How to Manage Your Attentiveness at Work

How to Manage Your Attentiveness at Work

04 Dec

Who are the non-scattering? Being indistinct means striving to do what you promised yourself. The undistracted are able to control their attention to achieve goals that are important to them


Wondering what the new term is? “Indistractable” is the title of the latest book by author Nir Eyal, and it addresses one of the greatest problems of our time: distraction.

This book is a practical guide on how to deal with distractions and regain control of your time and attention when it seems impossible.

“[…] To live the life we ​​want, we must not only do the right things, but also stop doing the wrong ones, through which we go astray. ”

Nir Eyal “Indistractable”

According to Nir Eyal, being irresistible is about understanding the real reasons why we do things against our best interests.

Tempted by distractors

Nir Eyal, the author of the book “Irritating” is known mainly from his previous book – the bestseller “Tempted”. This is a book that presents a four-part model of using triggers, rewards, and other habit-forming elements to systematically manipulate user behavior. Thousands of companies around the world have used this model to create habit-building products.

However, the rapid development of technology has made these products too addictive, turning our behavior into an addiction that can have a devastating effect on health, relationships or psyche.

The author himself admits that he struggled with the problem of distraction and addiction to the smartphone. There are many examples in the book from his personal life that describe how he overcame his weaknesses. Nir convinces us that we can deal with the bane of distraction. He proposes solutions that will change our approach to distractions and allow us to gain control over our attention.


The author of Indistractable says that motivation has far less to do with pleasure than once thought.

Eyal delves into the psychology behind distraction, noting that most of our behavior is caused by avoiding pain rather than seeking pleasure. He states that “only by understanding our pain can we begin to control it and find better ways to deal with negative impulses.”

Distraction is any action we take that is inconsistent with “our wider intentions.” We often blame technology for distraction. However, since all human behavior is motivated by the desire to minimize discomfort, the source of distraction lies within us. So technology is not the driving force behind our distraction.

If we do not address the root causes of distraction, we will seek a solution in the wrong place and remain helpless victims. On the other hand, if we realize that the cause of the distraction lies within us, we can take steps to become non-distracting and regain control of our attention.

4 strategies for being Indistractable

Integrity can be achieved through the use of four key management strategies.

The first strategy focuses on mastering our distracting temptations. One way to deal with internal stimuli is to use techniques derived from acceptance and commitment therapy. Looking back, observing and accepting your desires helps you deal effectively with discomfort.

In the fight against distractions, it is also important to define what these tempting stimuli are distracting you from. If you know what your goal is, you can easily tell which stimulus distracts you from it and which can support it.

What can bring you closer to your goals is traction. Traction is any activity that leads you to what you really want. Therefore, it is worth planning these activities in advance in your plans for a given week.

Once you have a schedule that will support your goals and values, it’s time for another strategy to combat distraction. It consists of controlling external stimuli. Here, the author proposes to start by asking yourself whether a given stimulus serves you or whether you are serving it?

If this does not work for you, in this part of the book “Indistractable” you will find tips on how to deal with an avalanche of e-mails, chats, unproductive meetings and breaks from work. You’ll also get practical and easy-to-apply ways to deal with distractions from smartphones, desktop files, web articles, and web portals.

The final strategy is to prevent distractions through pacts. What is such a pact? It is an independent decision, which is a declaration of will to do something in the future.

Commitments help reduce the risk of distraction. Pacts concluded with oneself or with others facilitate the proceedings in accordance with predetermined decisions. You have a choice of at least four types of pacts: effort, cost, and identity pacts.

Indistractable at work

While reading the book, I wondered if all these methods and techniques would work at work – especially in a corporate environment. I have worked practically all my career in a corporation and unfortunately, I have to admit that it is an extremely unproductive environment.

Thousands of unnecessary e-mails, completely unproductive meetings, millions of notifications on internal messengers and noisy open space. In a word, a nightmare for a person who appreciates creative work in concentration and silence. How can we be non-dissipative in such an environment?

The author gives some examples of large companies that have changed their approach to the way they work. From working 24 hours a day 7 days a week to creating a culture where there is finally room for regeneration and private life. It would be great if such changes became a positive trend, especially among corporations. Otherwise, fighting your inner stimuli and creating value-based schedules will be useless.

Although the author suggests many ways to deal with distractions at work, people working in a corporation may find it particularly difficult to implement them. Perhaps an extra chapter on how to be steadfastly assertive would be needed.

Why you should read the book

The book “Indistractable” is not only a guide where you will find practical tips on how to regain control of your attention. There are also chapters in the book on how to teach children to be non-distracting. I really liked the approach of educating children that technological novelties are designed to be immersed in endlessly. Children often perceive this problem themselves, but do not know how to deal with it.

If you are annoyed when your partner rummages on the phone during a meeting, instead of focusing on talking to you, you will surely like the methods for solving this problem in the chapter on how to be indistinguishable in relationships with other people.

All the methods and techniques proposed by the author are simple, so you can quickly implement the knowledge from the book into practice.

The book comes with an additional package of materials that can be downloaded from the website. The package includes a set of exercises for each chapter in the book – the book has 84 pages!

You will also find questions for the book if you would like to discuss it with others, a distraction diary, a week plan, a warning sign to print, and motivating screen wallpapers.

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