Control your attention. Choose your life
The secret to surmounting your distractions and becoming indistractable.
Hello guys, it's been a while. So many things has happened but there's always a cause to thank the Almighty in all. I trust you're doing well because you have no alternative.
Sometimes I wonder if this Newsletter is actually doing justice to the books I talk about. But from the reviews I've been getting from readers, who have read some of the books I discussed, I get more energy to continue. For every Newsletter I write, I learn more from the books like never before. So I want to thank you for making me learn more.
Indistractable is a book with two souls. One is concerned with prescription, the other with persuasion. Distraction is a disease that the cure has been impossible to get since time immemorial. When older people tell you your generation is too distracted with smart phones, you should know that they aren't exempted too from distraction, they had their own version earlier. It's a cap that fits all.
Interestingly, distraction is not caused by technology or whatever they say causes it, it is caused by the discomfort we're trying to escape from. In many cases, you get distracted by your phone or social media because you are bored. When I am bored I check twitter. You also have what will distract you when you're bored or feeling any discomfort. That is the root cause of distraction according to Nir Eyal. The internal triggers such as boredom, anxiety, loneliness, fatigue, among others.
In order to overcome distractions, you need to understand what drives your behaviors—what prompts you to compulsively look at your phone or play video games.
The root cause of human behaviour is the desire to escape discomfort. Even when we think we are seeking pleasure, we’re actually driven by the desire to free ourselves from the pain of wanting and that without being in our ordinary plan becomes a distraction.
Please know that the opposite of distraction is not what you're thinking now. It is traction. This was the first myth the author unravel.
You have so many things to do, many deadline to catch up with and many projects to complete but once the notification pops up or your gist partner knock your door or your own version of distraction surface, you are mostly going to give in to it. All these needed to be managed and YES, total abstinence is not the solution.
Your distraction can ultimately turn into traction if you can plan it. You can get the best out of your distractions and won't be distracted if you put them in your plans. Factually, the author wants you to know that anything and everything can be a distraction if it is not what you planned to do.
To be indistractable, there are few things you should do. I have started some lately and they work like magic.
Everybody knows that planning is the best hack to achieve whatever you'd want to achieve. To avoid distractions, you should be planning your day. The frogs you'd be eating for the day should be in your plan. If you don't plan your day, everything you do for that day will amount to distraction because people will plan it for you. Also, your plans should be well defined and unambiguous with time bound.
I want to achieve A, B, C and D. A is to write my newsletter and publish it, I need to start by 6:30am immediately after my morning prayer and finish it up before 7:20am when I'd be going to take my bath.
It is very likely you start by that time, however, you should do away with your potential threats, whatever it is. It is a mind game you should believe you can play and you should play very well.
The 10 Minutes Rule
The author established a rule that is golden. Try it immediately please. It states that, anytime you are feeling the urge to do another thing different from what's in your plan, resolve in your mind that you'd do it in 10 minutes time. So you just have to tell yourself, “alright guy, I'd check my WhatsApp in 10 minutes time, let me continue my work”. It is most likely you won't remember to go back to the distraction by that time, even if you do, you'd definitely drop it back and go back to your work. Haha! don't pay me for this 😁
Hack Back External Triggers.
Tech companies use external triggers to hack our attention. The pings from our devices often distract us by pulling us away from what we really want to do. We may try to ignore those triggers, but ignoring a call or message can be just as distracting as responding to one, according to a small research.
Not all external triggers are distractions, however. If used to help you accomplish tasks, external triggers can remind you to do what you planned. While by definition there is no such thing as a good distraction for anxiety, an external trigger that reminds us to take a break can serve as a diversion that has been shown to ease physical pain or help control unhealthy cravings.
The right approach is to ask whether the external trigger is serving you, or are you serving it. If the prompt leads you to traction, keep it. If it leads you to distraction, eliminate it.
I read this book just after I finished watching the social dilemma on Netflix. I must tell you, it was a bad combination. That was when I resolve to deactivate notifications for all my social media applications. It helped my reduce the time I spent on social media and I'm glad. I reactivated it 2 days ago only to appreciate my earlier decision. I had to deactivate it again almost immediately. If it will keep you away from social media too, you should do it.
Again and very importantly, you should master your internal triggers. To start, you can change how you think about those bad feelings that can lead to distraction. Discover what exactly lead you to your own version of distraction. If it is boredom, work on it. If it is anxiety, work on it. Understand the deeper sensation you're trying to avoid and work on it. You can't definitely control your urges or feelings, you can only control how you respond to them, that is where responsibility surface. Take responsibility of your life and be indistractable.
In conclusion, You can prevent distraction with 3 types of pacts. An effort pact is a kind of precommitment that involves increasing the amount of effort required to do something you don’t want to do. Adding additional effort forces you to ask if a distraction is really worth it and usually you decide that it isn’t. A price pact puts money on the line. If you stick to your intended behavior, you keep the cash. If you get distracted, you forfeit your funds. Don’t be like the author that will born 100 dollars whenever he did not stick to his intended behaviour. identity pact is another way to change your response to distractions. Your self-image has a profound impact on your behavior. By taking on a new identity, you empower yourself to make decisions based on who you believe you are.
You are don’t have a short attention span dears, you are giving in to distraction and this I want us to fight together.
Thank you for reading this week's Newsletter, I will love that you share with your friends and help me get them to subscribe. Let's build this ecosystem together.
Thanks so much
Came at the needed time
This is the best I've read so far. I love that part the writer clarified that both our generation and the one before had a distraction but from different things. Also that technology is not necessarily a distraction, it's just how you use it that matters. And summarily, anything can be a distraction!!!