Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life Book Review

“time management is pain management” is the biggest take away of this book. Distractions cost us time, and like all actions, they are spurred by the desire to escape discomfort.

Opposite of distraction is not “focus”, opposite of distraction is “traction”. Even though this is a silly word play, it makes sense. Focus doesn’t sound like a progress making word and traction does. 

This book have a lot of actionable tips neatly arranged in different chapters. Does it really help you understand everything about distractions? I would say not really. You could read only notes in end of each chapter and also get the main ideas. 

Pick this up if you like a step by step guide for managing distractions. If you are looking for big ideas in this area then stick to first few chapters and read summary of rest of chapters. 

The Indistractable Model

Nir Eyal on becoming indistractable in the age of tech | productboard
Four Step guide to become indistractable

1. Master Internal Triggers

Understand the root cause of distraction. Distraction is about more than your devices. Separate proximate causes from the root cause.

• All motivation is a desire to escape discomfort. If a behavior was previously effective at providing relief, we’re likely to continue using it as a tool to escape discomfort.

• Anything that stops discomfort is potentially addictive, but that doesn’t make it irresistible. If you know the drivers of your behavior, you can take steps to manage them.

2. Make Time for traction

You can’t call something a distraction unless you know what it is distracting you from. Planning ahead is the only way to know the difference between traction and distraction.

3. Hack Back External Triggers

External triggers often lead to distraction. Cues in our environment like the pings, dings, rings from devices as well as interruptions from other people, frequently take us off track

We must ask: is this trigger saving me, or am I serving it? Then, we can hack the external triggers that don’t serve us.

4. Prevent Distractions with Facts

Being indistractable not only requires keeping distraction out. It also necessitates reining ourselves in.

Precommitments should only be used after other three indistractable strategies have already been applied.

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