Actions Against Distractions


A comprehensive, contemporary, and highly useful survival guide for the distracted.

A definitive guide to defeating the distractions of modern life.

Educational psychologist and life coach Markel (Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction, 2008, etc.) identifies eight specific “demons of distraction” (including “Technology Demon,” “Stress Demon,” and “Fatigue Demon”) and delves deeply into their causes and effects. Devoting a chapter to each, she establishes a five-step “Plan of Attack” that she applies throughout the book, giving it a consistent, parallel structure; the plan includes assessment, analysis, goal-setting, taking action, and monitoring one’s progress. In Markel’s discussion of the “Technology Demon,” for example, she writes that it “can be today’s greatest enemy of top performance and high productivity.” She then leads readers through a “Self-Check” exercise, uses a specific example to highlight the demon’s consequences, offers an assessment tool (a “Technology Journal”), and demonstrates how to set realistic goals. She goes on to talk about specific “issues and strategies” regarding technology’s negative effects, such as “The Evil Empire of E-mail” and “Gaming Addictions.” Markel closes with a summary section, “Moving from Intention to Action,” that reinforces the chapter’s content, along with a brief story about a real-life person who used a “preemptive strike” to prevent the Technology Demon from taking hold. The other chapters effectively address each of the other demons in similar fashion. The final chapter, “Maintenance, Meltdowns and Peacefulness,” targets more general improvements in productivity and lifestyle. In addition to being well-organized, the book is clearly written, carefully researched, highly pertinent to readers’ lives, and thorough in its presentation. Markel includes a wealth of charts, checklists, and questionnaires throughout, as well as an extensive list of resources at the book’s conclusion. The descriptions and examples of each of the different demons make for captivating reading by themselves, but Markel’s ability to pinpoint ways to overcome them raises this book up as an invaluable resource for anyone plagued by distractions.

A comprehensive, contemporary, and highly useful survival guide for the distracted.

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0615586397

Page Count: 215

Publisher: Managing Your Mind, LLC

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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