Indistractable Chapter 22

Chapter 22, The Power of Precommitments.

The chapter, not surprisingly, shares the story of Ulysses sailing past the sirens. He made his crew fill their ears with beeswax so they cannot hear the sirens, nor Ulysses tell them to change course, and had them tie him to the mast so he could hear the song, but not throw himself overboard to find the sirens. Ulysses' precommitment kept everyone safe and completed his goal of hearing the sirens.

Precommitments won't work if you've also not done the work beforehand - removing external triggers that distract us, make time for things we do want to do, and removing the external triggers that don't help us, it's likely that we will fail.

Chapter Summary:

  • Being indistractable does not only require keeping distraction out. It also necessitates reining ourselves in.
  • Precommitments can reduce the likelihood of distraction. They help us stick with decisions we've made in advance.
  • Precomitments should only be used after the other three indistractable strategies have already been applied. Don't skip the first three steps.

Neighbor update:

They didn't play any music from 7am - 2pm, so that was very nice. I could hear it a little bit from my new spot in the dining room, but if I put on some music, it mostly drown it out. I tried out using my white noise machine and that didn't help. I got my box fan out and while it helped more, I then couldn't hear my TV... and could still hear their music. Looking forward to the isolation pads to be delivered. I hope that they'll use them and I don't find out that they've mounted their speakers to the wall. I gave up watching at 8:30pm and just went to bed because I was tired of hearing the bass.

Coronavirus update:

Durham and Charlotte are in lockdown.


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