How to be Indistractable with NYT Bestselling Author, Nir Eyal

Andy Proctor   |   December 18, 2019

Do you get distracted? Do you struggle to stay on task and get taken down the digital rabbit hole more often than you would like? If the answer is yes, you're not alone.

With all the technology that exists, if you aren't deliberate about what you allow into your life, you'll be bombarded. One study showed that the average US smartphone user receives 46 app push notifications per day!

I have experienced the overwhelm and frustration that comes from coming to the end of the day and realizing that I haven't spent enough time on the things that I valued most. This is what I love about Nir Eyal's newest book: Indistractable.

In my interview with Nir Eyal, we discuss that the source of our distraction may not be an undiagnosed case of ADHD, but that it is actually discomfort. And the critical factor for me was when he talked about matching our values with our calendars. Why? Because if we actually remember the values that are driving our calendar, it's easier to do the things we plan. Otherwise, if our calendars do not align with our values, we will constantly be drawn away from them by even the smallest "shiny object" in our view (or our notifications).

This was a game changer for me!

How can you do this? Well, read the book! Also, here is an exercise the book inspired me to create for myself:

  1. Write down the things that you value most in life.
  2. Write down all the activities you actually have in your schedule and see which of those align with the values on your list.
  3. Now write down things that you still highly value, but that are NOT on your schedule in any form.
  4. Practice gratitude for the things on your list of scheduled items that already align with your deepest desires.
  5. Add more items to your calendar that actually align with your values.
  6. Let go of 3 things that DON'T align with your values (cancel, reschedule, reprioritize).

This exercise is life changing. Too many people feel down and get distracted on Monday (or any day) because they haven't aligned their values with their schedule.

Is this you? Why do you keep doing things that don't align with your values?


Align with your values and be more happy!

If you don't take anything else from the interview, remember this quote:

Time management is pain management. If you struggle as I did with not doing what you say you're going to do every day, this is a problem of emotional regulation. It is an impulse control problem. You're not broken. There's nothing wrong with you. You're not a bad person. It just means you don't have the skill set to deal with that discomfort in a healthful manner and that's really why I wrote my book Indistractable.

Most people tend to fall into two groups when it comes to distraction.We have what we call “the blamers” (the blamers say "it's this technology. It's the modern world. It's my iPhone its Facebook. It's email doing it to me." Then we have what's called “the shamers” - the shamers say "something's wrong with me. I'm so lazy. I'm not very good at this job." Ironically when we induce shame we create more of those internal triggers which make us even more likely to seek distraction to take our mind off of those uncomfortable emotional states.

Nir Eyal

Don't be a blamer or a shamer. Just align with your values and turn your time into values. Make sure you listen to this episode and READ THIS BOOK!

If you want to provide a link in the show notes, it’s:

The schedule maker tool Nir mentioned is here:

Related article:

And distraction guide here:

Habits vs routines article here:

Listen to this episode on your favorite podcast app:

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Learn More about Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal - Indistractable

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, Nir’s writing has been featured in The Harvard Business ReviewTechCrunch, and Psychology Today.

Nir is also an active investor in habit-forming technologies. Some of his past investments include Eventbrite (NYSE:EB), (acquired by LinkedIn), Worklife (acquired by Cisco), Product HuntMarco PoloPresence Learning7 CupsPanaKahoot!Byte FoodsFocusMate, and (acquired by Spotify).

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

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