Part 1 is about Master Internal Triggers which talks about that distractions are mainly caused by discomfort. Most people don’t want to acknolwedge the uncomfortable truth that distraction is always an unhealthy escape from reality. Being indistractable means striving to do what you say you will do.
We are compelled to reach for things we supposedly need but really don’t. (eg. checking emails)
We tend to blame things like television, junk food, social media etc - but these are all promiate causes of our distraction, but not the root cause.
The author (Nir Eyal) also provides a four step process to master internal triggers (for distraction)
- Look for the discomfort that precedes the distraction
- Write down the trigger
- Explore your sensations
- Beware of liminal moments
Liminal moments are transitions from one thing to another (eg. checking your phone while waiting in a signal). Personally, I’ve been trying to avoid multi-tasking completely.
Author suggests a ten-minute rule which means wait for ten more minutes before you want to do something other than what you suppossed to be doing.
Reimagining the internal trigger, the task, and our temperaments are powerful and established ways to deal with distractions that start within us.
Part 2 is about making time for traction (opposite of distraction). The title of the first chapter in this part is Turn your values into time. I felt the title itself has so much meaning. Simple, say someone values staying healthy which means they should dedicate time for exercise
You can’t call something a distraction unless you know what it’s distracting you from. (SO TRUE)
Author says, the most effective way to make time for traction is through “timeboxing” (means deciding what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it.)
Next, he talks about how spending time for oneself, then relationship and then work is important.
Fogg Behaviour Model states that B = MAT (ie. Behavior = Motivation, Ability and Trigger)
Is this trigger serving me, or am I serving it?
Our brain always craves for variable reward. (Eg. notifications, messages)
Part 3 is to hack back external triggers such as email, chat notification, meetings, smartphone and desktop usage etc.
I think at this point most people are well aware of these.
A summary to avoid workplace distraction:
- To receive fewer emails, we must send fewer emails
- Open up office hours (really good idea)
- Right now should be the exception, not the rule (in the context of slack messages one shouldn’t except for a response for a group message and then DM’ing them)
- Meetings should not be used as a distraction from doing the hardwork of thinking. (I’ve not been invited to a meeting for almost an year at my work)
Part 4 is to prevent distraction with pacts.
- Effort pacts - One has to put extra efforts. I’ve been keeping my phone out of my hand reach before going to bed.
- Price pacts - Literally, paying price. Author burns money if he don’t go to gym.
Losing hurts more than winning feels good. (I agree)
- Identity pacts - Link you identity with what you want to do. (Eg. Thinking of not eatting meat? why not become a Vegetarian?)
Part 5 is to make our workplace indistractable and part 6 is to raise indistractable children
Final part is to have indistractable relationships.