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Indistractable

How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
Written by: Nir Eyal, Julie Li
Narrated by: Nir Eyal
Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (171 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Indistractable provides a framework that will deliver the focus you need to get results." (James Clear, author of Atomic Habits)

You sit down at your desk to work on an important project, but a notification on your phone interrupts your morning. Later, as you're about to get back to work, a colleague taps you on the shoulder to chat. At home, screens get in the way of quality time with your family. Another day goes by, and once again, your most important personal and professional goals are put on hold.  

What would be possible if you followed through on your best intentions? What could you accomplish if you could stay focused and overcome distractions? What if you had the power to become "indistractable"?  

International best-selling author, former Stanford lecturer, and behavioral design expert, Nir Eyal, wrote Silicon Valley's handbook for making technology habit-forming. Five years after publishing Hooked, Eyal reveals distraction's Achilles' heel in his groundbreaking new book.  

In Indistractable, Eyal reveals the hidden psychology driving us to distraction. He describes why solving the problem is not as simple as swearing off our devices: Abstinence is impractical and often makes us want more.  

Eyal lays bare the secret of finally doing what you say you will do with a four-step, research-backed model. Indistractable reveals the key to getting the best out of technology, without letting it get the best of us.  

Inside, Eyal overturns conventional wisdom and reveals: 

  • Why distraction at work is a symptom of a dysfunctional company culture - and how to fix it  
  • What really drives human behavior and why "time management is pain management"  
  • Why your relationships (and your sex life) depend on you becoming indistractable  
  • How to raise indistractable children in an increasingly distracting world 

Empowering and optimistic, Indistractable provides practical, novel techniques to control your time and attention - helping you live the life you really want.

©2019 Nir Eyal (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Quick Binge, Fluid Experience

I read a comment that Atomic Habits and Deep Work are superior, while I agree with that I think reading all of them provide for a better understanding of an individual's habits and diverse strategies to get more out of our time, emotions and actions. There’s nothing new that I learned from this book BUT sometimes we need new narratives to do the things we already know we should. Having said that, I liked this narrative. In my opinion, it talks about how one can get better at rhythmic and journalistic philosophies of working (from Deep Work).
Why I read this book: Well it's ironic that instead of being productive, I seek novel methods to be more productive. I wanted to increase my efficiency in performing cognitive activities and improve context switching (moving from one cognitive task to another with the intent of maintaining my efficiency and attention span in all). I would go full-monty at the beginning of the day but drain out by evening and squander time on frivolous activities.
Who should read this book: Anyone who feels they can get more done with their time or help those who want to. Those who want to use tech rather than tech using them. But read this after Deep Work.
Takeaways from this book:
1. Understanding and dealing with internal and external triggers:
• The initial few chapters focus on things I already know/ have heard of: Separating the root cause of our distraction from the proximate cause (indulging in social media, food, binge-watching are escape mechanisms or 'comforters' and pander to our inherent need to seek feelings of euphoria). Using a reflective and not reactive approach.
• The author talks about tabulating our triggers to getting distracted, exploring the feelings associated with it, changing our response through conscious attention, and delaying gratification.
• Well, I’m not disciplined to do this. Finishing one task without thinking about anything else gets my dopamine pumping and more in control.

2. Reimagining our tasks and temperaments:
• I like the bit he talks about using fun (gamifying a task) to keep us engaged. The idea of fun should hold our attention and manipulate an existing situation in a new way rather than help seek PLEASURE. By adding deliberation and novelty to the task it can become fun and he backed that up with an example of how he enjoys mowing his lawn by paying attention to it and learning about its constraints.
• For the first time I heard an argument that challenged the concept of ego depletion. It just boiled down to our beliefs, where those who didn’t believe in it didn’t question it. I don’t care if this theory is true or not, but it works for me. Will power be an emotion which ebbs and flows with respect to how we feel. That’s one of the reasons behind those who feel powerful after giving up an addiction is more successful than those who feel like they are missing out on something.
• All this information did give me a hard-on, but only conscious implementation and repetition would help sustain this.

3. Making choices to strengthen our identities:
Our perceptions of who we are changes WHAT we do and the way we spend our time speaks about who we are. Preachy, but I like it. Now, comes the concept of attributing our values into time. For e.g.: A person who values a healthy lifestyle would slot in time to meal prep, workout, and STRETCHH. Just like that by reserving time domains we can be the person we want to be and invest in relationships, work, and ourselves.
1. Time Boxing: DO what you say AT that time. Be wary of transitory moments. Use breathing/mediation apps rather than social media apps to be centered in these moments.
2. Weekly Scheduling: Idea is to refine, and optimising time comes with patience and it’s not an overnight activity.
3. Controlling Inputs/Outputs: Scheduling activities rather than to-do listing. Syncing our schedules with stakeholders (bosses, mentors, family).
4. Removing distractions: Especially notifications by changing our DND settings. Letting those who we spend time with know this shift in mindset. So, they understand that they are not being ignored, or are being ignored and don’t get retaliate. It’s like saying what you want to say but just adding a No offense prior to what you say.
5. Rituals: This is the only way to sustain a lifestyle where one intends to be focussed.

There are more sections where the author talks about dealing with distractions in workspaces and with kids. But, that didn’t appeal to me as of now. Also, it’s an easy binge.

4 people found this helpful

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Good practical advice

Book offers implemntable tools and techniques to safeguard against distraction and focus more on traction towards our goals.

1 person found this helpful

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A must read for everyone

I was suffering from distraction and I didn't know how to overcome it.Yes it is similar to a disease but it is a curable one and I found the cure through this book.Thanks audible and the author for being this together for People like me.

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Awesome

This book can make you Super Productive.
Seriously very very good.
It can change your life for good.

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A great audio book with life changing matter

The book has really small and simple but really effective ways to know and tackle distraction. The audio recited by Mr. Nir Eyal himself is also quite understandable.

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Most practical book I ever read

Indistractable was the book I always wanted. I wish I could have read when I was in my teens. Life would have been different. However, as it is said, “ every day can be a new start”. Even before finishing the book, I got more control of my time, living more fulfilled day. Very soon I will get my Superpowers. Thanks Nir

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I liked the simple examples and bulleted tips

The author has done an amazing job of breaking down complex problems in simple solutions. The 4 step approach is really great.

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One time read

The book is good. Although I expected more based on the reviews of the book.

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Some gold nuggets to be found

Loved the overall book, there are some time tested facts on how to be indistractable. I got quite a few things out of this book. I'm sure anyone will be bit more wiser by reading this. My wish is around getting more hands on experiments for an individual & group\couple thereof. Really fascinating part is one with managing traction & distraction with kids (thank you so much Nir for this!)

Would happily recommend this to anyone looking for a helping hand for his busy life :)

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Decent book on avoiding distractions

Author has covered multiple aspects distracting us and solutions for same.At times dragging as it overemphasized certain topics.

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  • Busy Bee Texas
  • 31-12-19

no pdf available

The author has referred to pdf and download file. I don't see anything available for the book in my library. Please look into this and let me know if it will be available or not.

185 people found this helpful

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  • Erica
  • 24-12-19

Nothing new...

I was disappointed. Learned more from a podcast that Nir was on, than I did from the book. The title and concept of ‘being indistractable’ is catchy, but the book didn’t offer any real depth. The same ol’ turn off your technology and be present, and then other unrealistic strategies for work. Beyond that it focused on parenting, which is unrelatable for me.

105 people found this helpful

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  • BartholemewG
  • 27-08-19

Most tactical and practical book on focus

The most tactical and practical book + resources for getting to deep work. One of the few books I’ve read that come with a workbook and other materials to help with the implementation of the theory and guidance outlined in the book. This past weekend I started working through the workbook with my family and they've been largely receptive given the way the points and exercises are laid out. I won’t share all my notes here but a few key points I found really interesting were:
- Distraction is how our brain deals with pain/discomfort. If distraction costs us time, time management is pain management.
- Residual beneficiaries (legal term) are what family become if you don’t prioritize them.
- Sometimes people call a meeting to avoid going through the effort of thinking through a problem themselves. Require: agenda and a brief (a proposed solution)
- Ego-depletion is NOT real. There was publication bias. It’s all about the thoughts in our head.

Lastly, I appreciate the passion and enthusiasm the author, Nir, put into narrating the audiobook himself!

In short, I highly recommend you take a listen.

Thanks,
Bart

144 people found this helpful

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  • Dora D
  • 28-10-19

Solid but really nothing new...

Overall a solid book, but seriously lacking in originality. Most, if not all of the info can be found in order and older self-development books, including references to the same studies. Only the labels used slightly differ. Still, if you haven't read any of those books yet, this is a great place to start since it basically summarizes the main points of productivity.

54 people found this helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 04-10-19

It's about building good habits

A distraction takes you away from something you had planned. Plan your time to gain traction on the tasks you want done. For example, responding to emails at work is traction. While responding to emails at your child's soccer game is a distraction. Disarm the trigger for distractions:
* Look for the emotions that seed distractions.
* Keep track of all the triggers.
* Explore the negative sensation of the triggers (tell yourself to wait 10 minutes before giving in to the craving for the distraction).
* Be extra cautious during liminal moments (transitioning from one task to another, such as leaving a meeting and checking your smartphone).

Much as of the content is familiar if you've read productivity, good habits, and focus books. I gave it high rating because this book is well organized, well written, and a good balance of information and advice.

96 people found this helpful

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  • Marcus
  • 19-08-19

Helpful reminders for self and children

Nir does a great job in helping us realize the power of focus and how distractable we have become. Tips and steps to be indistractable are helpful and well thought out.
I saw Nir at a conference this year and he is great in person as well. Ironically I didn’t remember his name from listening to his book “Hooked”, and was even more glad to be hearing him in person when I finally realized that he was the author of that book.
I only wish that this book was longer, it’s an easy and enjoyable listen. I learned some things to help my children which was a great bonus!

42 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-12-19

Great

Loved this book, highly recommended. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and this book is helping me a lot

13 people found this helpful

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  • Tim
  • 28-08-19

Incredibly helpful!

I listened to this book twice in a row and each time I found separate little gems I missed. I immediately started timeboxing my schedule and 2 weeks in I've already been more productive. I also loved the chapters on raising indistractable children. Although I'm a big fan of personal development it never occurred to me how many practices I could teach my son that would not only help out now but also make his habits better for everything he dreams to accomplish in the future. Great listen, Definitely highly recommended.

27 people found this helpful

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  • ted m kinney
  • 10-10-19

Good Information

Good information its just rehashed and reworded a few too many times. The important lessons in this book could probably have taken up less than fifty pages or an hour of audible - of course that does not a book make.

39 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 18-08-19

Exceptionally practical advice to claim your life back

This was easily the best book I have read in the past year. The steps laid out to help improve relationships with family, friends and work are simple, elegant, and effective. Much care was put into explaining how our time and attention is diverted away from what we truly want, while referencing the relevant peer reviewed psychology articles supporting the proposed conclusions. Debunking common myths, helping me understand how to take accountability for excuses I didn’t even realize I was previously making. I recommend this book for any parent, manger, child or person who finds themselves distracted. In essence, I think everyone could benefit from this book. The real question is, do you actually apply the advice or just listen to it?

34 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-08-19

Total waste of time (and credit)

I was prepared for some fascinating new insights into how to thwart the incessant gamification/intentional-addictiveness of tech. Instead I got mindfulness written in a self help style, advice to remove unused apps from my phone, turn off notifications and read email once a day and use a time block method to schedule your day. There was really nothing new or especially noteworthy about this book, and it certainly wasn't the best version of this advice I've ever read either.

Oh and to download the workbook you have to download it from his website where he takes your email address and proceeds to start adding to the distractible nature of your inbox with his unwanted newsletter. Sigh.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. C. Richards
  • 19-11-19

Good tips

It took 5 chapters before he gets to anything remotely practical... the first 5 simply spent on framing the problem, i.e. people have distractions.

The rest is pretty good advice although it goes off on a tangent with kids distractions, then social conditioning at the end

but at least a few chapters of good info here

9 people found this helpful

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  • TheDon
  • 16-01-20

Dull

some reasonable points and ideas here, but dragged out and hard work to listen to.

5 people found this helpful

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  • TC
  • 14-01-20

Nothing new here.

Very repetitive with nothing really new to say. In parts I felt like I was listening to adverts for Apps the author had invested in.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Simon Roper
  • 03-11-19

great book, excellent chapters relating to kids

after listening to the book i want a hard copy as it's a book you can go back to over again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • flexiblemirror
  • 14-08-19

This book makes a profound difference in my life

Previous insights from Nir Eyal’s excellent book “Hooked” helped me building better products. I waited for the release of “Indistractable” with great anticipation, yet it again exceeds my expectations. Indistractable helps me enhance the process of becoming a better version of myself. I am an avid reader, science lover and a self-improvement maniac. Many concepts from these books were known to me from various sources (and some were new). What makes Nir unique is his ability to reduce the complexity and describe concepts simply, without losing the meaning. It’s extremely powerful. I have read hundreds of great books and without hesitation would place Indistractable in my top 5. This book can be thought of as the “guide to self in the fast changing world”, the world we haven’t evolved to cope with. My belief is that it’s the information overload we, humans, struggle with the most (and technology is just a carrier for information). “Indistractable” equips us with a map and tools to navigate this increasingly complex world. Our survival as individuals, our wellbeing and life satisfaction depend on these elusive set of skills that Nir calls “being indistractable”. It’s a kind of superpower that’s totally within everyone’s reach. I would not only recommend the book for those who want to live a better life, a life fuller of meaning, I’d argue it ought to be a compulsory lecture for schools and universities. I imagine distraction-free graduates would be the ones who have the mental capacity so much needed for tackling our civilisation’s biggest challenges and make our world a better place for all. Don’t wait, read this book. Become indistractable. Change your life and change the world.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-05-20

Beyond extraordinary!

Listening to this book was a life altering experience! Amazing insights and hacks for applying to daily life! Grateful to Nir for his five year long research to elevate his readers lives!

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  • AJ
  • 16-05-20

Good one

Good evidence collection but slightly too long and last few chapters are not as well written

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-03-20

Has actually changed my life

Nir's book is warm and engaging, whilst being packed full of insights and practical examples right down to the names of helpful apps and products to keep you connected with people next to you in the real world. It's all about where your attention is. I like that he's stripped out any padding. He refers to "a study" rather than quoting chapter and verse - so the book itself is focused and clear. very well done. Thank you, Nir!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-03-20

Life changing strategy and awareness

Ever since listening to the interview of Nir Eyal on the Paul Chek podcast I've been excited to read and integrate this book so bear that in mind. I skipped his previous work 'Hooked' and went straight into Indistractable for which I am glad that I did.

Nir narrates his writing with passion and pace, and as you'd expect with full attention. I enjoyed the two part structure, the concepts are logically laid out with a steady progression of topics building on the previous. In the second half applying the techniques in the real word and the main domains of our lives are covered comprehensively and are easy to understand or implement.

The accompanying work-book is very useful for parts that are relevant to the reader/listener to exercise the strategies and techniques the book offers, on the journey of becoming Indistractable. I AM INDISTRACTABLE....well not fully yet but I'm definitely on my way, and a lot more than what I was prior to reading. I've bought the paperback copy just to refer to on the go.

I recommend this for anyone ranging from personal self growth advocates, to parents, to entrepreneurs and workers. Thank you Nir for a great piece of work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-09-19

Doesn't fall into the demonisation of tech!

I loathe many of these latest tech self-help books which decry smartphones as the fall of civilisation as we know it. Eyal doesn't fall into this trap and cites a bunch of super interesting studies suggesting how positive tech use can be for us! I like the attention drawn to self-regulatory strategies and internal triggers and reading this should give you a bit of a preliminary understanding of why we get hooked to our devices and how we can free ourselves.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-10-19

Phenomenally useful book

This book is phenomenally useful for reclaiming our minds, attention and ability to be present.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-09-19

very good!<br />

was a little put off at first thinking the downloable materials would be an attempt to sell more or something but they were helpful. Nir seems very genuine and the advice is thoughtful, informed and easily applicable. enjoy!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Warren
  • 19-09-19

Indistractable in a digital world

This is a book I wish I had back when I started working in corporate. The author demonstrates his deep insights into the topic gets to the root causes of distraction. The books had tons of practical strategies, tools and stories that I could immediately relate to. Highly recommended for anyone looking to succeed in the information era!

2 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 08-03-20

Read Lost Connections by Johann Hari instead.

I'll tell you what this author thinks - life today is no different from yesterday because people used to be addicted to the newspaper. No, this is different - check the suicide rates. Check the rates of autism and children/teen's ability to communciate now compared to previous decades.
This book barely scratches the surface of the problems of today's biggest issue with technology - addiction. It suggests "simply don't do this as much" with shallow strategies to reduce screen time. These problems are much bigger than this - it's a mental health issue this author is unqualified to talk about and has not done the research to fill a short book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-02-20

Review

Gets a bit preachy in parts but does have great concepts you can put into practice

1 person found this helpful

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  • Becca
  • 14-11-19

Sales sales sales

To much information about different apps in the book feels like hours of adds 😩
Will be returning. Too much sales it's boring

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-05-20

This is essential reading/listening for everyone

I wish this book was written 20 years ago, it is so insightful, practically useful and fundamental to trying to achieve balance in life. I have recommended it to all my family and friends. I love it and after listening to the audio version I'm going to buy the hard copy version.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-04-20

Simply a must read for everyone!

This book was recommended to me by a colleague after witnessing how i was struggling with time management. The ideas and knowledge that I gained from Nir in this book has improved every aspect of my life!

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Shna
  • 17-03-20

useful techniques

love it but difficult to retain the info.
it was useful. I'm applying the knowledge