medical School before heading further west to Southern California.

A practicing psychologist for over thirty-five years, Dr. Palladino studies the impact of digital media on attention and the brain, especially in children. She sees parents as pioneers who need to make decisions about their children's digital habits but have little or nothing to go on.

Her newest book, PARENTING IN THE AGE OF ATTENTION SNATCHERS, gives parents evidence-based guidance to help them face the unknown with accurate information.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Kristen Laine on August 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When a friend put this book in my hands a few months ago, I wondered if he was trying to tell me something, and if I should be offended. Find Your Focus Zone: Hadn't I read enough time-management books or self-improvement books already? Now I've read the book -- and passed on a few copies myself -- and I'm signing on here to say that THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL SELF-HELP BOOK.

For one thing, it's really helpful. Really, really helpful. Palladino has a novelist's gift for succinct and memorable character descriptions, which means that her description of the too hyperfast, hyperfocused guy reminded me of someone (several someones) I knew, as did her sketch of the woman who is scattered and spacey, the folks who are overstimulated, understimulated, afraid of failure. I started turning down pages to share with people but stopped partway through. I could tell that nearly everyone I know could benefit from Palladino's clear analysis of what makes us less effective in every part of our lives.

That leads me to another part of Find Your Focus Zone that surprised me: how much I found that Palladino's advice could help me in my family life. Her portraits of parent-child interactions hit home with even more force than did her sketches of workers. Because of her book, I've changed the way I think about my daughter's foot-dragging over homework and music practice. Also how my husband and I work with her and our son on chores, how we think about our family meals, our vacations, our dreams for them. Little stuff and big stuff.

If you wonder about the effect of the new connectivity toys and tools on children, read this book. If you wish work didn't intrude on your family life but find it hard to leave it at the office, read this book.
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By M. Gill on July 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I like this book. Tips and strategies for staying engaged with boring tasks, as well as practical methods for dealing with anxiety, pressure to perform, and fear of failure. It teaches the art of finding and maintaining a state of productive focus. It provides tools to call yourself to attention so you can visit that wonderful place where "all systems are go" and you are humming along. You don't have to be a scientist to appreciate the clear explanation of the upside down U that graphs the relationship between attention and stimulation. Even the Brain Chemical Attention Chart, showing the relationship of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine to attention, is clear and understandable. The book is easy to read, user friendly, and contains lots of practical advice. I had no problem staying in my "focus zone" as I read.
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103 of 112 people found the following review helpful By e-Patient Dave on February 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've spent about 15 years reading books and articles about this subject, and this is the first time I've actually experienced an immediate and tangible shift in focus. That's pretty close to miraculous, especially since I've even been an editor or contributor to some books on the subject.

See, I have a very very busy mind. I'm a marketing director for a Boston high-tech company (fast-moving group in a rapidly changing environment with constantly large amounts to learn), I sing in a championship men's chorus which requires a substantial commitment, I'm in an a capella quartet (ditto), I'm Class Notes secretary for my college class, and just for fun last year I discovered a very advanced life-threatening cancer, learned an enormous amount fast (as if my life depended on it) and completely beat it, while being stuck with two houses because we'd moved at the start of the housing slump. Now that the house and cancer are resolved, I'm a team leader in a year-long self-development course, I've become an active blogger, and I've published my year-long cancer journal and I'm becoming active in the "e-patient" movement to promote a new kind of doctor-patient relationship for the internet-enabled, whose principles played a big role in my cancer success last year.

I mean, I love my life, but with a life like that, who has time to stop and "go to school" about focusing?

I'll never forget the first time management course I took, decades ago. It said you just make a list and mark everything A,B,C for priority and then do the most important stuff. I wanted to reach out and SLAP the author, saying "You idiot, if I could do THAT, I wouldn't need this course!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Naughton VINE VOICE on January 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"What are you not doing right now?"

Find Your Focus Zone will help you get back on track and answer that critical question. Now more than ever, social media, e.g., YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, your PDA, iPhone or your Crackberry is vying for your attention. Do these applications and devices deserve it, or are you negating your work at hand? As a culture we are all experiencing information and cognitive overload-- like that Bing Search Overload commercial on TV, but author Lucy Jo Palladino offers many solutions and/or "keychains" as she labels them to keep us on task and in our Focus Zone. Through the proper balance of stimulation and learning to regulate this balance you will begin to "flow" once again and regain your focus. Attention is power and all creative endeavors require it. Learn the techniques of mindful multitasking, thought substitution, mental rehearsal like professional athletes and finish the task or reach that goal. Learn to block out distraction once and for all.
I'll leave you with this one study conducted by the University of California, Irvine: it was reported that employees spent an average of eleven minutes working on a project before they were interrupted and had to shift to another task. It then took them an average of twenty-five minutes to get back to their original task... could this be you?
Do yourself a favor and buy this book... deadbolt for office door sold separately.
Highly recommend!
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