How to take control of your life in the age of smartphones

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How to take control of your life in the age of smartphones

Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal, BenBella Books, US $26.95, Pp 272, September 2019, ISBN 978-1948836531

Do you find it difficult to give full and undivided attention to what you are supposed to do? Do you feel tempted to open your Facebook or Twitter or Instagram account in the middle of your work? Do you feel restless when you are away from your smartphone? There are myriads of similar questions and most people are likely to say ‘yes’ to most of them. Most readers will not realize the importance of these questions before they say ‘yes’ to a more important question: Do you think these distractions have made you less productive professionally and put a wedge between you and your partner? Most people realize that they can achieve a lot more if they were not distracted by these modern distractions. Nir Eyal discusses the factors that drive us to distraction and how easily you can overcome them and become more productive. He says that distraction at work is a symptom of dysfunctional company culture. He says that time management is pain management. He also argues that distractions also ruin your sex life and your relations with your partner.

Nir Eyal says that there will be two kinds of people in the world in the future: those who let their attention and lives be controlled and coerced by others and those who proudly call themselves “indistractable.” He writes, “I love sweets, I love social media, and I love television. However, as much as I love these things, they don’t love me back. Overeating a sugary indulgence after a meal, spending too much time scrolling a feed, or indulging in a Netflix binge until 2 AM were all things I once did with little or no conscious thought — out of habit.” He continues, “Just as eating too much junk food leads to health problems, the overuse of devices can also have negative consequences.” Nir Eyal says that living the life we want requires not only doing the right things; it also requires we stop doing the wrong things that take us off track. We all know that eating cake is worse for our waistlines than having a healthy salad. We agree that aimlessly scrolling our social media feeds is not as enriching as spending time with real friends in real life. We understand that if we want to be more productive at work, we need to stop wasting time and do the work. We already know what to do. What we don’t know is how to stop getting distracted.

Nir Eyal says that the first step is to recognize that distraction starts from within. He teaches you how you can learn to identify and manage the psychological discomfort that leads us off track. However, he steers clear of recommending well-known techniques like mindfulness, and meditation. In the second part of the book, he explains the importance of making time for the things you really want to do. You will learn why you cannot call something a “distraction” unless you know what it is distracting you from. You will learn to plan your time with intention, even if you choose to spend it scrolling through celebrity headlines or reading a steamy romance novel. After all, the time you plan to waste is not wasted time. He conducts a no-holds-barred examination of the unwanted external triggers that hamper our productivity and diminish our well-being. He writes that while technology companies use cues like the pings and dings on our phones to hack our behavior, external triggers are not confined to our digital devices. They are all around us — from cookies beckoning when we open the kitchen cabinet to a chatty coworker keeping us from finishing a time-sensitive project. Lastly, he says while removing external triggers is helpful in keeping distractions out, pacts are a proven way of reining ourselves in, ensuring we do what we say we’re going to do.

Packed with wisdom and insight in the age of smartphones, Indistractable is a very necessary and much-needed book. After reading the book you will realize how the notifications on your computer and smartphone control your body and mind. It is a very empowering book that will help you take control of your body and mind. It will help you focus on what you need to do and achieve the desired results. Indistractable is for all those who value their time and want to become more productive. Most importantly, it is for those who want to build a healthy relationship with their partners and enjoy their sex lives. With his right scholarly credentials, Nir Eyal is one of the best authorities to author such a book.

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