Indistractable – A Book Club Summary

Thank you to everyone who attended the A5 Advisory Book Club on July 23rd to discuss Indistractable by Nir Eyal. Below is a summary of the ideas that were shared during our discussion, and as a bonus, follow up from Nir Eyal himself who answered specific questions the group had!

Takeaways from Indistractable: 

Indistractable explores the idea that time is an investment and should be treated as such. It discusses how we often spend our time doing things that take away our focus and attention, leaving us with little time to accomplish things that are really important. Often, these distractions cause use to feel guilty and unproductive. This book delves into different tools and approaches that can be explored to take back our time, attention, and efforts, and investment them in things that matter and add value to our everyday lives. The ideas and concepts explained in this book can be applied in both professional and personal settings, allowing us to be able to maximize the amount of time we spend simply doing things and let us start living.  

  • Time is an investment. Treat is with care and consideration.  
  • Take a step back and “audit” where time is being invested. Does it add value to us and our day?  
  • Prioritizing time and how it is spent is important in finding ways to properly utilize a schedule.  
  • The tools and approaches presented in this book may not work for everyone. It is up to us to try and see what works for our needs and circumstances.  
  • Because everyone is different, the process of finding what does and does not work will take time. Be patient, and understand it is a process.  

Takeaways from the book club session on July 23rd: 

Managing our time

  • One approach is to time-block the whole day. This allows you to allocate time and focus on things; therefore, causing you to remain on-track and hypervigilant about what is on the schedule and what you are meant to be doing. 
  • Most of us don’t want to have to think of every single thing we have to do/accomplish in a day – we would rather schedule the most important and demanding things in a day such as work, appointments, etc. 
  • Carefully planning out our day to maximize productivity not only helps reduce the onslaught of distractions, but requires effort to not give into the temptation of distractions. 

Surfing the Urge

  • Giving into distractions is human nature. They are nothing to be ashamed of, but they are something that need to be overcome. 
  • The “surfing the urge” concept outlined in the book can be applied to multiple areas of life.  
  • This concept goes against the traditional approach of simply killing an urge, and instead focuses on “surfing” the urge. This allows you to explore what you are feeling and decide if it can be ignored or not. 
  • It is okay to give into urges every so often. The point is to be conscious of them and not let them dictate your schedule and where your time goes. 
  • Nir recommended guided meditation to work though “urge surfing.”

Auditing Our Time

  • Sometimes, it is worth it to “audit “our time that we invest in something. It may be good to ask ourselves, how much time are we investing in something, and what is the return on the investment of time? 
  • Social media is a huge investment of time. For some, it takes up too much of their time. For certain events and reasons, investing time in social media is okay, but it is still important to be mindful of how long we are using it. 

Hacking Back

  • Another approach is hacking back – the conscious effort to cut back on time investing in certain things. This may need to happen, but it can also be the most challenging. 
  • The book highlighted a concept called pacts which are pre-commitments to certain things, and what is going to be done. 

Habits and Accountability

  • Co-working sessions are a great way to be motivated, accountable, and productive. They allow people to come together and work in a common environment in order to get things done.  
  • Rituals – mannerisms and/or habits that we have put in place for certain things. They help reinforce identity and allow us to change our mindset to a healthier one. 
  • Being aware of how we are spending our time is difficult and requires us to be cognizant of learned behavior and developed habits.  

We asked Nir, “Given the rapid change in our world in that time, is there anything that you would add, reprioritize, or emphasize differently if you could make updates to the book today?

He said, “Nothing in the book changes in terms of the methodology or the 4 part Indistractable Model but it’s certainly become more important as people struggle with more internal triggers spawned by the COVID crisis as well as new external triggers we encounter by working form home. Thank you again for reading and sharing my book.

Please join us this Friday, August 20th as we discuss Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert.  

 To your success!

Nastran Andersen

A5 Advisory


 To your success!