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Pay attention to this stolen focus book review that will make you think deeply in just one minute.

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention, And How To Think Deeply Again – by Johann Hari

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Having trouble concentrating for long periods? It’s not just a matter of getting older…

Johann Hari outlines twelve key ways in which our attention has not merely “wandered”, so much as it has been outright stolen.

By whom? For what purpose? Obvious culprits include social media and outrage-stoking news outlets, but the problem, as Hari illustrates, goes much deeper than that.

He talks about how we cannot truly multi-task, and can only switch beween tasks, at a cost. And yet, the modern world is not at all friendly to single-tasking!

Writer’s note: as I write this, I have active two screens, containing four windows, one of which has three tabs open. I am not multitasking; all those things pertain to the work I am doing right now. If I closed them between use, it’d only cost me more time and attention opening and closing them all the time. And yet, my working conditions are considered practically “hyperfocused” in this century!

  • We learn about how the working world has changed, and the rise of physical and mental exhaustion that has come with it.
  • We learn about the collapse of sustained reading, that started well before the modern Internet.
  • We learn about factors such as dietary shifts that sap our energy too.

…and more. Twelve key things, remember.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are things we can do to fight back. Some are personal changes; others are societal changes to push for.

The last part of the book is given over to, essentially, a manifesto (and how-to guide) for reclaiming our attention and thinking deeply again.

Bottom line: if you struggle with maintaining attention; this is a book for you. You might want to put your phone in a drawer while you read it, though 😉

Click here to check out Stolen Focus, and reclaim yours!

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