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.