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Living and leading when nobody can focus

Defend the modern mind from daily distractions, useless information and mindless chatter

Our lives have become filled with noise. Our days are spent constantly consuming information, most of which distracts and slows us down. Our minds have become divided and weakened by spending too much time with addictive technology – weapons of mass distraction – that diminishes our ability to focus.

NOISE is a book that puts people back in control. It’s an old-school approach to a new-world problem, both pragmatic and straightforward. It’s designed to help you, your friends, family and colleagues deal with a serious issue to help tune out the non-stop static and dial into what really matters.

Rather than mindlessly and habitually check for another text, swipe to answer another alert or give into the distracting demands of digital devices, you can filter the noise and quiet the clamor.

How can you focus when there is so much noise?

At work, our world is flooded with constant information and non-stop distractions.
At home, we’re juggling more of the same. Our attention is being hijacked by noise.

How can NOISE work for you?

“Noise: Living and leading when nobody can focus” Provides an old-school approach to a new-world problem. Not only do we need to tackle these sober challenges, but also embrace a systematic “AM/FM” and “pre-set” program that the book outlines as a first-step to regaining and improving our attention.

  • Recognize how easily your mind is overwhelmed by information and electronic devices
  • Learn powerful life lessons that showcase the risks we face professionally and personally
  • Understand how to strengthen your mind’s power to filter out constant distractions
  • Improve the ways people around you can focus when they’re mindlessly distracted
  • Access a practical action plan that you can use to defend yourself every day

Joe McCormack

The author of NOISE and the founder of The Brief Lab Joe, is on a mission to help organizations master lean communication. In an age of shrinking attention spans, non-stop interruptions, and floods of information, the messages business and military leaders send out are getting lost in a sea of words.

He speaks at diverse industry and client forums on the topics of brevity, storytelling, change and leadership. A passionate leader, he founded The BRIEF Lab in 2013 after years dedicated to developing and delivering a unique curriculum on executive communications for U.S. Army Special Operations Command (Ft. Bragg, NC). He actively counsels military leaders and senior executives on effective, efficient communication and produces a weekly podcast series called “Just Saying”.


In the media

3 Reasons Why People Tune You Out—And What to Do to Be Heard

Our instinct is to keep talking when you feel that others are tuning out, but it creates a cycle that increases your risk of not being heard. When you’re brief and purposeful, you make it easy for someone to pay attention and listen. If you’re frustrated that your message isn’t getting through, Joe McCormack identifies concrete solutions three common mistakes that people often make when communicating. Read the full article

The New Year's noise diet: Why you should cut the empty ‘brain calories’ in 2020

If you’re like most of us, you overindulged a bit too much in 2019. No, not on calories (well, maybe those too!), but on “noise.” That’s the name for the dizzying onslaught of information from work emails, app notifications, the 24/7 news cycle, social media updates, and other forms of screen time that leaves us unable to focus, listen, or do deep work. Here’s the new approach you should take in 2020. Read the full article

15 “Magical Moments” You’ll Be Glad You Didn’t Miss When You Ban the Phone from Your Holiday Gathering

Picture it: your living room, December 2019. The tree is all aglow, the eggnog poured (and spiked), the whole family gathered ’round—and you’re only half-present. Your mind keeps wandering to what might be waiting for you just a click or a scroll away. Here are some magical moments you might miss if you don’t focus and remain present in the moment. Read the full article

Breaking Free from the constant, disrupting digital noise

At work, e-mails ding constantly, disrupting our train of thought and with it our productivity. All day long, phones ring, buzz, vibrate. At night we can’t sit down to dinner without fielding a text message from the boss or checking our social media pages. Such are the unintended consequences of the Digital Revolution. So how can you break out of the noise cycle? Read the full article

12 Small Changes to Make in 2020 to Break Your Technology Addiction

Digital disruptions, random distractions, and 24/7 connectivity are killing our ability to focus—and that hurts our quality of life. Joe McCormack offers some simple, doable changes you can make in the upcoming year to reclaim your most valuable asset: your time and attention. Read the full article

Parenting Pointers: Breaking Your Technology Addiction in 2020 - 12 Small Changes to Make

Searching for a New Year’s resolution that will make a huge difference in your life? Joe McCormack urges you to look past the usual contenders—lose weight, join the gym, save money—and start noticing a bad habit (actually, a whole suite of them) that hurts most of us more than we realize. We’ve stopped discerning what we let into our sphere of attention, and it’s taking a toll on our relationships, our careers, and our quality of life. Read the full article

Holiday Happiness Tips with Joe McCormack

Technology has changed our lives in many ways, but when holiday celebrations are spent with guests on their phones or tablets, it takes away much of the magic of the moment. This podcast explores how to keep the holidays happier by preventing technology from intruding on our quality time. Listen here

Sunday Morning Easy with Joe McCormack

We are increasingly tuning into technology and tuning out of each other. Noise is robbing us of true connections and in-the-moment experiences. Listen here

The Schilling Show with Joe McCormack

Think about the difference between 100 years ago and today. What did noise look like then vs. now? Listen here


Published by: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.