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NEW BESTSELLER from 'HOOKED' Author. Simple and Real Solutions: How to Be "Indistractible." Nir Eyal Book Discussion.

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Bertram

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@garyfritz explained the problem of reading so many ideas and great advice on attention which always turned out to be complete!y useless to him.

This thread is about what you actually can do to overcome distractibilty.

The discussion will cover "Indistractible," the new book by Nir Eyal. His information is new and it also works.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon and get immediate access to the free downloadable PDF.
Note: the free download might have expired as of 8.9.19.

All the talk on this forum about DNA, dopamine, ADD/ADHD, personality, depression and health really only deals with one of the four elements of focus and distractibility explained in Eyal's absolutely useful work.

Hey, the old braino doesn't tell the diff between "genetics" and "environment."

If what you need is a real plan of action, read "Indistractible." The book will change your life.

Skip the personality tests. Personality traits and habit formation are two completely independent concerns.

Whether the problem is ADD/ADHD, poor nutrition, poor health and so on, it is the absence of good habits and the ongoing presence of environmental distractions that will cause you to fail to carry out your intentions and make you wholly fail at being yourself.

You might be fed up with all the encouragement to "just try." You know this problem of shiny objects and rabbit holes is not a matter of will. A person can have great quantities of will without having a clue about how to use it.

Read "Indistractible." Check out the workbook and aids also if that's your style.

This is the "How-To" content you need to get your act together, a scientifically researched, NEW solution to distraction and weak focus for everyone.together

For the first time it's going to be easy for you to change what you're doing wrong. You can learn to recognize what the heck is really going on with you throughout the day.I have not found any of this insight presented anywhere in this forum so far.

I'm hoping we can go through the book in sections on this thread.

Please indicate at top of your comment which sections you 've worked through. Feel free to post reviews however you prefer. I'm going to post questions and a survey at some point.

Label your posts as listed below if you're serious about doing this.
That way people can skip over the same old, same old face-melting common sense, the side glints of wisdom, cheerleading, product promotion, brand-building bromides and neurotrash.

First Section: (Introduction and) Master Internal Triggers

Second Section: Make Time for Traction

Third Section: Hack Back Internal Triggers

Fourth Section: Prevent Distraction with Pacts

Fifth Section: How to Make Your Workplace Indistractible

Sixth Section: How to Raise Indistractible Children (And Why We All Need Psychological Nutrients)

Seventh Section: How to Have Indistractible Relationships


Scroll the thread below for reviews of each section.

I'll post my review on each section every few days.

Let's do it.

Thank you @garyfritz.

Thank you MJ.


[QUOTE="garyfritz, post: 801979, member: 6889]
Do you think I haven't been TRYING to do that for over 50 years?? Some people (maybe including you) don't have this problem. That doesn't mean ALL people can "fix" the about lf.problem with a simple application of will. People are different. You may be very disciplined/motivated but I've had very little success with "deciding to" be that way myself.

(My brother, a typical type-A hyper-productive type, just doesn't understand this. It's easy for him, so obviously it's just easy, so if you don't do it, obviously you're lazy or not trying. He typically asks me questions like "Well why don't you just ..." One time I shot back "Well why don't you just read a damn book?" (He's fairly badly dyslexic.) That shut him up fast. It started to dawn on him that maybe other people have different challenges than he does.)

Yes, I *CAN* work hard at it and change my behaviors, and I do it frequently. I can hold my breath, too. But it's unsustainable and I can't keep it up. Sooner or later I have to breathe. Sooner or later I fall off the wagon and revert back to my "normal" behaviors, and I have never found a way to prevent that.

And I have a pretty solid internal locus of control. I don't blame anybody else for stuff unless it's clearly out of my control, like the weather or something like that. I would not have survived 30 years as a self-employed contractor/consultant if I didn't have a fairly good lock on that. My failings are my own. My focus and my productivity suck, but my **discipline** is pretty good. It's very common for me to plant my a$$ in my office chair 16 hours a day to get a job done. During the day I'm rabbit-holing and shiny-objecting (?) all over the place, so my time efficiency sucks rocks -- I might charge for only 4 hours of productive work. But my discipline keeps me in the chair until the job is done. The really maddening thing is that I can WATCH myself doing this, and think "you idiot, there you go again." I might pull myself out of it for the moment, but I seem nearly powerless to prevent it from happening again and again and again. I can't hold my breath forever.


I titrated up to 20mg/day, if I remember right, using a very high-quality recommended supplement, tons of B12, lots of Mg, etc. Zero effect.

But that's when I was still trying to isolate the source of all/most of the problems I was having. Since then I've removed my mercury fillings and I'm chemically extracting deep body stores of mercury, and most of my problems have vanished. (Except focus/productivity/etc, which are very common mercury behaviors.) Maybe it would be worth giving folate another try.


I've always had a big appetite and I'm fairly lethargic & don't exercise much, but fortunately weight is not a problem. I'm actually UNDERweight in spite of eating whatever the **** I want. And in spite of having almost every symptom of low thyroid EXCEPT weight gain.
[/QUOTE]
 

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garyfritz

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For the first time it's going to be easy for you to change what you're doing wrong. You can learn to recognize what the heck is really going on with you throughout the day. None of that insight has been presented anywhere in this forum so far.
Those are some big claims. I actually looked up the author of the book on Amazon to see if you were shilling your own book. :)

If it's anywhere near the miracle you claim, I need to check it out. I've put it on my Amazon list. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

msufan

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Thanks for the recommendation! I'm not seeing the "free bestseller" part though; I'm seeing a book that will be released next month that costs $15.49. Am I missing something here?
 
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Bertram

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Those are some big claims. I actually looked up the author of the book on Amazon to see if you were shilling your own book. :)

If it's anywhere near the miracle you claim, I need to check it out. I've put it on my Amazon list. Thanks for the recommendation!
Wait a sec.
Book list?
If your struggles are anywhere near what you went on about I'd think you'd be on page 170 by now.
 
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Bertram

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Thanks for the recommendation! I'm not seeing the "free bestseller" part though; I'm seeing a book that will be released next month that costs $15.49. Am I missing something here?
Maybe the author shut down the offer. It looks some sites offered the PDF download without the requirement of buying the actual book.
When I pre-ordered my copy on Amazon I was sent the email link by the author to download the PDF.
 
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garyfritz

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Wait a sec.
Book list?
If your struggles are anywhere near what you went on about I'd think you'd be on page 170 by now.
I have a life doing other things, OK? I got back from a business trip at 2am this morning.
 

wordwarrior

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I posted another thread about this and I have a pre-order and preview. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to read much of it yet.
 

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AniM

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I'm interested in the book but my book list is already crazy long. I'm sure many others here can relate lol.

I'd love to hear some reviews from you guys who have a copy!
 

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I love the people in the front row. They're making bored faces, fiddling with their phones, and looking at their watches the entire time.
 

Actionary

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Man, this feels super obvious to me, but being focused makes sense as a skill.
and working on higher level work (impact)
and offloading work (outsourcing).

It seems like people were used to working inside an office or at cubicle jobs and their environment kept them less distracted.

Now that people are working for themselves with online businesses, and work remotely these distractions are now easier to trigger. (theres no one supervising our time but ourselves);
 
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garyfritz

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Now that people are working for themselves with online businesses, and work remotely these distractions are now easier to trigger. (theres no one supervising our time but ourselves);
And for me, a big part of the problem is that I have to work online -- that's where the data &etc I work with ARE. So I'm continuously tied into the Infinite Source of Shiny Objects. It takes supreme discipline -- more than I have -- to stay on task when there's always something yanking my attention away.
 

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I love the people in the front row. They're making bored faces, fiddling with their phones, and looking at their watches the entire time.
8:34 his apple watch notification went off... literally as Nir is talking about ignoring distractions
 
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Bertram

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Here we go friends time to launch this blimp as promised.
The video posted above is not a summary of the book dear friends not at all.


First Section: (Introduction and) Understand and Master Your Internal Triggers


PART 1. (Introduction and) Master Internal Triggers.

Distractibility is an old problem, not the product of the Technology Age. It isn't useful to view it as the outcome of the growing abundance of tech gadgets.

Traction is what we do that gives value to life.

DIStraction is the other kind of actions that prevent us from completing the actions which bring about the life we seek after.

Distraction is mistakenly thought of as whatever we focus on instead. That is not correctly describing the prob according to Eyal. Distraction is an unhealthy action. We do it as a result of internal triggers.

Internal triggers are uncomfortable sensations that we wish to escape.

So instead of working on the impending divorce or looking for work, someone might focus on a pedometer stair-climbing challenge, or go on social media to obliterage the signals of distress.

We take up distractions because we don't know or understand or perhaps really don't want to understand what is going on.

We respond to internal cues constantly. We feel a pang of loneliness and call a friend. We feel cold and put on a coat to warm up.

So far, defining the problem this way in terms of internal cues is a million miles away from talking about caffeine or dopamine or insomnia. Hold onto your hats, there is very serious insight here. If you really understand this you might have to do something about it. You might have to admit some truth about how and what you feel. You might have to face the fact that you can choose to deal with !ife another way. You might end up realizing that means letting go of the day to day addictions that keep you comfortably numb.

You might really have to say to yourself "yes, I have to do something about this."

I think of Bob Dylan's words : Get born.

Eyal actually presents the process in a positive and simple perspective. He assumes you would rather have traction than distraction.

Distraction is pain management. It's not simply novelty seeking behavior. That model is looking only at a small section, a terminal end of the problem. It is really missing the boat to focus on the so-called rewards pattern of behavior because the cause of the problem as well as the solution happen a few steps earlier.

Think of the distractible temperament as a primary cause of action, like the billiard ball player pushing a cue to blast billiard balls around a table. This is your mindset responding to feeling internal pain signals of any kind. The cue stick is the context for action. The billiard balls are the actions that amount to distractions from pain.

External cues are out on the billiard table, downline from your mindset.
These prompt us to check emails or answer the phone or talk with the co-worker or hit the porn sites.

These external cues are either aligned with traction or misaligned. External cues either provide you with traction or they offer distraction - relief from pain.

You need to cultivate the guts to recognize and admit to yourself whether the external cue is in alignment with your goals and gives you traction or if the trigger is misaligned with your goal and is just distraction.

No matter how well rested you are or what your prescription is or is not, if you cannot master the ability to honestly admit that an external cue is misaligned with traction and will not direct you where you want to go ...

then your life will be pretty much a slow shipwreck.

This is truth.

There is no drug remedy and no chocolate milkshake that can excuse you from this task. This is a stage of development boys and girls. You either will develop the guts to correctly identify a distraction for what it is exactly and work on this probably all your life or you choose not to have any guts or common sense and you will blow your life apart one day at a time.

The distraction process is really deeply tied to your thoughts and your mindset in several important aspects.

Eyal presents research to demonstrate just how far your mindset controls cravings.

So for example, if you are a smoker and a pilot and work a 14 hr plane flight, your cravings will go dormant for a good 10-12 hours but on a 6 hour flight you will feel them.

If you connect behavior negatively to deprivation or blame or anxiety (like some folks do in @Fox 75 hard challege you will not be able to block out the unpleasant triggers and will succumb more easily than taking a confident approach with no mind games.)

Distraction starts from within.

The methods outlined in the book are not the usual hack advice about mindfulness or meditation techniques nor ends focused on caffeine or sugar intakes. These are direct, action focused techniques.

No mind games. Just try to notice what you were feeling physically and flashes of thought or what was going on in your mind when you launched into distraction. Next you will learn how to get control of these internal triggers.

That's step one.

All of the methods in the book are science-backed. Eyal used them for five years while writing the book and it transformed his life.

He challenges readers to make a commitment to the life they want to live by promising themselves to get to page 285. If you really are missing out on life I think this could be your life raft.

Next post continues Section One and good techniques to control internal triggers.
 
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Bertram

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Continuing....

Section One: (Introduction and) Mastering Your Internal Triggers

So Mary Poppins tells us that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. What Eyal shows is that the trick is not to make tasks pleasurable, that a pleasure focused reward system DOES NOT STICK. Ever. You are not a lever-pushing lab rat looking for dopamine hits, sorry no. That belief does not hold, and it does not reinforce behavior significantly.

Having this misinformation and trying to put it into practice will completely mess up your life.

We have a big misunderstanding concerning the importance of fun. Where did anyone get the idea that the experience of fun is part of human evolution or essential to success? Eyal says get a grip and drop the idea that the most important things you want to do must feel good.

As an aside, I really need to point out that it seems to me that the people here on the forum who live the lives they want and make it on the Fastlane don't dwell too much on feeling pleasant and lovely and zesty and stimulated. They chose traction over distraction because at some point along the journey they developed the courage to identify whether an external cue was traction or action-faking.

They sound pretty healthy. In fact according to Eyal we are hard wired to feel distraction in life and just deal.
Eyal addresses the weird current belief that modern people put a high value on fun. Life is not about feeling as pleasant as possible. Meaning is not about tingles of pleasure. What feels like good work is not all about a little hit of pleasure.

Save that for your next trip to Disney Orlando.

What works is breaking down activity into little bits, tasks that are not fun but are simply small enough that they are easy to focus on.

Excellent advice.

Look, we need to learn how to avoid distraction. We can learn strategies to do this.

I think a lot of homeless people out there just don't know these strategies.
 
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Bertram

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Onward.
Section One: (Introduction and) Mastering Your Internal Triggers

OK so how do you fix your unhealthy, distracted response to internal triggers?

Deal with distraction from within.
Reimagine the internal trigger.
Reimagine the task.
Reimagine your temperament.

I'm going to present what Eyal means by all this in the following posts but you really would be much better off reading the book start to finish.

You can change your mind starting with one moment at a time.
Life changes your mind, you know that for sure.
Why not DIY some alterations yourself.

It's been a long day and I'd like a glass of wine before continuing.
See you in a bit.

It will be curious if no one 'Likes' these summaries.
But I think right now everyone's watching The Undercover Billionaire.
 
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Bertram

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Continuing with
Section One: (Introduction and) Mastering Your Internal Triggers.

So first pay attention to the feelings and thoughts you had when you were triggered to perform a distracting behavior.

You were performing pain management. Identify the pain. Don't eat an energy snack or buy a special notebook or software to complete this step. Do it right now. Face it.
This exercise will make you feel a lot better than you did when you stowed away the truth.
Keep at it, cover all the distractions that you fall for as they happen.

Think about what happens to you before you lose that precious traction and go into hiding instead.

Don't sniff peppermint oil first.
You don't need to do a line of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
You don't need another gimmick to complicate this query.
You can relive the sensations that send you into the ditch and you can tell yourself right now what it's about, the hidden pain.

Distractibility means it is really hard to make friends. Isolation is more unhealthy than obesity or smoking 18 cigarettes a day. Is this your future, struggling to make friends because of overpowering distractions?

Think of how your distractibility affects your kids. Or that distractibility is why you are single.

You can solve this. You can do this.

You know it's not about not getting enough exercise or adding beans to your diet or caffeine.

Eyal writes that we are blind to the fact that we don't need distractions in the first place.

Distractions keep you from achieving your goals.

The goal right now is to identify the root causes of distraction - the desire to escape discomfort.

Anything that stops discomfort is potentially addictive.

But that doesn't make it irresistable.

If you know the drivers of your behavior, you can take steps to manage them.

The desire to avoid discomfort is the Root Cause of distraction.

The excuse you come up with is the Proximate Cause.
"But I needed another expresso!"
"But my puppy needed to pee!"
"But 80 percent of the males in my family have had ADD/ADHD since 1308 AD!

Proximate causes help you deflect responsibility onto something else.

No more blaming video games or porn or genetics.
 
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Bertram

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Section One: (Introduction and) Mastering Your Internal Triggers

So we are hard wired to feel dissatisfied.

Four sources for this:
boredom
negative experiences are more important than positive
we ruminate
enjoyment does not last for long

Discomfort and dissatisfaction are a normal default mindset.


Modern folks have the mistaken idea that if we are not happy, we are not normal.

Let this idea go. It will feel pretty good.

Feeling bad actually doesn't feel too bad.
 

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Bertram

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Don't get into a cycle of resisting, ruminating about and finally giving into an action you are suppressing. It will backfire with a vengeance.
More about what to do instead tomorrow.
 
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Bertram

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And for me, a big part of the problem is that I have to work online -- that's where the data &etc I work with ARE. So I'm continuously tied into the Infinite Source of Shiny Objects. It takes supreme discipline -- more than I have -- to stay on task when there's always something yanking my attention away.
Ongoing.
Section One: (Introduction and) Mastering Your Internal Triggers

OK so how do you fix your unhealthy, distracted response to internal triggers?

Deal with distraction from within.
Reimagine the internal trigger.
Reimagine the task.
Reimagine your temperament.

I'm going to present what Eyal means by all this in the following posts but you really would be much better off reading the book start to finish.

You can change your mind starting with one moment at a time.
Life changes your mind, you know that for sure.
Why not DIY some alterations yourself.

It's been a long day and I'd like a glass of wine before continuing.
See you in a bit.

It will be curious if no one 'Likes' these summaries.
I think right now everyone's watching The Undercover Billionaire.
That's sweet.
 
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AniM

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Thanks for the great summary @Bertram

Overall what do you think of the book? MUST read or just worthwhile?

Section One: (Introduction and) Mastering Your Internal Triggers

So we are hard wired to feel dissatisfied.

Four sources for this:
boredom
negative experiences are more important than positive
we ruminate
enjoyment does not last for long

Discomfort and dissatisfaction are a normal default mindset.


Modern folks have the mistaken idea that if we are not happy, we are not normal.

Let this idea go. It will feel pretty good.

Feeling bad actually doesn't feel too bad.
Thought this insight was super fascinating. Most people DO focus on how to be happier, and that does lead to a lot of distractions and addictions.
 
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Bertram

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Thanks for the great summary @Bertram

Overall what do you think of the book? MUST read or just worthwhile?



Thought this insight was super fascinating. Most people DO focus on how to be happier, and that does lead to a lot of distractions and addictions.
This is the best book ever published on distractibility and finding mental focus.
I did complete surveys of the published literature as a top expert on attentional processing and mental states.
Eyal's book is the one work which explains the problem and additionally presents completely reliable solutions. (Edward Hallowell's work is the best source to understand ADD/ADHD but Eyal's work will change treatment approaches for these cognitive styles (disorders) - radically.)
 
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