14. October 2022

How to be Indistractable

In a transformational situation, it’s important to focus on creating traction and not on distractions. In this context, I like the book ‘Indistractable’ by Nir Eyal. He provides a helpful framework, insights and practical actions. Some highlights:

  1. Master Your Inner Distraction Triggers
    – Inenam discomfort is often a trigger for a distractive action.
    – Inner discomfort is a natural emotional gravitational state.
    – You can however deal with discomfort urges like boredom before it triggers distractions.
    – You can apply the ACT Therapy process: 1. Observe the urge, 2. Write it down, 3. Be curious, 4. Realise the urge goes away.
    – You can strengthen your belief regarding your own will power capacity.
    – You can make boring and challenging tasks more playful by focusing on detail and setting rules.

  2. Make Time for Traction
    – Be clear about your goals and intentions and put them front and centre.
    – Block your calendar into sections dedicated to your priorities.
    – I have found it helpful to review my goals annually, quarterly, weekly and daily to keep focused on them.

  3. Hack Back External Distraction Triggers
    – It’s time to hack your time back, because many distractions are focused on getting you hooked.
    – Use rules/signals towards others when you cannot be distracted, like a red sign on your desk.
    – I normally spend less than 10 minutes a day on emails, with answers like: OK, no, call me.
    – Be careful with group chats. Treat them like a sauna… Stay for a while, but then leave them.
    – Reclaim time from unnecessary meeting time by shortening, reducing and eliminating them.
    – I normally have hardly 1-hour meetings, but more standard 15 or 30 minute long ones.

  4. Prevent Distraction
    – Make a precommitment of pre-emptying distractions for example by limiting screen time, having a time locked candy box.
    – Make it part of your identity. I am a vegetarian or early riser is a stronger statement then I can’t eat meat or have to wake up early.


How Indistractable are you? What practices are you applying?

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