“Indistractable” Quotes

I recently read “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life” by Nir Eyal. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book.

Samuel Johnson said, “My life is one long escape from myself.” (27)

“we must disavow the misguided idea that if we’re not happy, we’re not normal—exactly the opposite is true.” (31)

“Dweck concluded that signs of ego depletion were observed only in those test subjects who believed willpower was a limited resource.” (43)

“Labeling yourself as having poor self-control actually leads to less self-control.” (45)

“people who have “a positive and caring attitude . . . toward her- or himself in the face of failures and individual shortcomings” tend to be happier.” (45)

Another study found that people’s tendency to self-blame, along with how much they ruminated on a problem, could almost completely mediate the most common factors associated with depression and anxiety. (45)

An individual’s level of self-compassion had a greater effect on whether they would develop anxiety and depression than all the usual things that tend to screw up people’s lives, like traumatic life events, a family history of mental illness, low social status, or a lack of social support. (45)

Whether I’m able to fall asleep at any given moment or whether a breakthrough idea for my next book comes to me when I sit down at my desk isn’t entirely up to me, but one thing is for certain: I won’t do what I want to do if I’m not in the right place at the right time, whether that’s in bed when I want to sleep or at my desk when I want to do good work. Not showing up guarantees failure. (55)

To make sure we always have something fun to do, we spent one afternoon writing down over a hundred things to do together in town, each one on a separate little strip of paper. Then, we rolled up all the little strips and placed them inside our “fun jar.” (57)

“my wife bought a hard-to-miss headpiece on Amazon for just a few dollars. She calls it the “concentration crown,” and the built-in LEDs light up her head to send an impossible-to-ignore message. When she wears it, she’s clearly letting our daughter (and me) know not to interrupt her unless it’s an emergency. It works like a charm.” (76)

“I’m not telling you to tag emails by topic or categories, only by when the message requires a response.” (83)

When I taught at the Stanford design school, I consistently saw how teams who brainstormed individually before coming together not only generated better ideas but were also more likely to have a wider diversity of solutions as they were less likely to be overrun by the louder, more dominating members of the group. (88)

Ryan and Deci proposed the human psyche needs three things to flourish: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. (147)

According to Rogoff, “It may be the case that children give up control of their attention when it’s always managed by an adult.”(149)

Robert Epstein, the researcher who wrote “The Myth of the Teen Brain” in Scientific American, has a similar conclusion: “Surveys I have conducted show that teens in the U.S. are subjected to more than ten times as many restrictions as are mainstream adults, twice as many restrictions as active-duty U.S. Marines, and even twice as many restrictions as incarcerated felons.” (149)

Somehow, as a society, we have come to the conclusion that to protect children from danger and to educate them, we must deprive them of the very activity that makes them happiest and place them for ever more hours in settings where they are more or less continually directed and evaluated by adults, settings almost designed to produce anxiety and depression. (152)

The more you talk with your kids about the costs of too much tech use and the more you make decisions with them, as opposed to for them, the more willing they will be to listen to your guidance. (153)

Phubbing, a portmanteau of phone and snubbing, means “to ignore (a person or one’s surroundings) when in a social situation by busying oneself with a phone or other mobile device.” (170)

Did you like the quotes? Buy the book.