Better Life Lab Podcast

Why We’re All Addicted to Busyness (and How to Change)

The first thing you should look at: how your environment is designed.



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Email inboxes and push notifications were designed to keep us busy. But really, when we break it all down and we think about busyness, we should be paying attention to the way our environment is designed—both at work and at home. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains how we can change our surroundings and actions to fight addiction to busyness. Ariely, author of the New York Times best-selling book Predictably Irrational, is a popular TED talk speaker, and professor and director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University.

In this episode of Better Life Lab, we also hear from David Sbarra, professor in the psychology department at the University of Arizona, where he directs the Laboratory for Social Connectedness and Health. And he confesses—he is obsessed with busyness.

Podcast production by David Schulman.

Better Life Lab is a partnership of Slate and New America.