Nir Eyal on Becoming “Indistractable” in a World of Distractions


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“My Life-Changing 30-Day Digital Detox”

“10 Signs You’re a Smartphone Zombie”

These are headlines you might see if you search the interwebz for digital “addiction.”

It’s no secret that people use their smartphones, social media, and various apps more than ever before.

The benefits of this technology are obvious, but there’s also a downside. We end up distracted, spending too much time on things that don’t matter, with less time for things that are important to us, like our health, families, and life goals.

But are these modern technologies really a new, unique problem? How can we navigate a world filled with limitless distractions?

To help shed some light on the topic, I invited Nir Eyal onto the podcast. Nir knows both sides of this coin intimately.

His first book, Hooked, is all about how to build habit-forming products. He's helped numerous companies (including the New York Times) build “addictive” products that can do good in your life and he’s even taught a course on the subject at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

But by being so intertwined with the inner workings of habit-formation, Nir also knows how to break habits and make these apps and services serve us rather than the other way around.

That’s why Nir wrote his latest book, Indistractable, which is what this podcast is all about. In this interview, Nir helps us understand ...

- The root causes of distraction and how productive tasks can still be distractions
- Why you shouldn't try to be satisfied or happy all of the time
- How to "surf the urge" and supercharge your willpower
- Why you should timebox your day
- How to discover your values and find what resonates with you
- And more ...

So if you want to take back your life and not feel so addicted to apps and services, listen to this podcast.

8:13 - You went from writing a book about getting people hooked on products, to a book that is intended to help people avoid that. How did that happen?

16:38 - What is the difference between external and internal triggers?

22:20 - How do we get better at embracing discomfort?

49:33 - How does time boxing work and how do you use it?

53:04 - What are your thoughts on finding your personal values?


Mentioned on The Show:

Indistractable by Nir Eyal:
Schedule Maker Tool:
Summary Article:
Distraction Guide here:
Habits vs routines article here:
Nir's Instagram:

Books by Mike Matthews:

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