Do you find it hard to follow through with things you say you’re going to do? Do you find yourself getting easily distracted? Do you sit down to finally start working and then find yourself continuing to procrastinate? Do you feel unproductive? If you answered yes to those questions, imagine if you were able to follow through and get things done? Imagine what you would accomplish then.
On Episode 13 of What The Func?! Podcast, called “Indistractable,” our hosts Laura Schein, a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach and longtime health nut, and Clayton Farris explore this simple, yet powerful concept with Nir Eyal, author of the best-selling book Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.
The Difference Between Distraction and Traction
Nir Eyal teaches us the hidden psychology driving distraction. In order to understand how to become “indistractable,” Eyal says we first have to recognize the distractions that trick you into prioritizing the “urgent,” like checking your phone or email, at the expense of the important, such as finishing your work. Eyal digs deeper to show us that no action is traction unless that is what you planned with your time- showing us that anything can be a distraction, and anything can be traction towards what we want to do. If you want to plan to scroll through social media for an hour – that’s okay! Time you plan to waste is not wasted time.
Desire to Escape Discomfort
Human behavior is prompted by a desire to escape different forms of discomfort. Eyal says to think about time management as pain management. Once you acknowledge and understand the social discomfort you are seeking to escape from, you can choose to either change the source of that discomfort or learn tactics to cope, so that your internal triggers lead you towards traction rather than distraction.
Plan Your Day
Making an implementation intention – planning out what you are going to do and when you plan to do it – turns your values into time. This means you need to plan your entire day and even include the things you usually find “distracting” to you. Eyal says that in order to be distracted from something, we need to have something in its place, meaning if you’re able to schedule your day, you will be successful staying focused on the planned task versus if you did not. But what about being spontaneous for creativity? Eyal explains that being spontaneous is another form of distraction and excuse not to do the work. To be creative, you have to sit down and produce work.
Plan to Set Aside Some Time for Yourself
It’s hard to know what to focus on if you’re constantly in motion, running from one thing to another. Try taking some downtime just for yourself. Read a good book, watch the tide come in at the beach, go for a walk in the park, or just sit quietly at home. Spending time alone can help put things in perspective. And remember, you can do this!
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