7 Books on Beating Distraction for When You Need to Get Things Done

published Apr 28, 2023
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In all of human history, never has it been harder to stay focused than right now. Always within reach are smartphones, a bustling universe of memes and notifications and “hot takes” that were designed to capture attention — and keep it for as long as possible.

So how can you resist that ever-present siren song of distraction, then buckle up and get things done? These seven excellent books below will show you the way. (But while you read, maybe put your phone on Silent Mode.)

Listen to audio summaries of all 7 books on the Next Big Idea App.

1 / 7

A revelatory account of how Christian monks identified distraction as a fundamental challenge ― and how their efforts to defeat it can inform ours, more than a millennium later.

2 / 7

The pursuit of calm ultimately leads us to become more engaged, focused, and deliberate — while making us more productive and satisfied with our lives. In an anxious world, investing in calm can be considered the best productivity strategy around.

3 / 7

Which of the five types of perfectionist are you: classic, intense, Parisian, messy, or procrastinator? As you identify your unique perfectionist profile, you’ll learn how to manage each form of perfectionism to work for you, not against you.

4 / 7

For anyone who’s sick of letting to-do lists dictate their time, the bestselling author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast shares nine strategies for reclaiming your hours.

5 / 7

Intrinsic motivation ― doing a thing for its inherent satisfaction rather than external rewards ― is the key to success and satisfaction in any endeavor. A legendary performance coach shares his simple, proven, and fun methods for cultivating and keeping it.

6 / 7

Buy Back Your Time is the definitive guide for entrepreneurs at every level on how to succeed in business while enjoying more freedom than you ever imagined.

7 / 7

An inspiring call to take productivity off its pedestal — by dismantling our comparison to others, aspirational routines, and the unrealistic notions of what can be done in a day, we can finally embrace the joyful messiness and unpredictability of life.

This article originally appeared in Next Big Idea Club magazine and is reprinted with permission.