Indistractable Chapters 27 - 33

I'm skipping a bunch of chapters now, because I just don't find the chapters about businesses and children terribly interesting, and it's my blog, so I can write whatever I'd like.

Chapter 27, Fixing distraction is a Test of Company Culture

  • Don't suffer in silence. A workplace where people can't talk about technology overuse is also one where people keep other important issues (and insights) to themselves.
  • Knowing that your voice matters is essential. Teams that foster psychological safety and facilitate regular open discussions about concerns not only have fewer problems with distraction but also have happier employees and customers.

Chapter 28, The Indistractable Workplace

  • Indistractable organizations like Slack and Boston Consulting Group, foster psychological safety, provide a place for open discussions about concerns, and, most important, have leaders who exemplify the importance of doing focused work.

Part 6, How to Raise Indistractable Children

Chapter 29, Avoid Convenient Excuses

  • Stop deflecting blame. When kids don't act the way parents want, it's natural to look for answers that help parents divert responsibility.
  • Techno-panics are nothing new. From the book, to the radio, to video games, the history of parenting is strewn with moral panic over things supposedly making kids act in strange ways.
  • Tech isn't evil. Used in the right way and in the right amounts, kids' tech use can be beneficial, while too much (or too little) can have slightly harmful effects.
  • Teach kids to be indistractable. Teaching children how to manage distraction will benefit them throughout their lives.

Chapter 30, Understand their Internal Triggers

  • Internal Triggers drive behavior. To understand how to help kids manage distraction, we need to start by understanding the source of the problem.
  • Our kids need psychological nutrients. Accounting to a widely accepted theory of human motivation, all people need three things to thrive: a sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
  • Distractions satisfy deficiencies. When our kids' psychological needs are not met in the real world, they go looking for satisfaction - often in virtual environments.
  • Kids need alternatives. Parents and guardians can take steps to help kids find balance between their online and offline worlds by providing more offline opportunities to find autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
  • The four-part Indistractable Model is valuable for kids as well. Teach them methods for handling distractions, and, most important, model being indistractable yourself.

Chapter 31, Make Time for Traction Together

  • Teach traction. With so many potential distractions in kids' lives, teaching them how to make time for traction is critical.
  • Just as with our own timeboxed schedules, kids can learn how to make time for what's important to them. If they don't learn to make their own plans in advance, kids will turn to distractions.
  • It's OK to let your kids fail. Failure is how we learn. Show kids how to adjust their schedules to make time to live up to their values.

Chapter 32, Help Them with External Triggers

  • Teach your children to swim before they dive in. Like swimming in a pool, children should not be allowed to partake in certain risky behaviors before they are ready.
  • Test for tech readiness. A good measure of a child's readiness is the ability to manage distraction by using the settings on the device to turn off external triggers.
  • Kids need sleep. There is little justification for having a television or other potential distractions in a kid's room overnight. Make sure nothing gets in the way of them getting good rest.
  • Don't be the unwanted external trigger. Respect their time and don't interrupt them when they have scheduled time to focus on something, be that work or play.

Chapter 33, Teach Them to Make Their Own Pacts

  • Don't underestimate your child's ability to precommit and follow through. Even young children can learn to use precommitments as long as they set the rules and know how to use a timer or some other binding system.
  • Consumer skepticism is healthy. Understanding that companies are motivated to keep kids spending time watching or playing is an important part of teaching media literacy.
  • Put the kids in charge. It's only when kids practice monitoring their own behavior that they learn how to manage their own time and attention.

And now I can go back to reading instead of skimming. Part 7 is How to Have Indistractable Relationships.


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