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About the Author
Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. The M.I.T. Technology Review dubbed Nir, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.”
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 the author of two bestselling books, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. Indistractable received critical acclaim, winning a number of awards.
In addition to blogging at NirAndFar.com, Nir’s writing has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, Time Magazine, and Psychology Today. Nir is also an active investor in habit-forming technologies.
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About the book
Ever get the feeling the world is full of too many distractions? Research shows the ability to stay focused is a competitive advantage, in work and in life. However, in an age of ever-increasing demands on our attention, how do we get the best from technology without letting it get the best of us?
Check out the workbooks and supplemental guidance here:
Find more tips on productivity and habit forming here: https://www.nirandfar.com/best-articles/
Listen to Nir on the First Time Facilitator podcast here:
BIG IDEA 1 (4:26) – Technology is not the problem.
What actually creates the problem is our relationship to technology, to ourselves and our mindset. Nir talks about the fact that the opposite of distraction is traction. Rather than focus on distraction, we need to focus on moving (or traction) towards the things we want to achieve or do.
Constantly reacting to our distraction does nothing. We have to deal with our discomfort, observe it and let it dissolve. Technology is not the problem but our response to whatever it is we are trying to avoid, is. Nir talks about re-imagining the task and adding an element of fun to tasks that feel too much.
Nir said in the book that willpower is just another emotion, no different to sadness or happiness, and like those other emotions it doesn’t just ‘run out’. But we can set ourselves up to maximise willpower in the same way we set ourselves to maximise sadness or happiness.
We need to master our internal triggers, stop trying to escape discomfort and be curious about what’s happening internally instead.
BIG IDEA 2 (8:04) – Hack external triggers.
Most technology is designed for us to keep using it so the question you should be asking yourself is – is this serving me or am I serving it? There are many ways in the book that describe how we can take control of external triggers designed to interrupt us. Settings such as Do not disturb mode, applications such as Forest or tools such as browser extensions to hide your social media feed or set downtime on your phones.
Stop external triggers coming to you that prevent you from achieving what you want.
BIG IDEA 3 (12:32) – Make work indistractible.
You can make your work and your team indistractible by setting clearer ways of working – for example a concentration zone or crown, or tags on computers to show when people are in deep work mode. You need to make the culture value ‘work’ and be using the technology well in service of the outcomes.
You can also set a culture in your team or organisation where no agenda equals no meeting to avoid pointless meetings. To make sure meetings that do happen are as effective as possible, there should be no devices allowed in the meeting – this avoids all the beeps, buzzes and pings that stop us connecting and getting things done.
Setting ground rules as ways of working helps put us back in control.
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