The Power of Productivity with Lisa Feldman Barrett Ph.D. & Chris Bailey

Original Air Date Wednesday, July 20, 2022 

The quality of information we intake and the meaningful conversations we have directly equate to how productive and meaningful we consider our lives to be. When we add digital devices into the mix we add distractions that keep us from focusing on the task at hand. The distractions plus the frustration of being unable to focus our attention can lead to stress which wreaks havoc on our bodies.

To find out how we can take a much-needed digital detox and focus to make the most out of every moment, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two authors about their work in the realm of evolved brain function, emotions, and productivity. Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett is a neuroscientist, psychologist, and author who dispels some popular brain myths and discusses the content of her book, Seven and A Half Lessons About the Brain. Chris Bailey has studied stimulation statistics and shares what lies at the core of what it means to be productive and how intention and focus can increase productivity.

Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett — The Evolved Brain:

  • The human brain evolved to regulate the systems of our bodies based on predatory needs. [1:53]
  • How stress affects the brain and the body. [4:21]
  • Cortisol is not a stress hormone. [6:53]
  • How to maintain healthy brain function for optimal performance. [8:09]
  • We all have a body budget that is managed by being socially connected in relationships. [11:59]
  • Dr. Barrett describes how she decided on a title for her new book, Seven and A Half Lessons About the Brain. [15:13]
  • Can some people use more of their brains than others? [24:11]

Lisa Feldman Barrett, guest of Harvesting Happiness productivity episode with Chris Bailey and Lisa Cypers KamenLISA FELDMAN BARRETT, Ph.D., has received numerous scientific awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in neuroscience and an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award. She is a University Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University, with appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. She is the author of the bestselling book, How Emotions are Made (2017).

Book: Seven and A Half Lessons About the Brain


Lisa Feldman Barrett Website
@LFeldmanBarrett on Twitter

Chris Bailey — The Power of Productivity:

  • Chris shares his discovery on how to make life feel productive and meaningful in this digital age. [30:30]
  • Can working fewer hours really increase our productivity? [33:38]
  • Top tips, tools, and tactics to help tame distractions and increase productivity. [37:32]
  • The top five activities that make us the happiest and the benefits of a stimulation deficit. [46:39]
  • Approaching life with focus, intention, and mindfulness can lead us into flow. [55:44]

Chris Bailey, guest of Harvesting Happiness productivity episode with Lisa Feldman Barrett and Lisa Cypers KamenChris Bailey first became interested in productivity in high school when he read David Allen’s 2001 book Getting Things Done. A graduate of Carleton University Sprott School of Business, Chris took a 1 year sabbatical following graduation during which he conducted productivity experiments on himself. These and other observations from his experiments are documented in the 2016 bestseller, The Productivity Project. His new book, Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction was released in August 2018. Chris lives in Ontario, Canada.

Book: Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction


A Life of Productivity Website
@Chris_Bailey on Twitter


This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio about productivity is sponsored by:

Best Fiends — Making time to play is essential. Everyone deserves a little downtime. The best casual mobile puzzle game for adults is Best Fiends. The fun never ends on Best Fiends because there is always fresh content and something exciting to explore. Make Best Fiends your go-to digital playpal. Download the 5-star rated mobile puzzle game free on the App Store or Google Play. Plus, win $5 worth of in-game rewards when you reach level 5.

Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now? 

HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.

“When there is a sense of familiarity, we feel safe.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “Are we becoming a mindless society? I don’t think that’s the case.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“The primary motivation for why we work needs to change.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “Digital devices, while they are life-altering, they are doing something to our brains.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Make love to life.” @LisaKamen on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “Brains evolved under the selection pressure of hunting. When animals started to deliberately hunt each other it introduced problems creatures had to solve.” @LFeldmanBarrett on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “Your brain's most important job is to regulate the systems of your body.” @LFeldmanBarrett on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Brain health is crucial to overall health.” @LFeldmanBarrett on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet “The brain is a use it or lose it organ.” @LFeldmanBarrett on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“We did not evolve as a species to be alone. We are the caretakers of each other's nervous systems as much as our own.” @LFeldmanBarrett on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“We don't have lizard brains and we all use both sides of our brains all of the time. Those are popular myths.” @LFeldmanBarrett on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Humans love variations in food, cars, music but not so much in each other.” @LFeldmanBarrett on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Dealing with uncertainty, especially in other humans, can be really, really hard on our nervous system.” @LFeldmanBarrett on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Productivity is a side effect of managing our intention well.” @Chris_Bailey on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“The state of our attention determines the state of our lives.” @Chris_Bailey on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“What matters more than anything else right now is how we manage our attention.” @Chris_Bailey on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“We underestimate how contagious our behavior is. If we are checking our phone it suddenly gives everybody permission to check their phone.” @Chris_Bailey on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“In order to break the habit of being digitally distracted you need to work at it.” @Chris_Bailey on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“Productivity is not about how busy we are or how much we produce. It's about how much we accomplish over the course of the day.” @Chris_Bailey on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“There is a phenomenon called attention residue. This means that something still exists within our attention from what we were just doing as we switch to something else.” @Chris_Bailey on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet“The best way to enter into a state of flow is to have sex.” @Chris_Bailey on @HHTalkRadio Click To Tweet



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