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Ever felt this way before? Unable to concentrate because your phone notifications bar just popped up? What’s that now – oh a new Whatsapp message. You click once, harmlessly, and before you know it, 30 minutes have passed, you having gone from “reading a book” time to watching random reels on Instagram.

A book by Nir Eyal called Indistractable is all about solving this attention problem.

First, the word itself. You know the base in ‘distraction’? It’s ‘action’. And it is the same in ‘traction’ as well! Wow, that never struck me before. Distractions move us away from what we really want. Traction is the opposite.

Avoiding distraction is a skill, it can be learned, and needs to be practised. 3 things to help in this journey as per the book:
1. We never run out of willpower, so keep at it.
2. Reaffirm positively
3. Practice self-compassion

Other stuff: turn off notifications where unnecessary, delete apps that are not needed, use your phone’s ‘do not disturb’ feature etc. The last one I can really vouch for!

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  1. Mamatha Mamatha

    Maheshji, last point self compassion , I dint get it properly. Is it not the opposite ? I should be strict to myself and disciplined , not to get distracted ? If I am compassionate to myself , I may give away ?

    • Jsk Mamatha ji, yes you’re right, discipline is necessary, and that’s why this discipline is captured in the first two points – willpower and affirmations. But if this is taken too far, then that itself can cause more stress… Hence the third point, which is to do our best but also not be too hard on ourselves… ie. self compassion ?

      • Mamatha Mamatha

        Yes Maheshji, thanks for the clarification

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