SLO MO REWIND: Nir Eyal on Becoming Indistractable
January 07, 2023
Mo Gawdat and Nir Eyal
In this third rewind, I revisit my talk with Nir Eyal, my sensei of time management. Start the New Year with confidence by becoming indistractable.
Nir teaches the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. He previously taught as a Lecturer in Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. Nir co-founded and sold two tech companies since 2003 and was dubbed by The M.I.T. Technology Review as, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.”
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 the Outstanding Works of Literature Award as well as being named one of the Best Business and Leadership Books of the Year by Amazon and one of the Best Personal Development Books of the Year by Audible. The Globe and Mail called Indistractable, “the best business book of 2019.”
Listen as we discuss:
- Hooked, which teaches how to apply habit forming design to good habits.
- Indistractable, which is about empowering people to break bad habits.
- Social media and tech is not mind control, and we are not helpless against it.
- The tendency to do things against our better interest is an age-old phenomenon.
- What is distraction? And what is its opposite?
- The Four Steps to Becoming Indistractable: Master Internal Triggers; Make Time for Traction; Hack Back External Triggers; Prevent Distraction with Pacts.
- "The time you plan to waste is not wasted time." - Dorothy Parker
- How Nir wrote the books for himself and his own distracted life.
- The main reason for distraction? Uncomfortable emotional states.
- The 10 Minute Rule: Instead of saying "no", say "not yet!" (this is magical)
- Uncomfortable sensations are like a wave, but you can surf the urge until it goes away.
- Why To-Do Lists are actually toxic: they convince you of your own inadequacy.
- Why making a time box calendar is the optimal time management strategy.
- Aligning your schedule with your values and relationships, first and foremost.
- Reactive Work vs. Reflective Work
- Schedule syncing, or how to get your boss to worship the ground you walk on.
- Communicate your time boundaries clearly, and everyone wins.
- Indistractable people are reliable to their word and therefore easy to back.
- The #1 reason people call meetings? To hear themselves think out loud.
- Brainstorming in groups is a terrible idea, according to studies.
- Meetings should have one purpose: to gain consensus after doing pre-work.
- Make a Ulysses Pact by making plans in advance to prevent distraction.
- Effort Pacts allow you to keep your word by creating a barrier to breaking it.
- Nir's transition from obese to fit, and how he used his techniques to get there.
- Consistency over intensity is the best way to keep a habit.
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