In a new book, The Art of Concentration, the health writer Harriet Griffey argues that we are experiencing an attention crisis. Office workers are interrupted every three minutes, so at best we have a three-minute attention span, and 62% of us are addicted to email. Meanwhile, a recent study at the University of California calculated that we are bombarded with 34 gigabytes of information a day, including roughly 100,000 words (a figure that has more than doubled in the past 30 years). What’s more, the trend-spotting agency The Future Laboratory talks of “filter failure”, “information anxiety” (fretting about awaited emails) and “stuffocation” (the state of being overwhelmed by years of consumption). No wonder we self-diagnose attention-deficit disorder.