What's The Big Idea: Nir Eyal - How to become Indistractable in an Overwhelming World

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“All distraction is escaping discomfort.”

Today’s guest: Nir Eyal

His big idea: How to be Indistractable in an Overwhelming World

Nir Eyal is one of the leading behavioral design experts on the planet.

Nir is best known of author of the bestselling book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, which sold over a quarter million copies and is a Silicon Valley must-read.

After writing the book and consulting for some of the top tech companies in the world (twitter, facebook etc) he realized that he had helped to create a monster. Technology companies were using these strategies so effectively that people were losing the power to control their attention, time and energy.

So, he wrote another book to help people reclaim one of the most fundamental skills of the digital age.

Nir's new book recently launched and is called, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. Nir’s perspective is very unique since he understands distraction from the inside out. 

In this episode he shares some incredibly novel and practical insights, including:

- Why the root cause of distraction has nothing to do with our phones.

- Why we’re not actually “addicted” to our phones and why saying so is hurting us.

- How to finally focus and do what we say, in business and in life.

- How to create an indistractable workplace.


You can read what some very prominent people are saying about Indistractable here: NirAndFar.com/Indistractable.

Listen to What’s The Big Idea on your preferred platform below:

Key insights Shared:

  • The power of being indistractable

  • The skill of the century:  How do we do what we say we are going to do?

  • The deeper psychology of distraction

  • Several strategies to put technology and distractions in their place

  • What’s the definition of distraction?

  • The importance of spending your time with intent 

  • Where do we start if we say “Here’s what I want to get done”...?

  • 4 Basic Indistractable Tactics:

    • 1) Master internal triggers

    • 2) Make time for traction - actions that are with intent (things that move us closer to our values)

    • 3) Hack back the external triggers

    • 4) Prevent distraction with pacts - pre commitment 

  • Learning to deal with discomfort 

  • Where do we start if we say “Here’s what I want to get done”?

  • Why the antidote to impulsiveness is forethought

  • The act of denying ourselves something vs. giving in = The heart of addictions

  • The myth of the “to-do” list.

  • Advice to approaching email more thoughtfully: TNT 

    • Total amount of time spent on email = N x Time pent per email

    • How much time do you spend on email and how many emails do you get?

  • The first step to using willpower correctly

  • The importance of being introspective and taking time to think

  • Why the modern workplace is full of psychological discomfort

    • “Distraction at work is a symptom of cultural dysfunction”