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The Secret To Dodging Distraction And Getting More Done

Nir is a former Sandford lecturer and now a behavioral-expert entrepreneur. He's also an active angel investor who’s invested in companies like Event-Brite, and Product Hunt. He's the author of his latest book “Indistractable.”

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Key Takeaways

  1. Distraction comes from within, not from today's technology.
  2. We have the ability to let others know that we're busy to finish important tasks without being interrupted.

Podcast Interview Notes:

1. What's distraction and why are most people seeing it the wrong way?

Nowadays, it’s common to blame technology for making us distracted.

The reality is that technology is only part of the problem but not the root cause. That’s why I mention in my book that distraction comes from within. I illustrate this point, by telling the story of Zoe, a professor at Yale.

Zoe became addicted to a health app. Ironically, an app with good intentions helped Zoe escape her painful reality, being distracted from everything else.

2. How would you recommend people start prioritizing more time for themselves?

Start by understanding the things you value.

You only have 24 hours each day, so you’ll have to plan accordingly. Keep in mind that you’ll have more than one important domain. For example, your values, relationships, and work. Often, people mention not having time to do their most important tasks.

To make things happen, I recommend jotting down important tasks in your calendar. If you don’t it’s easy to replace unimportant tasks with the domains that matter to you the most.

3. What are some tactics that have worked for you in letting others know you can't be distracted?

I’ve used signs on my computer’s monitor to let others know that I shouldn’t be distracted.

Another strategy I’d recommend is syncing with other people’s calendars at work or at home. For example, meet with others and show them your weekly schedule. This way it’s clear on when the kids are being dropped off or when a project will be completed at work.

4. Do all pre-commitments have the same impact?

All pre-commitments have a different impact.

There are three types of pre-commitments, effort pact, price pact, and identity pact.

These three pre-commitments make sure that you don’t do the things you don’t want to do. For example, I made a big wager with a friend of mine that I would finish my book by a certain period, and it worked. The identity pact is probably the most powerful of them all.

An identity pact is when you tell yourself that you’re a certain type of person. Because of this, you’re more likely to stay in line do things that align with who you perceive yourself.

Money Round

If you had to start all over knowing what you know now—how would you start making money in the next 12 months?

It depends on my financial situation.

If I was living paycheck to paycheck I’d look for a better job. But, if I was living more comfortable with my finances, I’d take bigger risks to make money.

What advice would you give to people who are currently struggling with their finances and feeling hopeless?

The solution is not to be ashamed.

Realize that you’re in your current situation because of your actions. Adopt a growth mindset and realize that you’re capable of improving your finances if you spend time learning in the areas you’re currently weak in.

What does money mean to you?

Money means freedom.

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About the Author Chris

Chris writes personal finance and productivity articles for software companies. He gets fresh ideas through continuously investing in himself and interviewing successful entrepreneurs.

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