Too often, we blame technology for our inability to focus; still, the issue is far greater than staring at our phones. It starts with pre-commitments we make to ourselves; and in ‘Stolen Focus’, Johann Hari does a masterful job of decoding the 12 causes of distractions and shares a framework to transcend them.
Why Regaining Your Focus Will Give You Back Your Life
I’ve always been a staunch supporter of the good that technological advancements bring to the world. Not only do I believe that our lives continue to improve as a result; more importantly, I see a future where bridges will be built to narrow the gap that currently separates the privileged from the rest of the world. Still, I am not naive to ignore the counterargument of its widespread abuse and the downright harm that it has caused humanity.
If you’ve followed the brilliant work of British journalist, Johann Hari, you’ve undoubtedly made a correlation between his message on addiction, depression, and now attention, to the importance of human connection. Certainly for me, the first two take precedent and are much more dire; still, I recognize in my own life, the impact that distractions have on my ability to think clearly and deeply.
Hari’s latest book – Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention – and How to Think Deeply Again – was timely for me and helped crystallize my own barriers while designing a path forward that improves both the quality of my thinking and the pace of my execution. I hope you appreciate the depth of this conversation as much as I did – here are a few of the questions that we explored:
- The real purpose behind Johann’s deep body of work
- The correlation between addiction, depression, focus, and human connection
- The most important truth about mental wellbeing
- How pre-commitments heighten awareness, and why it’s a prelude to greater focus
- How stress elevates distractions and what to do about it?
- In what ways does your nutrition and environment impact your ability to think clearly and deeply?
- The upside of mind wandering
- Web site | Johann Hari dot com
- Ted Talk | ‘Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong’
- Ted Talk | ‘This Could Be Why You Are Depressed or Anxious’
- Amazon | Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention
- Amazon | Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs
- Amazon | Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression – and The Unexpected Solutions
- Twitter | @johannhari101