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Johann Hari on How To Reclaim Your Attention

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  January 12, 2022

CAUTION: Contains swearing and themes of an adult nature.

Why have we lost our ability to focus? What are the causes? And, most importantly, how do we get it back?

Today’s guest and author of the brilliant new book, Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention, went on a three-year journey to uncover the reasons why our teenagers now focus on one task for only 65 seconds, and why office workers on average manage only three minutes. Johann Hari interviewed more than 200 leading experts in the world on attention, and learned that everything we think about this subject is wrong. 

We think our inability to focus is a personal failing – a flaw in each one of us. It is not. Johann argues that this has been done to all of us by powerful external forces. Our focus has been stolen. He discovered there are twelve causes of our modern-day attention crisis, all of which have robbed some of our attention. In this conversation, Johann explains some of those key causes and importantly he shares the steps that we need to take, both individually but also collectively as a society, to get our attention back.

This is such an important topic. Our ability to focus and pay attention plays a crucial role in every aspect of our life: reaching our goals, maintaining close relationships, thinking deeply, as well as our ability to be kind, compassionate and empathetic. Our ability to pay attention is at the very heart of living a happy and meaningful life.

This is a thoroughly engaging conversation and Johann has a unique gift for storytelling. I think you will really enjoy listening.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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'We have a global attention crisis.' Click To Tweet

Find out about Johann:

Website    Facebook   Instagram    Twitter

Stolen Focus additional resources

Johann’s books:

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention

Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope

Chasing the Scream: The Search for the Truth About Addiction

Related Feel Better Live More podcast episodes:

#218 How To Train Your Attention and Improve Your Life with Dr Amishi Jha

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP