439: Why You Can’t Pay Attention - And How to Think Deeply Again | Johann Hari


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What is it about modern life that is completely disrupting our ability to focus, and how much of it is our fault?

Turns out, not a lot. A number of factors from technology to our sleep habits, and even air pollution, play a role in what causes us to have about the same attention regulation skills as a kitten. In this first episode of our two-part series on focus, guest Johann Hari breaks down why our ability to pay attention is collapsing, and what we can do about it.

Johann Hari is the author of Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention – and How to Think Deeply Again. His first book, Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs was adapted into the Oscar nominated film The United States Vs Billie Holiday as well as a documentary series.

Johann is also the author of Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions which was featured in a previous episode. His TED Talks have been viewed more than 80 million times.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Johann’s notion that there are twelve factors draining our focus
  • His argument for the importance of both collective and individual action to reclaim our attention
  • What he learned from a self-imposed three-month internet-free experiment
  • How this impacts our children, and what we might do about it

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/johann-hari-439

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