I recently sat down and had a conversation with author Nir Eyal of the best-selling book “Indistractable”. This is a book on how to control your attention and choose your life. A funny little story about this book. In 2019 right after it came out I went to Barnes & Noble and I took it off the bookshelf. It had a bright yellow cover with a Picture of a mouse scroll arrow type thing and before even opening the front cover I had a pretty good idea about what this book was about. I decided to sit down and look through it for a little bit. Before I buy books I always like to read the table of contents and look through a few of the chapters to see if it’s something that I can apply to my life. This book seemed very interesting and applicable to my life. It was the summer of 2019 and my real estate business was going pretty well, I was very busy and even though I felt like things are moving in the right direction I still wasn’t 100% clear on what I should be doing with my time and energy. As an entrepreneur building a business and working for yourself, it’s not always blatantly obvious what you should be doing. For example, should I be networking? Should I be knocking on doors? Should I be cold calling? Should I be creating contacts? Should I be sending out mailers to my neighbors? There are so many different options and not all of them have the same return on your time. Sometimes even though we have so many options it leaves us helpless because we are just too plain confused. Well as you can imagine it’s very hard to stay on task. These days with social media and our reliance on our cell phones it’s so easy to get distracted. After just 20 minutes into the book, I knew this was going to be a game-changer so I ended up reading the entire book in just two sittings at Barnes & Noble. Afterward, I immediately applied a lot of the principles to my life.
Here are the two things that have made the most impact on my life today from this book.
- Knowing what I am being distracted from.
It’s impossible to be distracted if you don’t know what you are being distracted from! This was mind-blowing for me to understand. A lot of the times when I don’t really know what I should be doing I end up getting distracted, but it’s not really a distraction if I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. Scheduling in a specific time for specific tasks is crucial! I now understand the importance of scheduling my day and not just to stay on task but to know what I’m being distracted from.
2. Controlling external factors!
We get so many notifications on our phones whether it’s the new sale at Nike or fantasy football updates! Sometimes I’m driving on the highway and I get a notification and I look at it quickly to realize that I’m swerving off the road to check on a fantasy football player who got injured. I started to realize the importance of controlling your attention and the easiest way to gain more control is by controlling external factors. I decided to unsubscribe from all of the emailing lists I was on, I decided to turn off all my notifications on all my social media apps, I also started to realize what happens after you check your phone one time. Picking up your phone to check your Gmail ends up turning into scrolling through Facebook or Instagram for 20 minutes. This simple change of turning off notifications can alter the course of your day.
What are your biggest distractions? Are you aware of those inner triggers that cause you to lose your focus… I’d love to hear your thoughts on this… Leave a comment below.
Check out the podcast [here] with Nir where he goes in-depth on distractions. I hope you guys enjoy!