Book Review: Indistractable by Nir Eyal

Indistractable by Nir Eyal

Part 1: Master Internal Triggers

Author starts with asking a realist question on what motivates us? The truth is that we all have a risk averse nature and fear motivates us more than pleasure does. In our lives we constantly tug our way through the discomfort of life and anything which helps us remove that discomfort is addictive. Consider Liquor for example which many are addictive of ,and it can be anything from taking drugs to having sex.

  • Step 2: Write down the internal trigger (e.g Crave to eat something while in middle of work)
  • Step 3: Explore the negative sensation with curiosity instead of contempt (Instead of thinking about the temptation, try shifting your mind to some other task at hand)
  • Step 4 : Be extra cautious during liminal moments. (Liminal moments are “distraction traps” that transition us from one thing to another, like picking up our phone while waiting for a traffic light to change).

Part 2: Make Time for Traction

Starting with part 2 of the indistractable model, Author points out that it is not possible to be indistractable if you can’t distinguish what it is that is distracting you from? (Let the previous statement sync in your mind) The argument here is that you need to know what your traction is before even knowing whether you are distracted or not. And for the same cause your calendar should reflect upon the values that you have. It is important and a good guideline to help you gain traction over the important tasks. Author puts out a simple guide to make a timeboxed schedule to reflect upon the daily tasks and values in your day to day calendar to keep track of your time and commit to our calendar, review it daily, improve it weekly and reflect upon it (lastly rinse and repeat till you have a schedule that aligns with the values you have).

Part 3: Hack Back External Trigger

This is a main part of the strategy which you need to focus on more, as our environment can be extremely intimating .

Part 4: Prevent Distractions with Pacts

Nir points out that being indistractable does not only require keeping distractions out. It also necessitates reining ourselves in and precommits can reduce likelihood of distractions.

  • Price Pacts — It adds a cost to being distracted and is most effective when you can remove external triggers that lead to distractions. These work when you are self compassionate and distraction is temporary.
  • Identity Pacts — Identity greatly influences our behavior and It is a precommitment to self-image for some task. We should become a noun as in from using phrases like “I can” to using “I am ” or “I don’t do X”. Sharing our pacts also helps us from being distracted and using simple rituals can have stupendous results.

Part 5: How to Make Your Workplace Indistractable

In this part Nir focuses on workplace challenges and how we can overcome them. He points out that distraction is a clear sign of dysfunction which will later on lead to bad company culture. In places where expectations are high with low control over time can often be seen with signs of high stress and depression among their workers. Depression-like symptoms are painful in any workplace. As a remark he notes that Tech Overuse at work leads to company dysfunction and even more tech use later can make the situation worse for everyone working there.

Part 6: How to Raise Indistractable Children (and Why We All Need Psychological Nutrients)

This part is for parents who can’t communicate the benefits of being indistractable with their kids at home and help them to be indistractable.

Part 7: How to Have Indistractable Relationships

In the final part of this book nir discussed how we can make our important relationships indistractable with the above 4 part model.

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Prince Anuragi

Prince Anuragi

Defi | Blockchain | Distributed Computing