In the future, there will be two kinds of people in the world: those who let their attention and lives be controlled and coerced by others and those who proudly call themselves ‘indistractable – Nir Eyal
M.I.T. Technology Review dubbed Nir Eyal, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology” as he is the author of the bestselling book on building habit forming products (Hooked). So who better to help us understand the neuroscience of distraction. Nir’s new book, “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life” is the topic of this podcast.
Nir writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. Nir founded two tech companies since 2003 and has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. He is an active investor in habit-forming technologies. Some of his past investments include Eventbrite (NYSE:EB), Refresh.io (acquired by LinkedIn), Worklife (acquired by Cisco), Product Hunt, Marco Polo, Presence Learning, 7 Cups, Pana, Kahoot!, Byte Foods, FocusMate, and Anchor.fm (acquired by Spotify).
Saying this show is about distraction doesn’t do it justice. This is probably just me, but distraction is so universal I worry we minimize its impact in our lives. We hear about it all the time of late due to the onset of the smartphone and if we don’t have that problem, well, we think we have no problem.
This is about your time and attention, why you lose control of it and how to get it back. The cash value of time IS attention, and we only have so much time left.
Human beings are horrible at planning out how long a task takes to finish….a task takes twice as long as you think it will, and nobody believes this, but the science bears this out. So stop planning to finish stuff. You have to plan the input, not the output – Nir Eyal
This episode is very quick listen in a sense that Nir gets right into it, I had to be very fast with my note taking.
Some of the topics we cover include …
- Habits and addictions
- On technology and addiction
- Habit forming products
- Addiction vs distraction
- The psychology of distraction
- How to “hack-back” attention
- On liminal moments
- On email and agency
- The 4-step framework for becoming indistractable
- The problem with to-do lists
- Time boxing and values
- On hyperbolic discounting
There is a lot under these topic umbrellas and much of the episode is tactical. I have already seen the benefits of applying much of it.
Fit this in, you should hear it.
- Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
- The schedule maker tool mentioned: https://nirandfar.com/
- Summary article: https://www.
- Distraction guide: https://www.nirandfar.com/
- Habits vs routines article: https://www.nirandfar.