How You Can Regain Your Attention and Focus Permanently | An Interview With Johann Hari

Zach Rhoads By: Zach Rhoads
Reviewed By: Dr Stanton Peele

Posted on February 3rd, 2022 - Last updated: October 5th, 2023
This content was written in accordance with our Editorial Guidelines.

NYT Best-Selling Author Johann Hari, In his new book, “Stolen Focus”, explains why and how our ability to pay attention is diminishing; he explains why that matters; and he offers potential solutions to those of us who wish to improve our focus and live better lives.

Johann Hari is a British journalist who has written for The Guardian, New York Times, The Independent, Le Monde, and many others. His Ted Talks have been viewed by tens of millions. He has written two international best-selling books (one of which has been adapted into a Hollywood film), and he has spoken to audiences around the globe.

Today, Hari joins Sundays With Stories to discuss the themes from his most recent book, “Stolen Focus” and discuss the solutions to one of our most daunting cultural issues to date.

Order Stolen Focus:… Visit the Stolen Focus web site:


0:00 Dumb Banter

2:30 Who (or what) is stealing focus from whom?

5:07 Taking on the forces that have stolen our attention

6:33 Precommitment

9:00 Multi-tasking is harming creativity 15:52: How do we prioritize our attention?

20:03 Individual solutions and cultural solutions

22:20 Mind wandering and flow states

27:40 Reinforcement on social media

33:25 Humans are not one-dimensional

35:29 Tristan Harris / Reasons for optimism?

46:00 Can we persuade Facebook and Instagram to be ethical?

48:30 Why do we hyper-focus on doom and gloom?

54:50 Overprotecting our children

1:03:11 Anxiety versus mastery and motivation

1:06:10 ADHD OVER-diagnosis in kids

1:07:21 Schools ask kids to focus on meaningless work

1:09:31 Zone of proximal development

1:11:08 How can we get out attention back?

1:15:30 We have to understand the problem before we can solve it

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