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Your attention is being hijacked. Chris Bailey can help.

The Ezra Klein Show

September 4, 2018

68 minutes

Life is the sum focus of what you pay attention to. You hear that a lot. But look at the verb there: “pay” attention to. As if attention is something we consciously spend out. As if it’s something we control. But do we?

Not these days. There’s a war on for our attention, and we’re often losing it. Chris Bailey’s Hyperfocus looks, from the outside, like a book about productivity. But it’s really one of the best books I’ve read about attention: what it is, how much it can hold, how we lose track of it, and how to get it back.

This is a conversation about paying attention to your attention, making sure you’re controlling it rather than accidentally letting it — and all the multibillion-dollar companies working to hijack it — control you. This is one of those conversations that, if you can apply it, will actually make your life a bit better, a bit more your own.

Recommended books:

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

How Not to Die by Michael Greger