Did you know that getting enough rest and down time can significantly impact our ability to pay attention? This can be where the “less is more” approach is applicable.  

I am currently reading a book on this topic “Stolen Focus” by Johann Hari, and as well as being relevant to my own behaviours with work/life balance, I see this as being extremely relevant to our students, whom in conversations with some, I am aware stay up quite late. 

As humans we are sleeping less than our previous generations, and with the combination of our technology usage including social media, it’s having a big impact on our attention spans. 

Here are some tips on how to get a better night’s sleep: https://theresilienceproject.com.au/at-home/wellbeing-hub/how-to-get-a-better-nights-sleep/  

If this subject is of interest to you, please find some information on Johann’s book below as well as the link to his TED talk on this topic.  

“All over the world, our ability to pay attention is collapsing. In the US, college students now focus on one task for only 65 seconds, and office workers on average manage only three minutes. New York Times best-selling author Johann Hari went on an epic journey across the world to meet the leading scientists and experts investigating why this is happening to us – and discovered that everything we think we know on this subject is wrong. 

We think our inability to focus is a personal failing – a flaw in each one of us. It is not. This has been done to us – by powerful external forces. Our focus has been stolen. Johann discovered there are twelve deep cases of this crisis, all of which have robbed some of our attention. He shows how he learned this in a thrilling journey that takes him from Silicon Valley dissidents who figured out how to hack human attention, to veterinarians who diagnose dogs with ADHD; from a Favela in Rio where everyone lost their attention in a particularly surreal way, to an office in New Zealand that discovered a remarkable technique to restore their workers’ attention. 

Crucially, he learned how – as individuals, and as a society – we can get our focus back, if we are determined to fight for it. The answers will surprise and thrill you. This is a book about our attention crisis unlike any you’ve read before.” (Taken from https://stolenfocusbook.com/) 

Johann Hari | Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t PAY ATTENTION – And How to Think Deeply Again 


Mrs Emily Sass 

Deputy Principal: Learning & Teaching