The Science of Rescuing Your Attention Span | Gloria Mark

The Science of Rescuing Your Attention Span | Gloria Mark

By Ten Percent Happier

Our ability to focus is not lost, it’s just changing. Here’s what we can adapt.

Here’s a horrifying fact: the average attention span has now declined to just 47 seconds on any particular screen. 47 seconds! How did this happen? How can we get anything done this way?

Today we’re going to meet the scientist who’s done this research, find out what’s driving this, and what we can do about it. And the good news is we really can do things about this.

We're experiencing a fundamental shift in how we think, work, and focus. It shows up in our blizzard of notifications, zoom fatigue, task switching, and burn out. 

Dr. Gloria Mark is the Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. She has been a visiting senior researcher at Microsoft Research since 2012. She’s written a book called Attention Span: A Groundbreaking Way to Restore Balance, Happiness and Productivity

In this episode we talked about:

Four myths about attention and technologyThe problem with frequent task-switchingThe surprising (to me) value of rote or mindless activitiesHow to recognize when we are most distracted How to design your day based on your attentional resourcesHow practicing forethought can help boost our attention and focus And Her thoughts on digital detoxes 

This episode is part of the latest installment of an occasional series we do, called Sanely Ambitious. If you missed last week's episodes, go check them out. We talked about the science of optimal performance, and also the science of failure, meaning how to fail well. Coming up on Wednesday we’re gonna talk about what the research says about when to quit, not just your job, but any endeavor. We will put links in the show notes.

Related Episodes:

The Science of Optimal Performance—at Work and Beyond | Daniel Goleman

The Science of Failing Well | Amy Edmondson

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