Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention--And How to Think Deeply Again

Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention--And How to Think Deeply Again

By Johann Hari

"Our ability to pay attention is collapsing. From the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections comes a groundbreaking examination of why this is happening and how to get our attention back."--


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Book Information

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Publish Date: 01/25/2022
Pages: 368
ISBN-13: 9780593138519
ISBN-10: 0593138511
Language: English

What We're Saying

March 09, 2023

A Q&A with Johann Hari,
Author of Stolen Focus

By Johann Hari, Rebecca Schwartz

Johann Hari, the author of the 2022 Porchlight Business Book of the Year, recently responded to some questions from our Owner and CEO, Rebecca Schwartz. Here is their conversation. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 27, 2023

Porchight's 2022 Business Book of the Year is now out in paperback, and we have 20 copies to give away! READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 12, 2023

In one insightful instance after another, Johann Hari demonstrates the ways in which our attention is deliberately hijacked, and how to get it back. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 29, 2022

The 2022 Personal Development & Human Behavior book of the year is Stolen Focus by Johann Hari, published by Crown. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 15, 2022

There isn’t anywhere better to slow down, to dive deeper into things, to learn about and reflect upon the world, than in a book. The best books transcend their time and space, even as they help us define our present moment and put it in context. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 08, 2022

We are creatures that need guidance, love, compassion, and (we believe in) books that bring us back to considering and working on ourselves, which is what this category is all about. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 17, 2022

“This terrific collection of books balances the innovative with the iterative, and champions doing the right things the right way to make our work and our future tangibly better, no matter the industry or the endeavor.” READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Our ability to pay attention is collapsing. From the author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections comes a groundbreaking examination of why this is happening--and how to get our attention back. "The book the world needs in order to win the war on distraction."--Adam Grant, author of Think Again "Read this book to save your mind."--Susan Cain, author of Quiet WINNER OF THE PORCHLIGHT BUSINESS BOOK AWARD - ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Post, Mashable, Mindful In the United States, teenagers can focus on one task for only sixty-five seconds at a time, and office workers average only three minutes. Like so many of us, Johann Hari was finding that constantly switching from device to device and tab to tab was a diminishing and depressing way to live. He tried all sorts of self-help solutions--even abandoning his phone for three months--but nothing seemed to work. So Hari went on an epic journey across the world to interview the leading experts on human attention--and he discovered that everything we think we know about this crisis is wrong. We think our inability to focus is a personal failure to exert enough willpower over our devices. The truth is even more disturbing: our focus has been stolen by powerful external forces that have left us uniquely vulnerable to corporations determined to raid our attention for profit. Hari found that there are twelve deep causes of this crisis, from the decline of mind-wandering to rising pollution, all of which have robbed some of our attention. In Stolen Focus, he introduces readers to Silicon Valley dissidents who learned to hack human attention, and veterinarians who diagnose dogs with ADHD. He explores a favela in Rio de Janeiro where everyone lost their attention in a particularly surreal way, and an office in New Zealand that discovered a remarkable technique to restore workers' productivity. Crucially, Hari learned how we can reclaim our focus--as individuals, and as a society--if we are determined to fight for it. Stolen Focus will transform the debate about attention and finally show us how to get it back.

About the Author

Johann Hari is a writer and journalist. He has written for The New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, and other newspapers. His TED Talks have been viewed over 70 million times, and his work has been praised by a broad range of people, from Oprah Winfrey to Noam Chomsky to Joe Rogan.

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