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Do Smartphones Make Us Dumber?

A reader recently pointed me toward an intriguing article published in 2017 in the Journal for the Association of Consumer Research. It was titled, “Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity.” The authors of the paper report the results of a straightforward experiment. Subjects are invited into a laboratory...

Eric Posner Thinks It’s a “Serious Mistake” for Law Professors to Use Twitter

Eric Posner is arguably one of the most influential and prolific law professors in the country at the moment. Which is why I paid attention when around the 39 minute mark of a recent interview, Posner was asked his thoughts on law professors using Twitter. “I’ve thought about this a lot because it now seems like every law professor wants to have this...

Michael Connelly Starts Writing Before the Sun Comes Up

One of the notable realities of my life, given the topics I write about, is the regularity with which people send me various articles about the work habits of the novelist Michael Connelly. Here’s a representative sample from an interview published in The Daily Beast:  “I get up to write while it’s still dark, 5 or 5:30. I start by editing and rewriting...

Life of Focus: Now Open

  The first session Life of Focus, the online course I created with Scott Young, is now open. The registration period will last until Friday, September 4th (midnight Pacific Time). Click here to join. As I elaborated last week, this course is designed to help you transform both your professional and personal lives so that you focus more on things...

Focus Week: Take Control of Your Time

In the first lesson of our Focus Week series, I suggested that you unplug to give your brain and emotions a breather in our current moment of constant, agitating distraction. In the second lesson, I suggested that you implement a daily deep reading habit to retrain your neural networks to sustain and find satisfaction in unbroken concentration. In this...

Focus Week: Rediscover Depth

When I was a young graduate student at MIT, I was impressed by Alan Lightman, a one-time physicist, who turned toward essay and novel writing and ended up accepting a humanities professorship and starting the school’s science journalism program. What initially caught my attention about Lightman was the following line, which to this day remains defiantly...

Focus Week: Give Your Brain Some Breathing Room

I opened my book Digital Minimalism with an excerpt from an Andrew Sullivan essay, published in New York magazine in 2016. “An endless bombardment of news and gossip and images has rendered us manic information addicts,” Sullivan warned. “It broke me. It might break you, too.” I noted that Sullivan’s experience as a burnt out professional blogger was...

Returning to a Life of Focus

Last fall, Scott Young and his team flew down to Washington D.C., to join me in a Capitol Hill film studio to begin production on the long-awaited sequel to our popular Top Performer online course. Whereas that previous course helped people take action on the career advice from my book So Good They Can’t Ignore You, this new course was motivated by...

Ray Bradbury Got It Exactly Right

Ray Bradbury’s short story, The Murderer, first published in his 1953 collection, The Golden Apples of the Sun, begins with a psychiatrist arriving at a mental hospital. He’s there to see a prisoner named Albert Brock, who calls himself: “The Murderer.” When the psychiatrist enters the interview chamber, he frowns. “Something was wrong with the room.”...

George R. R. Martin’s Pandemic Writing Retreat

As discussed in a blog post published earlier this week, Game of Thrones scribe George R. R. Martin is trying to take advantage of the pandemic to help finish The Winds of Winter,  the long awaited (and long overdue) next title in his epic fantasy series. Years earlier, Martin bought the building across the street from his Santa Fe home to provide...

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