It seems that with technology today, distraction becomes addictive. So much so that when we don’t have an immediate distraction, we go looking for one! With all our devices’ buzzes and beeps, how do we get anything done?
On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Nir Eyal, author of “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life”, reveals the Achilles’ heel of our distractions and provides a guidebook for leveraging technology without letting it get the best of you.
Nir explains that the root cause of distraction has little to do with our phones. He tried a long detox and got rid of his technology. Unfortunately, Nir still got distracted; for him, technology was just the latest excuse.
He insists that people have always been distractible even though they know exactly what they need to accomplish. Nir says that “the opposite of distraction is not focus, but traction which is any action that pulls you toward what you want to do.” He believes that everything we do is to avoid discomfort. Therefore, Nir says we get distracted to avoid that discomfort. For Nir, “time management is pain management and we get distracted to look for emotional pacification… We are looking to “not feel” something we are working on.”
Here are four ways Nir suggests you can develop the skill to become “indistractable” and get more done:
1. Master the internal triggers. Pause and acknowledge the feeling that you are going off track and deal with it with curiosity and not contempt for your loss of focus.
2. Wait 10 minutes until you give into the “itch” to do something else. Set a timer. Sit with that temptation and get back to the task you want to accomplish.
3. Make time for traction. Nir says that two -thirds of Americans don’t keep a calendar. Schedule your day or someone else will plan it for you.
4. Hack back the external triggers. Only have reminders that lead you to traction, not the interruptions that lead to distractions.
Listen to the entire interview on the Small Business Radio Show