1 hr 20 min

Why We Can't Focus Important, Not Important

    • Science

We are all being pulled in so many different directions.
The clock is ticking and we have a climate and virus and society and economy to fix and we’re distracted, all of the time.
Not just by all of these immense, complicated, systemic issues, not just by an explosion of candidates to donate to, and GoFundMe’s to donate to, but also by the just infinite plethora of opportunities for engagement, if only for a moment.
It’s getting harder for us to read long-form writing, to focus on one thing without instinctively reaching for another at the same time.
And here’s the broader implication:
If we can’t pay attention to what’s going on with our planet, with our communities, with the heat, and viruses, and opportunities to electrify everything, to train and hire more nurses, to educate more people, to elect folks that matter in districts and elections that matter, then we’re going to have a very hard time fixing any of it.
But we are less in control than we’ve ever been – maybe there’s free will, maybe not – we’ve evolved in this way, to constantly be scanning, like anxiety has a purpose to keep us alive, but it’s overworked and overclocked and spread too thin.
And so is our attention.
My guest today is Johann Hari.
Johann is the author of three New York Times best-selling books. His TED talks have been viewed more than 80 million times. The first is named ‘Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong.’ The second is entitled ‘This Could Be Why You Are Depressed or Anxious’.
Johann is the author of the new book “Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention, and How to Think Deeply Again”
His work here and this conversation can go a long way towards helping you be more effective, not only at home and in your job, but at giving a shit, understanding why you give a shit, and how to most effectively put that mission to use.
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Have feedback or questions? http://www.twitter.com/importantnotimp (Tweet us), or send a message to questions@importantnotimportant.com
New here? Get started with our fan favorite episodes at http://podcast.importantnotimportant.com/ (podcast.importantnotimportant.com).
-----------
INI Book Club:
https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-anatomy-of-a-moment/9781408822104 (The Anatomy of a Moment )by Javier Cercas
https://bookshop.org/a/8952/9781635574388 (The Apology) by Eve Ensler
Find all of our guest recommendations at the INI Book Club: https://bookshop.org/lists/important-not-important-book-club (https://bookshop.org/lists/important-not-important-book-club)

Links:
Read Johann's book, "https://stolenfocusbook.com/ (Stolen Focus)"
Follow Johann on https://twitter.com/johannhari101?lang=en (Twitter)
Discover more of Johann's https://johannhari.com/ (work)

Follow us:
Subscribe to our newsletter at http://newsletter.importantnotimportant.com/ (newsletter.importantnotimportant.com)
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ImportantNotImp (twitter.com/ImportantNotImp)
Follow Quinn: http://twitter.com/quinnemmett (twitter.com/quinnemmett)
Edited by https://anthonyluciani.com (Anthony Luciani)
Produced by https://www.linkedin.com/in/willow-beck-074070122/ (Willow Beck)
Intro/outro by Tim Blane: http://timblane.com/ (timblane.com)
Artwork by https://amritpaldesign.com/ (Amrit Pal)

We are all being pulled in so many different directions.
The clock is ticking and we have a climate and virus and society and economy to fix and we’re distracted, all of the time.
Not just by all of these immense, complicated, systemic issues, not just by an explosion of candidates to donate to, and GoFundMe’s to donate to, but also by the just infinite plethora of opportunities for engagement, if only for a moment.
It’s getting harder for us to read long-form writing, to focus on one thing without instinctively reaching for another at the same time.
And here’s the broader implication:
If we can’t pay attention to what’s going on with our planet, with our communities, with the heat, and viruses, and opportunities to electrify everything, to train and hire more nurses, to educate more people, to elect folks that matter in districts and elections that matter, then we’re going to have a very hard time fixing any of it.
But we are less in control than we’ve ever been – maybe there’s free will, maybe not – we’ve evolved in this way, to constantly be scanning, like anxiety has a purpose to keep us alive, but it’s overworked and overclocked and spread too thin.
And so is our attention.
My guest today is Johann Hari.
Johann is the author of three New York Times best-selling books. His TED talks have been viewed more than 80 million times. The first is named ‘Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong.’ The second is entitled ‘This Could Be Why You Are Depressed or Anxious’.
Johann is the author of the new book “Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention, and How to Think Deeply Again”
His work here and this conversation can go a long way towards helping you be more effective, not only at home and in your job, but at giving a shit, understanding why you give a shit, and how to most effectively put that mission to use.
-----------
Have feedback or questions? http://www.twitter.com/importantnotimp (Tweet us), or send a message to questions@importantnotimportant.com
New here? Get started with our fan favorite episodes at http://podcast.importantnotimportant.com/ (podcast.importantnotimportant.com).
-----------
INI Book Club:
https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-anatomy-of-a-moment/9781408822104 (The Anatomy of a Moment )by Javier Cercas
https://bookshop.org/a/8952/9781635574388 (The Apology) by Eve Ensler
Find all of our guest recommendations at the INI Book Club: https://bookshop.org/lists/important-not-important-book-club (https://bookshop.org/lists/important-not-important-book-club)

Links:
Read Johann's book, "https://stolenfocusbook.com/ (Stolen Focus)"
Follow Johann on https://twitter.com/johannhari101?lang=en (Twitter)
Discover more of Johann's https://johannhari.com/ (work)

Follow us:
Subscribe to our newsletter at http://newsletter.importantnotimportant.com/ (newsletter.importantnotimportant.com)
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ImportantNotImp (twitter.com/ImportantNotImp)
Follow Quinn: http://twitter.com/quinnemmett (twitter.com/quinnemmett)
Edited by https://anthonyluciani.com (Anthony Luciani)
Produced by https://www.linkedin.com/in/willow-beck-074070122/ (Willow Beck)
Intro/outro by Tim Blane: http://timblane.com/ (timblane.com)
Artwork by https://amritpaldesign.com/ (Amrit Pal)

1 hr 20 min