Indistractable | Nir Eyal

Summary of: Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
By: Nir Eyal


Embark on a journey towards mastering your attention with Nir Eyal’s ‘Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.’ Dive into the thought-provoking analysis of distractions and the role of technology in our lives. Learn about the different types of triggers – external and internal – and their effects on how we handle our daily tasks. Gain insights into useful tips and techniques to conquer internal triggers, harness discomfort, and navigate the modern world of myriad distractions. Stand a chance to revolutionize both your personal and professional life, as Nir Eyal equips you with practical strategies and an overarching philosophy to embrace a life of purpose and accomplishment.

The Roots of Distraction

Our susceptibility to distraction isn’t solely a result of technology but a product of both external and internal triggers. These triggers can either pull us towards our pursuits or drag us away from our goals. Technology serves as a short-term solution for distraction and isn’t the root cause of our inability to focus. Distraction stems from the human tendency to avoid discomfort and dissatisfaction. Our evolutionary heritage predisposes us to negativity bias, which leads to an inclination to dwell on unpleasant events and become bored of new situations. However, we can learn to harness these negative feelings, taking control of our reactions to triggers and directing them towards our objectives.

Overcoming Distraction

Learn tips on how to beat internal triggers and become more focused by identifying and letting go of distractions, making tasks more engaging, and practicing self-compassion.

Do you ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media or clearing out your inbox while trying to work? You’re not alone. But there are ways to overcome distraction and improve your focus. Psychologist Jonathan Bricker suggests recording triggers and learning to let them go. By visualizing distracting thoughts being carried away on leaves in a stream, you can become more mindful and present in the moment.

Another useful tip is to make tasks more engaging. Apps and games on our phones are designed to be entertaining through effective systems of rewards and challenges. You can apply this same concept to your chores to make them more interesting and enjoyable. For example, challenge yourself to complete a task in record time or come up with a new way to serve customers.

Finally, reassess your potential by practicing self-compassion. Don’t tell yourself that you lack self-control and are powerless against distractions. Talk to yourself as you would to a good friend and remind yourself that you have the power to overcome distractions. With these tips, you can beat internal triggers and become more focused.

Timeboxing: the Key to Productivity

To achieve your goals, you must have a plan, and timeboxing is a powerful tool that can help you achieve that. Creating time slots for work isn’t the best place to start; you need to begin by setting aside enough time for yourself, taking care of your relationships and then focusing on work. Timeboxing allows you to have a framework for success, which provides you with a sense of control to accomplish what you planned. This article emphasizes that without control of your time, you will not be able to achieve your goals, and distraction will hold you back.

Indistractability at Work

Learn how to manage external triggers in the workplace and stay focused on important tasks. By taking cues from the aviation industry and using visible symbols, you can become indistractable. Organizing emails into categories prioritizes responses, leading to a more efficient workday.

In “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life,” the author explores how to manage external distractions in the workplace. By breaking the code of external triggers, you can rewrite them to your own advantage and become indistractable.

One way to do this is by taking cues from the aviation industry. To ensure pilots remain focused during takeoff and landing, regulations were put in place to prevent cabin crews and other staff from distracting them. Using this idea, you can identify the most important parts of your day and stay focused on tasks. The author suggests creating a visible symbol, like a colored card or hat, to signal to colleagues that you need to focus.

Emails are a common source of distraction in the workplace, with the average office worker receiving around 100 messages per day. The author recommends categorizing emails into two piles: one for messages requiring a response that day and one for messages that can wait until the end of the week. By setting aside time each day to respond to urgent messages and timeboxing a specific time each week to go through the second pile, you can effectively prioritize your responses and reduce the number of emails requiring your attention each day.

With these simple tactics, you can manage external triggers, limit distractions and become indistractable in the workplace.

Eliminating Workplace Distractions

Learn how to eliminate workplace distractions and increase productivity through simple organization techniques and helpful apps.

Distractions in the workplace can come in many forms, including pointless meetings, group chats, online articles, and news feeds. The key to combating these distractions is organization. A simple policy can be implemented to ensure that meetings only occur once a detailed agenda and digest have been circulated, reducing unnecessary gatherings. This principle can also be applied to group chats by arranging a designated time of day for catching up.

To deal with the distraction of online articles and news feeds, it is helpful to use the Pocket app to save articles for later listening through its text-to-speech function during a walk. Additionally, using apps such as Todobook and DF Tube can aid in productivity by replacing Facebook feeds with a news feed featuring a to-do list and removing Youtube’s suggested videos and ads.

Technological organization is also important, as it can be easy to become bogged down with hundreds of unused apps. A spring clean of your phone and desktop can help you rearrange the essentials and keep notorious time-wasting apps on the last page or desktop.

The author’s setup of putting every file except the one currently being worked on in a folder called “everything” is also a great way to keep organized on your desktop. By eliminating workplace distractions through organization and helpful apps, productivity can be increased, and time can be better utilized.

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