337: Winning the war for your attention with guest expert Nir Eyal

Nir Eyal, author of Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life

Bill Ringle and Nir Eyal discuss how the phone and software companies have cleverly, systematically, and effectively stolen your attention and time and responses for their benefit… and practical steps you can take to win back control for small business leaders.

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com  for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth. My Quest for the Best is a top-rated small business podcast with over 300 episodes of thought-provoking and insightful interviews with today’s top thought leaders and business experts. Host Bill Ringle’s mission with this show is to provide the strategies, insights, and resources that will unlock the growth potential of your business through these powerful conversations.

Interview Insights

Top 3 Takeaways from this Interview

  • Distraction is internal, not external. If we cannot deal with our discomforts, we will always be distracted no matter how quiet the place. Likewise, if we master our internal triggers, the world could be full of noise but we will not lose focus.
  • Often we are told that we are treading the wrong path if we feel so much discomfort and that maybe, that path taken is not what we are passionate about, otherwise, we would be always happy. Sometimes, that is just how it feels and we believe it. But we need to remember that the most successful entrepreneurs had lots of discomforts and that they achieved fulfillment not by rerouting but by learning. We should learn how to deal with discomforts.
  • Winners do not delay their success by waiting until the last minute to act nor do they jeoperdize their chances of winning by being impulsive.

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

  • Nir talks about how his biggest inspiration growing up are his parents and how the best birthday present he ever got was coming to America. [01:44]
  • The reason why traction is the opposite of distraction, not focus. [08:14]
  • Ways traction can help build a sturdy company culture. [12:13]
  • The reason why he thinks to-do lists are productivity killers. [14:20]
  • The internal and external triggers of distraction. [20:00]
  • He talks about the importance of dealing with discomforts. [22:24]
  • Here he shares a very personal story about himself with his constant battles with stage fright in his career as a professional speaker. [24:54]
  • Nir gives great practical advice on how to deal with internal distractions. [27:21]
  • A thorough discussion on the dangers of being impulsive. [29:43]
  • My Quest for the Best Lightning Round begins [35:01]

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Expert Bio

Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. Nir previously taught as a Lecturer in Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

Nir co-founded and sold two tech companies since 2003 and was dubbed by The M.I.T. Technology Review as, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.”

He is the author of two bestselling books, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

Indistractable received critical acclaim, winning the Outstanding Works of Literature (OWL) Award as well as being named one of the Best Business and Leadership Books of the Year by Amazon and one of the Best Personal Development Books of the Year by Audible. The Globe and Mail called Indistractable, “the best business book of 2019.”

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

Nir is also an active investor in habit-forming technologies. Some of his past investments include Eventbrite (NYSE:EB), Anchor.fm (acquired by Spotify), Kahoot! (KAHOOT-ME.OL), Canva, Refresh.io (acquired by LinkedIn), Product Hunt, Marco Polo, Presence Learning, 7 Cups, Pana, Byte Foods, FocusMate, and Shadow.

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

Below are key people, places, books, quotes, websites, and other resources that we discussed so you can explore further.

Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal

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