Indistractable with Nir Eyal — Episode 300 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Nir Eyal

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 the bestselling book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

In addition to blogging at NirAndFar.com, Nir’s writing has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today.

Nir is also 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).

Nir attended The Stanford Graduate School of Business and Emory University.

Show Highlights:

  • I thought that technology was the problem, but it turns out that all distraction is the problem, and that’s nothing new. —Nir Eyal
  • Addiction denotes a pusher or a dealer—mind control—and that lets people off the hook. It’s really overuse. Addiction is something you can’t control and you need help with, but overuse is something you can control. It’s a personal responsibility issue. —Nir Eyal
  • If it’s distraction you seek, distraction you will find. —Nir Eyal
  • We need to realize the problem is much bigger than tech tools. Every generation has a panic around some mind-controlling device or technology. We’ll do what we have always done—we adapt and adopt. —Nir Eyal
  • All motivation is about the desire to escape discomfort. The same rule applies psychologically. When we’re lonely, we check Facebook. When we’re unsure, we Google. —Nir Eyal
  • Time management is actually pain management. —Nir Eyal
  • The opposite of distraction is not focus, it’s traction. Traction is any action that pulls you toward what you want to do. —Nir Eyal
  • You can’t call something a distraction unless you know what it distracted you from. —Nir Eyal
  • If you don’t plan your day, someone or something else will. —Nir Eyal
  • We want to make sure we spend our time according to our values. —Nir Eyal
  • Distraction in the workplace is a symptom of cultural disfunction. —Nir Eyal

Nir’s final thoughts: If we don’t have a plan, you don’t have traction to get things done, and distraction is the default.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Dan Moore, President of Southwestern Advantage, the oldest direct-sales company in America, and Partner with Southwestern Consulting. With more than 45 years in sales leadership and marketing management, Dan has a wealth of knowledge to share on how to make better use of time to achieve life, sales, and other business goals. Each week, he interviews some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts, sharing meaningful tips and advice. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

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