Are you easily distracted? Do you start your day with an idea of how it’s going to go but by the end of it realize you didn’t get everything accomplished? Do you ever wonder where the time goes? If you answer yes to these questions, Nir Eyal has a solution for you. Here’s a 4 step methodology that will teach you how to control your attention and choose your life.
Nir Eyal on How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life :
Nir Eyal created the word “Indistractable” on his journey to find out how to stay focused and making traction. He couldn’t find the right info on how to do this better so he researched and created it! Here is Alex’s interview with Nir.
What does indistractable mean?
It is a made-up word. I wanted it to sound like a superpower. If I could have any realistic superpower I would just want to have the power to do what I say I am going to do.
4 step methodology to become indistractable: 📑
1. Master internal triggers
2. Make time for traction
3. Hack back external triggers
4. Prevent distraction
Distraction is much deeper than the surface level analysis, I call it a proximal cause vs. a root cause. We want to get to the root cause. Tactics are what you do, strategy is why you do it. The strategies will serve you the rest of your life, the tactics will come and go.
The opposite of distraction is traction. Traction is any action that pulls you towards what you really want to do, things you do with intent, and take you towards the person you want to become. The opposite of traction is dis-traction is any action that pulls you away from what you want to do and away from the person you want to become.
Recommended Podcast Episode: Doing Less so You Can Accomplish More
1. Master Internal Triggers: 🤓
Triggers are the things that prompt us to take action, there are two types: external and internal. Internal triggers are the leading cause of distraction. Internal triggers are uncomfortable emotional states that we seek to escape from: uncertainty, boredom, stress, loneliness.
Most people do not have the tools to deal with uncomfortable emotional states in a healthy way that leads them towards traction rather than distraction.
Mastering these triggers means choosing how you respond to the triggers. Our natural response is to escape discomfort. This works physiologically and psychologically as well.
“We can’t control our feelings or urges but we can control how we respond to them.”
2. Make Time for Traction: ⏰
You cannot call something a distraction unless you know what it distracted you from. You must value your attention and plan out what you want to do with your time. What do you value? You need to plan how you want to spend your time.
The average person needs 15 minutes to plan their week.
3. Hack Back External Triggers: 📱
These are the pings, dings, and rings. Anything outside of you that is telling you to do something ie: emails, texts, calls, people. Ask yourself the key question: Is that trigger serving me, or I am serving it? And If it is not serving you, it has to go!
Hack means to gain unauthorized access. Any media company is trying to hack your attention. This doesn’t mean that you are powerless. I am showing you how to hack back their technology in ways that they can’t do anything about.
4. Prevent Distractions with Pacts: 📜
This step can only happen after you have mastered the first 3 steps. This is the last line of defense, the “firewall”. This involved preventing distraction with pacts. We are going to use a pre-commitment device. We are going to make a promise to ourselves or to someone else so that when the time comes if we fail, there is some kind of backstop to ensure that we don’t get distracted. There are three types of pacts: an effort pact, a price pact, and an identity pact. (Listen or read the book for the full explanation.)
Nir’s final thought:
You have to stand up and say “My time, my attention, my life is something that I will control, I won’t let other people control that because I am indistractable!”
Resources Mentioned in this Episode:
What is one of your personal hacks that has helped you become indistractable?