This week, Charlie is joined by author, teacher, and consultant Nir Eyal to talk about his book “Indistractible,” and how to maintain focus in a world full of distractions. They discuss habits and techniques to gain traction back once it has been lost. Nir posits that willpower is not a finite resource but a mood that comes and goes just like happiness or sadness.
[5:18] - Nir and Charlie discuss how the labels people give to themselves oftentimes prevent them from doing the things that they really want to do; and the second the process of trying becomes difficult, the label is confirmed.
[8:00] - Nir talks about the definition of the word “indistractible,” and how he wanted to replace the negative, self-limiting labels people give to themselves with something that’s positive and helps us stay on track when trying to accomplish our goals.
[12:00] - Nir explains that being distracted is not a character flaw and the way to combat impulsiveness is forethought; putting systems in place ahead of time to deal with distractions.
[20:00] - Nir explains the differences between distraction and traction. Any activity can be traction as long as you’ve made time for it, so there is no need to feel guilty about scrolling through a Slack channel or playing a video game as long as you’ve made a conscious decision to do so.
[27:23] - Charlie brings up the concept of willpower, which was once thought by social scientists to be akin to a muscle that can be fatigued, a limited resource. Nir brings in more recent research that interrogates this idea and comes to the conclusion that willpower is only exhibited in one group of people: those that believe willpower is a limited resource.
[34:15] - Charlie talks about the value of re-focus blocks of time, which are used to recharge your willpower so that you can pursue the task at hand. Nir explains that willpower is simply an emotion; much like we wouldn’t run out of other emotions like angry and sad, we don’t run out of willpower.
[37:10] - Charlie and Nir discuss how the quality of the environment you are in can dramatically change the quality of the work you do and the ability to be indistractible.
[40:21] - Nir challenges the listener to master the uncomfortable emotional states that disrupt your time management and focus; he then invites the listener to check out his website and to download a complimentary companion workbook.
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